Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mary, Mary quite contrary: The Mary skirt from Collectif


So today I want to share my favourite Autumn skirt with you! October, November and December are my favourite months of the year (mostly since I do much better with winter layers than flimsy summer dresses) and I love the fashion that goes along with them.

Now I have a huge obsession with pinafore dresses/skirts (or jumpers as I believe the American's call them). In fact I have even made a couple of my own way back when where I spoke about my desire to own the fantastical Mary skirt from Collectif (read about it here and here). 

So I set aside a little bit of my October pay cheque for a visit to Collectif in London and try on the Mary skirt. To my utter delight, it fit beautifully!

The Mary comes in a few different colours a plain black and a navy and light blue flock. Navy is my go to colour so I decided to go with the navy flock, although I must say I would very much like this skirt in black too (I should stop being greedy...).


I think the style is super flattering to your waist, although I have found that it can emphasise your bust a lot. This can of course be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your destination.

Possibly the greatest thing about this skirt is that it has POCKETS!! I always love it when designers think to put pockets in garments as that are so vastly under appreciated in women's clothing and they are so useful! Give us pockets in everything darn-it!


Also the amount of fabric in this skirt is phenomenal. 


There are also some thoughtful details to ensure a good fit to this skirt. They have multiple button holes so you can get a good fit over the shoulders. This is perfect for me as I have a really short torso. You can also wear it crossed at the back, straight at the back or even strapless. Its so versatile which makes me super happy.


Of course since there is so much extra fabric in the skirt I couldn't resist giving it the spin test and it passed with flying colours. Its super swirly! 


To complete the outfit I work a blue 70s coat and beret style hat. I also had a tartan scarf that I got from a charity shop last winter. There is something glorious about tartan in winter part of me wishes I could wear something tartan in every winter outfit.



Skirt: Collectif
Jumper: Monsoon
Hat: Beret
Scarf: Vintage
Coat: Vintage
Bag: Vintage
Shoes: Dr Martens
Glasses: Glasses Direct

What are your favourite things to wear on a crisp Autumn day?


Monday, 17 November 2014

Wednesday Addams at Beamish

Blimey I am sooooooo far behind on blog posts! I've been so busy I can't even believe it. But I though it was about time I posted some of the photographs from my little excursion to Beamish at Halloween.

Beamish is such a great place! It is full of historical buildings, people in costumes and ways to role play at going shopping in the 1900s. I went on school trips there when I was a kid and I have very fond memories of those visits.

During my trip home for the holidays Beamish was having some special late night openings where you could dress up and visit the attractions in the dark as well as see the place decked out in spooky decorations.

I needed a light and easy costume to wear as I was travelling light so I opted for Wednesday Addams. All I needed was a black dress with a white peter pan style collar and a black wig that I could plait. Some pale makeup and a black lip completed the look.

I was really grateful for the black coat with its big shawl collar, it really kept me warm during the night.





I really enjoyed getting to see the old fashioned town all lit up in the dark. It looked amazing! And riding the trams in the dark through the fields was a awesome mix of scary and fun.

The staff there were brilliant, they really went all out to decorate all of the areas and to play their spooky parts in the different shops and houses.

I loved the printer that photo-bombed our picture (this is me, my dad and my husband)!  

It was such hard work to keep my serious Wednesday Addams face going throughout the night.

When I was a kid, one of my favourite things about Beamish was the old fashioned sweet shoppe. What was really amazing was that they were hand making toffee apples especially for the occasion. They really looked like something out of Snow White all red and shiny like that. Yummy.

And here is my husband dressed like H. P. Lovecraft while eating a toffee apple...


 Mind you, speaking of tasty treats they had some safe to eat creepy crawlies to try. They had worms  and locusts among other things and while my dad crunched his way through various things it took all my courage to try a mealworm (it had a pretty nutty flavour). Ewwww!


aaaaaaaaand..... I couldn't resist taking a moody photo in the grave yard:


 In one of the sections they also had some live owls for you to meet and greet. This one was a 2 year old screeching owl from the tropics, although I have forgotten his name :(

They were so cute!!!


 So the dress I wore was a vintage late 50s early 60s dress with a pleated skirt and peter pan collar. I got it off eBay a few months ago for only £14.00. It is such a versatile dress and it is especially good for costumes. Its definitely one of my favourites, it fits like a dream and I really love the subtle print design to it.




