Friday, 11 December 2009

The Joker

Well my husband has asked me for the second time to put together a drag costume for him. I know it’s a squadie thing and all military men need little encouragement to don a frock and I should not be surprised considering David’s enthusiasm for the eccentric, but still I am a little concerned. I’m not too worried though as this costume totally rocks!

I love comic books and recently there have been some wonderful and brilliant live action movies. Iron Man is so far my favourite but I also love The Dark Knight. Since seeing the latter earlier this year my husband loved the hospital scene and said Heath Ledger looked great so when an announcement came from a friend who is having a heroes and villain fancy dress birthday in December, it was his first choice.

First of all I sourced the dress. It wasn’t as difficult as I expected and after some time I found a style that was satisfactory. I needed to take it in a bit, adjust the lapel and neckline, fiddle with the pockets and add some trim. After some research I found out that the dress from the movie is actually of British design/inspired so that explains it. I also bought a pair of socks, sneakers belt and a silver fob watch. The last thing was to search for a wig. It was tricky because most wigs are wither blonde or brown, curly or straight not a mixture of both. I found this wavy wig very acceptable and trimmed it to the correct length.

My birthday friend knows David has chosen to dress as The Joker but doesn’t know the variation, I can’t wait to see the look on their faces! It will be brilliant and I have no doubt that Dave will be a talk of the town : )

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Wonder woman

After my friends recent announcement I had a hard time deciding who to dress up as for her Heroes and Villains birthday party. I have always been keen to do the jokers lover Harley Quinn but also was tempted to do an original Catwoman. Trouble is both of those costumes are cat suits and leotards as are many other super hero costumes. After much deliberation I decided to pick up a costume I have been putting together and have never worn, of my most favourite comic book hero bar none – Wonder Woman.

I found a great red corset that had very supple PVC and is comfortable to wear although not as well fitted on the bust as I would have liked. I also bought some shiny blue hot pants which are teeny tiny so I made a skirt to cover them. This is an acceptable modification in many WW costumes so I don’t feel concerned about authenticity in this mater.

I did however have a conundrum concerning colouring. I wasn't sure if I should go for yellow as the comics show or gold as the cartoons, live action and pictures show. In the end I decided on a controversial mix of the 2. I already had a yellow hair band and belt so I have added gold centre pieces to make them authentic. I also used gold for the W on the bust; I hope that the mixture will create a desired affect even though it lacks authenticity.

I have modified a collection of accessories including a golden lasso, bracer's and tiara, I hope they will do Princess Diana of the Amazons proud : ) While you at it check out this years DC animated movie : )

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Party Season?

High fashion continues to display 80's dresses with floral and animal prints this party season which to be honest doesn't excite me at all.

There are also plenty of sequins to be found! Luckily I have seen at least half a dozen items that I would love to buy for my costume wardrobe (which lets face it is twice as large as my regular one anyway >_>) such as this sequinned skirt from Bay trading, wouldn't it be perfect for Columbia! They also have a questionable gold sequinned blazer : ) I have been holding a torch for her costume for a long-time and this is enough to push me into to putting it together : D

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Grecian gowns

Its taken a couple of years since the style first hit the catwalk but finally these fabulous Grecian styles have reached the stores.Its linked in with the 70's maxi dresses and the 80's revival we've had this year to make some interesting combinations.

Asymmetrical one shoulder dresses and tops are everywhere and the loose flowing toga style is too. Many bridal & ball gowns have the classic Grecian goddess look and is being worn on the red carpet and at Christmas balls around the country : )

Monday, 12 October 2009

Emily: The Corpse Bride

Tim Burtons musical underworld is where Emily the corpse bride spends most of her time, intill she meets Victor, and then all sorts of drama ensues! I have planned a brilliant costume and although I'm not sure how many people will recognise me I am satisfied it will be accurate and realistic : ) I like to adjust costumes to fit in with real life, using real clothes and adapting make up etc to make things more realistic, after all I'm not a cartoon.

First I ordered a cheap Chinese lace corset that is very satisfactory, spray it with a fine layer of silver to give it a bit of sparkle and then aged the edges with dark blue, mostly around the top and bottom of the bodice. I took some time in constructing a trio of rib bones using ivory polyma clay and attached them to the bodice.

