Hold The Whole World Accused

 There was a rum festival in Birmingham recently, and who drinks rum? Lolitas! But traditionally it's pirates...pirate lolita it is!

This tied in nicely with the theme for the Tea Party Club annual, which is Not Just A Tea Party, so the comm frilled up and donned their finest tricorns, and set off in pursuit of rum. Thinking ahead, we planned to take the photo before too much rum was consumed and meant the photos were all out of focus or cutting someone's hat off, and I'm really pleased with our final photo - everyone looks fantastic, and it definitely captures our sense of fun!

My aim was to be a really colourful pirate lolita. A lot of the pirate loli I've seen is in muted neutral shades, which makes sense for a seafarer who scrambles up and down the rigging, but I wanted the equivalent of the Captain's Finest, to be put on to swagger onto land and charm my way into sampling every kind of rum.

The Metamorphose print has a gorgeous cerise pink added to it, and I had a matching blouse because this shade of pink is my favourite. I am currently in love with tassels-as-belts, and found the perfect colour for my outfit, and then Peacockalorum had this stupendous mini tricorn ready made, and one purple feather later and that was it. I was swaggering my way through Birmingham as the most colourful pirate and ready to take on the rum!

I designed my tights too! Originally I made some socks with this design for Under The Sea, but I managed to sort out the issues I had with the tights not lining up and now I'm really pleased. I hope to start selling my tights soon, because who doesn't want fancy pirate legs?

Matchy-matchy with rassilont. He would not wear a hat or have photos on his own because he is not a peacock like I am, but he enjoyed dressing up and I appreciate that he makes the effort to join in because it's important to me. Believe it or not, he was the fanciest of the two of us when we met.

I made that gilet and I am really pleased! It's a lovely linen with some of my fanciest lace, and paired with a safetypin in this picture because within thirty minutes of wearing it he'd managed to somehow rip part of the binding out. He has requested that I make him another one, but this time with sleeves. I haven't mastered sleeves yet, but I do enjoy a challenge!

@old_weird_naked_daguerreotypes and I took on the task of drinking all the rum and lost, but won the task of being the most colourful pirates possible. Look at those peeking bloomers! If I had bloomers that fancy, there would be no stopping me from showing them to every passer by, but hers is a much more elegant way of showing them off.

Vision With Nowhere To Go

Or, at least, not quite nowhere to go. Our plans for a picnic may have been ruined by the English weather (that most fickle thing, giving sun every day but the day we wanted) but we made the best of it in our local fancy tea shop.

I'd just received my Cherie Cerise Lace and Bees dress and I was looking for an excuse to wear it out! I really don't like the way my legs look in the photo, they make the dress look short when it's really a great length to wear without an underskirt. This is what happens when you're tall and pose on steps!

Char Wallah was, as always, accommodating and perfect. I had both Grandma's Garden and Old Love, which are my two favourite flavours of tea (or not-tea as they're fruit and herbal infusions). My tea even matched my co-ordinate!

Speaking of matching, I was bored with my hair and wash in and out dye was on offer so I'm currently a reddy-purple. I'm pleased with how it looked with the dress, but I'll be going back to brown when it washes out. I want to swim, and I'm worried that I'll be leaving a streak of dye behind me if I go with it in.

The print is really beautiful. One thing I didn't realise from online photos was that there's a pattern of flowers under the bees and lace main part of the print. I like this, as it adds some extra interest to the print, and it's like a handy cheat sheet for picking colours to match with! The quality is great, which is what I expected - several friends are really happy with their Cherie Cerise dresses, and this one is up to the same high standards.

On my mannequin - my theme for the overall outfit was lace, lace, and more lace! I really liked how the piece worked with my Violet Fane tights.

When The Dance Is Through

I've been remiss with posting on my blog lately. I worked a lot of Saturdays in the last month (overtime to be put towards a holiday! holi-YAY!) and I haven't had time to dress up or someone to take pictures of me but...I did get to go to the Tea Party Club's Welcome Tea!

I went last year and really enjoyed it, so when the call for helpers was put out this year I signed up immediately. It was an excellent afternoon, I got to bang a gavel and spend time with excellent humans and eat a delicious lemon and lavender loaf cake. 

I haven't worn Vintage Cameo out yet, clearly I was waiting for the perfect accessories. The tights were from Ma Petit Chouchou at Omnia Vanitas and the bolero and headpiece were from Peacockalorum. I really love how the cream and gold tie in with the print but let the rich purple stand out. Meta liked my photo on Instagram, so I feel like this was definitely a good outfit!

 The first time I ever came to St Pancras was right on the cusp of my 19th birthday. I'd been in and out of sleep on the train because I'd had to get up at 5 but even though I was still bleary eyed I was taken aback by what a beautiful station it is. Stepping off the train into the wonderful architecture is still one of my favourite things about a trip to London.

