Project Complete: Cotton Candy Fairy Kei Sweater

pastel top made from recycled sweaters and shorts from Japanese fabric

details of this fairy kei pastel cutsew and what to wear with it

pastel icing cookies and doughnut jewlery from Dolly House, Q-pot and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

It might seem a tad odd posting this sewing project just days before the Summer Solstice. A sweater, really? In the summer Sheri? But here we are. Technically this was completed while the days were still chilly however, I realize it might not get its debut out-and-about until the autumn. Another oddity of this project, can you believe it began almost 2 years ago?!?! Yep, back with this post here. Then we decided to move and into limbo it went, all the pieces cut out ready to be finished, tucked nicely into one-too-many boxes of fabric.

The joy of this DIY project is recycling so many different pieces. All in all it was 3 sweaters and 3 t-shirts, plus some extra jersey and then the lace and crochet trims. The lilac fabric at the bottom wasn’t a part of the original design. It was a Wonder Rocket sweater that just never fit right. When finally sewing all the pieces I quickly didn’t like the top of the piece being the sweater knit and the bottom plain t-shirt. It looked unfinished otherwise.

The sweater came together fast — zip zip zip on the serger. Hey I know, why not make bottoms to go with it! Not sure if I can label the shorts as neo lolita but all the buzz of that trend influenced me. The iced sugar cookie fabric was intended to be made into the typical lolita cupcake skirt one day. What swayed me from the traditional for this super sweet print? Lack of time to attend events basically. I need more doing your homework at Starbucks on Sunday coordinates. This style of short is great because it is full enough to sit cross legged on the bench at my local Sutāba and still be modest and cute. So lets write this one up as part fairy kei and part neo lolita. Now I just need to wait for the air to turn crisp and the leaves to be tempted from their branches telling me autumn has arrived. Until then my friends…

P.S. The pull quotes used in the Kera-inspired layout are from this poem.
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Project Complete: Summer ILD Sailor Cutsew

pastel lolita marine style sailor cutsew

The past weekend was International Lolita Day. I was very fortunate to attend a meet with some of the most badass Lolita’s of the East Coast. The theme for this year’s get together was “a day at the beach.” Well, you know me, theme-time!! Except I have nothing that wold pass for beach, mermaid or marine in my wardrobe. Was time to get cracking.

Work shipped me off to Singapore for meetings before the event, and how can you complain. Can you say S-i-n-g-a-p-o-r-e?!?! {It was amazing by the way.} That didn’t stop me. The minute I landed back home I was at my sewing machine. To hell with jetlag we need something, anything, that says beach.

coordinating hand made accessories with Sugar Baby Icing Cookie

The solution was to make a sailor cutsew blouse. It had to be something simple that could be knocked out in a day… because that was all I had. So I pulled out one of my previous patterns and a few of the Otome no Sew mooks to find a sailor collar. After franken-patterning them together we were on to something. There was just enough of this really nice sky blue jersey lurking in my fabric stash.

Originally I was going to trim it with white braid and lace making it more traditional sailor style. However when pulling out trims this pink braid landed on top of the fabric and it was love at first site. Pink trim is really hard to find in NY, really hard. When I do find some I save it as if it is treasure. If you sew, do you ever have that feeling, telling yourself to hold on to something for the just right project? That’s how I was but forced myself to say that perfect project is right now.

My last haul included Kumya chan’s Sugar Baby Icing Cookie in a sunny yellow. Sea and sun, check. For one extra pop of color and marine touch I converted a keychain into a necklace. During the Singapore trip I found this adorable charm featuring the Merlion. And the best part is that it glows in the dark!!

As for everyone’s coords… check out this awesome video that was on the New York Daily News!!