A silver dress bought on ebay will be adapted and made into a high waisted skirt with a knee high split slightly of centre to show a view of my shockingly bony leg : ) I will wear a white stocking with knee high blue sock rouched down round the ankle on my left leg. False lashes and bright blue eye shadow to the brow are a must, I have also bought 3 new shades of face paint to paint my body with. The veil I cut to a custom design, which I then hemmed, it is chapel length and falls to the floor. I soakd it in a tea bag/water/dye mix along with some ivory lace wedding gloves. I’ll also distressed them a little with velcro, and tears, both are made of cheap material and tarnished very well. I bought some wooden flowers in several colours which I aged with teabags and paint to make a fabulous bouquet and head piece, the latter of which I will attach the veil : )
On a side note David has a very acceptable hump made from a pair of pillows and some thick elastic straps. I was hoping to find some sort of plastic buckle (like you get on suitcases and the like) but for the moment bows and knots will suffice. I made a rough sack cloth type tunic in stone coloured cotton to go over the top. I had all the materials needed for this and my Emily costume cost £35, which I am so very proud of.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Bridal halloween costume

The party is pretty much planned and I have all the supplies I need, I have started David's costume and my own. I had planned to wear a charity bought bridal gown and put my hair up for Bride of Frankenstein but she actually only wears a sort of bed sheet bandage combo rather than a formal wedding gown. I'd love to do my hair up and I'm sure everyone will recognise me, it would be a very agreeable costume.

But I am tempted to modify the gown (it would look great) and tint my hair purple to become Tim Burtons corpse bride, Emily. This would be more authentic but I'm not sure I can ruin such a gown (even a bargain one) with good conscience.

I'd like some opinions please, do I modify the gown and paint myself as a zombie (I do love a good zombie!) or do I keep it decent and do a passable bride of Frankenstein? Decisions decisions! Please vote on the right hand side, opinions are greatly appreciated : )

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Frankintiens bride & Igor

This year I started planning for Halloween early, we are having a party and David is away for 6 weeks before hand so I wanted to get most of the planning done before he left. I've ordered supplies, made shopping lists and menus, I have even got most of the decorations sorted.

I wanted to invite my friends for a dinner party, make a very fancy formal invite and then when they arrived up it would be a ghost house with cobwebs and a graveyard : D We are still doing that but now that David is going to be home early we have made it to a full blown party with cocktails canepes and 25 guests.

I had an idea of 16th century dress in silver and talc in my hair to make me look like a ghostly lady of the court and I did buy a dress pattern but money was the main issue, not to mention a lack of sewing machine. Last week David and I were in a new charity shop in Saffron Walden and I got this perfect bridal gown at a steal for only £5! Its home made so its all frayed and the roses are perfect, I hardly needs modifying, only pulling in the train and taking in the waist so I am very happy : ) I found some hair crimpers at a car boot but I still need to find someone to help to put my hair into a beehive though >_>

I have drawn up plans for Davids hunch back costume, I'm going to use brown cotton sheets to make a sack cloth type tunic with thick straw colour embroidery thread and a pillow strappe to his back underneath for the hunch back. A pair of old trousers/jeans with the bottoms rolled up and some drawn on scars/stitches will finish it of : ) He is in Canada at the moment and they have lots of Halloween things much like they do in the US so he might pick up some treats like a wig or eye piece.

Friday, 18 September 2009

New hat

I have a love for vintage hats that comes third in my fondness for attire, after costumes and shoes. When I saw this beautiful hat in a charity shop in Saffron Walden this weekend, I was drawn in. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of unworn black leather boots there for £10 and they have been worn often and loved a great deal.

The hat was overpriced I'd say for a charity shop at £12.50 considering it was not a designer name and it is not dis-similar of the cream hat I wore at my hen party last year, despite these things I bought it : ) The veil is much longer than my other hat, which can be pulled down to cover the face, the fabric is better and the feathers are fabulous! And as a bonus I already have gloves to match hehe lets hope I have an excuse to wear them soon : ) My old hat is for sale if your interested.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Cosplay plans

Well the most recent anime convention went well as far as wardrobe was concerned! And we have all started thinking and talking about plans for next year before it even finished lol

I still have a few of my long term ideas up there - Belle ball gown, Alice in wonderland and a lolita maid - but have some more definite ideas. I'll definitely love to dress as Nanoha - one of my fav animes - but seeing as I am not 8 years old so can't pull of her original battle armour and i'm not keen on her "Strikers" costume I've chosen her Time Space Administration Bureau uniform which is a bit obscure but lets hope at the UKs biggest Anime conventions someone will at least recognise me.

