Sewing the Sink the Pink Summer Ball 2016 Part 3. Freakshow, red paint and circle skirts.

It seems contradictory given how messy some stages were but this is one of the cleanest costumes I’ve ever made (in terms of design and construction).


This is a custom-made two-piece costume for Glyn to wear whilst hosting the Sink the Pink Summer Ball, Freakshow and again at Halloween. There was practically zero waste too! It’s a full circle skirt and fitted bodice with high neck (zip at back)…gloves too but that’s mostly paint. There were a couple of scraps left after I’d cut the circle out so I took a bit of artistic licence and added hip pieces to the bodice to give it a bit of interest and balance the point at the front. I worked some boning into those hip pieces for shaping. 181

It’s a lot of skirt. I developed a new found love for circle skirts, especially full length circle skirts. They’re impractical in a city like London. It’s a lot of fabric, a lot of possible hems dragging on the floor or being stood by the person behind you as you descend into the Underground. But SO DRAMATIC. I remember finding a electric blue velvet one in a charity shop in the 90s. I loved it so so much, I think I wore it even on summer evenings in Perth. Circle skirts, eh? This one I made a while back for ShayShay might have been the skirt that re-ignited my interest in them. They’re the quickest way to drama that I know and I predict more of them in my future.

Painting it was a lot of fun, the couple who live next door are now pretty familiar with what I do but the newish ones upstairs were a bit confused as to why I was throwing paint at a “wedding dress”.


Given the early part of 2016 was so incredibly fraught for me for so many reasons, this was very, very therapeutic. But not as easy as it looks. At the risk of TMI, you need to be very careful not to make this a “oops my period came early, better tie a jumper round my waist” reference (which would be a perfectly valid aesthetic but not the one I wanted). You also don’t want to have small stains that won’t read – or be able to be hidden by that jumper round your waist.


The paint took a bit longer to dry than I thought so I had to bring her into the kitchen. Happily, she pretty much embodies how I feel about housework. Plus, I got to scare the crap out of myself when I got up in the middle of the night for water and had forgotten she was there. My own private horror film – and I’m not just talking about those piled up dishes.


I may have appropriated that bobbed wig and it might still be sitting on the dress form across from me now.

Most of my posts lately have been all Sink the Pink costumes. I’ve made regular clothes too, sometimes even for myself! I really don’t know what I would have done without the STP family, especially this last year. I’m lucky, so lucky to have this outlet and this love from and for my friends. Especially this ratbag (pictured. Also pictured, yet another hand-me-down wig)


Summer Ball part two

Summer Ball part one (CLOWN WARNING)


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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2 Responses to Sewing the Sink the Pink Summer Ball 2016 Part 3. Freakshow, red paint and circle skirts.

  1. I absolutely love this dress and would wear it in a heartbeat. I made a corset a bit like this for an art show a few years back and had lots of fun splashing silk paint everywhere. I would have sh*t a brick seeing this in the dark. Love the garden and life is too bloody short to be doing dishes. Xx

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