Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowflake for the Holidays

I should have really been on top of it. I mean my name is Holly Dai so shouldn't I have a solid holiday burlesque number? Well inspiration didn't hit me until 4 days before my show. If I wanted to be a snowflake I had better get started!I started by the inspiration of a headpiece. I took apart an old vegas style headdress that was falling apart. All of the fabric easily tore off and gave me a really nice easy base to work with. A few sequence and holiday trims later.....The headdress was turning out nicely, I used a ton of stiff material, wire, and a good drawing hand to finish the layout of the snowflake. I found the perfect dress the same day I knew I wanted to be a snowflake. It was a 80s dress with an ugly skirt. I cut off the skirt and covered the black accents with blue sequenced trim, it already had the rhinestones in the middle of the bow.The problem was that once I cut off the skirt, my bottom would be exposed prematurely. Luckily my roommate had decided to be the white queen from Alice in Wonderland this past Halloween but the 80s wedding dress she bought was too long to walk around in. She cut off most of the train which left me with some ruffly fabric with preexisting appliques. I sewed it up and added snaps to the corset to create the perfect removable bustle.
Almost done! I added glitter and blue trim around the headdress and all I needed was to reuse some undergarments from another act and voila! I had the perfect Vegas snowflake costume for the season.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rebuilding involves Loot

Greeeat I wrote a whole post and tried to post in on Sew Retro on accident, therefore deleting all of my work. Oops. Let's try this again. I haven't written in a bit mostly because I have been overwhelmed and without a camera. Hello iPhone! I decided that many of my burlesque outfits need a major up in quality. I will have to share the "Padam" costume when I get my next chance but for now I started to fix my Tom Waits act to "Temptation." Here is my costume with a corset I got from ebay. It has terrible acrylic rhinestones and is very recognizable as a inexpensive boudoir item. I took all of the cheap rhinestones off and put on some czech crystals that are blue zircon. I also added some blue panels to add accents. I think I might have to add more all around the corset but there is much more to be added to the costume. I am going to make new beaded tassels, add more tulle to the tutu (not pictured), and fix the falling apart matching panties.
Today my room mate and I also went to Gem Faire at the Portland Convention Center. I wish I had thought to take pictures but I forgot to be a good blogger with so much bling. There were so many $1 strands of beads and tubes that were perfect for beaded tassels and fringe. I can't wait to make more hair creations and hangy bits from my costumes. Here is some of the loot!

Monday, July 12, 2010


So I swear I am not dead. Life has been super busy and stressful. I graduated college and have had a few graduating classes from the Rose City School of Burlesque as well as moved. PHEW.

Look at this gorgeous little frock from Grosgrain. Yes I would love to win it and you should enter too. You can enter here.

I also love this jumper she is giving away here.
I hope that has helped your appetite. I do have a dress on the mannequin and I will be taking pictures shortly!

Holly Dai

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Burlesque Tuesdays

Where have I been? OOOoh that's a good question. Last week was a little too busy to post. I graduated college and had finals as well as did a lot of traveling. Sooo back to the regularly scheduled programing. Here is some costuming I made for a Lady Gaga burlesque tribute. I sewed and dyed the bottom half of the costume. Very fifth element n'est pas?

Monday, May 3, 2010

When to Know When to Stop

I think I have a major addiction. Patterns. I have more things in my to do box than I seem to have time for. I keep looking at the red dress, all the pattern pieces are cut I just have to start sewing but with my graduation less than six days away, more pressing things are at hand like papers.

Ultimately I am completely broke and since graduation is on Saturday there is no more financial aid. It is time to STOP buying fabric, thrift and patterns and just make do with what ever I have got. It was incredibly hard to pass up such a good sale and I promise I won't use this rational again until I am gainfully employed.

As I posted on Sew Retro, there was a three day sale last week with Vogue, McCalls and Butterick patterns. Vogue and Butterick was only 3.99 each and McCalls was only 1.99. Thus the unnecessary necessary buying spree.
But look at them! Five vintage vogue patterns, two very cute dresses and a stand alone jacket. I am in love just not with my pocket book. But hey $40 for 8 new patterns isn't bad... is it?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday Fashion

A little delayed...say by two hours. Okay ok I know it is not Friday anymore but I didn't have time to put this up before the hour past midnight. This whole keeping up with certain blogging days can be easy to mishandle! I did get to document my outfit today and I am very happy with my latest finds. Last weekend I was able to go to two garage/estate stores and a thrift store resulting in the $8 dollar outfit minus the stockings. I am not sure what I paid for those but I am sure they were new once. I found a size 10 pair of flat hush puppies at one estate sale and the gorgeous vintage lace skirt from another garage sale. The top is newer but thrifted.