I'm sure that a refreshing take on Mario characters will be appreciated if not glomped (lets face it i'm not keen on the latter) I'm keen to try out my own take on Daisy, David's Mario costume is still unused but he'd like to be a prop, a coin box would be easiest but he wants a B-Bomb lol Laila suggested toodette although I think she would make a great Birdo ; ) My Peach was a bit luke warm in 2007 but I've learnt now to go with my natural colourings, blonde does not suit my skin tone lol check out this perfect Peach cosplay, by Jenni Kallberg, how amazing it that??

Another one David was keen to do is Faye and Spike from Cowboy Bebop (my all time fav anime) but you wouldn't catch me wearing a yellow PVC hot pants with my tummy on show LOL Dave has offered (drunkenly) to don the get up and I'm going to make a custom tailored blue suit for myself and cut a massive fringe to spike up : ) What do you think?

A few other options still floating around are Motoko Kusangi from another of my favourites - Ghost in a shell, as well as several sailor fuku and generic outfits. I'm keen to avoid UK/American cosplay stereotypes as I dislike nauturo and bleach but I also want to be recognised by others. One subject that will never go away in UK cosplay is Final Fantasy, we all love it and we all know them so they go down well. There are a range of easily bought costumes but this amazing Lulu, made by Cat and modeled by J, is the best I have ever seen : ) You do have to remember though that a lot of Japanese cos-players are models and the makers/fans are not the ones wearing their costumes in the photos.

Im keen to try something different, any suggestions for ladies with long dark hair?? Although I disliek the 2 previous mainstream animes I might be a bit lenient with Davids fav anime - Dragon ball Z, I think he would make a good Goku ; ) The professionals from really make me feel motivated to get a good quality and acurate cosplay so I'm sure ltos of time and money will go into next years costumes : )

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Alcon 2009

I'm happy to say that the wardrobe for Alcon went without a hitch! My dresses all looked fantastic, including Arieths dress and David looked swish and cool all weekend : ) It was a good weekend with friends although I think I will stick to the bigger conventions in the future. Check out my blog for a full review and a few photos of us at the weekend, enjoy : )

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Overknee Boots

If I buy one thing this season I hope that is is a pair of over knee thigh high boots. Granted I have 4 pairs of knee high boots already but can you really have too many? I love the idea of mainstream over knee and thigh high boots for us high street dwellers and am glad that the catwalks were so well received it meant that some were in the shops as early as July!

There are some fabulous flat turn over top ones, perfect for pirate liaisons and I simply love the shades of tan leather that are available. Also if its your cup of tea there are some fabulously saucy patent and PVC ones around just be careful with the style to avoid being mistaken for a lady of night. Which might just happen anyway and for some people that is the aim : D

Monday, 3 August 2009

Cosplay Ball

I was dead chuffed when I won this EBay item, it was really good value and a very cute dress, perfect for the cosplay ball. But when it arrived this morning, I was ecstatic : D

The fabric is exquisite shot silk and of very high quality, the colour is fabulous Emerald green (you either love or hate green) I simply adore it! I took in the waist in to 28" and added the bows on the sleeves, other wise this dress is simply perfect.

After rooting around in my costume jewellery box I found that perfect bronze/gold necklace and matched it with some small drop earrings. The earrings have pearls in so I will put a string of pearls in my hair and a cream wrap to match. [closer look]

My mother in law has a beautiful Thai silk scarf that I might borrow and I'll also wear my gold set navy cameo broach, although I'm not sure where on the dress, maybe pinned to my bag?
I doubt my mother will let me borrow her sapphire again >_> Not to fancy dress ball anyway!

I feel sorry for the bride-to-be who had to sell these dresses due to her bridesmaids falling pregnant and the amount of money she has lost; they cost over £200 new and I go this dress at a steal for £18. BUT I am dead chuffed with my newest aquisition, thank you so much Jude! With my hair up in a classy do, some perfectly shaped cream courts, wrap and clutch bag I am sure to be the Belle of the ball : )

Monday, 27 July 2009

Aerith's summer dress

I took the for-action of ordering Mcalls pattern M-5094 for Aeriths dress. Its Panelled so is not 100% perfect but pretty spot on : ) I'll leave out on the panels to keep the skirt straight and sew buttons on the front. When I cut the pieces for this pattern I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew and was disheartened, I couldn't sew it without help. When my mother in law took her sewing machine back I tried to find a tailor who could take the job from me.

