Saturday, June 13, 2015

Nightmare before Christmas Tea

A new tearoom has opened up in Albuquerque, the Ivy Tea room.  The Ivy Tea room has themed seating areas inspired by childhood favorite movies such as Alice in Wonderland, Clueless, Hocus Pocus, The Great Gatsby, The Secret Garden and my personal favorite The Nightmare Before Christmas!  The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies ever so I made a reservation for a visit with a friend.  Of course now I really wanted a new outfit to wear. 

The night before the tea reservation, I searched through my UFO pile and found an almost finished Chemise dress made of shear material detailed with copper skulls.  I thought this would be perfect for the theme, so I sewed the remaining channels for elastic and ran some elastic.  The whole process took about 2 hours to finish up the bits on the dress.  The dress fits very comfortably and I am pretty happy with the fit, but the first thing I noticed is that I was very hot in this dress after less than 20 minutes! Given that it is summer here, about 95 degrees, and the tea room is in an old converted house with potentially limited cooling, I decided I need to scrap the idea of wearing this dress to tea. 

So on to plan 2 the morning of the tea reservation!  I found some black cotton gauze (much cooler than the synthetic from the chemise dress) in my stash and whipped up a quick sheath dress.  The gauze wanted to stretch a bit when I sewed the neckline, so I added a couple of quick pleats to the finished neckline by hand. 

I still really wanted something that fit the Nightmare Before Christmas theme, so made a quick caplet out of some skull lace, bias tape, ribbon and lace trim from my stash. The caplet is basically a square with a hole cut in the center for  the head.  I bound the edges of the neck hole with bias tape and then edged the square with the lace trim.  I had some stashed ribbon with a graveyard scene left over from a previous project that I also wanted to use.  Originally, I wanted to lay the graveyard ribbon right along the lace trim edging, but I did not have enough ribbon.  So I improvised and laid the ribbon is a square between the edge and the neck hole.  The size of the square was entirely dictated by the amount of ribbon!.

I also found a black widow button in my stash as an accent.  The black widow reminded me of the mayor from the Nightmare town.

To finish off the outfit, I pulled out the choker and feather fascinator I made with the ribbon the year before. With all these pieces I was ready for tea in the Nightmare Before Christmas area!

The tea room was really lovely and the food was amazing.  The themed areas are more inspired by than based on a particular movie, but I really loved the whole experience. My friend and I had a great time and the staff was very friendly and helpful.  The staff is happy to rearrange things as well if a larger party space is needed.  I am so happy to have a new place to go for tea!  Here is a picture of us in the Nightmare Before Christmas area.