Sunday, September 29, 2013

Teddy Bears This Way

After a night out on the town at the Gangsters Ball, I was up bright and early on Sunday getting ready for the party ahead. This one, was mine. For my 28th Birthday, I decided to host a Teddy Bear's Picnic.
I decided to take the event off site this year and head to a park around the corner from my house. I wanted a full picnic atmosphere, and you just can't get that on our back patio. We loaded up the cars and headed around. I had been baking all Friday night and Saturday with some last minute preps on Sunday morning. We set up the site with my reenacting shade shelter, and picnic blankets. I decorated the edges with the bunting I made last year (I knew it would come in handy again), and set up my table. I had the whole thing planned out in my head, with the cake take precedence at the centre and all the fool laid out surrounding it. I even used the adorable little chalkboards that I picked up a wheel and barrow a few months ago.
There was Bear Shaped Sandwiches, Tiny Chipolata Sausages, Apple Coleslaw, Cupcakes, Teddy Bear Pasta Salad, Gummy Bears, Butterscotch Popcorn, Tiny Teddies, Turkey Metaloaf, Cheese platter, Ginger Cookies and Grizzly bear bars. I decided to serve my salads in little individual servings. The large cups are gelati cups that I picked up at a cheap party store at Westfield Strathpine, while the little cups with lids came from Daiso (Aussie version of the 100 Yen store's in Japan) at Westfield Chermside. I topped off my table with a gingham cloth and had red napkins, plates and cutlery out for everyone.
To top it off, instead of party hats for my attendees, I made bearbands. Teddy Bear Ear handbands. I bought the plastic bands in bulk on easy and picked up two colours of felt at spotlight. A bit of handsewing later and I was done. They were rather time consuming in the beginning, but by the time I was on my 5th one, I had a bit of a production process going, and was whipping them out in no time at all. I made 16 in total, and each person got to take theirs home.
We ate, played games (pass the parcel and trivia) and had a generally good time. It was lovely that so many of my friends could make it along, and I hope they had a great time. I certainly did.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All dolled up

And yet another busy weekend has passed me by. I was up late Friday night preparing for everything to come. First off, was the Gangsters Ball. This year, saw me attend for the fourth year, and while I had a fun time, I’ve decided that it will be my last. I’ll get into my reasons why further on.
I was up late on Friday with a quick hair wash and setting my hair into pincurls. Not the most comfortable thing to sleep on, but they are effective. (I’ve got a whole write up over on my hair and makeup blog). I also needed to put the finishing touches on the belt for my dress and dig out my accessories.

Saturday afternoon, the wonderful Kerry picked me up to head over to Mel’s place where we all planned to get ready. The afternoon took off with nibbly food, champagne, nail polish and hairstyling. I tried to do a 1930s style polish on my hands using silver and purple (the colours of my outfit) but managed to destroy my hard work by putting bobby pins in Christine’s hair and makeup on. We slipped on our dresses, popped on our pumps (flats for me) and headed out to the event.
Again, it was held at the Tivoli, the art deco restored theatre in Brisbane – the perfect venue for it really. The levels of costuming this year were a cut above. While there was still a multitude of Moulin Rouge and Burlesque / underwear outfits, there were many people dressed in vintage styles – lending to a more authentic atmosphere. My opinion on the shows though varies greatly. They started out fantastic but dropped off as the evening progressed. The host for the beginning of the show “Lela” was fantastic; and my favourite acts were the girls twirling in the fabrics, the first girl to twirl hoola-hoops, the swing dancers, and the acrobatic men. The burlesque dancers and contortionists, not so much. And unfortunately, if you are not in the first row or on the balcony (VIP tickets) you really don’t get to see anything at stage level above all the other patrons. It doesn’t really help that I am short and was wearing flat shoes for comfort. The music provided by the big band was wonderful, and I would happily go to a jazz club and listen to them all night long. So, while I had a great time, I don’t think it is really worth $80 to attend when the most fun I had for the evening was getting ready with my girls. I most likely won’t be attending next year.
At any rate, the occasion called for a new gown. This year, I was bound and determined to wear flat shoes. After struggling through the evening in heels in previous years, I had learnt my lesson. So, I chose to make a floor length gown which would hide my (Hello Kitty) ballet flats. And with my hair cut short, I decided I wanted 1930s. I bought a beautiful piece of slate grey satin from East Coast fabrics. Butchered one of my 1940s day gown patterns, drafted up a four-gore skirt and got to sewing. The main changes I made in the pattern were to the bodice – I took out the front button opening, tripled the amount of gathering in the side seams, opened out the neckline and puffed up the sleeves. I topped it off with a purple silk sash – chosen because the colour matches my hair right now. My mum leant me her beautiful onyx art deco inspired earrings and I topped my look off with a black choral necklace and 1930s makeup. All in all, I loved it. I’m very happy with what I put together and would love the opportunity to wear it again. Unfortunately, my baby camera decided to play up, so I don't have any decent shots of the whole outfit.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Races at Deagon

I seem to have a rather large amount of trouble writing up my event posts in a timely fashion. I guess I am just too popped back at work on Monday to have the energy after a weekend costuming event. Last weekend, in particular was a doozy. On Sunday, the Deagon Racecourse held its first public open day since the 1940s. It was a family picnic race-day, and the Australian Costumers Guild were invited along to provide ambiance in Victorian and Edwardian fashions.
I dressed up myself and my parents and we made our way over to be there at 9.30am. By then, the weather had already decided to warm up. I was thankful to be dressed in natural fibres, but a cooler day would have been nice. The event itself seemed to be a success. There was a number of food and booze sellers about, as well as stage with constant entertainment as well as the races themselves. The event had actually sold out of tickets within 24 hours, which has to say something.

I didn’t get a whole lot of photos for the day, as I was just too busy enjoying myself to worry about taking loads of photos. That and the temperature kept us sedated and in the shade where possible. Despite the layer of sunscreen slathered over my exposed skin, I just didn’t want to get burnt. Towards the end of the day, we provided a women’s fashion parade of our costumes. There were only seven of us in it, but it seemed to go well, and they took a good number of photos.
For the occasion, I pulled out my tartan bustle. The thinking being that the 1870s style with its square neck and elbow sleeves would be cooler. It helps too that the dress is a little larger than some of my others meaning I don’t need to lace as tight, and it is made of cotton/linen and silk, so breathes well. I had a great time, but by the time I got home, could not wait to peel off the layers and jump in for a cold shower.