Tag Archive | steampunk

Sci Fi Weekend 2017

So this was about 3 weeks ago now. Last time we went 4 years ago I went absolutely mental for a couple of months making costumes, then got really drunk and was not really in a position to photograph any of them well. This year I was much more relaxed about the whole costume thing. Firstly, I’m not really a cosplayer. I don’t really like doing other peoples characters, & I don’t like putting a whole lot of effort into something I’m only going to wear like once every 4 years. Secondly I have a whole load of generic fantasy/goth/steampunk outfits I’m not getting enough chance to wear at the moment, so it made sense to do something fun with a couple of them rather than make anything specifically for the convention. Also Jon was very much not in the mood for dressing up, so I didn’t have to make anything for him either.

Ironically, in the year I decided not to bother, we had a lovely outside veranda with really good lighting at the cabin we were staying in, so I got massively better photos of stuff than last time.

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First up on the Friday was my steampunk dress, with added thermal cuz the weather in Wales that weekend was bitter. (annoyingly London was having a bit of a heatwave) I quite like this outfit, I think its my best attempt yet with that dress, but I’m still not sold on the dress itself. It started life as an attempt to make my own version of a dress by Juliette et Justine and really didn’t work out how I’d planned. (details here) I’m really proud of drafting the pattern myself and think its a gorgeous dress, but it really isn’t massively me. Looking at the picture maybe I need a better hat. The corset is a favourite though, it is from Fan Plus Friend, and even though it only just fits, I love it.

Saturday…

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I love this outfit so much. Its the dress I made for my witches costume this Halloween , but with a flower/horn crown I made a few years ago for the Goblin Kings Ball, but then did the whole getting drunk and forgetting to take photos thing (I am such a shit millennial sometimes!) I haven’t really had the opportunity to wear it since.

I bought the basic plastic horns ready attached to a headband from someone off etsy but then I painted the horns, glued the flowers on and padded the headband – even with padding I can only really wear it on top of a wig as the horns make the headband super heavy and pinchy.

The wig is from My Lolita Dress,a taobao resale site. By the time you’ve factored in insane shipping from China costs it is quite expensive to buy them from there, but all the ones I’ve bought the quality has been really good, & they have some interesting colours and styles. I made the mistake last sci fi weekend I attended of buying a cheap wig off eBay and it isn’t really worth it. It has only lasted one or two wears, is really thin and is tangled as hell. I want to replace it, but annoyingly haven’t found a decent long white one on any of the better quality wig sites yet, even though I’ve been looking.

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Oh yeah, I thought I’d include this photo as its a really nice one of Liz, Ian and I. It was ultimately a really fun weekend, though my ME wasn’t great and I didn’t really appreciate a 7hr car journey there and back. Probably won’t go again to that specific convention for another few years, but as there are zero opportunities to do dress up/goth stuff in London at the moment (there is still a bit of a goth scene focused on Islington, but it has become very very local, for people who live round there and cliquey, and most of the big goth and steampunk costume parties have stopped now. The ones for queer people and on the fetish scene are still going strong I believe, but they are not really our sort of thing.) we are hoping to get to other conventions/festivals/weekends over the next couple of years. But I am really glad to have stood by my decision not to make anything for the Scifi weekend specifically and also that I have decided no alternative stuff this year, I have plenty enough stuff to play with already, & the stuff I am making so far this year I have been really happy with.

 

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From Juliette et Justine to Downton Abbey

Sadly not the Marquis de Sade characters , Juliette & Justine, but a Japanese Lolita Brand going by the same name!

About a year ago they came out with this beauty…..

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(pictures stolen off Rakuten)

As with everything Japanese Lolita, its about £300 and even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t even remotely fit into it.

About the same time, I came across this hot air balloon viscose on my favourite fabric stall……

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Along with a load of rusty brown synthetic silk that matched it perfectly. 🙂

So in a moment of inspiration I decided to make my own version of the dress using those two fabrics.

Anyway, it was a complete bastard to make. I had to draft the pattern myself and make a mock-up of the bodice and sleeves, and then I completely lost interest for several weeks and had to totally push myself to do it.

It looks a very simple dress, but virtually everything that was sewn on includes gathers or ruffles of some kind, so it drove me completely up the wall.

So I came to the stage where I had nearly finished, and tried it on with the ruffle attached to the bottom, but without the ribbon and bows to see how much I needed to trim the ruffle (as I was winging it without a pattern I cut the ruffles longer than needed in order to trim them down at the end.) and even though I needed to take 3 or 4 inches off to make it like the Juliette et Justine one, I kind of liked it how it was….

