Pretty much all I have on my mind at the moment is this formal dress I'm planning to make insha allah. And since I'm just waiting for the results from the votes to come in, I decided to go raid etsy and find some cool prom/formal dresses that may serve as inspirational at a later date.

Here is what I found...

Black and purple rocks! Possibly the only 80's dress I found worth mentioning, I love the back. Not so sure about the big glasses and lace-ups. Didn't Bella wear shoes like that to her prom in the Twilight movie? I don't know if I could destroy a prom dress like that - only if it were my style, I suppose...

Love the red. Love the frills. Love it full-stop.

Again another poofy one from the 50's, but I just had to put it up. The lace is just too cute.

I knew a girl who wore something very similar to this for her wedding. All the ruffled satin and lace just screams gorgeous.

I love the formal/prom dresses. Even though they take so much longer to make than normal everyday clothes because of all the lining etc, I just love creating something gorgeous.

So now I'm back to waiting. Sakeenah? What am I making?

I had a similar thought I little while ago, except it was to use clothes from Vinnies and turn them into reworked pieces. I found this little article online from The Courier Mail, a Queensland newspaper.

Retro frocks help to save planet

Carly Hennessy
June 28, 2009 12:00am

SAVING the planet never looked so stylish. New figures show that dusting off the old polyester, taffeta and crinoline frocks can save almost 10 per cent on your carbon and water footprint.

Paddington's Retro Metro co-owner Erin Milburn said buying second-hand or vintage cut a stylish figure, too. (read on)

So what are you waiting for?? Save the planet - wear vintage!!
Decided to have a little look around on the net for other vintage sellers other than I came across this awesome one called I've pictured here some of my favourites (so far) from the designer pages.

I love this one for it's gorgeous embroidered top and flowing tulle skirt. Also the love the bow.

From Gand Pierre Balmain for $5200

I simply adore the long sleeves on this one. Accordian pleated split angel-wing sleeves with full with crystal beads. I've always had a penchant for long flowy sleeves. Sort of reminds me of Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings. This is a beautiful colour as well - lovely pastel orange, not too bright.

From Ian Thomas for $7500
This is almost abaya-like in it's design. Gorgeous and flowing, beautiful sillouette and embroided with an awesome amount of glittering beads.

From Chic Hanae Mori for $3500.
I just loved this one for it's colours. It's almost sweet in it's combination of pastel blue and yellow. I simply love the draped silk chiffon and it's inspiring some future projects as I write this.

From Jean Desses for $7700.

I'm really beginning to like this website. Expect some more Featured Vintage posts from this site in the future insha allah.

Alysha x
Alright, I'll admit, these aren't the best pics but if I put the flash on I lost the white and ivory example.

I made a little trip to the Spotlight store in Queanbeyan today and grabbed an armful (my hubby's armful) of material rolls and got some sample cards made up. On the suggestion of a reader, mz, I'm thinking black and white with a little bit of red or purple. I grabbed a few other colours incase I decide to make 2 dresses.

A black silk, red icon satin and plain satin delux teal

A polyester shantung purple, satin delux ivory, fantasy charneuse brown and a dancetime satin white

I'll be waiting to see what the vote is on the dress designs is. If you haven't voted yet, please do! Just click here to go to Abaya Chic - the poll is on the left hand side of the blog.
Taking a detour from my regular posts I had to say something. Today the world lost a man who has possibly impacted on more people than almost any other in recent history. As with Elvis and The Beatles, he was a revolutionary in music and through this he sent some awesome messages. I remember it like it was yesterday, singing "Heal the World" at our school assembly in primary school and memorising every word of the Thriller album my dad has in his collection. Despite the controversy and accusations that dogged him, he still managed to hold onto his avid fans and create new generations of admirers. He will be missed. Insha allah may Allah have mercy on him and grant him Jannah.

For those who need a reminder, here is an encore...
Ok, I'm mixing colours at the moment, trying to figure out what combination I should use for my formal dress. I want something standout-ish but not gag-worthy. Here's what I've come up with so far...

I'm thinking brown and pink at the moment, the brown being a little more chocolate and the pink a pastel. Any opinions? What do you think I should use??

My lovely sister Sakeenah of Abaya Chic has gone and made a poll to help everyone help me choose the dress I should make for the Spotlight Formal Wear fashion competition. You rock, Sakeenah!

If you would like to take a look at my designs and lay down a vote, click here!