The wig was a long black wig that came of ebay, it was around £12 from China and does actually have a fringe but I pinned that out of the way for Wednesday, although this was not ideal.


Dress: Vintage 50s/60s
Wig: ebay via China
Tights: Atmosphere
Shoes: Doc Martens

Last but not least I couldn't help but want to take a Halloween picture with my black cat Chloe.

Beamish are also doing some Christmas evening special events. I really wish I could go as I enjoyed this one so much, but I live too far away :(

Do you have any exciting plans for Christmas?



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Sailor Neptune Cosplay

Okay everyone, long time no blog, I've been insanely busy in the last 2 weekend I have such a blogging backlog! I have 7 costume posts to do as well as quite a few vintage repro item posts so you'll be seeing a lot of me :)

So at MCM Expo a few weeks ago I wore my Sailor Neptune costume. This costume came from Cosplay Sky (as I reviewed it for them), but I did modify quite a bit of it. You can see more about my thoughts on the costume and how I modified it in this post.

I really couldn't resist some really cheesy photoshop. My favourite parts of Sailor Moon were always the attack and transformation animations so I loved the idea of combining the photographs with some of the anime graphics.





Although my skills at photoshop are somewhat substandard...

In the end I was really pleased with how the costume turned out, I thought it fit really well and was pretty accurate after I made the modifications to the bows.



I was actually really surprised by how well the mirror matched the costume. Craft foam isn't a perfect medium and now I've started working with Worbla I would consider making it from that but I thought on the whole the effect was okay (assuming you didn't get too close).



Mind you, I still can't believe I managed to find an old mirror with a design so close to Michiru's! I wonder if the deco lady was actually a really common design that inspired Naoko Takenuchi when coming up with the design for the Aqua Mirror. Who knows, but what a lucky eBay find! 




Ad for the wig, I bought it off eBay. It wasn't super expensive, but it wasn't exactly cheap and when it first arrived I was very unhappy with it. However I worked on styling it quite carefully and I found that it was actually the perfect shape for Michiru. I did have to trim quite a bit off the bottom of the wig as it was waaaaaay to long but that was easily fixed.


The tiara I wore for these pictures was made out of Worbla. It was a bit of a last minute crafting session, but I felt that the more rigid structure made it look better with the rest of the costume.


Oh and here are the non-photoshopped pictures from above. Just in case.



And of course, the gratuitous back shot. Its not very flattering, but I thought it was worth it so you could see how awesome the back of the wig was.


And of course in true anime style, here is a goofy picture of me doing an anime pose >.<


Are you a fan of Sailor Moon? Have you been watching Sailor Moon Crystal? I have and I think its brilliant. It has really re-ignited my enthusiasm for sailor moon.



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

A green 1970s skirt for £1

Apologies in advance, my husband is away so I have no one to take my pictures :( So as a result this post consists entirely of selfies. Are they still selfies if you take them in a mirror?

Anywho, I really wanted to share something today as I am feeling rather proud of myself. At the end of August I made a decision to make some lifestyle choices to try and change my health/fitness and confidence. I've since lost about a stone, and plan to lose some more weight as I continue to improve myself.

When I bought this skirt I couldn't even get it done up. I saw it on a £1 rail in a charity shop and I decided to buy it anyway as you don't often see turquoise skirts, and especially not vintage ones. This one is early 70s and it now fits like a dream. Which is amazing. Especially given my stupid 13.5 inch waist/hip difference.


The blouse is very sweet and came from Monsoon in the sale some time ago. Its not often that you get a white blouse with green highlights so I couldn't help feel that it was made to go with this skirt.

The cardigan is a wool number form the 1980s (you can tell from the gold buttons) but I felt that it complimented the green of the skirt wonderfully.


And without cardigan.



I also felt that I should show you my hair, it is a double flat victory roll with an asymetric parting. I added flowers to the side to balance the look and brushed out the curls at the back to get a wave the the bottom of my hair but a smooth finish.

My hair is getting quite long again now. I think the longest parts are around the ideal length now, but still waiting for the fringe to grow...


Skirt: Vintage
Cardigan: Vintage
Blouse: Monsoon


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 CosplaySky.co.uk

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?


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