Project Kickoff: Sakura Mochi Iced Cookie Stickers

This will be a little unusual compared to my normal posts. Anime Matsuri is just a handful of days away and RuffleCon isn’t all that far off. I have been fretting over making business cards to hand out but it just didn’t feel right. I wanted something that more appropriately reflects my personality and style. Rather last minute it came to me – stickers! But now what to do?!?! Enter Elance. I have used their service for other work projects and the time felt right for this personal effort. It will also be a good first step before a few other projects that I have in mind. So to those looking at the job posting – Good Luck.

the sticker design concept and specs

inspiration found in sakura mochi and iced sugar cookies

inspired by the sweets illustrations of Angelic Pretty

Emily Temple cute sweet prints

Super excited to see how this turns out. Stay tuned!!

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His & Her Gryffindor House Lolita Coordinates

handmade harry potter accessories for lolita coordinates

And here it is at last after lots of weekends of sewing. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter meet was on Saturday and the NY crew did not disappoint. The photos are still pouring in on Facebook which means we get to relive the fun all week long. The whole event was just perfect!! Complete with dragon eggs and every flavor beans! At the restaurant, Jones Wood Foundry, we even had long house tables!

Lots of little projects went into our looks this time. I am really enjoying the challenge of how to make his and hers combinations. Not that we want to be matchy matchy all the time but sometimes its fun to team up. Its like a couples version of twinning I guess.

head boy and head girl gryffindor lolita

I stayed fairly true to the movie school uniform looks versus just following the house colors. Perhaps that puts this project somewhere between fashion and cosplay. I am still going to lean towards the former as all the styling was true to the EGL silhouette and esthetic and we were just being ourselves and not specific characters.

My concept was to make matching pieces in the same fabrics but yet have each be slightly different to spin one masculine and one feminine. Landed on short capes for robes, school ties, house rosettes, and house hat bands. The capes were made from a velveteen black fabric from JoAnn’s. The stripe and argyle fabrics I ordered through Spoonflower. Was my first time using the site and while this worked great for this project, I am not particularly impressed by the quality of the digital printing process.

His Look

gryffindor house ouji style coordinate

I kinda-not-really used a pattern from Otome no Sew (乙女のソーイング) Book 2 to make his cape. All the patterns are way too small for mens clothing but the cape (item 10 – page 6) had the basic shape for me to start from. Once resized I also altered the neckline to a v-neck. This way the cape matches well with the shape of the vest underneath and does not impede the tie – the main focal point. One simple band of lace helped keep the cape from being boring.

The original idea was to have the chain closures attach to the buttons but it dawned on me that guys tend to have less dainty hands. To make it easy on and off instead I used a few jewelry findings and sewed them to the edges keeping inline with the placement of the decorative buttons. I love the buttons – they say “Honor” on them and have a heraldry design that matches brilliantly with the Gryffindor emblem.

gryffindor house robes made from otome no sew book 2 pattern sort of

For the school tie I confess I borrowed liberally from an Innocent World tie in my collection. The 3-tiered base is the same shape from the inspiration piece. But the addition of the Gryffindor pin and medallion was all me. If you are wondering, yes, I hot glued the pin on permanently. Why? because the pin kept spinning around which drove me nuts! Hello perfectionist! Now it isn’t going anywhere.

I added a couple of satin ribbons on top of the red stripes in the fabric. The fabric just felt too flat without it. Plus, the shine of the satin is a nice mimic for silk typically used for ties. A few flowers and beads give extra drama and the black lace helps create a contrasting border so the medallion stands out.

egl style ouji gryffindor house school tie

The master plan had me making matching boater style hats, however, time was against me. There are only so many hours in the weekend after all. Probably was a good thing looking back on it now. Hats are not a familiar part of my sewing vocabulary. We picked up this lovely hat when we were in San Francisco last year and its classic shape saved me. To create cohesion with the coordinate I added a ribbon with a corresponding medallion that simply slides over the original hat band. Easy way to transform the hat without damaging it.

gryffindor egl style top hat

You didn’t think I would make it through this project without adding a rosette did you? The “official” Gryffindor patches are about 4″ in size. That felt clunky for the outcome I wanted to achieve. Instead I bought these not-so-official versions that are half the size. They are the perfect base to go wild with lace, ribbons and flowers. I was worried at first about the colors as the red and yellow on the patch are not genuinely Gryffindor hues. Luckily once all the elements were pulled together they managed to blend in.

handmade gryffindor house classic lolita rosette

Her Look

Well, I’ll get have to get back to you on that next time ;)
Stay tuned.

