Friday, 23 January 2015

A rockabilly Wonder Woman skirt for Underwire festival

A while back I was asked to be a speaker at a small film festival in London. It was part of the Underwire festival, celebrating all things to do with women in the film industry. As part of the festival they had a panel discussing the issue of women in superhero films.

I was really surprised to be asked to take part, but the invite was largely due to my work writing for Den of Geek about women in comics.

I haven't written anything specific on this for a while (largely because I've not had as much budget to spend on comics as I once did) but it was still a lot of fun swatting up for the panel.

I thought it would be quite interesting if I wore something superhero inspired for the panel and I decided to take this opportunity to make a ridiculously girly Wonder Woman inspired skirt.

I also hadn't ever made a full circle skirt before so this was a really fun project to practice on. I used this McColl's pattern which is a little annoyingly stereotypical but is actually so easy to sew and in a more solid fabric minus a poodle. 

Look at how big the skirt is!!!

And here is a picture of me at the panel, feeling a bit like a celebrity... I was so nervous during this it was unreal. But it was really a lot of fun!

Skirt: Home made
Belt: ebay
Blouse: Next
Shoes: Clarks 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

A Vivien of Holloway for a work party

Just a short outfit post today, largely because I don't have very many pictures...

Work functions are always a little weird, it blurs the professional boundaries and its often really hard to know where to pitch outfits, how formally to dress, is dancing expected, how far should you go with hair and make up?

As a sort of demure compromise I found a lovely dress in the Vivien of Holloway sale section. It is the 1940s peach blush dress and it is still available in the sale section in a slightly larger sizes. They do have this 1940s shape dress in quite a few designs in a big range of sizes all in the sale.

I think this dress is really beautiful. It is a fabric that is similar to crepe but a bit more sturdy and it drapes really nicely. It was also really comfortable and great to dance in, which lets face it, it always a winner.

As for styling I wore a late 50s cocktail hat (which is brilliant as it clips on your head) and had two large victory rolls on the front of my head and a roll on the back of my head. Again, this was a great combination for dancing as it meant my hair didn't get all hot on my neck (a feeling I really hate!).

Dress: Vivien of Holloway
Bangle and necklace: Vintage
Hat: Vintage
Shoes: St. Michael

What sort of thing do you wear to a work event?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Cosplay: Toon Zelda at London Comic Con October 2014

I'm not exactly sure what happened to this post. It seemed to get lost in the ether only to re-emerge 4 months after the event... Oh well.

At long last, here is my post on day 2 of MCM expo 2014 or London Comic Con as its also known.

This was the Saturday and it was insanely busy! You can really tell geek culture and cosplay are becoming more and more popular as in three short years MCM has become so much more popular than it was.

This year I wore a Toon Zelda costume from the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I chose this version of Zelda as it was different from my Skyward Sword costume at Hyper Japan but it was quite a bit simpler than the Twilight Princess version of her costume. It allowed me to work on some techniques without having to delve into the world of Worbla which I wasn't quite ready for at that point in time.

I also made a very, very rushed Link tunic for my husband. I tried very hard to get him to buy a blonde wig to go with it but he wasn't having it, still, steps in the right direction ;)

Here we are with an awesome Midna cosplayer:

First I thought I would share a few of my favourite cosplay costumes from the day:

 There was quite a heavy Lego presence this year, possibly something to do with the amazing Lego movie.

And as always, lots of Links, but I think that Tingle costume steal the show!

I thought that these Lutece costumes were AMAZING! The outfit, hair and make up was all so perfect!

I felt that this female Cap deserved a place in my gallery because she must have worked really hard to get those victory rolls in that wig!

Double Princess Power!

I also ate a ridiculous amount of takoyaki. It is one of my favourite things.

I was really pleased with how this costume turned out. I made the whole thing from scratch including the 'armour' which was a first for me.

The dress was made using a vintage Butterick pattern, but I gathered and lengthened a very full skirt instead of pleating it. I then added a cape to the top part and created the flap part for the skirt (I have no idea what it is called).

I made all of the head, belt and armour pieces using craft foam and I hot glue-gunned it together, then painted it all gold - or pink.