Hope you had a blast on ILD in your neck of the woods :3

P.S. When editing the photos for this project I was really inspired by a spread in the June edition of Kera. Was getting bored with doing basically the same layout for all my posts and thought playing around and trying something new would be fun.
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DIY Upcycle: Men’s Kawaii Shirt

super easy way to take a plain men's shirt and make it kawaii

When I saw big pink gingham in the men’s section of Target I didn’t have to think twice about buying it. Good bones for a DIY project and under $25 to boot. Its a Merona shirt and comes in green too if pink is, well, too feminine. Now that my friend has a good base for his Aristocrat wardrobe its time to help him tackle casual pieces for less formal events. What better motivator than Sebastian Masuda coming to NYC with a Hello Kitty Time Capsule!! Needed a simple project that had punch and could be done in a jiffy.

how to transform plain shirt into kawaii style

Picked up this cute candy print fabric at Walmart in Kona, Hawaii of all places. Several years ago they stocked a pretty healthy section of Japanese fabrics. The print is so colorful and seemed appropriate for seeing Masuda-san. In addition it has a couple sections of pink gingham which provides continuity with the shirt print. All I had to do was remove the original pocket and trim down the sleeves. Then using the new fabric replace the pocket and add cuffs to the now short sleeves. I could have gone fancier on the cuffs and made it overlap and add a button if there had been more time. Oh yeah, and added a wide rickrack across the shoulder for extra pop.

Time After Time Capsule Event

Sebastian asked everyone to bring a happy colorful memorial item

You couldn’t ask for a more perfect spring day. One of those days where you can opt for short sleeves but still be comfortable in pants {or a petticoat and OTKs.} A few of the local girls were there when we arrived. A small but colorful crowd starting to blossom. Sebastian was all smiles. He personally greeted everyone who came and contributed to the time capsule.

shop girl yuka and a film crew at the event

A Japanese film crew was there and Adel got interviewed. Haven’t yet been able to find it online. They were asking questions about the growth of Lolita internationally, what do you like about dressing in kawaii clothing, where do you see the trend going…etc. VictorianMe then proceeded to do a mock interview which basically cut to the chase, “So Adel, how do you feel about wearing pink?”

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Scrapbook: Angelic Pretty Anime Matsuri Report

Just going to put this here so that I can remember this moment forever. The time Adel and I made it into Angelic Pretty’s news post.

we made it onto AP's report <3

Check out the full page here

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Saturday Style: Wa-Lolita in the Park

mix and match of various lolita and kimon styles

Want to treat you today with a Saturday Style post – even though it is Sunday. Surprised myself last week when I realized it was my first time attending Japan Day in Central Park. There had always been one conflict or another keeping me from it in the past. Being determined this year, the minute we confirmed attendance, I knew exactly what to wear. In another moment of realization, I was bummed out to think it has been two summers since I made it. According to the metrics for my blog it is my top project post of all time. So here it is back by popular demand – the wa lolita yukata blouse.

Many dear readers have asked for the pattern and I am sorry I’ve had to disappoint. I dream of taking classes at FIT one day to help advance my self-taught skills. Until then, if you know of anyone in the Tri-State area who knows how to create a PDF pattern from a designer’s muslin – PLEASE LET ME KNOW (∗ᵕ̴᷄◡ᵕ̴᷅∗)՞

jane marple paper doll necklace

I’ve said it before, styling wa lolita is tough. It can go really wrong really quickly. In the week before Japan Day I poured over copies of Kimono Hime and Googled Lolita Kimono variations. A Jane Marple necklace of all things was my muse for the look. It has a paper dolly and her dress. The vintage feel and color became my jumping off points. To match the yukata fabric I mixed in a neutral skirt from Fan Plus Friend and a peter pan collar blouse. The orange obi was a Kyoto find during last year’s trip. All that was missing was a statement hair piece.

Wa Lolita Straw Hat

straw boater hat remade into a kitchy kimono accessory

Its been insanely hectic at work so I didn’t really think making something was an option. But thanks to speed and efficiency of hot glue, managed to make a new straw hat to complete the look. The rule of three is something I stick to often. The obi and necklace had orange in them so this hat needed to as well. I pulled some of my favorite scraps of kimono fabric to make circular medallions instead of a traditional hat band. Backed each one using a think interfacing so that the hot glue hopefully will not damage the delicate fabric. From a preservation perspective, given more time, I probably would have sewn them directly to the hat instead of using the glue.

The yukata ume blossoms have been in a drawer for ages. Luckily, a few years back I had a spell where I made hundreds of them, which made this a huge time saver for the project. All I needed to do was add a few orange seed beads to create harmony. Mix in some laces and some faux flowers and Bob’s your uncle. Project complete.