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So then I wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily however I am leaving the ruffles unhemmed (the silky stuff frays really nicely, and I thought as I’m going for a slightly steampunk feel, I could get away with it.)

On the one hand I want this primarily as a steampunk dress and it was working the way it was, but it wasn’t a replica of the J&J dress anymore 😦

So anyway, fate helped me out on this one, I wanted to wear this to my friends hen party on Saturday where I was asked to dress according to a steampunk theme, and I was pushing it a bit tight getting ready as Britain had the worst pollution smog in as long as I remember last week, and it completely kicked my Chronic Fatigue off, so I ended up mostly in bed. So I decided to leave the skirt long, and leave the ribbon bows off and style it up a bit and see what happened….

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As you can see I went for a kind of Edwardian look, I used a leather effect obi I’ve had for ages as a belt and put my hair up and wore my black necklace, and kinda ended up with a scruffier version of Downton Abbey style clothing.

At the time I thought it looked awesome, but looking back at the pictures, I am almost certain now I am actually going to shorten it and go for the effect of the original, as I think I look really mumsy in this, and although it is suitable for steampunk,it is a bit too fancy dress for me, but if I make it a bit shorter, I can use it for a whole range of things.

So yeah, possibly more pictures when I actually manage to do that. It is in the wash at the moment, (the advantages of homemade clothes over designer ones! 🙂 ) but we are about to have our bathroom done up, so all my sewing stuff is going to have to go away for 3 weeks. 😦 However I am going to the Goblin Kings Masquerade Ball at the beginning of May and I kinda want it ready for then as the current version is not ethereal enough (if someone who is a size 18 can ever look ethereal! )

Anyway, I am totally proud of the finish on this one, as I was trying to emulate lolita, I really stepped my game up with the finish inside….

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I am also really pleased with the cuffs (completely winging it)….

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and the lace round the neck (which needs ironing in this photo as its just come out the laundry) but was probably the most expensive single component of the dress and is really good quality had dyed cotton that I bought off etsy.

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So yeah, although it is technically finished now, hopefully it will be finished in a way I am happy with in a few weeks time!

 

London Edge: cool stuff I saw on stalls part 3

So better extremely late than never….. a continuation of my account of the cool stuff I saw at the London Edge. The thing to remember is a lot of the coolest stuff is Autumn/Winter 2014 collections, so won’t be in the shops until August anyway. First up Golden Steampunk/Phaze, Gorgeous Steampunk gear and loads of Venetian Lace Masks, including bat shaped ones (although their prices are really reasonable I am kicking myself for not buying a lace mask when I was in Verona last year, I had already acquired 3 traditional ones, so didn’t bother, but they were basically the wholesale price over there! 😦 )

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Contrariety Rose – this one was quite a small business which was quite nice to see, with two girls who handmade all their stuff in England. Really good quality

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Hellbunny – this is the one point my filing system for photographs got a bit confused. What I did was take pictures of the sign for each stall before I took one of the clothes, however in this case I took a picture of the stall before Hellbunny, but didn’t take one of Hellbunny itself, so I am not 100% sure the black and red cameo dress is by them. It is also really confusing as Hellbunny is one of several brands made by the same manufacturer all of whom were sharing the same stall, so I am not quite sure which brand they are, however, as Hellbunny do not have a dedicated  online store or proper website (The link is to their Facebook) and you have to buy them through independent retailers, chances are if anything is technically a different brand, if you actually want to buy it, it’ll turn up in the same place!)

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This is Vanity Project, another made in England business who make beautiful vintage clothing. Although I absolutely love their stuff, I am in two minds about this one, as they use publicly available Alexander Henry and Tula Pink fabric, as I do quite frequently when I make stuff for myself. However the reason I make stuff like that myself is I used to see Alexander Henry fabric dresses in Camden and covet them, but I’ve always been too poor and recently too fat to buy them. However lots of my friends like the sort of things I make and like vintage dresses in general and can afford to buy stuff like this, in which case will really like this company as their stuff is gorgeous and really well made!

