Time for another one of my super easy alteration projects. Broken record here, you know how much I adore the prints from Emily Temple cute, Leur Getter and Milk. And you also know the struggle with them being too tinsy. My go to trick is to convert dresses into skirts and that is what I have for you today.
I come back to this fashion fix all the time because it is so easy and the result is well worth it. The bodices of most jumperskirt style dresses don’t really have that much fabric in them relative to the overall piece. Admittedly, the bodice does usually have the details that make the piece standout however with these brands the print is what comes before anything else. The key is to use the high waisted dresses and ones with pleats or lots of gathering so that you can achieve the needed width and length of a larger size compared to the brand’s actual skirts.
While I very much want to support these brands financially, I wouldn’t recommend buying directly from the brand if you plan to do this type of alteration. Expense-wise, you will pretty much be eliminating resale value and there will be waste in fabric from the original garment. Personally I find ways to use up the left over scraps in small accessories, but I have never been able to 100% recycle the remaining bits into other projects.
Still winding my way backwards through the magical events of the past couple of weeks and have at last arrived at the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ballet.
No big photo gallery to share with you today, however… I did want to give you a glimpse at one of Alice’s costumes that they had on display in the theater. This particular dress is worn in Act 1 which is set in Oxford, England 1862. The Dean of Christ Church’s wife is hosting a garden party to which Alice and her sisters all wear this dress but in different colors. I do hope someday you get to see the ballet to also see how this dress is transformed once Alice dives down the rabbit hole.
Here is a little snippet from the NYC Joyce production where you can get a sense for more of the amazing costumes and incredible dancing and sets:
But better yet, The Royal Ballet of the UK filmed a short collection of videos from rehearsals, behind the scenes, and discussions on dance styles used in the production. If you have some time they are all very lovely to watch.
I am sincerely still blown away about how incredible the show was. I don’t think there was a moment throughout when I was without a smile on my face. We had such a fantastic time. If I can catch it again on tour I just might!!
Everything about the Alice Adventure in NYC magically fell right into place. From finding out about the ballet, to planning the event, and on top of it making an Alice themed one piece dress. I had been eying this fabric on Etsy for a while. That pesky, “don’t buy more fabric until you use what you have.” was running thru my head and I choose to ignore it.
The original vision for the dress was something very simple, more like the dresses from Jane Marple. When I had the fabric in hand however and was selecting a color to use for the collar this red won me over. Things spiraled from there when I saw how the black laces popped. Those colors cemented in the new idea to mix in elements all based on playing cards. The red and the black trims along with several trump suit charms and patches worked nicely. As a sub-theme the roses used throughout also reflect the Queen’s rose garden.
What I did stay true to was making my first lolita OP. I have given up hope altogether on Baby and AP ever making an OP to fit me. Its a love hate love relationship I admit. Several times during the tea party I was extremely conscience of how freaking comfortable my dress is. It actually fits me!! It even has a little extra room in case I overdo it on the scones and macarons. This is the bliss of making your own. So I love the brands because the entire fashion wouldn’t be here without their commitment; I hate and yet understand why they make everything one-size-fits-some; and love that because of bad sizing I finally found my sewing muse after so many years. And the ++ is that I don’t have to wear a blouse. Just slip it on and zip it up – ready to go. Well not really, but close.
Once I decided to use playing card colors as the embellishments I also needed to make sure and not either overdo them and it look cosplay or end up with it looking too goth. Nothing wrong with gothic, but my aim was to keep it sweet but with a vintage feel overall.
I was at a point during the making of the dress where I thought I was “done” and then I happened to pull out the little red roses to try around the collar. Turns out they were even better as another accent on the grosgrain ribbons. The roses also helped to carry the collar color throughout the dress. I only had a fat quarter of the red and it was barely enough to make the mock collar and the bows on the sleeves. If there was more I would have made a full collar and probably a bunch of other things, but that was part of the fun – make it work!