Japan Day

A lot of people had to back out from the meet. The festival falls on Mother’s Day which I am sure was the challenge. But a few of us still found each other amongst the massive crowd. We spent a lovely afternoon chatting away about everyone’s background in the arts. It was the most relaxed afternoon I have had in ages. While I might have graduated from art school 2 decades before the rest we all had a common bond that brought the conversation together. There is even talk of getting together for a sketching meet later this summer. What a charming idea.

relaxing on the hill in central park

Top Right Photo by Adel | Bottom Photo by Lucy

P.S. Apparently my coordinate was a big hit. So many people asked for photos. Found out that a snap of it ended up in a local Japanese paper called the Daily Sun!!

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Snapshot: Old School Lolita

I’ve got a ton of new projects in the works but nothing ready to share yet. So wanted to entertain you with a random fun memory.  Some events I don’t always get time to make a big splash out of. After a full day of work it leaves little precious time for housework, sewing and getting to see friends. Add blogging on top of that and my time is pretty much spent. Thought of the idea of “snapshots” ala the Throwback Thursday trend would be fun to try out to preserve these little glimpses in time.

black and white old school lolita will never go out of style

Back before the winter holidays our local comm got together for an Old School Meet. This is the look I feel in love with when I first learned about lolita fashion. It took me years and years to finally try it out myself but I still get nostalgic for the simpler days. A little less poof, more natural hair, and overall an elegance that was so different from “normal” fashion.

Bottom Photo Credit: Victorian Me
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Handmade: Chocolate Quartet Floral Rosette

Have you ever wondered what to do with the small swatches of fabric that come with your Angelic Pretty purchases? Trust me when I say I have spent way to much time pondering this question. Then by accident I was pulling out accessories while packing for Anime Matsuri and put one of my rosettes on my desk. It just so happened that a few AP swatches were scattered about out as well. Then it hit me – these are the perfect size for handmade lolita rosettes!

handmade rosette using angelic pretty fabric swatch

Suffice it to say that I have plenty of left over fabric from the alterations to Chocolate Quartet… but right then I just had to make a matching accessory for the Skyline Tea Party out of that swatch. I had made up my mind on wearing Cameo Window and thought it would be nice to blend a little of both our looks into this piece. The rosette that came with the Chocolate Quartet sash is rather wimpy, so envisioned a more substantial adornment to really make things pop.

pink and chocolate cameo window twins

I didn’t stop at just the Angelic Pretty swatch. For his look I removed the ribbon from an Innocent World tie to mix in the Chocolate Quartet bow. As I have no intentions of restoring the IW tie, the left-overs provided another element to link our two looks in a very subtle way. Happened to have just enough left over Laduree ribbon as well to pull in more of the gold tone to match the sash embroidery. All that was left was to add a pop of pink for harmony with Cameo Window. Top it off with a violin button and voila!

details of the floral rosette and sash

(\˳˘ ɜ˘)˳ ♬♪♫

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Project Complete: Melty Mozart Angelic Pretty Remake

Angelic Pretty dress remade into Ouji coordinate

A pair of scissors, a stitch ripper, a few yards of brown fabric, some braid trim and a whole lot of courage were applied to Angelic Pretty’s Chocolate Quartet and this is the result. As I described in my last post, your main piece to attend the AM Skyline Tea Party was required to be one of the 4 brands who would be represented. Somehow I knew sweet ouji could be done, but trying to find anyone else who made such radical alterations was impossible online. Deep down I was having all sort of feels that he would be turned away since it was not the original design. All my worry turned out to be for naught.

getting to see your design with asuka and maki ... priceless

Every second of anxiety was rewarded with the out pouring of happy reactions to the look. THANK YOU ALL!! I loved that Asuka and Maki didn’t make a fuss. They had the most perfect of Japanese masks on the entire time. But there were subtle clues that they were pleased and hopefully flattered. Their adorable associate Rin-chan certainly was very diligent in taking several photos of all the details (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

adel with midori fukasawa and jla ambassador daniela

By far the best reaction was Midori running, not walking, across the room with phone in hand to ask Adel for a selfie. ٩(ó。ò۶ ♡)))♬ I managed to catch the best parts on film.

adel with the j-fashon models

So many photos from the party!!! I can’t believe that it has almost been two weeks since then. I am still reliving all the wonderful memories on Facebook with new posts that are trickling in. We met so many wonderful and amazing people which is honestly the most rewarding part of this fashion. Yes its about the clothes, but that is just what breaks the ice and brings us together.

making alterations to chocolate quartet to make ouji style

The majority of the vest was made from fabric from the JSK. The body of the vest was taken from the skirt. I reinserted the original JSK collar. The remainder of the skirt was used to make the back tails of the vest. From the salopette I reused all of the buttons and did my best to mimic the double breasted panel. Part of the skirt was used for the tails on the front of the vest. And the ribbon from the salopette was attached to an Innocent World tie in a mash up of bow-tie meets cravat. Oh and the little button panel from the back of the salopette also made its way onto the back of the vest.