For the skirt I hand painted all of the skirt pieces. I drew the basic design with tailors chalk and then used a fine and thick paint brush to draw the design. I did use acrylic paint which means I can't get the dress wet but it meant it was very easy to do and far cheaper than fabric paint. I suppose of you were planning on wearing a costume a lot then you should definitely use fabric paint instead.

 The make-up for costume was quite fun, I really enjoyed playing with the blue eyeshadow and false lashes. I need to learn to lighten my eyebrows to really complete this look in future though.

And of course, here is a Legend of Zelda #Selfie...

Have you though about going to comic con?

Monday, 5 January 2015

The problem with vintage reproduction tartan circle skirts...

Or should I say my problem with vintage reproduction tartan circle skirts... is that I have too many.


I have always loved tartan (I think its something to do with growing up close to the Scottish border, or and being and 8th Scottish) its so wintery and cosy. I also love the fact that tartan comes in a range of fabrics now, not just the heavy, dense, wool of old but in warm but movable flannel and many other light weight fabrics.

At last count I have 7 tartan skirts, although one is a pencil skirt and two are box pleats that are currently sitting in my for ebay stash, but that still leaves 4. One of these skirts is true vintage and I found it in a charity shop (yes!) and I will show you that one later in the winter. But the other three are vintage reproduction from Vivien of Holloway and cost £45 (although I must warn you they are sold out in many of the larger sizes i.e. 16+).

I am showcasing two today as I bought the third one with m christmas money and am still waiting for it to arrive so I can take pictures, but it is very similar to these two only it is blue and green (swoon!).

Here is the first one, it is mostly blue with a red and white tartan stripe. Blue and red are my favourite colours so this skirt was an instant winner for me.

The circle skirt itself is amazing, it has such a large amount of fabric that you really feel like you are getting a lot of skirt for your money (£45).

The amount of fabric also means you can do this:

The second one is a red tartan which is a more traditional and stereotypical colouring. I actually don't have any red skirts so that was the driving force in my decision to get this skirt.

Skirts: Vivien of Holloway
Jumpers: Vintage
Boots: Doc Martens
Hat: Accessorize
Scarf: Thrifted
Coat: Vintage Laura Ashley riding coat 

I have every confidence that the blue and green skirt will be brilliant too and I promise I will show you once it arrives!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Winter is Coming: Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones Cosplay Costume

Hello everyone, its almost the new year and winter is no longer coming, it is firmly here. I have had to keep my excitement for this post under wraps for a little while as I didn't want to give too much away about it.

You see Cosplay Sky, the nice people that sent me my Sailor Neptune costume very generously offered to send my a costume of my choice to style and share with you. How could I say no?! They have a huge selection to choose from, but the one I was drawn to (since it is something I have been thinking of cosplaying as for quite a while now) is their Catelyn Stark costume.

I am a HUGE Game of Thrones fan, I've read the books, watched the show, got the Telltale game etc. and Catelyn Stark (formerly Tully) is my favourite female character (don't worry this post is spoiler free!!).

Now I could probably let the pictures speak for themselves, but I think this costume is fabulous. I mean really, really excellent. By far the best ready made costume I have ever encountered and I'm so excited to tell you all about it!

Here are a few pictures so you get the idea:

This costume is based on Catelyn's costume in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, it is the dress and coat she wears in Winterfell and while she travels to The South to see her husband.

All of the costumes in Game of Thrones are GORGEOUS, but teal is my favourite colour so this costume jumps out at me for being on of the nicest. Catelyn's auburn hair is a fantastic contrast to the teal too. You also have to give got to give credit to actress Michelle Fairley she makes a wonderful Catelyn.

Okay, so now on to the nitty gritty...

The costume itself came in two parts, a linen dress with collar and cuff detailing and a coat in a teal mystery fabric. It is sort of like a faux suede, but it is much smoother than suede and very obviously synthetic from the look of the inside. What this does mean is that the coat is light and very movable which makes it fantastic for cosplay.

The construction of the costume is excellent, I could not find a loose thread any where and all of the internal seams were overlocked making it feel really secure. There was a really long side zip so it was easy to get off and on and the faux fur around the cuffs felt very soft and luxurious.