The only one who was interested in "having a look" said he didn't have time to make it before the convention but I was welcome to use his extra machine if I had the free time. I explained I was a rookie and the pattern was too complicated and he said he would help me, I was sceptical but after 8 hours solid work I was so happy with the result. It came together beautifully and although the dress is not 100% correct from the game, its a beautifully made lined summer dress!

I have sewn white pearly buttons from just under the bust and Laila has found these fabulous boots. I also had a play with some polyma clay and modified some bangles for her, I still have to paint the plastic bits but I am very happy with the result. She also needed help with Squalls costume so I have bought and modified some belts that I am also very chuffed with, I hope Alex (Squall) will like them as much as I do : )

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Tifa Lockheart

I quickly compiled the items I needed for my Tifa costume and I am very glad it came together so easily! I had some items already including; a white ribbed tank top, socks, boots and gloves. One essential piece was this brilliant leather skirt on I bought on ebay. Although it will be a bit longer than "offical Tifa" with its very high waist the tank top - rather than the authentic crop top - will look better. The only problem was the braces pulled the skirt even higher! so next time I'll buy a skirt that is not so high on the waist as well as changing the elastic on the elbow pad to brown to make it more accurate. Over all I think it went very well : )

The braces were the most expensive item at £7 but they are double ones which is spot on so in my view worth the money. I like it when I find perfect accessories ; ) I painted some brass split pins (no silver ones available!) and modified a pvc belt, turning it back to front, I taped the back to avoid snags when wearing.

It took a bit of time to find some Polyma clay, but once I got some I had fun with it! I put some tape on the INSIDE of the gloves and used the 4 air holes as guides for the "studs". I guessed what proportions by going with what looked right to me and rolled out 4 balls. I flattened them with my thumb, baked them following instructions and stuck them on with craft glue, simple! I have 2 knee length socks cut at the toes and worn under the leather gloves to complete Tifas gloves : )

The elbow pad I sprayed silver with a bit of pewter over the top to give it some depth. I also made a small armoured piece with cardboard and clay to attach to my boot, shown on the far right. The gloves looked fantastic and I was very happy with the result : )

I was not overly excited about this costume by itself but I was excited about Arieths dress! Being along side her was great, I was very proud and Laila was happy to be glomped several times : ) We saw a couple of other FF cos-players and some serious guys but mostly was store bought and a few nauturo (boo). Ill definitely stick to the bigger conventions in future.

Friday, 10 July 2009


Well folks seems we are all going to Alcon 2009, Aerith and Tifa here we come! I'll post as I go along as I did with my medieval costume back in April, that way you can see the work in progress : )

The costumes mainly consist of the following:
- Aerith
Red denim cropped jacket
Pink button down summer dress
Brown boots with white socks
Wicker basket & accessories (Hair tie, thong necklace and bracelets)

White tank top
Black leather skirt
Black 6 clip braces
Brown leather gloves
Custom elbow pad/long black gloves
Brown boots with black socks.
x2 red hair ties.

Budgets for both costumes will be tight but I hope to do Tifa for under £15 and Aerith for under £25, lets see how that goes shall we? I hope you will enjoy following the progress, I love actually getting a chance to put together and make new costumes, and in this case I get to do two! Lets hope I get everything done on time considering it is only a couple of months away.

Friday, 26 June 2009


I am sure every girl (and guy for hat matter) has her own fashion obsession and two of the biggest are hand bags and shoes. Handbags: I own maybe 3 or 4 and I resent carrying one when I go out - but shoes? Guilty as charged. I don't wear them often, in fact I'm happiest bare foot but boy do I love dreaming of shoes! Lace up oxfords, polka dotted bows, sling backs with peep toes, I love them all ♥

Recently scouring my favourite online shopping site EBay for costume and fashion ideas I found a wonderful shop with some brilliant shoes to offer. As well as lots of on trend platforms and shiny patents I spied a pair of funky lace up heels. Perfect with a cat suit for a 70's night, bring on the flares ; )

Secondly I spotted a perfect pair of 1960's powder blue shoes that would look stunning with a pill box hat, and smart dress; very Jackie Kennedy.

