Tea Party: Handmade White Rabbit Headdress / Rosette

With such little time to plan the Alice Tea Party I was pressed for entertainment ideas. I’ve only been to a few of the local meets but have been to enough social engagements to know what can happen. Often small cliques tend to form among those who have known each other for a long time. On public meets where not everyone knows each other some participants can feel left out. Well, there is also how the tables are arranged which can distance participants from others. So I planned a small ice breaker.

Nothing really fancy. Picked up cute Alice in Wonderland playing cards and pulled out all the face cards and the hearts. That was roughly the right number for the party. Then after everyone had their fill of tea, scones and sandwiches I stood and requested attention. Asked if everyone would take turns to stand, give their first name (if they were willing,) and to discuss the point of their coordinate. I am so happy everyone was good sports. Had several good laughs and oohs and aahhs. Especially two cuties who twinned for the party but said they came as Tweedledee and Tweedledum sweet lolita style!! It really helped to put faces to names and to get to know a little about each person without getting too personal.

After each guest spoke about their coordinate they got to pick a card. Using another deck of cards, a winner was selected for a very small raffle. I literally pulled this White Rabbit out of the Mad Hatter’s Hat the night before. It must have been around 7 or 8 pm when I began and finished close to 12:30 am.

Alice Tea Party Raffle Prize

classic lolita white rabbit headdress rosette

My concept was to stay on theme with a White Rabbit but in a non-traditional form with a classic lolita or even mori girl appearance. You might recognize that most of the laces and flowers are extras from this summer’s Rabbit Garden Party Apron and Purse. I knew I wanted the piece to have a lot of little details but also still feel simple. To achieve that simplicity the entire color palette reads as a solid using a cream base. Not knowing who would win the raffle and what their personal style would be, the design was meant to be true to my design aesthetic but also neutral to go with several lolita genres.

handmade lolita accessories lace rabbit headdress

Not sure if it would be classified as a headdress, rosette or even a canotier to be honest. What you can’t see from the detail photos is that the back has both an alligator hair clip and a pin clasp. So it can be worn as a hair accessory or as a badge.

mori girl or classic lolita cream headdress handmade

Received good feedback from the group that the ice breaker was very fun and that they enjoyed it. And Alexandra’s expression when she won and opened the bag was a huge treat. Relieved and elated she likes it. So I think I’ll continue this tradition if/when I organize another meet in the future.

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Tea Party: What I Made What I Wore

handmade alice in wonderland op dress

Everything about the Alice Adventure in NYC magically fell right into place. From finding out about the ballet, to planning the event, and on top of it making an Alice themed one piece dress. I had been eying this fabric on Etsy for a while. That pesky, “don’t buy more fabric until you use what you have.” was running thru my head and I choose to ignore it.

The original vision for the dress was something very simple, more like the dresses from Jane Marple. When I had the fabric in hand however and was selecting a color to use for the collar this red won me over. Things spiraled from there when I saw how the black laces popped. Those colors cemented in the new idea to mix in elements all based on playing cards. The red and the black trims along with several trump suit charms and patches worked nicely. As a sub-theme the roses used throughout also reflect the Queen’s rose garden.

What I did stay true to was making my first lolita OP. I have given up hope altogether on Baby and AP ever making an OP to fit me. Its a love hate love relationship I admit. Several times during the tea party I was extremely conscience of how freaking comfortable my dress is. It actually fits me!! It even has a little extra room in case I overdo it on the scones and macarons. This is the bliss of making your own. So I love the brands because the entire fashion wouldn’t be here without their commitment; I hate and yet understand why they make everything one-size-fits-some; and love that because of bad sizing I finally found my sewing muse after so many years. And the ++ is that I don’t have to wear a blouse. Just slip it on and zip it up – ready to go. Well not really, but close.