Even though the charms on the dress and headdress are silver I knew right away what accessories I wanted to wear with it. Last winter my friend gave me the cutest gold Alice and the White Rabbit earnings. I removed the original finding and made them into clip-ons (long story about pierced ears and allergies). They match well with a ring I found in Grand Central of all places that is square and has each of the card suits. I finished it off with Angelic Pretty’s card suit bracelet.
The Finished Look
I absolutely adore this picture that was taken at the party. You must check out Xiaoyu’s blog on tumblr. She has mad photography skills, talented at making her own handmade items, and is such a beautiful and warm person: victorianme.tumblr.com
I had sooooo much fun this past week. Yesterday was like the cherry on top! So many photos from Fashion Week, Alice in Wonderland Ballet and the Alice Tea Party. Since Wonderland is an appropriate metaphor for the adventures, and things are not as they seem, lets check things off in reverse order shale we.
19 lovely ladies and 1 dapper gentleman participated in our NYC Alice Meet Tea Party on Saturday. We reserved the Looking Glass Room at Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2. All any of us could think about when we arrived was the food. Many of us came from the ballet and were famished.
Xiaoyu made the cutest toy soldier hat ever!!! It was the perfect finishing touch for her Angelic Pretty Loyal Rosette salopette. She had marvelously cute soldier gloves too.
I was cutting things incredibly close and only the night before made a gift to give away as a small raffle prize. Using unbleached muslin, some lace, pearls and beads I magically whipped up a White Rabbit fascinator/pin. Alexandra pulled the winning card from the deck (4 of hearts for the record) and it made my day to see how excited she got when she opened the bag and found out what was inside.
My friend Asumi and her friend are visiting from Japan and both dressed up in lolita for their first time. They looked so cute!! Next time I am in Tokyo I think we will pay a visit to Maison de Julietta and hit the Butler Bar to continue our Kawaii adventures.
Angela decorated a straw hat with beautiful roses. I love how creative and artistic everyone is!! She coordinated it with an old school Baby, the Stars Shine Bright one piece. I wish I got a close up of her broach too which was handmade and featured an adorable rabbit.
In addition to the raffle prize I ordered Alice themed gift bags and Eat Me cookies from two Etsy artists. They turned out really great and both were super about making sure they arrived on time and safe-and-sound. I hope the girls enjoyed them. It just wouldn’t have felt like a proper tea party if everyone didn’t receive a little something to take home as a momento.
I really hope everyone had a good time. Confess that I am pleased with myself that I pulled this off without a hitch – and for the first time being a hostess/organizer. Feeling pretty inspired to do it again. I learned a lot so have all sorts of ideas and things I can improve upon next time *✲ﾟ*｡✧٩(･ิᴗ･ิ๑)۶*✲ﾟ*｡✧
T-minus 37 days and counting. Today’s birthday trip wish is to eat at an…
Alice Cafe (アリス)
The best advice in the Matrix? Yep, follow the White Rabbit. For me I hope to follow him to one of the several Alice Cafes in Tokyo. I am not particularly bookish so when I do like a novel or story it ends up holding a very prestigious place on my bookshelf. Alice happens to retain one of those prized positions. In addition, it is thanks to Alice that I came to learn of the Japanese alternative fashion – lolita. I don’t think there is a lolita brand that hasn’t released a print or dress inspired by her.
There are several locations so it will be difficult to make a choice:
- Shibuya – features an amazing carousel inspired dining section and I think a massive stained glass wall.
- Ginza – has a brilliant entrance where you literally enter through gigantic pages from the book. There are also incredible playing card table tops as well as tea cup booths.
- Ikebukuro – Here you can sit inside of a chandelier! I also like the wall of crowns that each contain a charming illustration.
- Shinjuku – at this location you can dine inside the labyrinth!
I am pretty sure reservations will be needed for this journey down the rabbit hole.