I tried really hard to not make too many additions. But I needed a few elements to create balance. Especially important since the border print is so strong. The addition of the 3 melty chocolate pieces felt just right to me to establish harmony; two panels on the front of the vest and one on the back.

While I adore how this turned out there are so many things I would have done differently if I was starting from first principles. If I had just the original fabric it would have been nice to keep the border print only on the tails of the vest instead of also on the body. But you work with what you have. At the end of the day I am over the moon pleased. I really hope you like it too ෆ⃛(ٛ⌯ॢ˃ ɪ ˂ٛ⌯ॢ)

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The Ultimate Challenge: Angelic Pretty Ouji Transformation

By now, if you know me on other social media channels or were at Anime Matsuri, this is old news. However for everyone else, let me tell you a story.

how to convert Angelic Pretty into an ouji coordinate

Once upon a time in the distant land of Houston high above the clouds in the Skyline a tea party was to be held. At this tea the EGL royal court would be in attendance. The queens Misako and Midori as well as her majesty Akira; the great mage Minori and Yura who moves in the shadows; the vampire tamer Shiva cloaked in black, Hasegawa of the poisonous atmosphere, and Chinatsu the transformer of time. Ah, but there was a pair that had our hero’s certain attention. Yes, the enchantresses who bring girl’s dreams true, Asuka and Maki were to be in court.

If one could prove themselves worthy, they would be granted a secret key and allowed passage to join their comm in this most extravagant of times. The hero must be strong of heart and fend off other foe when surviving releases. One so valiant that they shine with the glow of brand.

And so our story begins. For our hero’s challenge was far beyond that of all that came before. For the enchantresses magic only worked on those destined to be princesses alas but not for a prince. That was not until a maiden from the distant shores of the Beast Coast had a vision, a vision of a new future, a future where brand knows no limitation.

its important to preserve as many original details

OK, I gotta stop there. Just can’t do it!! Summary of story: Tea Party Rule = Must Wear Brand. Problem? Unable despite multiple tries to get hands on Boz cloak. Aside from said cloak nothing from Atelier Boz, Metamorphose, Putumayo or Angelic Pretty fit my American male friend. Solution? Alter brand!!

OMG guys, I fretted over this from the moment we got our tea party tickets. Which was months. I stalked Closet Child, Lace Market, the brand online shops, used shopping services but it just wasn’t happening. And that was a sign that I needed to try a new approach. That was about the time Angelic Pretty SF started their end of year sales. Bingo!! Chocolate Quartet came into focus.

The print is fairly neutral as Angelic Pretty goes and has strong military lines throughout the series. So I snapped up the ivory JSK and Salopette as well as the chocolate OTKs. I knew I would need to design on the fly and work with what fabric I could get out of the two pieces. But there wasn’t a specific vision in mind.

My goal was to preserve as much of the original as possible but ensure that the finished look was undeniably masculine. Also, to use as few additional materials as possible. The end result needed to be the main piece of the coordinate, an obvious alteration true to the original, devoid of girly, and ensure a good fit. Oh, and no pressure what-so-ever knowing that the two people responsible for the dresses I would be tearing apart would be there to see the remake. Yeah, its not like those aren’t two of the designers I admire most on the planet or anything like that.

To hear how our hero’s story ends you’ll have to stay tuned. Got about a million photos to edit post-con (/●◔∀◐●)/ But don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging for long. Hugs!!

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Project Complete: Sakura Mochi Cookie Sticker

Just in the nick of time. These little lovelies made it to my post box the day before our flight for Anime Matsuri. So apparently not just my sewing but my other endeavors also seem to come down to the wire before big events. I swear I am not a procrastinator :)

have yourself a sakura mochi cookie - sticker that is

final sticker from printers proof

If you’re at Anime Matsuri this weekend and want a sticker come and find me. Looks like my line up will be:

Hugs,
Sheri

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