Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Edwardian Ball San Francisco 2015

It is virtually impossible to describe the Edwardian Ball. Based on the work of Edward Gorey. Known for his macabre line drawings and books. He was the original Goth. To find out more about his work, check out

It's not really a ball, so much as a sideshow, circus, theater, art, music, costume, extraveganza. I can't do it justice. Check out their Gallery for photo's and videos of the actual event.

Freed from the contraints of historical accuracy, I was able to gather together some previously constructed gowns I had made and throw all the brothel drapes at them. There is a professional cameraman both nights. The lines are looooooong, but they serve booze in line. This is something that would improve all lines if you ask me. Just imagine how much more pleasant the DMV would be.

Of course the drinks are very expensive, $14 to $16 dollars a piece. Hence the invention of crotch vodka. It's a thing. No I don't want to talk about it. I'll tell you later. No really, we'll talk about it later. Who knows who's watching.

Enough talk. Pictures.


Sort of a Poiret inspired Post Edwardian Look
You know if Poiret shopped at Ross
Channeling my inner Roma. (which may be true, I'll let you know when my DNA test gets back)
My Lovelies
Saturday Night.
Channeling my inner Edwardian, long in the tooth streetwalker. Mutton dressed as peacock.
Name your pleasure Guvna. 

Yes. I have found my people. Can't wait to move closer to them and all the wacky decadence that San Francisco has to offer.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Proof of Life post

HI! I'm here! I have been making stuff and have some mighty big life plans. So this random blog post promises to be ALL OVER THE PLACE. Are ya' ready?

1. I went to the eye doctor for the first time in a long time because my insurance pays for new lenses and frames every two years. I got home and found my old glasses and sure enough I had picked out the exact same frames. Le Sigh. I almost never wear them.
Although they might be my daughters.
2. I'm leaving my job! Don't ask why I didn't lead with that. I told you this was going to be random. Because I reached the ripe age of 50 (1), I can take early retirement from my job and take my pension. I take a big hit on taxes and stuff because I'm doing it early, but I kind of enjoy this fashion/sewing thing and would like to give it a try fer reals.
Like Noonish is good
3. So rather than do the above, I've decided to go back to school! I'm finally going to take those fashion design courses I've always wanted. Time to learn pattern drafting and draping and do this thing!
Figure out how to mix modern fashion with my love of historical costuming

4. For the first time in forever, my daughter and I will live apart. It's time.
We've always been this
But getting closer to this
5. So off I go, leaving work in February and starting school in August. Maybe an adventure of two in between.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Does this crown make my ruffles look fat

So...true story. I only got a few pictures of my costume. I know that's a shocker, so you might want to sit down for that. On Saturday night I got all dolled up and went to see my daughter's band play. (The Inciters, check them out. )Turns out the only other people in costume were in the band. It's okay, I won ALL the prizes. My daughter took a few quick shots before the band went on.
Any excuse to wear a crown.

I never ended up putting the sleeves on the bolero, but I think it worked for this Esmeralda, Queen of the Gypsies costume.
Behold the ruffles of despair
I literally spent 80% of my time on this costume on the part that can only be seen if I lift my skirt up over my head. Good thing I drink.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finally Elsa

I was super lame about taking pictures of the Elsa dress I made for my niece. She's in the UK, so I didn't get to fit it on her, so I put grommets in the back for her to lace up. Someday, when I'm a grown-up blogger, I will take many photos of my work in progress. Since I didn't do that, I'm just going to hope you are satisfied with how lovely she looks in it.
So Lovely. Each and every sequin and rhinestone is sewn on individually.

 Here's a full length shot she took before she got herself all done up with hair and makeup.
Still so so pretty

The cape got very wrinkled in the mail, but you can kind of see the icelike trim.

The trim I used on the cape was really neat. It's silver and very ethereal. It really looks like frost, even close up.

I'm over my head in ruffles for my can-can skirt these days. I don't have a ruffler, so I've been using the gathering foot on my machine. I need FOURTY yards of finished ruffles. FOURTY!!! I literally sewed for an entire day, well into the evening this weekend and ended up with twenty. Aaargh. I love the way ruffles look, but they are making my life miserable. (Boy will they be cool though)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Alter Ego Finally Gets Her Own Costume

For Halloween this year I will be participating in a really cool event put on by the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild. Called Spirits and Shadows. In their own words, "Join the mad scientists, Victorians, Steampunk time travelers, grave diggers, ghosts, ghouls, and vampires as we wander through the park where the veil between this life and the next is stretched thin for an adult only evening of dance and fun at History Park at Kelly Park in San Jose" Check out the website for details.

I'm going to be working the event, and I've decided to do an Edwardian fancy dress version of a Gypsy. Specifically this costume is usually representing Esmeralda, the Gypsy girl from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Decidedly NOT the Disney version. Esmeralda just happens to be the nickname of of my alter ego, but it'll take more than a few drinks to get those stories out of me.