The Details

card suit red and black details in the lace and roses

Once I decided to use playing card colors as the embellishments I also needed to make sure and not either overdo them and it look cosplay or end up with it looking too goth. Nothing wrong with gothic, but my aim was to keep it sweet but with a vintage feel overall.

alice in wonderland trump card lolita coordinate

I was at a point during the making of the dress where I thought I was “done” and then I happened to pull out the little red roses to try around the collar. Turns out they were even better as another accent on the grosgrain ribbons. The roses also helped to carry the collar color throughout the dress. I only had a fat quarter of the red and it was barely enough to make the mock collar and the bows on the sleeves.  If there was more I would have made a full collar and probably a bunch of other things, but that was part of the fun – make it work!

Even though the charms on the dress and headdress are silver I knew right away what accessories I wanted to wear with it. Last winter my friend gave me the cutest gold Alice and the White Rabbit earnings. I removed the original finding and made them into clip-ons (long story about pierced ears and allergies). They match well with a ring I found in Grand Central of all places that is square and has each of the card suits. I finished it off with Angelic Pretty’s card suit bracelet.

The Finished Look

photo by victorianme.tumblr.com

I absolutely adore this picture that was taken at the party. You must check out Xiaoyu’s blog on tumblr. She has mad photography skills, talented at making her own handmade items, and is such a beautiful and warm person: victorianme.tumblr.com

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Tea Party: NYC Alice Meet

nyc lolitas alice tea party 2014

I had sooooo much fun this past week. Yesterday was like the cherry on top! So many photos from Fashion Week, Alice in Wonderland Ballet and the Alice Tea Party. Since Wonderland is an appropriate metaphor for the adventures, and things are not as they seem, lets check things off in reverse order shale we.

19 lovely ladies and 1 dapper gentleman participated in our NYC Alice Meet Tea Party on Saturday. We reserved the Looking Glass Room at Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2. All any of us could think about when we arrived was the food. Many of us came from the ballet and were famished.

Xiaoyu made the cutest toy soldier hat ever!!! It was the perfect finishing touch for her Angelic Pretty Loyal Rosette salopette. She had marvelously cute soldier gloves too.

alice tea party lolita raffle winner

I was cutting things incredibly close and only the night before made a gift to give away as a small raffle prize. Using unbleached muslin, some lace, pearls and beads I magically whipped up a White Rabbit fascinator/pin. Alexandra pulled the winning card from the deck (4 of hearts for the record) and it made my day to see how excited she got when she opened the bag and found out what was inside.

My friend Asumi and her friend are visiting from Japan and both dressed up in lolita for their first time. They looked so cute!! Next time I am in Tokyo I think we will pay a visit to Maison de Julietta and hit the Butler Bar to continue our Kawaii adventures.

Angela decorated a straw hat with beautiful roses. I love how creative and artistic everyone is!! She coordinated it with an old school Baby, the Stars Shine Bright one piece. I wish I got a close up of her broach too which was handmade and featured an adorable rabbit.

lolita tea party gift bags and raffle prize

In addition to the raffle prize I ordered Alice themed gift bags and Eat Me cookies from two Etsy artists. They turned out really great and both were super about making sure they arrived on time and safe-and-sound. I hope the girls enjoyed them. It just wouldn’t have felt like a proper tea party if everyone didn’t receive a little something to take home as a momento.

alices tea cup lolita tea party

I really hope everyone had a good time. Confess that I am pleased with myself that I pulled this off without a hitch – and for the first time being a hostess/organizer. Feeling pretty inspired to do it again. I learned a lot so have all sorts of ideas and things I can improve upon next time *✲゚*。✧٩(・ิᴗ・ิ๑)۶*✲゚*。✧

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Ouji Coordinate Fitting

Did a final fitting to make sure everything is OK which meant getting the boy all dressed up and doing a little pre-party photo shoot.  Its looking good. Only issue is the elastic in the pants could be a bit tighter. Might need to throw some suspenders on until I can pull the seams to fix that. They don’t fall off, thank heavens, but noticed he had to hoist them up every now and then.

Adi in his custom designed ouji coordinate

sweetie in his first ouji prince coordinate

I think we are good to go. He is going to have to wear this a few times over the next couple of weeks to all the events lined up. Then after things calm down I want to start another look for him with the same vest pattern. There’s a kimono we picked up on our last Japan trip that I think would be perfect fabric for a gilet. Well, best get back to work now. See ya!!