This was the venue for the afternoon tea. It used to be a courtroom and there were signs everywhere - the back door still said "TO THE CELLS" above it. I was especially interested by the book on the judge's desk, as it still had the handwritten details of debtors and what they owed.

The room itself was lovely as well. Not pictured is all the items from Wunderwelt - not just stock for sale, but they also supplied every attendee with a brand novelty gift! There was a mix of jewellery, bags, and weird yet wonderful things that I was delighted to see (and I never buy novelties for myself as I'm too busy salivating over the next main piece purchase, but the Putumayo bag I got is useful and I enjoy having ~burando bags~ to keep things in!).

So. Many. Scones. They were delicious and warm as well.

There could have been better direction as to what was vegetarian and vegan and what was for general consumption, but the quality of food was great and I can't fault that.

I had an excellent time, helped by seeing most of my fantastic friends and making new ones! I'm looking forward to Dream Masquerade Carnival even more now!

Do I Get The Gold Chariot?

Date night! but in the daytime because it's sunny! We went to Wollaton Hall and saw a vast collection of taxidermied animals, and lots of herons in a tree...and someone who had decided to put a tent up in the car park.

It's spring, so that means it's time to bring out the pastels. I forgot how much I love Rose Toilette, once the straps are extended it's a good length for me and it's a lovely mature sweet print. I wish it came in a pink and lavender version, the pink is just too pink for me to handle!

It doesn't look like I love it in this picture, but I genuinely do! On top of what I mentioned before, it's machine washable and I enjoy not having to worry about prints. I was probably squinting because of the sun - I love the weather but it does make photographing pastel outfits hard...

 I feel like I was subconsciously channelling magnolia flowers when I put the outfit together. They're one of my favourite flowers when they're in bloom. I adore the way the trees are just covered in flowers with their delicate two-tone colours.

I'm really pleased to have bought the Lily of the Valley necklace at Omnia Vanitas. It's been sitting in my Etsy favourites for ages, so when I saw it in person I knew it had to come home with me. Tyler is a sweetheart and I enjoyed getting to meet her and to talk to her. I am grateful that there's big European events that let me get to know lolitas I'd otherwise never get a chance to meet.

Wollaton Hall is a Grade I listed Elizabethan mansion set in acres of parkland. It was the stunt double for the exterior of Wayne Mansion in The Dark Knight Rises so I can basically claim that Bruce Wayne is my neighbour, I think?

I'd been in a few times before, but mostly in and around the grounds so this was the first time I got to explore the house. It has been a natural history museum since 1925, but I enjoyed the rooms with period features and history of the family behind the house the most.

My favourite display was the story of Cassandra Willoughby, who came to Wollaton and oversaw the redecoration of the interior and planned the gardens. There were a series of models made from paper to show off parts of her story - my favourite was this one with the red apples added to the black and white paper.

I really enjoyed getting to go round Wollaton, even if my ankles are sore now from all the walking! I hope we can go back and spend more time exploring in the summer.

Find You Electric

This blog was originally intended to be mostly for sewing projects...whoops. It's a lot easier to put outfits together than clothes, and a lot easier to buy fabric than actually sit down to sew with it! I bought this cactus print fabric less than six months ago, and sewed it up over two days recently, so it's actually been a speedy project for me.

Why did I buy the cactus fabric? So that I'd have a dress to wear with my shiny silver cowboy boots, of course!

I used Simplicity 1609 because I knew I had the right size and it was a quick project. Because the cactus print is a knit, I eliminated the zipper and cut the back on the fold instead of in two pieces. I followed the making up instructions as given, and then when the dress was together had to take a wedge out from under each arm because it was gaping.

I was going to use binding around each armhole and the neck, but decided to go for the lazy method of double folding and stitching that down instead - I wasn't sure I'd have enough fabric to make binding for everything. I was worried that this would pucker and cause the neckline to not lie flat against my chest, but it came out better than my last attempt and I'm pleased with how it looks!

The print placement made it difficult to line the pattern up. I had just enough fabric to centre a cactus prominently on both the front and back panels.  I decided to align the print vertically on the cactuses rather than horizontally with the pink stripes - as it's a fairly loose fitting pattern, I wasn't using the stretch for fit and this way looked more pleasing to me.

It looks wrinkly here because I wore it immediately after finishing it and before taking photos.

I'd usually do a blind hem but this was the last thing to be done before finishing and as there was visible topstitching around the neck and shoulders I thought the dress would look more balanced if I put a visible hem in too.

I'm really pleased with how this came out - it was nice to take a break from sewing lolita and more complicated things and relax with something quick and easy. I love how it looks with my silver cowboy boots too!