Credits: Thanks to Xin Lolita Photography for letting me use his amazing photos  |  Pinstripe Wallpaper is from TheLadyAvatar

 

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Mood Board: Hogwarts Lolita Uniform Ideas

Excentric, Innocent World and Alice and the Pirates Hogwarts-esq Uniforms

The local comm is having a Wizarding World of Harry Potter meet at the end of the month and I can’t wait. Everyone has been sorting themselves on Pottermore and apparently I am a Ravenclaw. However, I am just going to set that to the side; my heart really belongs to Gryffindor. Honestly, I don’t mind Ravenclaw but that #$%@ riddle-me-this door knocker for the Ravenclaw common room would drive me bonkers.

The key to a themed meet like this is to avoid going cosplay. The trick is to ensure your coordinate is befitting the story and that it is clearly EGL. I’ve come across a few creative and esoteric lolita interpretations in Google image searches. My favorites are these sketches and this girl Harry. My plan is to create his and hers looks based on the Hogwarts School Uniform.

The first and most literal item that came to mind was capes. A cape can easily mimic the long school robes from the movie while a shorter length and styling can keep it within the lolita realm. Not that long capes wouldn’t work, but I think it’s too deliberate of a match from the movie. There are a wealth of brand specific school inspired and military style capes to choose from.

Innocent World capes for robes and Indie brand coordinates

Conical witch hats have been released by most of the major lolita brands and I expect to see a few at the meet. All the same, I am looking for something different and gender neutral. Berets are particularly popular and would totally work. Nevertheless I am still not satisfied. The idea I can’t shake is boaters. Whether straw, wool or fabric, boaters are what I picture as standard issue school wear in European boarding schools.

So if a cape is a good match for the actual Hogwarts robes, and a boater instead of a witch’s cap then the school tie comes next. Again the easy answer would be to buy the costume version readily available online. But my love of Japanese school uniforms, seifuku, immediately swayed the direction I wish to take. It is common for seifuku to have a ribbon tie for girls and a traditional tie for boys.  I don’t think I will stick to the traditional style for the mens look but at a minimum the fabric should match the ribbon version.

atelier boz, hot topic and jane marple harry potter coordinate ideas

There are a lot of Hogwarts and school house patches available online. If you’ve followed along any of my posts you’ll know by now I have a thing for patches. Since I haven’t made a rosette in a while {crafting withdrawals} the time is ripe to make Gryffindor versions!! Using the same patch I should be able to mix-and-match laces and ribbons to create one more masculine and one more feminine.

Conomi makes seifuku ribbons in all the house colors and Baby has a school trunk

I’ve started most of the pieces I am making and hope to finish up over the long holiday weekend. You can track my progress on Instagram. So excited to see how everyone interprets the theme at the meet. The NY comm is amazingly creative so I am in for a visual treat no doubt!!

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DIY Upcycle: Japanese Lucky Knot Strap / Charm

good luck charm japanese knot from a dassai 23 sake cord

I love being able to make things for my friend who lives in Tokyo. She often travels to NYC on business and when she comes its fun to present her with a small gift. Its inspiring for me to think up new ideas each time; something that isn’t too big or expensive – just a little trinket. Crafter challenge accepted!

For this visit I came up with the idea of recycling the purple cord used to decorate bottles of Dassai sake. The hope was, because she works for Dassai, it would be a more personal gift. I can’t bear to throw the cords out when we open a new bottle and that means I had plenty of them tucked away to play with.

My DIY Materials

asian style knot book and swarovski crystal beads used to diy this strap

Ages ago I bought this book called Asian Knot Style {アジアンノット・スタイル} from the craft section of Kinokuniya. Sadly, every time I attempted one of the knots I failed miserably. I don’t think it has anything to do with the book being in Japanese as the pictures are very clear to follow. Apparently its just some sort of mental malfunction I have when it comes to knots. The gentleman of the house however has no such issue. Bonus prize – he can now officially say that he has “crafted” thanks to this project (*^^*)

My secret weapon for many of my DIYs, especially those with small details, is beading needles. I use them all the time and not just for bead work. They are very thin and long and for me super easy to work with. The only difficulty is threading them. Dang the eye is small!! Well and they can bend easily as another downside so you can’t be as forceful with them like a standard needle. The sharpness and length though is awesome.

japanese success and flower knots with beads on a strap

Its not uncommon to use beads with this style of decorative knots. However the beads are typically ones with large holes and the cord of the knot is slipped through the bead. The book also suggests using a touch of glue to secure the knot. Instead of all that I went for much smaller beads and the thread used to attach them acted as an alternative to the glue.

