Thursday, November 11, 2010

Of black roses where she slumbers

Well darlings, I hope you had a lovely Halloween. For those of you who have blogs, I've enjoyed reading all of your Halloween-related posts. Mine wasn't perfect, but it turned out rather nicely, all told. But more on that in a bit.

Also, I do apologize for the lateness of this post. I've been very much spirited away by the arrival of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short), a mad, starry-eyed endeavor in which thousands of writers worldwide attempt to write a full novel (50,000 words) in the thirty days of November. That's 1667 words per day. And yes, you can start late and still have a wonderful time--the important thing is starting to write a story.

Doubtless you shall hear more dreamy ramblings on this subject in the future, as I travel along with my protagonist Ayava in his quest to discover what he must sacrifice to keep his world from falling into chaos. To learn more about his story, visit my profile over at NaNoWriMo.

Now, back to the topic at hand.

The week leading up to Halloween was, I must admit, quite stressful. Sewing on a deadline is something I can do (I've watched my mother do it for years), but balancing that and classwork is Not Fun.

At any rate, I'm sure you recall my plan to transform a few thrift store finds into a (antiquely romantic but non-lolita) Sleeping Beauty costume, as inspired by Lareine's song Kyokutou no Koibito ? Well, I realized that it would be very easy to make those two skirts I had into a lolita skirt, and found that I could not resist the enchanted call of loli!

The two layers of my skirt, spread out to their full width. Unfortunately they wouldn't quite fit on the sewing table, so do pardon that.

And now, an "in construction" snapshot of my blouse. I had just taken a trip to the fabric store, so that's my newly acquired trim you see there.

I had a bit of a time figuring out how I would take it on and off, but in the end I cut off the strip of fabric that had the buttons attached to it, then took some spare fabric from one of the skirts and sewed in an extra wide panel, over which to put corset lacing. The idea was for the extra fabric in the center panel to fold under the sides of the blouse, but still be able to expand and allow me to slip out of the blouse. Well, wriggle out of it. It works pretty well, but next time I shall consider either a zipper or shirring for my beloved corset-laced style of blouse.

It took a lot of work, but on Halloween night, the transformation was worth it. I think I achieved the ghostly, whimsically melancholy look I was aiming for, and that's a big milestone for someone who's not even sure how to style her own hair.

I had a full-length outfit picture, but it's on my other camera, and I didn't want to delay this post any further. So I shall have to content you with this photo (and stay tuned for a full length ambient shot at the end!).

I like to think you can see the influence from Yoh's art, as well as this exquisite rendering of a slumbering maiden, by Matayosi. My costume wasn't perfect, but I'm very happy with the result considering the time and materials I had.

I won't overload you with pictures, but here's a detail shot of the corsage and necklace, both of which I made from materials I had stashed away. (A stash is something every sewing or crafting loli should have. I'm still working on mine, but it's getting there.)

(I used flash, so it's a bit more bright and shiny than usual.)

You'll recall that I've been wittering on about black roses ("twined in her hair," as my costume's inspiration-song says), and well, these didn't turn out too badly, if I may say so. Lately I've become intrigued by corsages, and I wanted to put this scrap of lace to good use in making one.  I stitched one of those snap open barrette/clip thingies to the back, and braided the ribbons into my front braids, to give the "twined in her hair" effect.

The necklace is actually a remake of one I made this spring, but lost soon after I made it. Although it took only a few minutes to make, I hadn't had the heart to remake it until now, but I'm so glad I did!

Perhaps next time I should go ahead an take a detail shot of the blouse's trim. My hair seems to be in the way. Erm, yes.

Having been away at college for two years, I had missed being with my family for Halloween. We don't decorate much (I will change that in the future, mark you) but we've started carving pumpkins. I'm afraid I don't have a picture for you, but they looked lovely out in the front garden and on the gateposts.

I walked around for a while with my sisters and a couple of children from down the street as they trick-or-treated. I didn't carry a bag this time, but it was fun seeing everyone in costume. I saw the most adorable Draculaura, in the same group as a Mad Hatter. Very fitting that I should meet the latter while in loli! As to the former though---for those who aren't aware, Mattel is producing a new line of charmingly spooky Monster High dolls, presented as the highschool-age children of famous monsters. All of them are darling, but Dracula's daughter ("Draculaura") is my favorite of the bunch!

And now, I leave you with one in-character shot. After coming home, I grabbed a knitting needle to be my spindle. You can't see it very well, but the "spindle" is a deep blood red--one of my favorite colors, and wonderfully spooky against all the white (or so I think).


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