And last but not least there are also these adorable mouse pumps ^_^ Great to wear with that panda bear hoody : D

Friday, 12 June 2009


I really want to go to a video games convention this summer, and wouldn't it be great to go with friends? I don't get to spend half as much time with them as I would like and I miss them all terribly.

After Amecon 2007 I was impressed by the enthusiasm of fans and inspired by the costumes. What surprised me was how many final fantasy cosplayers there were - seriously 50% of cosplayers were characters from games- even though it was an anime convention.

Yuna Tifa and Aerith - Final Fantasy series

So that got me thinking how fabulous Laila would look as Aerith and then I got to thinking up costumes for all my friends ; ) I spend a lot of time designing and putting together costumes so after looking into it for the past few hours it would probably only cost £35 for me to make the girls costumes (of course I had to match Helena up too!) which isn't half bad considering it will be home made. I have even sourced a couple of items already . . . what do you think?

PS If you forgo the bomber jacket, Squall wouldn't be too expensive either . . . Alex would love it ; )

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Kit ?

I was surfing and started to browse a catwalk fashion blog. Usually vintage is much more my thing but I do enjoy the over the top style that is often on the cat walk: big make up and even bigger hair, outrageous outfits and often some sort of theme which as a costume lover is the main thing that attracts my attention to the cat walk.

When browsing I found this fabulously ridiculous Jeremy Scott/Schott leather jacket.

It is not something I would ever buy and in fact I think it is hideous but it reminded me of a friend (and ex boyfriend) and I thought he might have a fancy for this particular jacket. Kit had the oddest sense of style, in that he had no sense of style at all. He had a pair of silver jean trousers with big black Chinese characters all over, a ladies 80's shoulder padded navy blue leather jacket and one of his favourites, earthy orange net mesh shirt with a red tiger printed face/head on it.

He was loud and "out there" and his clothes reflected that greatly, I think you get the picture. As with many a child of the 80's, we have a fondness for the cartoons of when and Kit was no exception, I'm not entirely sure about the trolls but I am sure this jacket would make him chuckle.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


There are many bookmarks in my collection, more often than not relating to costumes or fashion. Also more often and not they are thing I admire very much and would like to own.

On of those bookmarks is Elegant Gothic, it is a spectacular website with many Japanese gothic lolita related and inspired fashions. There are some great suits and shirts for gents and a vast collection of dresses. In particular I would love to own one of these blouses, I love the mutton top sleeves, the ties at the back on the waist and the removable cravats.

Maybe there is something a bit new romantic and vamp about it but I think they would be very eye catching with some shiny heels, smart black trousers and formal coat; for a dinner party of some such outing or maybe a trip to the theatre? There are lots of formal options and the simple elegance is something that greatly appeals to me.

I should also mention the many photo views and the vast amount of customisability this websites items have, often with many colour combinations, removable ruffles/fur/lace etc so you can dress up or down depending on your mood. I love a lot of things on here and hope to one day soon buy a coat or dress. (That blouse is a definite!)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Time for the Faire Completed

And Volia, after several changes (good job I am flexible) it is finished. You can see Part one and part two here :)

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I am glad to have finally finished my delightful wench-esk costume. It took roughly 6 hours to complete and has a few modifications from the original plan.

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Here is a final picture of me at the Medieval Faire with my brother : ) We went to St Georges Day Joust at Cressing temple. I didn't have my hair covered (very uncouth - but to be fair I was hardly historically accurate) as my bright white mobcap did not match and doesn't look that great either! I'll definitely make a bonnet for next time. (To be honest I ran out of time)

During the day the waist clincher got crumpled so I will definitely reinforce it for future wear, maybe go the whole hog and make it into a corset with some boning. I also plan make a matching apron and bonnet to wear without the over skirt for a more common look. I also want to make a proper lace up vest, as it is more authentic but think that I will either have to get some serious help or pay someone to do it for me as the pattern is really complicated!

It was a great day and I saw several brilliant leather purses I wanted as well as several other pouches and accessories including cutlery, scissors (there were awesome!) and tankards. Not to mention several swords ; ) But we resisted and kept from spending any money. Well...Dave did buy a bottle of mead but I don't think refreshments count ; )

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Vintage blog and shop

There are many shops gallerys and blogs I surf through, often looking at vintage shoes and ladies dresses. I drift across from time to time ones that get bookmarked and are worth sharing. One such blog is a feast for the eyes and mind is Sally Jane Vintage. I definetly recommend checking it out if you are, like me, fond of 1940's and 1950's vintage fashion. Even if just for inspiration, you can get a real feel for the styles and vibe of those eras from Sally Jane.

