Tea Party: What I Made What I Wore

handmade alice in wonderland op dress

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.

The Details

card suit red and black details in the lace and roses

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.

alice in wonderland trump card lolita coordinate

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

photo by victorianme.tumblr.com

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

Candy Shoppe Cutsew Onepiece Dress

The past 3 weeks I was swallowed up in an unexpected blur of busy busy work, I put my foot down last weekend and devoted 2 solid days to fun.  “Candy Shoppe Girl” is the result.  I have wanted to take on a big fashion challenge for a while to really push myself.  So I have set a goal to produce 2 weeks worth of full coordinates.  Some items might be alterations and others, like this dress, originals. I want the pieces to be easily transitional for both autumn and spring.  Warm but not too heavy.  Cute and delicate but also relaxed and comfortable.

Candy Shop Girl Jersey Dress in Pink, White and Black

Coordinate 1:  Onepiece Cutsew

Materials: 100% pink jersey from Joann’s, black jersey from NYC garment district, black lace collar from Nippori in Tokyo, buttons and re-purposed jersey from a children’s dress.

Pattern:  Vogue V8411 {which I have used before for my rose print dress}

About a year ago I bought a little girls jersey dress at my local Marshalls.  It was an adorable black and white dress with little pops of pink.  The reason I bought it was the skirt was printed with the cutest ribbons and it was gathered which meant there was a substantial amount of fabric.  I have not yet found the magical land where I can buy yards of cute jersey so I have resorted to re-purposing children’s clothing to make grownup cuties.

vogue pattern v8411 neckline alteration

Patterns are great as guidelines, but I just can’t resist fiddling with them.  As the fabrics for the dress are very sugary sweet, thought it best to soften the lines and make the neckline a bit more modest. By tracing the original pattern piece all that was needed was to rough in a rounded curve for the new neckline.  I also had to add a little extra to the back as well to match the new position.  Really simple change but has a big impact on the final result.  I drew it freehand but you could match a favorite t-shirt as reference or use a french curve.

The Result

candy cutsew one piece dress front

candy cutsew one piece front lace detail

candy cutsew one piece dress back

candy cutsew one piece back ribbon detail

candy cutsew one piece dress side

candy cutsew one piece hem lace-detail

I am particularly fond of the ribbon on the back.  It was a gamble letting the ribbon tails run nearly the full length of the dress.  Tickled pink with how it turned out.  They flow nicely when the dress is worn.  I stitched around the edges of the ribbon but stopped short of where they fold under.  This way the shape is fixed but it still has some volume.

How To Style It

angelic pretty ribbon ribbon necklace parasol otk socks

For this dress I think Angelic Pretty accessories in black will coordinate best.  Specifically the Dot Cute Ribbon Ribbon necklace and bracelet, ladder ribbon parasol, and ribbon ribbon over the knee socks.  The socks have just enough pink in them to pick up on the punchy pink fabric of the dress (hard to see in the photo but the front of the socks has a ladder of ribbons.)  The parasol brings in the stripes.  Well and the necklace mimics nicely the bows on the white fabric.  And to finish it all off, why not a pair of Rocking Horse Shoes?

zappos shellys london tauchman rocking horse shoes

I found these in the last place I expected.  Today I stumbled upon these RHS on Zappos of all places!  They are called Tauchman by Shellys London.