Costuming Cake Daddy

Incredible how time flies.

So much has changed since my last post 2 years go. Too much to write here, but enough material for a book perhaps in the future.

I changed a few words to describe my ‘blog’ as I am interested in so many things. So expect more than just sewing.

But lets start with sewing. This time its costume. Cake Daddy Costume.

October 2018. I get a call asking to create 3 costumes for a show. Meetings commence, monies discussed, and measurements taken.

I meet Ross Anderson-Doherty, the star of the show. He happens to live just around the corner from me, and I like him instantly.

I have to be honest, if I get a good vibe from someone, and a mutual respect of each other, then I will add extra costume magic when creating their costumes. This is how I felt about creating Ross’s costumes.

The costume design was by Leho De Sosa, a visual artist and activist from Uruguay. I loved his sketches. We communicated by mail and I was delighted to make his sketches a reality.

Here are Leho’s designs, flamboyant, fun and bursting with colour!

The costume sketches are all created by Leho De Sosa. All photographic images above are taken by Bernie McAllister / Argyll Images, and are used with her kind permission.

Cake Daddy was the opening show for the 2018 Outburst Queer Arts Festival. The venue was the Black Box, Hill Street, Belfast. The photographs are from the Opening Show night.

Below are the costumes in more detail. From starting life in my studio in Belfast, the process of hand making, dyeing, spraying, fitting. Each costume element was made from scratch. I created custom made patterns for all these designs. The only costume elements that were bought in were the 2 pairs of boots and the visor.

The fabric and materials were sourced locally for all designs.

CUCUMBER SHIRT : Main fabric 100% cotton from Mad about Fabrics. It was then dyed, bleached, sprayed to get the desired effect.

CUCUMBER LEISURE SUIT: Green stretch fabric from Paragon Fabrics. Cucumber fabrics all from Paragon Fabrics.

CAKE DADDY TANK : Pink fabric from The Spinning Wheel. Gold lame from Paragon Fabrics

On with the show!

The second half, when Cake Watchers becomes Cake Daddy!

Below are the costumes in more detail.

The fabric and materials were sourced locally for all designs. Each element for the C.D design was machine stitched.

PINK APRON : Main fabric from The Spinning Wheel. C.D. design fabrics from Paragon Fabrics.

PINK SHOWPIECE BLOUSE: Fabric from Craftswoman Fabrics.


This is where the magic happens! My studio in my 3 up / 3 down terrace in South East Belfast. I love the freedom to spread out and just CREATE!


After 2 sell out shows in the Black Box in Belfast, The Cake Daddy Show went on tour to Melbourne. Playing at the Theatre Works, Melbourne, The Seymour Centre, Sydney and on stage at the Sydney Mardi Gras. I am very proud to see my costume creations travel the world.


Cake Daddy

On stage in Victoria Park as part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival 2019

This post is costume specific. Credits and Thanks are in the image below. All creative team have been linked throughout the post.

My thank you’s go to Alyson Campbell for appreciating all the hard work that goes in to creating costume and approving my makes. Ross Anderson-Doherty for being such a fabulous gem to costume. Your show stirred me, enlightened me and your performance and singing blew my mind. Your message through CAKE DADDY was unforgettable.

Big thanks also to Rachel Moore, University of Ulster, who was my placement student for 6 days. 2 of which she was able to come to fittings, create costume elements and see first hand the crazy, colourful world of costume.


Thank you for reading. Share the love, post a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Till next time,


Real Men Sew : Jono's Journey

Out of all my 100+ sewing students in 2016, only 2 were men.  And yet I see so many guys sewing, making, crafting and creating on instagram. The tailoring industry is mainly men so where are they learning to sew? 

When I go to Sydney and visit my boyfriend, I am often greeted with a pile of trousers that need taken up, and trousers that need to be patched. (This often happens when I visit my sister in England).  This time was different.  It was the Christmas holidays so I said:

 'Why don't I teach you to sew and then you can do all these things by yourself?'

And so 'Jono's Journey' began.

We borrowed a sewing machine from a friend (thank you Kristal) and sat down together learning how to thread first the bobbin and then the main thread. As we didn't have access to an overlocker, I went through all the other seam finishes that could be used.  

Getting the seams straight

Next it was buttonholes and sewing on a button.

After a quick demo on how to patch and mend, Jono D.I.Yed his own denim jeans.  

Pinning, patching and zig zagging.  We were limited in thread colours but make doing and mending with what was available.

Pinning, patching and zig zagging.  We were limited in thread colours but make doing and mending with what was available.


How to measure and take up tailored office trousers, saving on the alterations bill.  

He then decided to make his own shorts for around the house.  A little ambitious, he wanted to tackle a pair of tailored shorts with a waistband, belt loops, pockets and a fly front zip.  I suggested that a pair of drawstring pyjama style shorts would be best.

To get a good understanding of how clothes are made, I suggest to all my Beginner students: Keep the style simple, and make it well.  

And so we went to Lincraft, the Sydney version of The Spinning Wheel and Craftworld in Belfast combined into 1 handy location.

Choosing the pattern, thread, button and fabric.

Choosing the pattern, thread, button and fabric.

Jono chose the colour (green of course for the Emerald Isle), matched up his buttons and selected his pattern.  The cost in money of making your own clothes is more expensive than buying, but the feeling of achievement is much greater.

The he washed and ironed the cloth, marked and cut the fabric and got stuck into sewing.  As there was no overlocker, he made french seams. 

The shorts have withstood several wears and washes. 

Jonathan says he now has a much deeper appreciation for anyone who sews and makes their own clothes.  He remembered fondly his mum sewing at her machine and the sound it made.  It was a great shared experience and no arguments at all.

 He was a very meticulous student, I give him an 'A' star!


Thanks for reading!

See you all again soon, Christine x


Dress Transformation: From a Wedding to a Christening

Dress Transformation: From a Wedding to a Christening

The best thing about self-employment is that no day or week is the same.  In the same week I could go from making the wings for the Harp advertisement, to waving a magic wand and transforming a wedding gown into a Christening gown. 

The dress was Victoria's wedding dress, and the Christening gown was for her daughter.  A beautiful sentiment.

Damian's Dress Design

Damian's Dress Design

Making dreams come true

This year I had the pleasure of working with an A-Level student and helping him realise his dream of creating a 1930's bias cut silk dress.  The result of which earned him full marks for his dress, and for it to be exhibited in the Ulster Museum as part of the 'True Colours' exhibition.  The dress will also be used as an exemplar piece of work by the CCEA exam board.

Christine's designs modeled on China's biggest reality TV show 'I, Supermodel'

Christine's designs modeled on China's biggest reality TV show 'I, Supermodel'

I, Supermodel comes to Northern Ireland and showcases the best of our creative talent.

In September 2015 I was approached by The Iconic Golf Group who had won the bid to host and film the 2 finalist episodes of China's most watched reality TV show, I,Supermodel.  Filmed in Melbourne and Sydney in 2014, this year the Lighthouse Nation group who make the show brought it to the U.K.  In London the models wore the designs of Vivienne Westwood.  In Belfast, they wore the designs of Christine Boyle.