Sunday, 26 October 2014

A 1950s Red Vintage Check Dress

Today I want to share a lovely little shirt waisted dress that I got from Snoopers Paradise in Brighton a little while back. It was a touch snug so I've not really worn it often but that's all changed now :D I think the dark red it a perfect colour for autumn.

I got the dress for £20 which is very unusual for a vintage dress, especially one in a size 18 (roughly a modern 12-14) however it had a big hole in the under arm, no slip and some repair needed to the waist. I imagine it would have looked terrible to anyone who didn't sew, but it was super easy to fix up with my sewing machine. Took around 20 minutes including the time it took to dig the machine out of the cupboard.

I have no idea what the fabric is, it is that slightly shiny fabric that is a bit like taffeta but much thinner, I've seen quite a few dresses of this era made from it, and would love to know what it is, so if you have an idea, please put me out of my misery!

To complete the outfit I wore a black cardigan and belt (that actually came with a different skirt, but oh well!) a vintage hand bag and a pair of soft soled clogs from Lotta from Stockholm.

And with my pointy boob cup doreen bra to give it the perfect bust shape:

I also did something a little experimental with my hair. I found that lately I had been missing my blonde stripes so I took a leap and bought some clip in extensions. I got two from eBay and they were super duper cheap (about 99p each) so I thought I'd give one a spin. Quite literally in a hair roll. In hindsight I think I should have put two in there for symmetries sake but I think you get the idea.

Dress: Vintage
Belt: Vintage
Cardigan: M&S
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Lotta from Stockholm
Bag: Vintage

Have you ever snagged a bargain because it needed a little work to fix it?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Sailor Neptune cosplay costume review from

If you've followed any of my cosplay posts you will know that I like to make costumes, but that I also sometimes like to buy ready made costumes.

I've wanted to make a sailor fuku costume from Sailor Moon for some time but I really wasn't sure I had the skill level to make one. Now there are many cosplay costume shops online and largely they are based in China and when you order online it can be really difficult to know exactly what to expect.

That's why when Cosplay Sky agreed to send me a Sailor Neptune costume to review I jumped for joy! The costume retails at around £30 which is pretty cheap for a cosplay costume (although it is not currently listed on the site).

Lets start with the basics, how does it look?

I should probably start by saying that Sailor Neptune is my favourite scout/senshi so I know her costume well.

Here is a picture of the costume from the website. Generally the accuracy is pretty good, there are no stripes on the collar and the sleeves are the correct style. However the colour of the bows are a little too bright and the star on the neck isn't quite right, but generally its good.

What about in real life?

When the costume arrived I was pleased to find that it was rather like the picture, the colours and style are pretty much the same and the fabric is as expected given the shine you can see in the web picture.

I would say that the white lycra is a little thin on the main bodice section, but the skirt rolls and sleeves make up for this. I am planning on wearing a vest underneath to make solve this issue.

I still think that the colour of the bust and butt bows is a bit off, but lets face it, you can see this colour is exactly as shown in the picture so you do know what you're getting.

What about the quality?

I was actually quite impressed with the quality, the skirting is crepe back satin and the collar and bows are interfaced. As I said the lycra is a little thin, but this is a minor issue.

The costume arrived clean and well packaged and I couldn't find any loose threads which is a bonus. 

I would say that the stitching around the collar and sleeves is excellent, but some of the pleating around the skirt is uneven, but its not really noticeable when worn. An added bonus is that the inside seams are all overlocked so you don't get any fraying, but this does mean there is no extra fabric to work with should you order a size too small.

The fit
I have read mixed reviews about Cosplay Sky, several people have stated that the sizes were too big and that the costume didn't fit right. Especially when  sending custom measurement.

I sent my measurements so the costume was made for me and I was delighted to see that it fit exactly as I expected. As far as I could tell the bust and waist were as ordered (give or take 0.5 of an inch) and with stretch fabric this isn't an issue.

I also ordered a skirt length of 19 inches. Now this is WAAAAAY too long for a Sailor Neptune costume so I was very interested to see how it turned out. The main reason I had for doing this was that I don't really like my legs so I wasn't sure what length would be most flattering and this way I could alter the length myself to make sure it was just right.

And guess what, I measured the skirt and it was exactly 19 inches - so no complaints from me!

The accessories
The fuku came with several accessories, the bows, gloves, tiara and choker. I found that the gloves were a little too long for Sailor Neptune, but I wore them rolled down so it wasn't a problem. I also found that the choker was too big, but I fixed this with a small stitch to the back. So no problems there.

