vampyresheep: (shadow)
back at work again, recovering from another drink and unhealthy food fuelled weekend in Antwerp, as part of our annual pilgrimage to the Gala Nocturna Ball (well, was back yesterday but too made of tired to do anything!)  Feeling fairly rotten right now as I have managed to come down with a cold.
I had my concerns about such a large number traveling from London this year; however it largely worked out really well; everyone turned up where they should be at the right time, did their own thing when suited them and we all met up together at various intervals throughout the weekend.
As this was a multiple return visit for the majority of our group, there was more time spent in bars than previous years; the main sightseeing attractions already done.  I think i overdid it on the heavy dark beers on Friday, so took it (relatively) easier on the Saturday!
And then of course, there was the ball.  Location changed to the ballroom at Antwerp Zoo, it had a very different feel to previous years but still beautiful; albeit a little crowded in places (ie the bar!).  Full post and photos to follow soon, hopefully!

The weekend was marred by one rather sour incident on the way home.  I'm not going to go into any more details, as a few mutual friends have already posted about it and I'm sure the people concerned would rather put the whole nasty affair behind them now.

So to finish this post on a more happy note, our now traditional lobby photo before the ball - taken by Martin Soulstealer - not all of the London contingent, as some were staying at different hotels but I think we managed to gather all of the Ibis Centrum massive! ;-)

Gala Nocturna 2014 lobby pic
vampyresheep: (shadow)
This weekend has been somewhat quieter.  My knee aching a bit after the week's exertions and wanting some time at home catching up on my sewing.  I also have a couple days holiday to use up this month, so I booked Friday off work to have a sewing day.

I've been going through a love/hate relationship with my Gala Nocturna dress.  As usual I have a vision in my head of what I want, without considering the reality of my own body shape - and when it comes down to it, I suit Victorian dresses better than medieval!

Last weekend I finally reached the stage where i had a basic dress form to try on  I could have cried when I looked in the mirror - not so much Waterhouse maiden, more Shrek instead! :-(  For some reason the dress had gone all shapeless and baggy, despite the mock-up having fitted perfectly (not sure if it stretched or if the usual fault of me having no faith in my measurements and made it all a bit bigger just in case).  Even wearing it with a corset under just enhanced my flaws.

Came up with a Plan B option of wearing my medieval/tudor overdress with it, which was more flattering but a tad "wenchlike" but with Rob's help came up with some ideas of how i could bling it up a bit if the finished dress didn't work out.

Not giving up hope yet, I figured it might look better once I'd added the sleeves and took in the body a bit more.

So Friday was mainly about making sleeves.  These sleeves are HUGE!  I also picked two fabrics which fray as soon as you look at them, so Friday morning was spent applying fray-check to the edges.  I also discovered that the metallic lining fabric doesn't like my sewing machine - it kept catching and snagging the fabric every few stitches, leaving me with no option but to hand sew them........

So Saturday was mainly about hand-sewing two immense sleeves.  Very, very carefully.

Today, I finally got to attach the sleeves to the dress, yay! As Rob has commented, the sleeves are so big, it looks like I've attached two extra dresses to the armpits! ;-)
Have tried it on again and am now a lot happier with the progress. I think this might just work!  Have plans on how to finish off and adorn the dress - I've decided against the original plan of covering the bodice with beetlewings, for practical purposes (like storage!) and am going to make a wide corset-belt of bling instead.
With Rob's 2nd opinion, have also planned some further adornments, to bring the dress back in line with the theme of the ball.   We also went to B&Q to purchase the necessary parts to make my headdress :-)

So I now have 2 months to finish all the adornments (including 10 meters of trim, gulp!), make headdress, belt and underskirt.  I think I can do it!

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