And through them I found this little gem of a shop Etsy Deja Vous it has many unworn vintage items, particular shoes from the 40's and 50's so you can sometimes find colour and size variations.
I love these sophisticated red lace up shoes and these distinctive green sling backs. Often all I can do is drool and wish that I could own such items but I very rarely have money for new clothes and even then its is only the basics *sigh*

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

White Rabbit

"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!" This watch is two days slow, now wonder he is late!

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Here is a costume I now own in its entirety thanks to a friend. He is reluctant to keep possession he is unlikely to use and so has passed it onto me, I am ever so grateful to have it in my extensive collection : ) It has a pair of very nice pale yellow checked trousers, (Think Rupert the bear) a large plastic watch with a red jacket and dickie bow. He also gave me the yellow short-sleeved shirt and Rabbit ear and nose piece.

Unfortunately I couldn’t wear it all myself, there would be modifications, a waistcoat would be great for starters, although it is a shame the fetching check trousers wouldn’t fit me. And I would probably wear free-standing ears and paint on a nose/whiskers or else where a separate nose piece rather than the one nose/ear set, my eyes get irritated by things on my face >_<

But it is a very welcome addition to my collection, and I am grateful to have many things in my possession I am unlikely to use very often ; ) Thanks very much Jim!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Time for the Faire revised

For a quick update on how i started this project check out Part one : )

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21st March 2009:
After some time and planning I have
decided to team the bowed chemise (which ironically looks like the ballooning sleeves of Captain Emiline) which comes with a little bonnet and the top right skirt which I have fallen in love with. I have not yet found fabric to make the skirt's but I have bought some 100% cotton bed sheets (it is the cheapest way) for the chemise, pantaloons, bonnet and apron. I also already have some bed sheets and some old curtains but I think that later looks obviously like a window dressing and the former has a floral pattern that is too modern.

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30th March:
I have found some heavy patterned skirt which is darker than I originally planned but easier and saves money and time. It is mostly red but with some dark green and brown in the pattern. I'll probably go for a dark green over skirt or maybe just have a simple apron over the top.

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2nd April:
I bought some bed sheets today and have decided on a magnolia cream for the chemise, but the simpler version, sans the bows. I also bought some pale mushroom cotton, which I was going to use as the skirt intill I found the heavy patterned fabric, and now it won’t match. I might use it for the bonnet but I doubt it. Watch this space for more updates and photos : )

I have started to make some simple tabards for my dad and brother for the medieval faire and joust in a few of weeks time. I have an easy design and they will be made by a straight hemmed bed sheet (my favourite good value source of cotton for costumes) sewn in a loose poncho shape. Sew the sides and viola. I will embellish them both with some ribbon, a red cross on the front : )

11th April:

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I found some fabulous curtain samples in the shop for only £1 and bought 2, (the top 2 in the photo above) although I was tempted by two others I resisted buying the whole lot. The one I choose for this waist clincher is the central one. The samples are not big enough for much else so I might make a second clincher or maybe some sort of purse? I do want a leather purse and pouch to go on a belt to complete the whole look but they are expensive.

11th-16th April I did the most of the work on my wenches costume.

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I had great fun with the balloon sleeves and the elastic, it was a learning curve and I'm glad I gave it ago. I see a couple more on the cards in future ; ) Thanks for hanging in there, it is a rather long post and my first full start to finish item,
Check out part 3, my final post for the finished result : )

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Time for the Faire

I have many costume aspirations, one of which is to make a proper 18th century style chemise with billowing sleeves to wear with a corset or waist clinching belt over a gathered or rouched skirt. A wench costume is so versatile and can work with many historical eras and always looks good : D

One of my many many costume bookmarks is The Wenches Wardrobe. I would love to attend a "Pirate" festival which after combat seems to be the most popular and successful sort of historic re-enactment in UK, shame I don't have any idea where to start,

In April at Cressing Temple there is a St Georges day joust and medieval fair, I am going with Dave and would love to dress up in a "Wench" style outfit. I am have some plans and have bid on a pattern on EBay for bloomers and a corset (I have wanted one since I wore my wedding dress, it feels fantastic!) and another pattern which has a nice billowing chimese, skirt, apron and also a small bonnet cap.

