RhymesWithStitch's Blog

Couture Costuming

Archive for July 2010

It’s a small world …

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I follow about 6 or 7 sewing blogs religiously; I’ll try and link all of them before the end of this post.

Some I follow to learn from like Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic  or Sigrid  both amazing women who I wish I could follow around like a puppy.

 Some I follow to be inspired, I adore reading Miss Celie’s Pants  And even though she is young and thin and wears a fashion forward look, I get a lot out of her bravery to try anything, and how she deals with failures plus she is a military brat. What’s not to love?

 One I follow just to be intimidated – Pins and Needles  Somerset is super woman and I am just stunned at the amount of creating she does. ( I think of her as a crafting terminator, but in the nicest way)

 I read The Selfish Seamstress to laugh but she sneaks in plenty of usable info too, plus links to other fun blogs. Oh and she does sewing haiku

I mended your pants.
Might still be some pins in them.
Just kidding! … or not.

The selfish seamstress

But one of the first sewing blogs I found was Debbie Cook’s blog Stitches and Seams. Like a lot of folks I ran across her blog researching coverstitch/sergers. She had some wonderful (and clear) comparison chart that really helped a newbie. I came for the tutorials and stayed for the fun blog. I read her for probably 6 months before I realized she was local.

A week or so ago I read she was making bubble-wrap based costumes for her sons to wear to MetroCon, and I told myself that if I spotted two young men in bubble-wrap I was totally going to tell them to tell ‘Mom’ how much I loved her blog. And I did! I spotted them just before my panel started and was able to creep them out ah, talk to them.

I admire their follow through, those outfits looked warm. But they weren’t alone; there were a lot of sweating folks.  Florida in summer is hot, who knew?

Anyway, I hope they had fun.


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July 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

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Updated the Gallery!

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July 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm

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I love frills and feathers but I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Lolita outfit. The question is,  can you dress up in a Victorian/Rocco/Fairy-tale style without looking like you are trying to pass for a  nine year old? A sexy nine year old? (I think I just threw-up a little in my mouth).

 Yesterday I wrote about some really cute Lolita outfits, what I was really admiring were more aptly called quanintrelle outfits.

 From wikipedia- A quaintrelle is a woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures.

 I’ve always called the Lolita look, lolly dresses. I think to distance it in my head from Nabokov. I do understand the appeal of the pinafores and crinolines, the silky fabrics and perky hats. But ‘grown ass’ women should look like women not big 4 yr olds.

 While trying to define the differences to myself, I found the idea of the quanintrelle. Most of the links I found circled back around to this woman and her designs.


She is a talented designer using the ‘net  to spread the word on her lifestyle. I like her work and love the idea of quanintrelle instead of Lolita.  

The terminology quanintrelle  is what I’m going to use from now on, I hope it catches on.

 You can have all your flounces and your cute hat, but if I hear you lisping, you are dead to me.

 Something more creative next time, I promise.


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July 28, 2010 at 12:03 pm

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A bad case of “I could do that”

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 One of my favorite things to do at a Con, any Con, is the shopping. Whether it is Science Fiction, Horror, Media, or even an Anime Con like MetroCon, my first stop is the vendor hall/dealer’s room/art show. There is always stuff that you aren’t going to see anywhere else, stuff you didn’t even know you desperately needed. This was even a bigger deal back in the dark ages before the ‘net.

Metro has a respectable vendor hall with a really nice balance of actual manga/anime (books, magazines, videos) and all the accoutrements of the fandom.

The accoutrements at Metro included costumes (whee), photo manips on demand, kimonos, games, posters, t-shirts, jewelry and tchotchkes.

Unfortunately, I have a bad case of “I could do that” which is really frustrating. Fortunately, I have a bad case of “I could do that” which is so much easier on my wallet.

The frustration is that I know I probably won’t, even if I could. I mean I only have so much free time. The reality is I’m never going to learn enough leatherworking to create a gorgeous bodice with tails. (tux tails, not cat girl tails) I found an incredible outfit in hard leather that I would love to bind myself into for my next outing. Grocery store, work, con, who cares, if I spent that amount on an outfit it would get constant wear.

 As we wandered the hall, we found some really lovely Lolita wear and some really tacky stuff of the same vein. A couple of the vendors had some handcrafted pieces in rich fabrics, most had cheap imported gaudy stuff at similar prices.

If you are going to buy costumes at a con, whole outfits or just pieces, take a good look at them. Is it exactly what you want? Touch it. Does it feel nice or is it vaguely scratchy?

Are there loose threads? Do the lines meet? For example I picked up a dress with multiple rows of ruffles that met in the back about a ½ in ‘off’ as in one side higher than the other. If I’m paying 6 bucks I might be ok with it, but it was $60. Ridiculous.

Another question, does it fit? Don’t be that big girl with back cleavage because her dress is so tight and don’t be that tiny girl tripping over her hem.

Is the price appropriate and can I afford it? Hey, if you are a steampunk fanatic, spending $30 on a nice pith helmet might be totally worth it, but if it is a one shot costume idea, or passing fancy, think about a $10 one that you can jazz up yourself. We had a costumer at our panel that had a paper/plastic top hat that was probably $3 from Party City but he had draped fabric around it in a way that really made it look like a real one. Use your imagination.

It is easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy of a con, don’t have regrets.

Me? I got some ideas from the better vendors, got the urge to learn more about kanzashi (Japanese Hair Ornamentation), got to play some ‘old school’ pachinko and lusted after some leather that I may have to buy eventually.

Is it DragonCon yet?


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July 27, 2010 at 11:54 am

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This last weekend was MetroCon. We had a blast and I got to show off the parasols and petticoats at a panel on costuming on the cheap.

No pictures from the Con as I lost my camera on the way. le sigh.

As I promised – the directions for the Petti’s – This links directly to a reprint of a 1956 TV guide article featuring a Lawernce Welk dancer known for her colorful pettis. (WARNING – wandering off this page onto anything else at the pettipond site is not recommended for the faint of heart/prudish. This is a petti-fetish site)


paraphrased from site –

To make it you need 

nine yards of Nylon net (Tulle)  – 72 inches wide

48 yards of satin ribbon – one-inch wide 

Take one yard and cut top with net double thickness in complete circle. Length of top depends on person’s height. 

Cut remaining eight yards of net lengthwise into eight strips, each nine inches wide. Each strip will be eight yards long. Gather and sew two strips of net to bottom of circular top. Gather and sew the remaining six strips of net to bottom of first ruffle. Bind bottom with ribbon. Finished petticoat is 48 yards at hem.

This makes a 50’s length petti, for a Lolita petti I would try half the length of tulle and then cut the strips to half the width.

We did the long strips (8 yards) by folding along the long length and cutting the 72 in width in half, then the (2) 36 inch wide (by 8 yards)  get cut in half again so now you have (4)  18 in wide by 8 yards long.  Divide again and you have (8) 9in wide by 8yard long strips.

Anyone who makes one and wants to show it off, email me a picture and we will post it here.


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July 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm

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