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O-T-Tea Party 2016

Last week I went to the 2nd annual O-T-Tea Party in San Francisco. (The name is a reference to OTT, meaning over-the-top). The attendees were instructed to build opulent, imaginative, and or themed outfits using Japanese lolita fashion as a base.img_9740

I didn’t have time to make a new outfit from scratch, so I recycled an old dress I made years ago and jazzed up my coordinate with accessories and new embellishments. I wore the dress over a satin blouse with balloon sleeves and put on satin gloves with pearls and cutouts in the fabric. I carried a black velvet clutch purse with gold embroidery and had a golden rhinestone brooch at my waist. img_9704

I made my dress using a very soft and plushy black cotton velvet, screenprinted with gold. The crown motifs are accented with golden bows made of vintage jacquard ribbon and faux pearl and golden buttons I had in my stash.img_9751

I also wore a golden tiara with faux pearls (from Amazon) and a gold and black lace neck ruff from Aliexpress. These items were purchased new, but otherwise I already had a lot of things in my closet to complete my outfit!img_9755

I finished my outfit with Miss L Fire Vistas, which I previously wore with my 1920s outfit.img_9757

The event took place at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, where we had delicious food, a vendor room, and many generous raffle prizes.

We were all given these pretty acrylic brooches with a number that was used for voting in the outfit contest.img_9749

Here are some group photos taken by the Lens Collective!lens-collective-1lens-collective-4lens-collective-2lens-collective-3


18th Century at the OT-Tea Party

Back in September I attended a fancy tea event called the OT-Tea Party. (It is a reference to OTT, meaning “over the top”). It was held in the gorgeous French Parlour at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Recently I received the official photographs from the event. (Pictures below are by KV Photography, with editing by Nicole Keane).

I wore a silk dress inspired by both 18th century gowns and Japanese lolita fashion. The dress is one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, and I’ve worn it to Costume College, Gaskells and PEERS balls, each time with a little change in the trimming or accessories.


I am wearing a pearl necklace and earrings, and a straw bergere I trimmed. My shoes are by American Duchess (the very first run of Georgianas!)23748249499_6142597493_o

I wish my hair had behaved a little better that day, but I had a wonderful time, and ate lots of delightful sandwiches and desserts.24089779936_50bef4e720_o

Here is the whole group together. There were so many amazing outfits and I hope the tea becomes an annual tradition!23488213444_df2dc8fd16_o


Robe a la Francaise (18th Century Lolita) Dress Project

My silk robe a la francaise dress is finished! I don’t have any in progress pictures because I originally made the dress before I had this blog, but recently revamped it for a fashion show. (I added an invisible zipper, Watteau back, ribbon flowers and front bows).


This dress is a combination of 2 inspirations: 18th century French fashion, and Japanese lolita fashion. The dress is too short for the former and a little long for the latter, but my intention was to marry the two into something decadent but wearable.


A side view:


The bodice panel is salvaged from a vintage wedding dress. I love the beading! I added the venise lace, pleated neckline, ribbon roses and bows.


More close-ups:



The back of the dress features Watteau pleats in the robe a la francaise style. Historically, these would be sewn into the back of the dress but I made mine detachable so I could iron it. It reminds me of a super-hero cape!


Here’s the back of the neck:


The dress is two parts (an underskirt and an overdress). The underskirt’s hem has wide venise lace, which is also used for the sleeve cuffs on the overdress.



The overskirt is edged with floral venise lace and little ribbon flowers. (It took a very long time to sew everything on by hand). The big silk flowers were salvaged from the vintage wedding dress.


I wore the ensemble at a GBACG fashion show, along with vintage leather gloves with cutouts, and a sculpted clay tiara (that I had worn for my wedding).


All the fabric for this dress was taken from a vintage silk wedding dress I found in a thrift shop. The middle panel with the beading was taken intact but all pieces of fabric in my dress were recut by me. Here’s a picture of it before I took it apart.


It was an early 90s dress with a V back, puffed sleeves and a long waist.Image

Look at all that fabric in the train!


I also used the lining from the dress to line my dress. I already had the venise lace and roses, so this project was very economical compared to buying many yards of new silk. This fabric was also very nice to work with. It is very crisp, ironed well and holds its shape. I would like to work with more silk taffeta in the future if I can find another cheap source of it!