After my recent success with the bonnet I am keen to give it ago. The whole thing is budgeted at £30 as we are living on only one set of wages but Im not sure I can buy all the material, ribbons and supplies I need with that as well as both those patterns. I may have to "make do" with what I have already got. If needs be I can go without the patterns for now, I have seen a cheap peasant top in qs for £2.50 (its not what I want but it will do) and I could proberly blag the skirt and apron, my usual costume dress making is done without patterns so shouldn't be to hard. But I would like to do it properly, especially as now I have so much time on my hands and David is not home during the week.
I want it to be a proper dress, not a shambles of unfinished hems and guess work like most of my costumes lol

If I can convince Dave I'd like to make him a crusader knight type outfit, much simpler than my dress, with some wrist bracers and tunic (white with St Georges cross of course) worn over a long sleeved top with
black trousers and boots, add a home made red cloak and the sword he already has and I think we can get away with the lack of shield and chain mail : )

part two here : )

Monday, 16 February 2009

Ye olden Dayes

Sometimes I wish I had the skill or even the knowledge of how to make things myself. I am a poor dressmaker even though I am creative and enjoy stitching things up and modifying clothes, I like a lot of arts and crafts and would enjoy learning but I’m too much of a flutter brain to specialise! In particular I would like to make costume accessories, as there are so many I want and not enough money to satisfy my desires. Lucky for me a couple of things in particular I have been hankering after for a while has been for filled!

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Good for all modest young maidens and country lass' to keep their heads covered and their skin fair. As a married lady I should always have my head covered, even when inside the house, hence the mob cap. Most low class girls wouldn't have bothered inside, but outside it was frowned apon to got out with your head uncovered. These simple designs would have been seen on common girls from the 1800's. In high society the younger more frivolous girls wore small caps and riding bonnets/hats (often very frilly & lacy with ribbons) which they wore to the latests trend and set very far back on their heads so as not to shadow their faces and show of their hair.

I bought supplies for the bonnet with a kit from hobby craft : ) The mob cap I got for free from EBay to which I added a little bit of lace, which was easy enough. I am sure with extra supplies and time I could duplicate both these items, (I would love a floral print bonnet) through trial and error, which is my main dress making approach LOL. I never have much luck with elastic and tend to avoid it, hence my out of character reluctance to give it a go. The elastic on the bonnet wasn’t TOO bad but was still quite tricky and I had to fix several mistakes. The peak and the rest of the bonnet was easy as pie and I scoffed at myself for buying a kit, but in till you try you never know, and now I know : )

I hope that at the Tea Party next month I can make one of the boys wear either one of these, but I do have quite a few great hats to use as forfeits so it will be hard to choose!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Karen Millen

Near where we now live is an outlet shopping center with lots of designer and brand names, most of the clothes are last season and much cheaper. I saw a dress in a window and stopped dead, I thought it was gorgeous. I saw the name and thought, “Well of course, there are many dress’ I have admired from Karen Millen but they are always so expensive. But then it is the discount so maybe they are a bit cheaper, but then I will want to buy one.” I was torn and my husband sensed my uncertain thoughts and suggested we take a look.

Once in the store I found my size and was falling swiftly in love. The shape is classic, clinched in at the waist, which is great for my figure and its elegant style is spot on. The fabric is floaty and soft; the colour is a delicious mushroom with mauve trim, it is beautiful. The price tag says £85, and when Dave asks if I would like to try it on, my eyes light up! This probably mean’s he has accepted the possibility of buying it. After trying on several (there were faults on some and also some slight size differences) I found one that was perfect, if a little tight on the bust. Then it is confirmed, my beloved husband David says he will buy the dress for me for Christmas I am delighted! The only down side is the £60 cardigan is perfect for it and I would have to leave it behind.

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The dress is marked at £85, which quite a lot for one cocktail dress, but it was marked from original price of £225, which is better than half price. When we get to the till the dress comes up as £50 and the cashier explains that often they don’t want to mark sale prices as it make them seem “cheap” (pretty stuck up if you asked me) so I ask if I can check the cardigan…it is £35 ^_^ I get both for the price Dave was willing to pay for the dress : D I skip around the rest of the shopping center, arm in arm with my superb husband happy to be dragged though sports shops looking at boxer shorts and running shoes. Not do I have a beautiful designer dress and cute cardigan but a bargain too, down to £85 from £345…it ticks all the right boxes and I could not be more delighted.

