An Evening of Burlesque Review

posted in: Burlesque and Cabaret, Events | 0

An Evening of Burlesque… and other antics

evening of burlesque, burlesque show, folly mixtures

Burlesque, shadow puppets, dangerous juggling and most notably a Cabaret host who goes by the name Reuben Kaye! An Evening of Burlesque in Basingstoke, definitely goes beyond your usual Burlesque event; with a variety of performances and hilarious routines.

Reuben Kaye was unleashed in the Anvil last week and truly made my experience of An Evening of Burlesque. It was at this same event, with the same venue, a couple of years ago that I experienced my first Burlesque show and have been in awe of the beautiful Folly Mixtures. I was determined to become one and too excited not to leap up from my seat for the glittering Champagne finale.

It was a great event, with professionals who were not only comfortable in their act but with the crowd, something that always brings a performance to life. But for me personally, the act I had been looking forward to most lacked the stage personas I have come to expect from them.

The line-up for the Folly Mixtures has changed, which I will assume is due to their popularity (and wow do they look to be in demand via their Twitter). Bettsie Bon Bon, Flexity Spilts and Ooh La Lou are still strutting onto stages up and down the country; however they have recruited other Burlesque Stars to join their Troupe. Individually the new recruits that I saw were flawless. I truly loved the Slinky act by Storm Hooper and Peggy DeLune’s strip tease which was light hearted and really quite hilarious. Who knew tassels could be shaken from multiple curvaceous body parts? I honestly thought that was a really cool surprise, and from the whoops and cheers the audience were unsurprisingly as impressed as I was!

But whilst performing together it highlighted that they weren’t the original Troupe. I noticed one of the performers miss a step and I do not say this to poke fun, as it actually made them more endearing to me, as it showed the stars personality. She dealt with it very professionally, but I enjoyed that she showed her character as she laughed and shimmied back into position. New recruits you are different from the originals and that is great! Embrace it because you are talented and we want to see you too. Sure learn the Folly Mixture routines but don’t sacrifice your own personality for that because you look better doing your own thing! ‘Be yourself’ speech over I promise.

I still love the Folly Mixtures, and fingers crossed I haven’t offended them, because in all honesty I had a lovely evening and enjoyed seeing the new performers who also included Kitty Devine and Lola LaBelle. Perhaps it is the difference between those who have performed together for a long time and those still cutting the rug? I will also say that Eve having never seen The Folly Mixtures before, but familiar with Burlesque, enjoyed the performance greatly.

Moving on from The Folly Mixtures, as this wasn’t their show… IT WAS REUBEN KAYE’s. As the Host he was obviously going to own the stage and make a fuss of the Audience a lot, but his flamboyant and light-hearted approach made his performance truly shine.

Team his wicked humor, enough wardrobe changes to rival Katy Perry at the MTV Awards, with his flamboyant and fun approach to hosting. He is a hilarious, inclusive Host, more than ready to take the mickey out of himself which is always accompanied with a devilish grin.

An Evening of Burlesque returns next year and I would recommend it to all, especially to those who haven’t seen burlesque before and might be nervous. The anonymity of such large venues means you can feel at home instantly.

Well until your Host straddles your boyfriend that is 😉

#aneveningofburlesque

Want to know more about The Folly Mixtures? Why not read our Interview with them here

Sewing & dressmaking glossary

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

Following dressmaking patterns is a lot easier if you understand the terms used so here is a simple glossary of commonly used terms.

Applique- This is the term to describe sewing one piece of fabric over another to create pictures.

Bias – This is relates to the direction of the fabric. If you cut on the bias of the fabric you are cutting diagonally across. This is usually to make binding for edges and seams as they will go around curves if cut this way. 20141119_122203

Bobbin – The bobbin is what holds the bottom thread in your sewing machine. Older ones are usually metal whereas the newer ones tend to be plastic.

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Dart – Darts are used in shirts and dresses to give shape. Darts are added by sewing triangular shapes into fabric.