To make it even more personal I added lettering beads to spell out “Dassai” and her name “Asumi” in pastel colors. This was the big gamble for the project. Most of the other beads were more fancy, like Swarsovski crystals and Japanese glass seed beads. I feared these might look too low brow compared to the others. The use of seed beads between each letter I think helped bridge the gap so that it all harmonized after all.

Color was critical to making it come together as was scale. It took a couple of tries to get the balance right on top to counteract the weight of the beading at the bottom. All-in-all I think it turned out very nice.

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Lucky Pack: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright 2015 Fukubukuro

My Second Christmas arrived this week!! I received my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Happy Pack and was so freakin excited once I got a glimpse inside that I actually gave myself a monster case of the hiccups.  So much pink!!!

lucky pack included pink jsk, cape and skirt from baby, the stars shine bright

baby the stars shine bright pink chiffon jsk with partial shirringlook at the sparkle on the pink chiffonbunny ear pink knit cape !!!baby the stars shine bright chocolate skirtIts scary how perfect this lucky pack is for me. I have been wanting more solid color dresses and hadn’t yet added a pink one to my wardrobe. Problem solved.

As for the cape, it is going to be hard to even take it off I love it so much. I was eying it for so long but never bought it. Problem solved.

Well and the Douce Chocolatier skirt makes me a little sentimental. I was way over my budget when the NYC Baby store opened in the summer and was drooling over the JSK with this print that day. Now having the skirt makes me feel like I was able to step back in time, just a bit, and have a memento I missed out on previously. Problem solved.

alice and the pirates shorts salopette in blue tartan

  • Alice and the Pirates tartan salopette in blue
  • Baby blouse in white
  • Alice and the Pirates stripe hair ribbon in blue

why dont i have more alice and the pirates in my wardrobe?alice and the pirates logo charm on hair ribbon

Someone mentioned on the Lolita Updates Facebook page that they were impressed how the Happy Packs were really well coordinated. I have to totally agree. These were not random selections from what I have seen but really pulled together packs.

Like so many others I got the Alice and the Pirates tartan salopette. I know most people are dumping theirs on Lace Market but I have to say it is super duper cute. Surprisingly it fits me but not in a flattering way sadly. However, it has me inspired to make something similar for this summer. I just adore the plaid print with the rickrack and lace trim – and its shorts!!

The blouse is standard issue and small so nothing surprising there. I might cut up the collar and cuffs and rework it into a cutsew blouse that fits me. Another thing I have wanted to try for sometime but haven’t had the courage. I have too many project already going for now, so this can wait a little longer.

Bottom line for this year’s fukubukuro is that I made out like a bandit!! Between this pack and the IW pack I got crowns, chocolate and tons of pink. Feeling pretty spoiled right now (。・`ω´・。)

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DIY Upcycle: Deco Hime Lolita Winter Boots

how to deco plain uggs to go with sweet lolita coords

Some projects just seem to take longer than others, even if they are very simple to make. I am happy that I can, at long last, check this one off my to-do list. This deco hime UGG boot transformation started last winter. You might even remember this Mood Board post I made to kick it off. But, something just didn’t feel right and I ended up shelfing them. What was bugging me was that the lace was looking sloppy and the ribbons were not balanced. It all felt rather lazy looking and not the level of quality I strive for in my work.

My how things have changed. I pushed all the embellishments just a little further and think it made a big difference.

for the hime look make pink ribbons covered in flowers and hot glue them to the boots

I added an additional row of lace to the original, a lace that is more substantial so that it has a stronger presence on the boots. I also alternated the placement of the pink ribbons so that the larger one is on top and the smaller ones lower and to the side. This gave the composition more balance. I also think it will be more comfortable without the large ribbon on the seam. Especially since that seam will deal with a lot of movement when worn.

its easiest to hotglue the ribbons, lace and charms to the ugg boots

A little overdue, but now I am ready for winter!! Well almost ready, still have a coat project that has been lingering for an even longer time than these cutie boots did. Need to get cracking on the coat to match them!!

sparkle roses

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Handmade: Pretty in Pastel – Lavender Cutsew One Piece

The Perfect Pastel for Winter - Handmade Cutsew One Piece

Everyday wear is high on my 2015 goals list. The lolita portion of my wardrobe will almost always be filled with brand versus handmade for the primary pieces. Its the prints, I can’t beat the prints, at least not yet. So I feel a good focus area for this year is making comfortable cute dresses for daily life.