PS The second time I wore this dress I was back to my normal pre-wedding weight (yes I put more ON for the wedding instead of losing it, I’m not an ordinary girl >_<) so it now fits perfectly I really could not be happier ^_^

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Captian Emeline

Last year I bought a red pirate dress from a website. I’m not usually one for store bought costumes because they are so un-customisable and I like to create a bit of a character. But this dress really caught my eye; its got bright red ballooning sleeves which are fabulous, a black velvet top which goes under the bust, very saucy and a (if too short) full skirt which looks brilliant with a stiff petticoat. Here is a photo of the store bought Captain Emeline.

With black boots, ribbons in my hair and my big pirate hat with ribbons and lace, Captian Emeline looks like a top rate lady of the sea. It's not a great photo I'll warrent you, but the only one I have as of yet, I need another excuse to wear my fabulous dress. On this occasion I wore it with for-mentioned garb including lacey hat and pistol, which were promptly stolen, that is what happens when you go to the Adj. Also for the record yes my beloved husband is drinking Scrumpy Jack.

Due to the un customisability of this dress for a long time I have hand my mind on a fancy red coat for Captain Emeline with gold trim, big buckles, lots of lace and brass buttons.
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And volia, a bit like this:
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Here is a concept of what I would roughly like it to look like. I am hoping to buy a formal red coat to modify or if needs be just a red mac would do. As long as it is red, the right length and has reasonable waist clinch, with a bit of gold trim and some brass buttons and we are of! It’s been a year since I have been dreaming of this coat and I’m still on the look out, I doubt it will come true anytime soon.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Cat walk to highstreet spring 2009

The Cat walks over winter have been full of lots of big exciting shapes and interesting features, quite a few of which have already entered the real fashion world via celebrates and will soon be in our high streets. A few I think will be predominate are featured in my blog this week.

A flow-on from 2008's flapper trend, fringing was a dominant feature of the Spring/Summer 2009 runways and I just love it! They will be less costume orientated as they were in the party season and more modern. Another fringe theme is going to be Jimmy Choo style leather fringing on accessories and jackets, now celebrities can enjoy it too, not just cowboys ; ).

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Along with wedges shoes there is going to be a very boho 70’s feel this spring but I think that the 80’s revive will still hold the party scene for a while.
The bright colours, bows and big hair are great, the wet look leggings I'm not so keen on!

From single-shouldered dresses to tops and bikinis, asymmetric shoulder-lines have made a huge return in 2009, it wont be long in till the high street catches up and they become a regular occurrence. (Which is good news for my Pocahontas dress search ;)

There will be lots more bright colours showing up, which is my favourite things about the new fashion. In particular jeans, coats and handbags will be in primary and bold colours. As spring arrives there should be plenty of floral and butterfly prints, like last years flowers and lace, I think in the high street this year is going to be another very girly summer.

History and fashion repeat themselves; so don't be surprised to find out that Roman-esque and Grecian inspired clothing are a key fashion trend in 2009. It's both a logical flow on from the one-shoulder trend, and a natural progression from maxi-dresses from last summer. Although they haven’t gone anywhere, I expect them to hang around for at least another year in the high street, especially with the wedges and platforms being such a significant shoe trend. There will also be some male influence, you will continue and increasingly see oxford lace up shoes, waistcoats and braces.

Those are the 3 key trends - fringing, bright bags and platforms - from the catwalk I think will progress into everyday fashion on the high street, so if you spot someone with a fringed leather handbag don’t be afraid to ask them where they bought it!

Thursday, 8 January 2009


An introduction to Mily's wardrobe:

My Name is Emily Carrington and I love clothes. Especially shoes ^_^ I love keeping in tune with current trends and fashions, even if I don't follow them, I like to think I have my own style and adapt modern items to work with my love for retro and vintage clothes.

I am fascinated by history and its fashion; Tudor gowns, Edwardian hats, Victorian bustles and 1950's day dress' are a few of my favourites. I have a bit of an strong for pictures and have thousands stored on my pc, I'd like to share some with you, the reader, and also to post my opinions on new trends and share any gems I find online.

As well as my love for historical fashion equally strong is my adoration of costumes and fancy dress. This 2nd obsession is a bit harder to indulge in, but I do my best ; ) I do some modest dress making as well as modification and I would be glad to share extensive collection and future plans with you.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it,