Ouji Project Recap:  Inspiration  |  Work in Progress  |  Project Complete
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Project Complete: Handmade Ouji Cream Coordinate

I am having all sorts of feels this week. Got to meet designer Hiromi Onuma on Sunday. She makes the coolest “kaga-loli” designs. I’ll tell you more about that another day – so inspired by her. Also found out earlier this week that I am going to a NY Mercedes Benz Fashion Week show on Thursday. All that will be topped off with the Alice Ballet & Tea.

But what has me positively over the moon is that Sweetie’s first EGL look is COMPLETE!!

white rabbit velvet gilet ouji coordinate vest and tricorn

Outfit Rundown:

  • Tricorn – plain hat bought on eBay; decorated with matching laces from the coordinate and the medallion includes a button I yanked off a Fan Plus Friend piece
  • Gilet – the vest is 100% handmade; the main fabric is a woven cotton with a raised velvet brocade; the pockets are fully functional; and while not shown, it is lined in the cutest mini macaron fabric
  • Collar – it began as a ladies summer tank blouse that was on clearance at Marshals; I cut out sections of the hem to reuse the pleated fabric to make a two layer jabot; the lace used to trim the gilet pockets is reused for the band of the collar
  • Breeches – the pants are 100% handmade; you can’t see the waistband but it is shaped to match the pockets on the vest and has 4 matching gold buttons; they hit below the knee; and for comfort they are lined in a very thin and soft cotton jersey
  • Medal – it is a Belgian medal for civic service found on Etsy; I removed the original ribbon and made a new one using two types of cream ribbon and some lace that matches the coordinate; it was tarnished so I polished it only to realize it isn’t brass but is silver!
  • Pocket Watch – is made from three pieces found at Michaels craft store: gold watch fob, gold chain and a bar from a toggle clasp jewelry finding to keep it in place through the vest buttonhole
  • Necklace – took apart my Angelic Pretty Chess Chocolate necklace and used matching chain from the pocket watch to make it longer
  • Socks – were an Amazon.com find that I just wish had more cotton content but are OTK mens socks which are difficult to find in cream or ivory colors (or were hard for me to find)
  • Shoes – got them at Neiman Marcus Last call; love that they are modern, comfortable and reminiscent of historical styles; they are monk-strap loafers similar to these by Cole Haan
  • Cufflinks – I found some cute gold and cream buttons in the shape of a pocket watch and used another toggle clasp bar with a couple chain links between
  • Shirt – we ordered a historical shirt online but it may or may not be delivered in time, so for now we are using a standard issue men’s shirt which is looking pretty OK in my opinion

The Details

handmade gentelmens pocket watch velvet brocade ouji gilet vest and gold buttons

angelic pretty chess chocolate lolita lace tricorn

He is starting from scratch so it was important to get all the pieces to really have the coordinate shine and feel complete. I like to think I am modest – but am feeling pretty freakin proud of this outfit right now. So yes, hello world, LOOK I MADE THIS!!

Instead of my buddy accompanying me to events he can now participate in the fun.

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My Friend’s First Time in Lolita

Things are progressing nicely in my sewing universe. Had a bit of a marathon over the long Labor Day weekend. Sweetie’s coordinate is almost complete and in addition I made awesome progress on my Alice dress. Its been rainy so will take some photos later.

Some how the stars magically aligned and my dear friend from Tokyo and her friend will be in NYC and just so happen to be free on the day of the Alice Tea Party I’ve been coordinating. When I asked if they would like to come, she not only said yes but wondered if there was some way they too could dress up. I got all sorts of excited in the exchange of Facebook messages that not only would she like to come to tea but also try lolita fashion for the first time.

Without wasting any time I threw open the wardrobe and started pulling together 2 coordinates for them. She was ever so cute when inquiring, very politely I add, if they were to borrow would the clothes be too big. Never fear for Sheri has several brand pieces that have been patiently waiting in line for some major tailoring but got put off for other sewing priorities. And then there is the Baby blouse from a lucky pack that I can’t seem to part with but would never stand a chance of ever being able to wear. Personally I think these things happen for a reason and here is the moment for why that blouse needed to be at hand.