Another gloomy Portland day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Burlesque Tuesdays

Since this is vintage or sew....(so), I wanted to start out my first Burlesque Tuesdays with costuming I have sewn or created myself. I propose that soon I will stop talking about myself and focus on my inspirations from other wonderful performers.

The original group of “Rockettes” made there ways to the “Big Apple” New York City to open Radio City Music Hall in 1932. In 1936, the troupe won the grand prize at the “Paris Exposition de Dance”. Pictured is a original Rockettes Candy Cane outfit worn by the 1930’s Rockettes.

My version was very quick and dirty. I needed a holiday inspired outfit in less than 2 days so I whipped this together. I made the hat and altered the clothing with a lot of sewing. The bra we hot glued with sequence and the had made with covered cardboard and scraps. This soon will need a revamp to make it look more flattering, but I think it was still very fun. Photos were shot by Danger Ninja and POC Photo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fashion

A couple of days ago I snuck over to my local thrift shop and snagged this beauty! I love this dress although it is clearly from the 70s it reminds me of some early 40s patterns.
More importantly it reminds me of a picture of Veronica Lake. What do you think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Did I mention?

Did I mention I am obsessed with other blogs?? I will be occasionally reposting about some amazing giveaways. Fleur de Guerre of Diary of a Vintage Girl is giving away an amazing lingerie set of Ava lingerie from Playful Promises.
If you would like to enter and learn more about the rules go to Diary of a Vintage Girl.

The Promised Projects

I know it is a lot for one day but it hasn't been brewing for one day only. These are the pattens and projects I must complete before buying fabric, patterns, or materials for something else. I must commit. I feel like things get very pretty and I get distracted.

First up Vogue Pattern V1078. This beautiful dress require 7 yards of fabric! Luckily I am blessed with an amazing student who provided me with the perfect exact shade and stretch. I am almost done cutting out each piece only one more to go but it is a big one. After that there is a lot of gathering and sewing to be done. I will have this one done before June possibly for Vegas.

What I love about this pattern is the 30s-ish glamorous back. The only thing I am not fond of is the strapping in the front but we will see how it will turn out.

Next up we have this amazing jumper/dress. It looks great for the summer time with an easy wrap around skirt. Challenges for this dress is that it is not in my size. I need to make a muslin mock up before trying to cut up material to ensure the right fit.

I think I am going to try to find a vintage bed sheet to make this dress out of. I wish I had the same fabric as my blog background but alas I have not found it yet.

Finally the last project I am working on is trashy prom dress inspired. I found this dress at the local mall for $500. Those rhinestones aren't that nice dear! I started drawing up my own pattern and mock up. I think it looks like a good start. I need to buy some boning and experiment with the skirt and I should be ready to roll.

When the Girls are Bad!

I had the pleasure of working with an amazing photographer last month. POC Photo is based out of Seattle, Washington and takes amazing shots. One of his projects that he has continuously been working on are the reproduction of pulp covers.

Pulp covers were very popular as racy fiction. They often dipicted women who had some sort of taboo sexuality.

A woman possessed was the pulp cover we chose to reproduce. This called for a trip to another vintage store for a lovely night slip. I think the photo turned out amazing.

And yes he removed all my tattoos.

To see more of POC photo's pulp cover go here. Please also vist POC photo's home page for more work.

First early 60s Sheath Dress

Recently I rediscovered the vintage patterns I had been collecting since I was 17. It used to be an impressive collection but after many moves the pieces dwindled to 10 or so patterns. I had never really attempted to complete any of the projects until I pulled out my vintage 401A sewing machine.

I hadn't realized that my machine was so old. My mother had given it to me so I assumed it was from the 70s. I finally researched the machine and found that they were mostly manufactured in the late 1950s! It was my grandmother's machine. I have never met her as she passed away when my mother was in her early 20s.

I love this machine! It is 22 lbs but so sturdy, although I admit I need to take it in to get some of the dials unstuck, other than that it is perfect.
I set to work on my first vintage dress. I decided to do a wiggle dress from the early 60s. I set to work by creating my first muslin mock up. What a brilliant revelation! It makes so much sense to do this rather than ruin such lovely fabric.

I created this dress with burlesque in mind so I added a longer zipper that unzips from the bottom and has snaps on the shoulder for easy removal. I also created a matching tilt hat which I learned how to make in a millinery class from Vienna La Rouge, a burlesque performer in San Francisco.

Here is a close up of my tilt hat with added fabric roses, veiling, and feathers. It was a lot of fun to make and at this moment is one of my favorite hats.

To make the dress I used a patterned satin fabric that is sheer beige with velvet roses. I lined the dress with a lovely shade of red and added red bias tape to the edges of the sleeves and neckline. I also added decorative tassel so that it is easier to zip off during my act.

These pictures were take by POC Photo and are the finished product!


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