Yay! I have finally finished Z's dress - all stitched, all fixed, all done! Alhumdulillah!! Complete with a V.I. Couture tag, I'll be sending this puppy ASAP. Then I'll be starting all over again, this time with my entry for the Spotlight competition insha allah. Can't wait! That one will be up for sale once finished so it'll be fair game.

Here are a few pics of the finished product.

By the way, I was trying out the black and white function on my DigitalSLR. Good times! A little bit of amature photography...

So, next one!
Whilst standing in an extraordinarily slow moving line at Spotlight the other day, I found myself drawn to a great big poster by the counter.


All I can say is that I got way too excited. I instantly whipped out my notebook that I just happened to stick in my handbag that morning and started scribbling down ideas. I was thoroughly annoyed that hubby was next door in Supercheap Auto as I wanted to start browsing possible materials straightaway but was stuck in the horrendously painful queue. I wanted to pile the material in a cart and start cutting and pinning that very instant. Needless to say, I was just a little impatient.

So now this is my goal. It says I can enter as many times as I like so I may do two pieces insha allah. Let's see how we go with one first.

The pieces I have designed are meant for formal wear and are hijaab-tastic so that anyone can wear them, especially the sisters who can't find a non-sleeveless formal gown to save their lives.

I've posted three designs here because I WANT OPINIONS. Let me know which one you think I should make. The two big princess-y ones are going to have tulle bottoms. Once these are made and I've done all the pics for the comp, I will be putting them up for sale insha allah, most probably through I will, of course, be keeping a picture diary of my progress on this blog so once I've got a chosen design, I'll be starting ASAP.

Here is what I've got.

Now, as anyone who's read any of my other posts would know, I don't do boring and normal-looking. I spent a year in Japan. Anyone who's been would know what I'm talking about. I don't do safe with my designs - it's all about going just a little mad.
This one has layered tulle underneath an overlay for the bottom.

Again, this one has a tulle bottom. I'm loving tulle at the moment obviously.

So there it is. If you like any of them let me know 'cos I want opinions!! Which one should I make???
I seriously need to get myself a proper table. Sewing on the floor of my lounge room and the breakfast bar of my teeny tiny kitchen is proving ridiculous.

Anyways, after going at it for about half the day yesterday, I managed to *finish* Z's dress. Holy snap. Talk about a slog. Below is the (almost) end product.

The sleeves are extra long so I might shorten them just a tiny bit. Also, I was thinking about not lining the arms but they are a bit more see-through than I first expected. Instead of linging them with the same material as the body, which is really quite heavy, I'll line it with the same material as the dress. Don't want it too heavy.

So there we are. Almost done. Insha allah I can probably do the arms tonight. Too easy. Next project...

Almost done!! Just had to go to Spotlight, pick up a little more material and crochet stuff for the last of the sleeves. All that's left now is to finish off the sleeves, neaten up the lining and hem it up. Voila!

Z's dress so far...

Should have it done by tonight insha allah. Am excited!!

Ok, so I didn't get to the sleeves of Z's dress last night. That's cos I got home at 8:30, cooked, twittered, watched some CSI, then wrote some more of my book. By the time I was finished that, Heroes was over and it was 11:30pm. Probably not the best time to start sewing.

I do, however, promise to get it done over the weekend, insha allah. I have forgotten my sketch book today so I'm not going to be posting any designs, although I have a few swimming around in my head that need extraction soon or I'll lose them.

Instead, I've gone fishing on to find some inspiration (or rather, just pieces I like). I recently bought this awesome purple dress, full length, with this cool rouched kind of frill at the bottom. Rockin' 60's piece, I lurve it.

Actually, I have tons (and I mean tons) of friends getting married all around me so I am in a particularly romantic mood. Once I get my hands on my sketch book I will in fact jot down some ideas for weddings insha allah. Seriously, all wedding dresses (well, most, actually) are sleeveless, strapless things nowadays. What happened to sleeves? It's like wedding dress designers have forgotten what sleeves are.
So here are a few examples of full-length wedding dresses (plus they are cheap, like, super uber cheap).

This one's from the 60s. Lace and love-child.

This one is definitely 70s. Got a little Boho going.

Not exactly sure when this one was made but it is victorian all the way. It drapes so nicely.

And, of course, a dress is never complete without the shoes. I like these ones. I think they're 80s, and despite my anti-80s stance, I really like these.

Alright, I'll get back to Z's dress now...
I have rounded the half-way bend and I am on the home straight. Minus the fact that it has no sleeves and the zip is still missing, insha allah I'll be having this puppy done by the end of the weekend. I need to do a little fixer-upper on the skirt part though - cheesecloth is a little more difficult to work with than I first thought and it's gone a little puffy at the hips. Nothing like puffy hips.