Here's the Inspiration. All photos from The Metropolitan Museum Online. This costume is actually circa 1880, but since it's a Fancy dress costume I don't really need to stick to any one time period. Essentially people would be pulling old clothes from their grandparents attics and redoing them, so I can play a little fast and loose (speaking of  Esmeralda) with this.
I'm not sure I'll use the black lace. I'll have to see how much time I have.

I LOVE this bolero. I'm not entirely sure what is happening with the bodice. It's shown as open on the mannequin. I like the way it looks, so I'll have to figure out what to wear underneath

I can probably use the same pattern I used for the bodice of my plaid gown. Truly Victorian 416, The Ballgown Basque
I got some great scores on Silk on Ebay. I'm using dupioni because it is cheaper, and also because it's a Gyspy costume, so the slubbiness of silk will add to that exotic flavor.

For the Bolero, I'm using Truly Victorian Pattern 444 Spanish Jackets.
I'll be using the one in the foreground
And the fabric I bought from Ebay is this red dupioni.
For the skirt, I'm using Truly Victorian 280 Can-Can Skirt.
The ruffles will make it's own petticoat and I can use it in the future for a Can-Can skirt
I scored 8 yards of this mustard yellow dupioni for about $40 on eBay. The skirt takes seven!
I have my work cut out for me and about three weeks to do it in, so I'm going to bite the bullet and use my sewing machine. In fact I better order a ruffle foot for that can-can skirt. Let's try new things on a deadline! Yay! What else is new.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Gatsby Summer Afternoon 2014

As usual, I am dependent on the kindness of other's for photos. Bad blogger. I love to HAVE pictures, I just hate taking them. Where's my publicist? All the photographs in this post were taken by Tanya Grigg.
The hat I made ages ago. It's completely sewn together. No hot glue here!
I think the secret to having a good photo taken is to have the photographer really like you. It just makes things so natural and unposed. The dress came together nicely at the last minute.
My hair is a fright. It was just too hot to wear the hat the whole time
Here's a photo from the back with one of the antique cars on display. One of the lovely things about the Gatsby Summer Afternoon, is that everyone makes a real effort not to have any anachronisms. So as you look around you, you really are transported back in time.
We were all a little more "relaxed ' in this photo if you know what I mean. Booze, I mean booze.
Tanya, Carol and Alana did a wonderful job of setting up our spot. It was a good thing because getting in and out of the picnic was a bit of a clusterfrack. The gentleman in the vest above took very good care of us. Without him we would have been in the parking lot forever.
Just a bit of our fantastic spread, also Melissa. Shhh. Don't tell her she's in the picture.

Ken, completely in his element

Carol, Melissa, Ian and Alana in front of the Dunsmuir House in Oakland.
Our lovely photographer, Tanya, on the other side of the camera for once.
Even though the twenties is not necessarily my favorite time period in terms of how the fashion flatters my figure. I do appreciate the opulance and elegance of the time. Until, you know, Dust Bowl, Prohibition and Depression and all that. Still its a lovely fantasy and that's what all this is about.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Costume College Professional Pictures

These photos were all taken by Andrew Schmidt for Costume College 2014.

On Friday Night, we had the Ice Cream Social. Being a lagger, I completely missed the ice cream, but Tanya and I snuck out for a little sumthin sumthin at the bar. There's also gin in that flask, but funny enough, I never got around to drinking it.
1980's Thrift Store dress with the shoulder pads and sleeves removed. Thrift store spangled purse. Headband cobbled together from Joannes, Shoes I've had forever from Macy's. Stockings from thrift store rolled down with rolling garters from the CoCo marketplace and a flask from the marketplace.

Saturday night was the Gala. You've heard me kvetching about putting that together already. Here's the whole finished look.
The plaid silk was won in a raffle. The skirt, overskirt and bodice are all Truly Victorian patterns. The black trim was removed from a tutu I found in my garage. I have my hair up in a hair piece I made from a long gray cosplay wig. Gloves I found at the thrift store.

I am wearing a bustle under there, it just was half of a pair of pocket panniers I made with really cheap plastic boning. It didn't have enough umph to keep everything up. The flowers were also kind of stuck on last minute also. It's also too short. I will save this one. I have silk left, so I'm going to make a large pleated ruffle to go around the bottom to lengthen it. I'll also make a real bustle to wear under it. I plan on making a lot more goo ga's to add to the overskirt also.

On Sunday Afternoon we had the Ascot Tea. I already had my walking skirt and gibson girl blouse I made for the Asilomar event. I added a black wool jacket I found at the thrift store and a hat I made for a Mae West costume I wore a few years back. Those are totally the same flowers from my bosom the night before.
I do think the jacket is worth reworking for real. I may end up making it into a 1930's or 40's jacket instead of an Edwardian. The purse was also found at the thrift store.

I did get a pretty good Facebook profile pic out of it.