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This was actually the stall that got me most excited in the whole of the exhibition. They are called Tecstyle ltd and they do custom fabric printing and will make stuff up into bedding for you. Their prices are comparable to Spoonflower, but they do a minimum of 15m. The stuff on display was really good quality and their black comes out reasonably true. I think if I ever went into making dresses commercially (the little issue of Chronic Fatigue to get over first) they would be exactly what I would be looking for as great though Spoonflower is, these guys are based in Britain, so no annoying shipping or customs issues. I also quite fancy my own custom duvet sets. 🙂

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This is burleska.co.uk lots of awesome corsets, the majority with a steampunk feel…. I am rubbish at telling the quality of corsets, but these didn’t seem bad at all, and are quite reasonably priced too.

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And last of all….. La Mort Clothing, cool gothic tattoo print t-shirts.

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I really enjoyed our trip to the London Edge, I am not sure if I will do this again as although I try to update my blog as regularly as possible, the number of posts it takes to do this properly is somewhat tiring and I’m a little bit lazy! Also, you can’t buy stuff there, and you have to wait 6 months for a lot of it to hit the shops and I can’t afford lots of pretty gothic clothing anyway (hence the sewing). However it was really really interesting to see what is on offer, and what actually goes on there, as I’d heard about the London Edge for several years and was really curious. So now I know 🙂

London Edge Part 1……overview of the trade fair.

So yesterday Gemma and I went to London Edge, an Alternative clothing trade fair held at Olympia in London.

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The obligatory selfie before the day began.

I’ve been intrigued about London Edge ever since I found out about it a year ago when a Facebook friend of mine and a blogger I follow ended up working there, and with an interest in Alternative fashion I was absolutely desperate to have a look, so I was so happy when I was given permission to blog from there this year.

I brought Gemma with me to help with the photography, and also as I am prone to getting ill at inconvenient moments so it really helps to have someone there who could take over if I was feeling flakey.

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When we arrived we signed in at the desk and collected our press passes and then were shown to the press stand where we were given a really cool big shopper bag each with some pamphlets and magazines in. We started going round the show at the back of the room because that was where the loos were, and thats where this photo was taken….

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To be honest the show was not exactly what I expected. I have been to two trade fairs in the past, a home decoration one with my mum when I was younger and a pub one, also with Gemma, a few years ago. I expected it to be a bit more like the pub one, although the primary focus of the show is trade, they would be selling samples and there would be a lot of promotion going on. Actually, although everyone was dressed up and there was cool music playing, so there was a really good atmosphere, nothing at all was for sale and it was all very professional and business like. I felt like a complete idiot for not having a business card, I had considered getting one, but I only found out I was going about a week ago and wasn’t in a position to get one done in time. Everyone was very nice to us though and although we missed taking proper photos of a stall we really liked the look of because the staff were all occupied and we couldn’t ask permission, which was a shame, everyone else we spoke to was really happy for us to take loads of photos of their merchandise.

So we wandered up and down, annoying the stall holders, stopping to have a free shot of something or other (mine was cranberry flavoured, Gemma’s was apple)  at this awesome bar shaped like a coffin (behind us in the photo below) with a gorgeous chair with skulls on it which was sadly not for sale….

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We had lunch in Pizza Express at the corner of the hall and then watched a fashion show with clothes from  (in this order) New Rock, Bettie Page, Kreepsville 666, Phaze, One Direction – Jawbreaker and Voodoo Vixen, and Queen of Darkness.  Gemma took all these pictures…..

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Then we finished wandering round and went for a pint and a sit down before going home. In the evening we were invited to this….

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The Iron Fist launch party! I was meant to leave the house at 7pm to get there for 8 and meet Gemma there. I woke up at 7.10 having fallen asleep as soon as I got in, with Gemma texting me saying ‘Why haven’t I heard from you?’ but it took me till about 8.15 to come round properly. So Gemma ended up going on her own. 😦 I would be gutted, only I was so tired after walking round all day and a my head was a little overloaded so missing it was probably a good thing.

ANYWAY……

the bit everyone actually wants to see…..the photos we took of all next years stock from the brands…..

I was planning to do this as a couple of posts, cherry picking the best items and stuff I was most interested in into a couple of different categories (prom/wedding guest dresses, baby clothes, shoes, stuff I am intending to buy etc) however having looked at the photos. I am tempted to just do two or three big posts with all 150 or so of them, divided by brand, because 90% of them have come out brilliantly, and although I have my favourite brands and stuff, other stuff may be of interest to other people than it is to me. So what does people think? What do you actually want to see?

postscript: Massive thanks to Gemma Collins for all her help yesterday. Massive apologies for my awful awful roots, I was so busy last week and Jons working hours were a little weird so I didn’t have a day to myself to sort them out. 😦