This fabric is a little different for me. I found it in Hawaii and instantly it reminded me of an Emily Temple cute dress that had embossed ribbons. This fabric has flowers instead of ribbons and is more subtle with a much smaller print and not nearly as raised from the surface. I love the effect of both. The leap for me is that the fabric is a polyester. I really really really try to stick to natural materials but the fabric was too cute to pass up. So I went for it and made sure that I lined it completely in a light cotton jersey for extra comfort.

It took me a long time to find a lace that I liked to go with it. Then I came across this crochet lace at Joyce Trims in NYC. There was the band with raised flowers which I thought was a good play off the raised print in the fabric – a theme of dimension. And also there was the smaller thin lace which was great for matching edges on the collar and bib.

crochet lace details on a fairy kei purple print jersey fabric

I love the way it turned out. It can be styled many different ways from fairy kei to otome kei or even maybe dolly kei. I really want to try it out with pink. I put a few pieces with it to show how the lilac color really pops against a lighter (AP Dreamy Girl Bag and KOKOkim OTKs) and slightly brighter pink (my handmade fur collar and UGG lace up boots.)

The only thing is I broke Sewing Rule # 1 – I was so excited when I found the lace that I sat right down and cut out the fabric. What I didn’t do was pre-wash my fabric to test for shrinkage and color fastness. And I just pulled the dress out of the wash only to notice that the dress is considerably shorter compared to the lining than before it went in the wash. I haven’t been brave enough yet to try it on again as I am worried I will be disappointed. Hope to have some courage later and worse case if it no longer fits will put it up for sale. C’est la vie.

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Handmade: Vintage Kimono Remade Ouji Style

formal kimono remade into a ouji lolita vest

Just in time for Winter ILD, I finished my second Ouji coordinate for my friend. The first look was a soft ivory color and this is the opposite side of the spectrum in black with a print. The concept was to have something very regal for ILD and my love of kimono inspired me to use a formal kurotomesode {黒留袖} to achieve a royal look. I realize it is a women’s kimono being used for a men’s coordinate but the design and liner nature of the kimono fabric was just a perfect match for my vision and vest pattern. Was exhilarating creating a mash up of two incredible fashion styles together into one.

Working with the kimono silk took some getting used to. This particular one is a stiff silk but it still had a bit of wiggle to it when sewing that I had to watch out for. Definitely a departure from the woven and knits I am used to working with.

details of pocket, tie and rosette from kurutomesode

I am torn between the tricorn hat and the sash as my favorite of the accessories. The lace on the sash was not cheap, but what a dramatic statement it makes. The look wouldn’t be the same without it. To secure the sash I made a rosette from another kimono fabric scrap. In fact I used the reverse side of the fabric since it featured more of the metallic thread for extra sparkle. Conceptually the sash also plays the role that an obi would from kimono fashion. Even thought about using an obi fabric for the sash originally, but this gold lace just was too gorgeous to pass up. And the obi fabric might of been too much kimono reference so probably better this way.

For the shirt and tie I bought two of the same shirts from a discount clothing store. I used the second shirt to make the matching tie. I also hope to alter the shirt cuffs to be more dramatic with the remaining fabric and some lace. Just wasn’t able to finish that in time before the holiday.

The pants are from Fan Plus Friend but I did find an amazing black, cotton twill fabric that I would like to make a similar pair of pants/breeches out of. That way I can match the buttons from the vest on the pants. The FPF version has snaps so I couldn’t swap them out.

japanese sacred treasure award badge on ouji tricorn hat

I bought the tricorn hat from the same company as I did before. The quality is amazing and the fit is perfect. For this one I wanted all the details to be monochromatic except for the medallion. The feathers do have some purple in them but it is subtle. I found a ribbon that has sheer stripes which I though was really pretty to use for the detailing and to compliment the cascade of the feathers.

