Sunday, July 29, 2018

Beautiful Sights: Hluboká nad Vltavou Castle

Once upon a time, Prince Jan Adolf II Schwarzenberg and his lovely wife Eleonora travelled to England. The Schwarzenberg couple fell in love with it, truly, madly, deeply,  and decided to build a bit of it in Bohemia. The result is breathtaking.
Inspired by the Windsor, this castle and the grounds took some thirty-one years to build and it is as spectacular inside as it is outside. You can clearly see the Schwarzenbergs were a wealthy and powerful family in every room and every lobby - which is good for us tourists, because we can now admire all the wonderful castles and palaces they've left behind as their legacy:-)
So much inspiration for dollhouse decoration...
The castle is filled with incredible carvings both in wood and in marble, some of them of unearthly fragility. One especially frail carved mirror frame took seventeen years to make to the local masters - I wish I had a photo of it to show what beauty human hands are capable of producing. Sadly it was not possible to take photos inside, so let me share the exterior at least:-) Welcome in a fairytale.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

1870s-inspired Pink Brocade "Innocence and Roses" Period Lolita Gown Project

Hiya everyone! So, we've just had a blast at the wonderful Bring&Buy event organized by Margueritte Weinlich and this inspired us to start planning for some more events in a couple of months to come. But, the classical problem - we've got nothing to wear!
I've got this sweet pink brocade laying in my stash and initially I thought, hmm, maybe I could match Iris and make something Rococo-inspired.
Iris: "Are you sure? You've never worn it, do you think you'd feel comfortable? You usually feel good in 19th Century-inspired stuff... how about you turn it into something 1870s-like?"
Me: "I'll just watch the I want Candy Marie Antoinette video and I'll be fine, you'll see."
I fiddled around with it for a while, Iris improved it, I fiddled around with it some more till I was so-so satisfied... and then I went back to Iris, peeked in and timidly asked: "How about we add a bustle to it and 1870s it up?"
One big chuckle and a knowing look from Iris later, there was the design for the skirt done and I had the basic idea for the shape and the decorations on the bodice laid out.

Now the work on the bodice is going to be interesting... enlarging teensy tiny patterns from old magazines is always fun. Good thing I've got Iris to refresh my memory as to how it's done... she's the most amazing, patient and fun teacher.
 

So, fingers crossed, the back and the front are going to look similar to this... I especially love the back.
We are, however, actually starting with the skirt part - it's an interesting experiment to see how the gored panels (?is that how it's called?) will translate to the Lolita shape.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Travelling in Lolita when you're ill: a small guide


Tropical temperatures are here, holidays are fast approaching and the season for travelling is here, so I thought I might put together some tips that worked for me when travelling in Lolita as a person with frequent health issues. This list is by no means complete, so if you can think up a suggestion of your own, please go ahead and write it in the comments:-) Happy summer everybody!
(Ok, ok. I know it's not summer yet according to the calendar. But the nature seems to think otherwise.)

Image courtesy of JessicaDennisDesigns on Etsy



  • First of all, put on a dress or a skirt that is not constraining in any way. A-line dresses and simple skirts that aren't decorated with any heavy frills are a good idea.
  • Don't bother yourself with a wig; the cuteness is not worth the headache and the overheating. 
  • Keep your medication close at hand, especially if you've got some that's used for emergencies. It tends to hit when you need it least, so it's best to be prepared. This might be superfluous to mention, but better safe than sorry - if you are travelling with someone (a friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, relatives...), make sure they know what to do if you get sick and won't panic in the crucial moment.
  • Water. Keep yourself hydrated, especially in these hot days, and have the bottle always close by. 
  • Make sure any of the layers can be taken off; might be actually better to travel with cute shorts underneath instead of bloomers, so that, if you get too hot, you can just strip down to a T-shirt and shorts and still be decent for public transport like trains or buses.
  • Your parasol is your good friend, if you can put up with this extra thing to carry and it doesn't tire you out too much. In extra hot regions like the Southern Europe it's often a lifesaver.
  • Skirts and dresses that have pockets often tend to be easier on an organism that tends to get exhausted easily than a purse, plus you can't forget them anywhere if brain fog hits you. Alternatively, for me at least, a cute backpack generally works better for the weight is distributed evenly on both shoulders and is easier to carry. 
  • Going heavy on the accessories might prove exhausting after some time spent on the road; casual and simple does it.
  • Keep a snack close by, especially if you are prone to hypoglycemia. Fresh fruit for example is good as a quick thing to nibble on periodically through the journey. Cools down, brings in sugar and refreshes.
  • Smaller, less poofy petticoat (or even none at all) might be a better idea than a huge one, depending on what travelling space you shall have available for yourself; in any case, at least in my experience, it tends to be a little less hot. Petticoats tend to be from synthetic materials, so in summer they can turn into a burning hothouse. Overheating can be dangerous for anyone, but for people with chronic issues it especially isn't a good idea.
  • Keep your phone charged and keep it with you at all times. Sometimes people will be nice and will help you out if they see you are sick, but sometimes they won't care or might think you are high on drugs and just step over you when you are in fact struggling to stay alive.
  • Medical bracelets can be made very cute and might be a good way to give yourself a slightly better chance this won't happen. Lolify it to Heaven and back; go crazy with it. Just make sure the important part with the info about your specific condition will be clearly visible.
  • Keep the fabrics light, if you can. Minimise the weight you carry in any way possible to prevent exhaustion.  
  • Cute, sparkly sneakers or ballet flats with sweet bows tend to work better for longer journeys than normal Lolita shoes that can be challenging to take on and off. They also tend to be easier to walk in in the long run. 
  • If you don't usually use crutches, but you know there are moments when having some support as you walk might be handy, consider trekking poles - they can be folded away and they can be gotten in pink. I've seen girls with chronic spinal or leg joints problems being saved by them a couple of times on longer trips when they thought they just can't walk any longer. 
  • Ellie had some brilliant suggestions! So here they come:
    Minimal make-up.
    Suncream with a high SPF.
    Supply of handkerchiefs for nasty summer colds and use on public transport. They could be used to cover mouths or hands, when holding railings.
    Having hair away from the face, in an up-do can be very useful for keeping cool.
    Thanks so much, Ellie!
Hope you enjoy your holiday! Where are you planning to go this year? Tell me in the comments:-)