The bows however, I didn't like. I thought that they were somewhat squished and the top section was way too small compared to the bow tails. They looked okay pinned in place, but I wanted them to be a slightly more accurate colour so I decided to make two new ones in a darker blue and a more even shape. The bows I was sent are completely passable if you're not able to sew, but if you're looking for something a little more 'perfect' then you could change these. Making the bows is quite a nice little sewing project for a beginner by the way.

Here is the finished version with the switched bows and the altered skirt length:

The chocker and the tiara were pretty good in my opinion. Aside from that stitch in the too big collar they were fine. I made a new gem for the necklace out of craft foam to cover the star but again, you don't HAVE to do this.

Neptune Tiara Action!

And here are the gloves:

Clutching my home-made deep aqua mirror. To make the mirror I used the main body of a mirror I found at an antiques fair, its so like Neptune's I couldn't not get it! LUCKY!

I used painted craft foam and hot glue to make the backing. Its not exactly perfect, but I think it has the right effect. I've recently been experimenting with Worbla so I may re-make the mirror back with moulded thermoplastic, but we shall see.

And a closer view of the finished mirror:

What do you think?
I'll be wearing this costume to MCM Expo in a few weeks so I will follow up with more pictures then!

Do you have any plans for dressing up on Halloween?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

5 Vintage Hairstyles for Growing Out a Fringe

Okay, so here is my hair in its current state of play. Current state of mess more like... I have always hated the long process of growing out a fringe. Its boring, takes forever and it is the
reason I put off having a fringe back in. So now I want rid of that fringe and oh boy is it taking forever!

So I have now decided to make it my mission to find interesting things to do with my fringe. I think I know enough not to share some of them.

Let me know what you think, and if there is anything you want a tutorial of, please let me know in the comments.

1) Three pincurl fringe.
I separated the whole front section into 3 with a far right parting. I formed two down facing pincurls nearest my parting that allowed me to catch the parts of my fringe and the other one was facing up.

I also curled the back of my head to give it a it of a wave, although on this occasion that didn't work too well.

2) The pin-up bumper bang.
Using a hair rat hides so many wispy fringe bits! I rolled the side parts into victory rolls and then forward rolled the front part around a hair rat/filler to give it maximum fullness. I joined the sides of the roll together by fanning the hair out around the rat. If you want to try this style I fully recommend Vintageous's youtube tutorial. If it can help me do it, it can help you!

Here's that gorgeous Tiger Milly apple dress again too!

3) The victory roll.
This one is sort of a classic. I split my hair into two parts and rolled each half up to my parting. My hair is just long enough to be pinned at the back of the roll.

4) The pseudo-suicide roll. 
Yet another use for that hair rat. In this case I separated all the top part of my hair forward and put it in a hair band to keep it in place. I then rolled it around the hair rat to create the side sweep bumper bang. Its not quite a suicide roll, as it should have a distinctive swirl at the end of it but its a simplified version that works with quite short fringe bits.

5 Asymmetric victory rolls.
This one is similar to number 3, but the victory rolls are to the side of your head. This one is actually easier to get your fringe into than the traditional symmetrical roll as you have longer parts to work with because of the position of the rolls. Whack a couple of hair flowers in there to complete the look.

Which one do you like best?
They will all work with a fully grown out fringe too!

Oh, and pretty please tell me your favourite dos for growing out a fringe!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Vintage Reproduction: A mustard sweater girl

I wrote a post a while back about my desire to be a sweater girl, to rock that distinctive bust shape with a lovely jumper (you can read about it here).

Well I did quite a bit of bra research and I wound up buying a Triumph Doreen bra. A bra that was actually recommended to me by my grandmother many years ago and at the time I thought, pah frumpy granny thing. After actually going to try one on however, my opinion quickly changed. Somehow this bra created the look I wanted that I had never quite manages with a What Katie Did bullet bra, and so much more comfortable (and you know this bra must be good when Retro Chick also discusses her appreciation of the Doreen bra here).

Top thrifty tip, these bras quite regularly come up on eBay, so if you have the time to wait you can probably get one for around half the shop price, but I would recommend trying one on to make sure you have the correct size.

Now that I had the perfect lift and separate shape I wore a monsoon jumper with a lovely cable knit design and a navy wrap skirt from London in the Collectif sale (it was only £10, how could I say no!). I think navy and mustard is my favourite colour pairing at the moment so I was very pleased with how this look turned out.

Finally I added a pair of Hotter Charleston shoes (pah, granny bra, granny shoes... I'm officially an old lady). These ones are super comfy and I got this pair form eBay for only £7!