To pull another Japanese element into the look I found this embroidered medallion on eBay. Its a replica of a Meiji era Sacred Treasure Award. The gold couching in the medallion was a nice match for the gold thread on the kimono print and created continuity.

Well, I hope you like my Kimono Prince coordinate as much as I do!!
Hugs,
Sheri

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Handmade: Pink Lolita Princess Pillows

diy pillow covers in a hime princess style

We’ve been in our house for a year now and as the New Year gets underway I am determined to spend more time on decorating and sprucing up the place. We downsized when we moved and went from a loft to traditional rooms. Because of the difference a lot of our furniture has never felt right in the new place. I’ve also been thinking that the percentage of IKEA furniture relative to my years of age is out of proportion.

This is going to be a year-long commitment in order to make sure I can stay on budget. But there are small things that can be done right away like the changing of curtains and linens. About the only nice piece of furniture I have is my Pottery Barn bed. Starting there seemed the most logical place as it is staying no matter what.

pink rose fur hime bedroom pillows

For these DIY pillow covers I went more hime princess while showing restraint. Korilakkuma was dominating the bed and needed something large for balance. While the pillow covers are not perfect (didn’t exactly calculate the gathering properly) they were quick and easy to make. Plus they are a good match for the Target duvet cover in a similar dusty pink. I am also keeping my chocolate color wicker furniture such as the lamp and nightstand to ground all the pink. Hopefully I can successfully blend a little princess comfortably with clean modern lines. I don’t want it to look like a unicorn threw up when its done.

What’s Next?

french provencial vanity handpainted makeover

What I am most excited about is that my friend’s wife runs a company called The Wood Spa. I managed to get in her queue to have a desk made over so that I have a place to do make up. {I suck at make up but maybe 2015 will be the year I learn.} Sent her the bottom photo and she found this amazing French vanity which has so much storage – a must for our small house. It will be March when it is ready so I will do my best to be patient. But I am really busting with excitement and can’t wait for it to be ready.

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DIY Upcycle: Classic Lolita Vintage Blouse

very easy diy project to transform a vintage blouse for coordinating with classic lolita styles

For 2015 I have a goal of filling in the basics into my lolita wardrobe. One of the biggest gaps is blouses. Brand blouses are out of the question due to size so I am looking at alternatives. I have 3 Taobao beauties ordered that I hope will come in soon. For something more immediate and thrifty I came across this beautiful ivory vintage blouse on Etsy. I think this is the third vintage 1970’s blouse of this style I have acquired. They all have this lovely, wide, accordion fold collar which works super with JSKs. What caught my eye on this particular one is that it also has a standing collar for extra flare.

Once the blouse arrived I gave it a good wash. I put it in a delicates bag and then straight into the washer. I did line dry it instead of putting it in the dryer. The good news – it washes like a champ and no shrinking!!

5 easy diy steps to upcycle a vintage blouse

When shopping for lace I made sure to look for one that had multiple sizes of the same design. This ivory was a really good match for the blouse and came in a small, medium and large – perfect for this DIY project. The smallest lace was ideal for adding to the band of the collar and to encase each side of the button placket. The medium lace was gathered and attached to the top of the sleeve cuffs. The large lace was also gathered for the bottom of the sleeve cuff and used flat to cover the cuff. I added one row of the small lace to the top of each cuff just for some extra drama.

{Ignore the ribbon on the cuff in the photo showing the gathered lace. I originally had a different idea in mind and removed the ribbon… but forgot to get a picture without it.}

angelic pretty lucky key jsk with wonder rocket collar and vintage blouse

To push it even further I mixed in a detachable lace collar. This one is from Wonder Rocket and sits beautifully below the collar of the blouse. I could have easily bought more lace and added it directly to the blouse but like that this is more flexible and can be styled different ways.

I’ve already worn the completed blouse with my ivory Karami JSK from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and loved it. So comfortable. Its next outing I hope will be with Angelic Pretty Lucky Key which I fought valiantly to score the day it went up on the San Francisco site.

offbrand lolita pirate treasure chest purse

I’ve been teetering with more classical elements in my wardrobe and other styles which has been super fun. For this coordinate I want to do a pirate theme. I’m fixing up a Fan Plus Friend mini tricorn to go with it and took a huge risk on buying this pirate’s treasure chest purse. My fear is the shop is a Milanoo front but braved it anyway. Now we wait and see when it arrives…

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