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Quick Update: 1876 Petticoat Progress

It's starting to look good, methinks...however, it seems to provide little in terms of support in the crucial area below the knees. I wonder, will two more trainless petticoats underneath solve the problem, or will I have to go the bustle cage way?

 

Aaand I'm all out of lace. I'm thinking of using tulle lace for the remaining ruffle rows, since it looked lovely when I tried it, but I'm not sure how historically accurate that would be... thoughts?

Sunday, March 18, 2018

LBC: What Has Become a Staple in Your Wardrobe and Why

Although this dress is actually pretty new, it has quickly become my favourite - I just adore the 1890s girl fashions and have adored them since childhood. The sleeves!!! The skirts!
Sorry about the raw edges on the hat - it's not finished yet.

I wanted a dress I could wear both outside and at home; a practical, washable dress without any lace for easy upkeep, dress that could be dressed up or down as needed. And then I found this fabric at a local shop and was overjoyed - it was just perfect! Originally, I put lace at the hem of the skirt, but ripped it off - and I'm happier with it now. Cute. Practical. Comfy. With strong 1890s vibes. My preshioussss!!!
And you know what's the best part?
It's got POCKETSESSS!!! XD

Now I just need more of the 1890s-inspired dresses like this...

The second staple is a skirt my sister Iris made for me as a present - because aww, the teddy bear print!<3<3<3 Plus the simple elegance of the cut means it can be, again, dressed up or down as I please. And it's washable. And soft to touch. And voluminous. And I just love it.

 
Btw, there's still enough of this teddy bear fabric to make a skirt - so look forward to seeing it for sale in the shop :-)
Now I'm looking forward to see what the others have posted :-)

The Bloody Teaparty
Roli's Ramblings
Petite Tomoyo

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Fashion Show Part I: The Sleeping Beauty Set

The Fashion Show was a blast! Hopefully a video will be available soon; for now at least couple of pictures of one of the three outfits that we presented there. First then comes the Sleeping Beauty set.

Sleeping Beauty Jumperskirt from the Sleeping Beauty set, for sale here


Sleeping Beauty Blouse, for sale here


Sleeping Beauty Kokoshnik Headdress, for sale here
Sleeping Beauty Petticoat, for sale here


Here the set is worn by the wonderful Anna, who very graciously agreed to model for us.






Also, Viviana Iris has got an Instagram at last! You can follow it here: https://www.instagram.com/vivianairisfashions/ 

That's all for now, folks, hope to post again soon-ish:-)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fashion Show Sneak Peak Or What Goes into the Production of a Period Lolita Dress?

So what does go into it, apart from blood, sweat and tears?

1. Piles and miles of fabric, lace, ruffles. Those bundles of tulle lace total 102 yards; I expect to use these up almost all on my new dress project (which you won't see until the Fashion Show :-) ). But then, the volume of the skirt is some 3 meters + ...


2. A cuppa. Seriously. A big one.


3. Research. Goes well with the cuppa. In fact, it is highly recommended to pair up these two. Going through my Pinterest board with free historical patterns and tutorials + my 1890s inspiration board, I've found this pattern to help me out with the front of the bodice:


Not sure yet though if it quite fits this particular project.

4. Period movies. Sometimes Vinnetou and Old Shatterhand movies. And other times historical documentaries. Because you need something to get you through all the boring bits such as pinning stuff together or fiddling with the hem.
Parohy (1947)

5. Passion. Or masochistic madness. Either will do.


6. Travelling and stalking antique shops, websites and flea markets. The narrow edging lace is from a lace shop in Bosnia-Herzegovina; the insertion lace is a handmade antique piece I found in an antique shop in Denmark. Imagine the excited squeal:-)


7. Time. A lot of it. A dress like this one, all neatly finished inside and with loads of ruffles at the front you can't see, eats up easily some 40 hours and more:



8. Patience.  Often what's needed is the patience to handsew, to nail the look just right, especially with complicated lace insertion patches or with bonnets or other headwear.



8. Money. These pretty things get costly and take a lot of saving up for if you're on a tight budget like me; the lace for this new project alone was some 181 USD. My piggy bank hates me. So someone out there, I hope you will buy the dress once it's doneXD

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