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Directional pattern – This can be quite important when you are making things because it refers to the direction of the print, therefore you need to make sure all the pieces are facing the same way. Not all fabrics will have a directional print.

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This is a directional print as it matters which way up the cats are facing.

Grain – Again this is relevant to the direction of fabric. Dressmaking patterns have a grain line marked on them this is lined up with the Selvage (explained below) to help make sure all the pieces are facing the correct way.

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Hem- The hem line is simply the bottom edge of where you have sewn.

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Interfacing- Interfacing is an iron on fabric which can be used to stiffen fabrics. it comes in different weights depending on how heavy you want the fabric. A lightweight interfacing is usually used for collars and a heavyweight can be used for bags.

Notch – A notch is a mark on dressmaking patterns which indicates where two pieces should line up. for example on an arm hole and a sleeve.

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Seam allowance – This term relates to where you sew your line. most dressmaking patterns work with a 1.5 cm seem allowance.

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Selvage – The selvage is the raw edge of the fabric

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Hope you find this helpful!

Sunny Afternoon Review

posted in: Events | 0

All day and all of the night

sunny afternoon. musical, sunny afternoon musical, the kinks, London theatre

Sunny Afternoon is an explosive, yet surprisingly touching dash into the world of Rock n Roll. Currently on its second run, this time taking place at the Harold Pinter Theatre, I can only assume it is as jet propelled as previously described as it did not disappoint.

sunny afternoon, musical, the kinks, sunny afternoon musical logo

What I loved the most about this musical was the talent! I haven’t witnessed a cast of actors/musicians singing and picking up instruments so freely other than Stomp. (Another fantastically loud production.) The character Raza played by Lillie Flynn who’s exceptional voice was a true highlight in the musical, also played the Guitar while a couple of the ‘Tory Mangers’ gladly picked up the Trombone.

I wouldn’t be able to, nor would I want to, confirm the legitimacy of the Sunny Afternoon story. Although it is great that Ray Davies did in fact write the original story… Long live rock n roll 😉

I was watching the performance as someone who has heard of The Kinks and enjoyed their music but never been an avid fan, something that didn’t impact on my viewing. Any concerns I had previously about not knowing the ins and outs of the band were disbanded instantly, as the characters were quickly identifiable even to me. However it was the jokes at the expense of other bands from The Kinks era, ahem The Who and The Beatles, who helped make me feel included straight away.

I must admit that I haven’t seen many productions that I wasn’t already familiar with either through Film or Book adaptations. This one took me by surprise in that, at times, the story felt a little squeezed in to incorporate such a great range of hits. However this didn’t compromise the performance, which had a hugely celebratory feel of The Kinks’ music.

I am writing this a couple of days after having experienced Sunny Afternoon, and it is safe to say I still have the iconic ‘Dun Dun Dun, Dun Dun’ from You Really Got Me, still randomly sounding in my head. Fortunately for me, my friends and family are enjoying my bursts of song which can literally strike at any time of the day. I also think this acceptance proves testament to The Kinks music and what a great evening you will experience in going to see this musical.

Thanks to the Cast for such a great evening. I recommend Sunny Afternoon not only for The Kinks Fans, but musical lovers at large. I can guarantee that you will be out of your seat for the encore or even up on the stage!

Great atmosphere and well performed.

 

Sunny Afternoon will be playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre until the 31st of January 2015. Click here to book your tickets

the kinks, sunny afternoon musical, london musical, theatre, sunny afternoon

An Interview with The Folly Mixtures: Ella Boo, Ooh La Lou and Felixy Splits.

The Folly Mixtures are the Burlesque Troupe powerhouse from London who are a mix of cheeky, fun and sultry striptease. Oh and did I forget to mention they are sexy? Well imagine my excitement at getting to interview three of the lovely ladies from the Troupe, Ella Boo, Ooh La Lou and Felixy Splits. They have been spreading glitter and excitement all over the UK, however there are still some tickets left at The Anvil, their Basingstoke venue of choice.