While I won’t be able to give them Alice-themed looks I do want them to have good and proper coordinates for their first time. If they are going to do this I want to help them do it as best as possible so they have a really good experience. Its fortunate then that I have a few Angelic Pretty skirts unaltered and in colorways that I have plenty of pieces to mix-and-match and give the girls a full head to toe look. And so without further ado, here are they are:

angelic pretty milky chan fawn skirt coordinate

Coordinate #1 is a bittersweet look with Milky Chan Fawn in black colorway as the main statement. I have a matching black Angelic Pretty blouse, which will be a bit big for them but hoping with some safety pins won’t be awful. Wonder Party OTK socks, albeit a different print, will match the black and pink from the skirt. Its a stretch but thinking that Decoration Dream hair bow will pull in more pink and the distance from the skirt will make the difference in prints balance out. To finish it off, Sweet Cream Biscuit necklace in pink and a black ribbon purse all also by Angelic Pretty.

angelic pretty powder rose skirt coordinate

Coordinate #2 is a confection of sweet with Angelic Pretty’s Powder Rose skirt as the focal point. This look will include the Baby, the stars shine bright white School Blouse and, as I don’t have the matching AP hair bow, will top it off with Baby’s Strawberry Letters in pink. The Lady Rose print of the hand bag has a richer pink palette but I think it strengthens the rose theme from the skirt still nicely. More AP with pink rose socks and Glass Bottle of Tears necklace finish off the ensemble.

So my friends of the wondrous interwebs, what do you think, are these good starter looks for the girls?

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Project Kickoff: Alice in Wonderland Book Print One Piece

jane marple british library alice inspired dress

Well it happened. I am coordinating my first Lolita meet. There is a production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ballet at Lincoln Center. And how could we just leave it at suggesting we all get tickets? Why not go for the whole shebang!? Dinner and tea after at Alice’s Tea Cup AND with an Alice inspired coordinate theme. Now your talking. Its a bit pricey for some of the community, as its 2 events in one, but we already managed to pull a good size group together.

I have seen the nightmares others have had coordinating meets so hope I can manage. Its really just making the reservation and colleting funds. Given my years of project management experience feel I am up to the challenge. Fingers crossed for me and counting on a little beginners luck.

But that brings us back to the Alice inspired look… and what the heck am I going to wear???

alice inspired code jane marple emily temple cute

There have been so many amazing Alice prints over the years but the only one I have is Alice’s Dollhouse from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. My favorite all time Alice print is by Jane Marple. And sadly, just like with Emily Temple cute, Milk, Katie… there is no way possible it would fit me. Ironically, I just purchase and received a book print fabric that includes many characters and references to Alice. So perhaps if I mix Jane Marple’s Alice print with their British Library print maybe I can make my own one piece?

I might be mad to think I can pull this off. Still need to finish honey-bunny’s look since this will be his first adventure into EGL and I don’t want this to be an Emperor’s New Clothes theme party for him. Counting on that long Labor Day weekend to work to my advantage.

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Sweetie’s Challenge: Handmade Ouji Vest Part 1

While waiting for parcels to finish my other blouse, this weekend I dove into the world of making menswear. And we have named this adventure, “Royal Order of the White Rabbit.” The concept is to have layers of cream but with very royal details such as the military braid and the lush raised velvet arabesque in the main fabric. OK Sheri so if it is about the “white” rabbit why is it cream? Well most white bunnies I have encountered aren’t exactly pure white so I am sticking with it.

Work in Progress

handmade kodona ouji velvet brocade vest tail coat

I made significant changes to this Butterick pattern. Always start with a muslin draft folks!!! The armholes on the pattern were just dreadful so trimmed them back and made modifications to the fit of the shoulder.  Then took it in a bit on the sides. Also removed a few inches from the front and drafted the inset vest panels. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to ensure a professional finish as the pattern was unlined. There are 3 seams inside that I didn’t properly think through in my mind first so can correct for that on the next vest by splitting the back lining at the waist. The tail flaps and the front seams all turned out crisp and nice which was the key objective.

belgian medal of civic service and french macaron fabric details of this kadona vest

Still a ways to go and finish up. Need to make the button holes, finish the arm holes, add the collar, and add pockets for some extra distinction. Then it will be onto making the ouji/kodona breeches. Not as worried about those as I have made shorts for the Boy in the past. But still, need to ensure all the details come out just right.