Sleeveless and hemless but with full inner lining so to avoid the downfall of transperancy.

And the back (Don't mind the massive pile of folding in the background. That's what happens when you get engrossed in a project. I did get around to doing it finally. At 11:30pm...)

Everything (besides the hips) is sitting well so far. Insha allah I won't totally bugger up the sleeves and the zip will be invisible, as advertised on it's wrapper. Here we go...

(I'm kind of annoyed I don't have photoshop. Could have photoshopped those clothes out in the background. Still can't get over that, obviously. I promise I'll have cleaner shots next time... )

Continuing on with my photo diary of Z's summer dress, here are the latest installments.

When I realised I had to sew the crochet bit into the join on the shoulder I almost cried - unpicking that thing was a nightmare and it was only 2 inches long.

Will not be lining the top of the collar at the back with the crocheted stuff as it's too wide and makes it look like a dress a granny might have worn in the 1800's.

Finally the dress starts to take shape. I'll sew up the sides altogether once I'm happy with length, etc.

Next thing to complete - sleeves. Shouldn't be too difficult, right?? (insha allah, insha allah...)

Alysha x

So I started on Z's dress on the weekend and actually managed to remember my camera today despite me being absolutely buggered and unable to concentrate on much. And it's only Tuesday...

I'll be drawing this out because a blog post full of just pictures tends to take up a lot of space. So we'll be starting from the beginning, as is customary. (Wow, I'm being sarcastic today).

Here is what we're aiming for:

A nice, relatively simple sundress made from cheescloth with crochet inserts (by the way, why didn't anyone tell me how much that crochet stuff costs?? Holy expensive Batman!)

Here we have the top part. Always a good place to start...

I'm trying to keep it relatively loose but not so loose that it will look like a great white cheesecloth sack. Not unlike what it would have originally been used for.

This is one heck of a project. Not only do I have to use white cotton, but if I bugger it up, I cannot unpick it. At least, not without making little holes in the material and destroying my eyesight. Yikes.

Tomorrow - heading downwards. The bottom part starts to materialise. Stay tuned - it's exciting stuff! ;o)

Alysha x
Hi hi. Sorry I went missing on the weekend - I was so highly engrossed in making Z's dress that I didn't get time to sit down and blog about it. Ironically, I forgot my camera today so I can't even put up the pics of my progress. I guess that'll have to wait for tomorrow insha allah, if I don't manage to forget it again...

Anyways, she's about half way done, I just have to sew up the sides, add some sleeves and finish the lining and she'll be ready to go. I never knew working with cheescloth and crochet inserts would be so fidgety!

Keep tuned for more updates (hopefully this time with pictures).


So if I ever made a dress from ostrich feathers, it definitely wouldn't look like this thing I found on Etsy. I just call it ugly (and not too far from fugly)...

The idea of a skirt made of ostrich feathers though reminded me of the Ginger Roger's era of Hollywood and got me thinking. The thing above is just not elegant enough to warrant feathers. Seriously, when I think feathers I think elegance. Or Robin Hood. But this time elegance.

So once I'd gotten Robin Hood out of my head and stopped humming "Men in Tights", this is what I came up with. A little unusual but then again, if you're wearing a dress with a skirt of ostrich feathers there is a good chance you're not going for the normal look.

The skirt would be flowing and not foofy like the "before" image.

Thus ends my hijaabification of It was interesting. May have to do it again. Have a fantastic weekend insha allah!

Alysha x

NB: If you've never seen Men in Tights it is possibly the most hilarious Robin Hood Parody I've ever seen. Then again, it is a Mel Brooks production...

Continuing with my quest to hijaabify Etsy, I found this particularly cute 50's prom dress. I could see myself buying this and doing it up just because it's so darn cute!!

Just add a little bolero type jacket, make the top part a little higher to cover the cleavage and voila! A seriously cute prom/formal dress!

Note: By the way, if you like it, I've chucked this one in my favourites (on the right side of this page).

Ok. Aim of this week - to hijaabify some cool (or random) pieces from I love that site but there are just some pieces that I can't wear and would love to give a makeover to. So here's what I have for today...

I've gone for another military-inspired piece (I don't know what the appeal is - I think it may be the big buttons). Here's what transpired -

The skirt would be a little less than an A-line but not a pencil skirt. Give it a bit more of a straight line.

You never know - I might actually make this one day. I like the buttons.