 

Folly Mixtures, burlesque, troupe, Ella Boo,  Ooh La Lou, Felixy Splits
Ella Boo, Felixy Splits and Ooh La Lou

But without further ado… here is an Interview with the beautiful

Ella Boo, Ooh La Lou and Felixy Splits

 

What is your favourite part of being involved in the Burlesque scene?

Ella Boo – I get to do my dream job! That has to be the best part of it all! I tour with my best mates, perform regularly and my life is full of glitter and giggles! What’s not to like?

Ooh La Lou – I feel so grateful that I can pay my mortgage by dressing up in sparkly costumes and dancing on stage! Working with such fun people and getting to see so many different places.

Does touring with the same people make the experience more intense?

Felixy Splits – No it actually makes the tour easier. You spend a lot of time with people and get much closer as friends. We all joke around together but if something starts to panic you, you have a bunch of friends who have your back and will always help you if you need it.

What would be your most ridiculous moment on stage?

Ooh La Lou – There have been so many! You can’t escape the odd costume malfunction on stage in Burlesque – things either not coming off when you want them to or coming off too early! As long as you can see the funny side of it, the audience usually do too!

What would you like to do on stage that you haven’t yet done?

Ooh La Lou – I would love to see The Folly Mixtures with some fabulous giant props! Maybe a giant sweet shop on stage we could jump out of!

Felixy Splits – I’d like to come out from the floor on the stage on a platform and also “fly” over the audience. I think that would have to be on a massive arena tour as they’re quite technical things to do. We’ll see! 😉

Will you be performing with this tour in any of your home locations?

Ella Boo – We played at Milton Keynes, which isn’t too far from home for me and it was lovely. My whole family came along – Grandparents, Mum & Dad! It’s great having people you know in the audience, you just know they’re rooting you on & you can always hear them over everyone else whooping and cheering! They loved the show!

And finally… but most importantly… how long does it take to do your face?

Ella Boo – I’ve got this down to a fine art now – I can do full show makeup in 15 minutes! The more you do it – the quicker you get.

Felixy Splits – Sometimes I can do my face and hair in about 20mins. But if we arrive to a venue early and I have 3 hours to get ready, I could bet money I’ll still be rushing at the end as I’ve taken such a leisurely pace!

 

Thanks to the Folly Mixtures for the interview. I look forward to seeing you all at The Anvil in Basingstoke on the 15th of November 2014. Get your tickets here.

evening of burlesque, burlesque show, folly mixtures

Vintage inspired dressmaking patterns – Autumn/Winter

posted in: Fashion and Beauty | 0

Working with original vintage dressmaking patterns, can be great because they are authentic. However they can come with their own problems such as sometimes being the wrong size, so you have to alter them, or quite often if they have been used it’s uncertain as to whether they will have all the pieces. A simple alternative is to use modern patterns that have been influenced by vintage styles. My top three favourites to use are

1. Bluegingerdoll who are an Australian based company. Their patterns are printed on thicker paper than your regular dressmaking patterns, which means they are less likely to rip.

 

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The Winifred dress can be made with or without sleeves, £13. It would look great made from this lightweight burgundy denim £15 per metre.

2.Eliza M is a British based independent designer. Their designs are strongly influenced by the fifties.

The Eliza dress pattern is also £13. & would suit a retro print such as this cow boy fabric £14 per metre
The Eliza dress pattern is also £13. & would suit a retro print such as this cow boy fabric £14 per metre

3.Simple sew is another British based designer. They specialise in simple patterns that come alive with quirky fabric choices.

This simple sew pattern is a seal at £7.50. It would be ideal to be made up in this cotton flannel. Which has the appearance of tweed however is 100% cotton so feels super soft, £15 per metre
This simple sew pattern is a seal at £7.50. It would be ideal to be made up in this cotton flannel. Which has the appearance of tweed however is 100% cotton so feels super soft, £15 per metre

All Patterns and fabric featured are available from Purple Stitches fabric shop in Basingstoke.