Oh and how can I forget, it took a few searches, but finally found a plain, cream, wool tricorn on eBay. Originally I assumed we would buy a brand hat for him, but since I’m at it might as well make a matching one to complete the look. Spent more than I would have liked, but it appears to be well made and is a blank slate so that I can decorate it to my liking.

no ouji look would be complete without a proper hat so a wool tricorn is added to the project list

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Handmade: London Travel Adventures Rosette Badge

ferris wheel rosette made to coordinate with magical etoile

All that travel in July must have made a mark on me. I was tidying up my studio the other night and bumped into this Cath Kidston patch I bought a couple years ago. The cute little illustration of the London Eye clicked inside my brain as being a good match for Angelic Pretty’s Magical Etoile which I just got from San Fran. And so I started scavenging thru all my trims, beads and buttons leading to this England travel themed rosette. Its a nice personal momento to remember the trips by.

cath kidston london eye ribbon rosette details

The best bit is that this was finished in just one night. It sorta all fell together nice and easy. On the back I added both an alligator clip and a pin back so that it can be work several different ways. There is a small strip of cream tassels also sewn to the back that peek out of the bottom but don’t distract from the main players – the patch, the England crown button, and the silver tea pot charm. A few clear seed beads give the patch some depth and act as the carriages on the ferris wheel.

angelic pretty magical etoile cath kidston london eye code

Since the dress has a Paris theme and the rosette a London theme I am tempted to make another rosette so that the coordinate can really take on a travel adventurer spirit. I have a Tokyo patch and a Hawaii patch but not sure yet if either has the right colors to work. We shale see. A small trunk style purse would be super cute too with stickers from around the world as a nice matching accessory. Will have to look into that…

I am waiting for some star buttons to arrive by mail and need to pick up a little more ribbon to finish my Twinkle Constellation blouse, so hopefully will get that all wrapped up here in due time as well. I still have a couple very ambitious projects on my plate that I want to dive into and finish up this summer.

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Handmade: Twinkle Constellation Star Hair Facinator

hand sewn star facinator using baby the stars shine bright twinkle constellation fabric

There was just, and I mean just, enough fabric left from the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright handkerchief where the neckline was cut out to make a small little matching accessory. Last year Baby sold out of the Halloween Kumya chan Trick or Treat star hairclips in practically a fraction of a second. Or so that is how it felt. And I have been dreaming of that little star ever since. Thus that became the jumping off point to inspire my Twinkle Constellation shooting star hair facinator.

I tried to make mine original, but still give a solid nod to its inspiration. Star clips, pockets and accessories are pretty standard fair but hopefully I managed to make this piece be unique but in keeping with its big Brand equivalents.

star clips and accessories by angelic pretty and baby the stars shine bright

Looking back at the Trick or Treat star there really isn’t much too it. Its one of those designs that its simplicity is brilliant and the materials all just come together with ease. That said, I do like a little more fantasy in my own accessories and had the idea to add a tulle train and make my version a shooting star. shooting star pixel gif

navy silk ribbon, silver star charm, detailed lace, and a tulle train make up the hair piece

It took a lot longer than I expected to complete this little guy. The entire piece is hand sewn. That was, in part, so that I could sit with my lovely by the TV and chat+sew and also because I didn’t think my machine could handle the delicate turns and twists that I was aiming for with the tulle and silk ribbon. There is a simple pin clip on the back. I might still add a hair comb but for now I ended up removing the hair bow from the Baby matching accessory in order to steal the headband. If that just gave you the shivers {eek she altered brand} wait till you see what I am going to do with the hair bow fabric!!

stars of confeito head bow made using baby the stars shine bright fabric

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