In terms of fit I sent Cosplay Sky my measurements and they made the costume for me so it was pretty much perfect. I haven't tried any of the ready made costume sizes, but Cosplay Sky and many other costume companies offer custom sizing and based on my experiences so far, I think it is probably a good idea.

Here is a picture of the underdress, front and back, I know it doesn't look like much, but having the full underdress as a separate really makes the costume look that bit more professional.

I did have one very minor issue with the fit, and that was that the hook that came with the costume to close the coat was in the wrong place for me. It ended up falling right on the apex of my bust which was not the most flattering position to have the clasp. Because of this I scrapped the fastening that came with the costume and instead used a House Stark brooch that I got from London Comic Con last year. I thought it suited the costume perfectly and that way I could fasten it just below the bust line which was just a bit more flattering.

I didn't send a measurement for the location of the fastening but I'm sure if you did, Cosplay Sky would make sure it was in the most flattering place for you.

Last but not least, time scale and price. From ordering this costume to arrival was 3 and a half weeks which is amazing for a custom made costume all the way from China. My wig took longer to arrive than that!

The cost of this costume is £108.99 which may seem like a lot of money, but while I was toying with the idea of making this costume myself I know that the linen (and the cheaper synthetic versions) were going to cost around £60 so add to that the cost of materials for the coat, the faux fur, thread and time, I don't actually think it is a bad price at all.

I suppose you can compare it to those £30-40 costumes you can get in fancy dress shops, but lets face it, the quality is no-where near this good and you can't get a Catelyn Stark costume form them anyway!

Here are the rest of the costume photos (thanks to @JanetteWPhotos for taking the pictures):

I have another post coming soon to show you the wig in a bit more detail, as it is pretty special.

But please comment and let me know what you think of the costume!

Have you ever bought a high quality cosplay costume? Who was it and where did it come from?

Monday, 22 December 2014

Help me choose my next pair of glasses! With a bit of a christmassy theme!

This week I have returned home to visit my parents and family over the Christmas season. Christmas always makes me feel super festive and I love the fact that it is the one time of the year I can wear red and green colour combinations.

(I'm also going to apologise upfront about my hair too. Its MASSIVE. Unfortunately this can't be helped sometimes...)

Now speaking of red and green, I've been wanting some red-ish glasses for some time and I've noticed that online retailer Specspost are doing some great coloured frames at the moment. Including some greens too! They're all very reasonably priced with most glasses between £12-30 including lenses. They are also having an advent calendar sale at the moment where you can get complete glasses for £12.99!!

The problem is that with so many options is that it is really difficult to choose just one pair. So really helpfully Specspost offer a home trial where you can be sent up to three pairs of glasses and then chose the best ones to keep (although they were really nice and sent me one extra to share with you!!).

So that's what I've done! I've picked mostly red hues but I did also go for one green pair so see how that would look. Please have a look and let me know which ones suit me best! 

First up I chose two frames from the colour collection and are a deep clear red. They are more of a typical geek style wayfarer frame, and not what I usually go for, but its always good to try new things. You can find them here.

I actually really liked this style. The frames were really comfortable and the frames were big enough that you didn't get red invading your peripheral vision.

Next, I tried the same style in a clear green. These glasses are insanely funky. I really like the colour, but I am worried that the colour is a little bit out there for my fashion choices. Or can I pull it off? I'm not sure. These specs are currently only £12.99 in the advent sale so its worth taking a look if you want a funky colour.

The third frame was also red and is called Bunting from the Ruby & Rose collection. I actually already have these glasses in blue rinse and although they are quite nice, I am not sure they are different enough from my usual glasses to take the plunge...

The last pair I was sent was Garter, also from the Ruby & Rose collection, and I went for this style because I have not tried a round frame before and I thought these looked really retro without being cats-eye. The exact colour was difficult to describe, a sort of redish burgundy, and I thought it was subtly festive.

So now I need to chose which pair of glasses I actually want to order. Its a really tough choice :(

I'd love to know which pair you think suits me best. Please comment and let me know - and you should totally check out Specspost, I've not encountered such affordable glasses anywhere and they have really good options for customising lenses at really good prices.

So tell me, which glasses should I get?!?

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