What I will say however, is that with this type of bra you must have good posture and stand up straight otherwise the pointier style ends up looking a bit off... or maybe that's just me :S

So my fringe is still in that really weird half growy outy phase, which is rubbish if I'm completely honest, but I am slowly but steadily accumulating hairstyles that seem to work with a dodgy fringe. This one is a sort of suicide roll inspired bumper bang, to make up for the lack of hair I used a filler to create the volume. I think it worked pretty well :D

Sweater/jumper: Monsoon
Skirt: Collectif
Shoes: Hotter
Bra: Doreen

Have you found any good bras that give a retro silhouette?

Monday, 6 October 2014

Vintage outfit: Lotta from Stockholm clogs and a 1960s dress

Oh em gee! I adore clogs, in almost all forms. I already own a few pairs of Lotta's clogs and I couldn't help myself but jump at the chance to review another pair.

Since the weather is changing and getting colder everyday, I decided to go for a style that would be useful for the changing seasons. I went with the closed toe highwood T-bar in navy as blue is one of my must have colours. The plan was that with this style I could wear the clogs bare legged, but also with tights in a range of colours ready for the winter (Lotta's blog also thinks this is a good fashion choice).

So on an autumn-y day I decided to take my new clogs for a spin with some tights that I can only really describe as mustard. Clothing wise I went with a blue dress from the late 1960s with a peter pan collar. I've had this dress for a little while, but it was a touch too snug when I first got it, and since loosing a few pounds it now fits pretty nicely (although the belt is very fragile!). I think this will look lovely with a thick mustard cardigan as the weather gets even colder.

Mind you, I'm pretty sure, these clogs could go with anything.

As for the clogs, I've had retro peep toe low clogs, braided summer high clogs and super comfy soft sole clogs, so I thought it was worth the risk to try a higher heeled pair.

To my absolute delight, these are the best fitting clogs I've had yet! I wore them all day at work and for a stroll around town, straight out the box, and there were no blisters in sight!

The leather was lovely and soft and even with wearing them all day there was no dye transfer to my tights.

I was slightly concerned about the higher heel and width as the braided pair I have were quite difficult to get on with at first as they were so narrow, but there were not such issues with this pair, like a glove from day one. I wouldn't recommend the high pairs if you have very wide feet, but they are pretty roomy for normal and narrow footed folks (and if you have wider feet the low clogs are perfect for you).

The heel height is just about right with a bit of a platform to make it more comfortable, but I actually didn't have any trouble at all with the heel which is unusual for me.

The thing that I love so much about clogs is that they can help to complete an outfit and can make it look quite vintage. I can see why Lotta's and Hasbeens are very popular with the vintage girls. If you want to browse Lotta's click the button in my sidebar to take you to their site. 

The highwoods are a great pair of starting clogs if you're okay with a bit of a heel and they come in two part, t-bar and peep toe so they have every style and almost all colours you could possibly want. I'm after some more t-bars in a purpley colour, but I think for summer next year it will have to be some of the apple green peep toes too. I'm so addicted!!

Clogs: Lotta from Stockholm
Tights: Primark
Dress: Vintage
Bag: Vintage
Alice Band: Accessorize

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Cosplay: Zelda from Skyward Sword Construction

Hello everyone, I thought that since Halloween is coming up you might like to see how I made my Skyloft Zelda costume?

This is the picture I used for reference:

I initially wanted this costume to be a quick construction so I took a ready made M&S skater dress I found in a charity shop and started working on embellishments. I ordered 10m of 1cm thick yellow ribbon to make the designs around the arms, skirt and chest. This turned out to be a much bigger job than I imagined. I had to sew both sides of the ribbon to give it an even finish and it was hours of intricate sewing! Here it is part way through the process:

Here it is completed:
Next I had to start working on the buckle and parts of the circle belt. I made the blue gems using a hand coloured paper backing and square clear resin cabochons. I glued these to craft foam and then painted them using gold and silver acrylic paint.

It took 4 coats, and three days to fully dry.

Next I had to make the sash and sail cloth. Both items have the same bird design on them so I took the time to make a template so that I could paint the fabric. This took two coats. I made the sash using double sided plain polycotton which I topstitched a light blue trim around the outside. It was fairly simple, I only had to cur two squares and three rectangular pieces, sorry I didn't take more detailed pictures of that part!

I used nylon thread to sew the circles on to an existing belt to create the ring belt and I used a long strio of brown poly cotton to create the top of the sash. This worked pretty well as it gave the belt a solid anchor without being very visible. Although it was slightly difficult to work with.

The whole project took longer than I expected, but equally, the end result was far better than I expected too :)

Here it the finished costume:

You can see more of it here.

What are your plans for Halloween?!

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