Vintage Kimono Fabric Yo-Yo Skirt

cute way to recycle vintage kimono fabric scraps

This pleated skirt was a thrift find that I couldn’t resist. The color is such a dreamy coral and accented with an unexpected wood grain pattern. It gave off a feeling of pastel mori girl the minute I saw it. The trouble? While very long it was 2 sizes too small at the waist. That didn’t put me off as the price, color and charming pleats were all too good. At the time I was very inspired by Grimoire and dolly kei style with its east-meets-west approach to reinventing vintage western clothing.  This skirt was made in Japan so I though maybe a west-meets-east concept would be fun by reversing the style using eastern pieces in dolly way. The challenge was not how to make the skirt fit a larger size but how to decorate it without losing the beautiful pleats. Then the idea came to me… a floating apron… made from kimono scraps. (more…)

Angelic Pretty Toy Fantasy Yukata Obi

angelic pretty toy fantasy and baby the stars shine bright good friend of kumya-chan

I’ve been lucky to get my hands on a couple of brand yukatas in the past few years. I admit they don’t get as much wear as I would like them too, but they are still some of my most prized possessions in my wardrobe. My love for lolita fashion is rivaled only by my love of traditional kimono. Sadly, wa lolita is usually poorly done and covered in the most awful lace; taking ita to a new level. I take this as a personal challenge to try and turn things around. While I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I am making it a goal to put more wa into my looks this year.

One of my most popular posts of all time is a yukata blouse that I made using a rub off pattern. I never did figure out how to make a PDF pattern for it (sorry interweb friends) but it was an inspiration for this project and see what other ways I could mix both styles. Countless searches for a pre-tied or vintage obi that would match with the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright My Mate Kumya-chan yukata all ended in disappointment. Pre-tied yukata obis looked flat in their solid colors and inexpensive polyester. On the other hand, traditional obi patterns all clashed with the sweetness of the pink print. When these things happen I get stubborn, very stubborn. Time to take matters into my own hands.

DIY Sweet Lolita Obi

toy fantasy skirt border print is used to make the base of the kimono obi

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Decora, neon and monsters… oh my

There are 2 ways to experience the Monster Cafe in Harajuku. During lunchtime on a weekday we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The night crowd, based on other posts I have seen, is another story altogether. On previous trips we focused on more traditional Japanese food adventures. But this last trip we squeezed in a couple themed restaurants. While the food itself is nothing to write home about, the experience is. Sebastian doesn’t let you down when it comes to being fully immersed in his colorful world when you set foot in the Monster Cafe. You are truly transported to another realm of existence.

the carousel dance party at monster cafe in harajuku

We dined in a booth between the Bar area and the Mel-Tea Room. Its hard to pick a favorite space as they are all so colorful and unique. I liked that I had a dripping ice cream cone above me and could see the lip wall in the background. We don’t eat meat, only seafood, so ordered the few choices the menu had. Some shrimp, french fries and the sushi roll. Like I said, nothing fantastic but simple food. Everything was served with color palettes of dips which was adorable

monster cafe lunch with view of mell-tea room

Looking back, I was originally drawn to decora before I fell head-over-heels into lolita. That would be thanks to Fruits magazine and an online search for alternative uses for traditional kimono that somehow spiraled into alternative Japanese street fashion. I am grateful for the detour. My sewing was so blah back then, there was no spark, no muse. Now, I am not about to start jumping genres on you, but I do like to mix things up and play with elements of different street styles. So here is my homage to Monster Cafe and Sebastian Masuda. (more…)

Sweet lolita with sprinkles on top

Back in February, the very last day of our stay in Tokyo coincided with the Baked Sweets Parade release by Angelic Pretty. I remember being so disappointed finding out the JSK didn’t have full shirring. Shame on you AP, shame on you. The La Foret AP had been closed during our trip for renovations so I stopped in on that last day to see what the new space looked like. Adorable of course. What to my surprise did I find? That they had a special set with full shirring! Ayyyee!

la foret for the angelic pretty baked sweets parade release

I totally want to make one of those candy pops by the way. But that is not what this post is about today. I do have plenty of sugar in store for you though. How about a sprinkles cutsew? Hu hu hu. (more…)

Lolitable pastel fur coat for winter

faux fur coat accented with ivory lace

I have no restraint… that is when it comes to lace. I purchased this adorable faux fur coat from Loft to wear with lolita coordinates. It is a shorter length that is petticoat friendly. Got it home and before I even cut the tags off I was already digging through my lace trims to see if I could give it a little extra punch. Not only can I not resist adding lace but I have a bit of a thing for tassels. They take the coat in a dolly kei direction without going overboard. (⁎❝᷀ົ ˙̫ ❝᷀ົ⁎)

P.S. ·͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙•̩̩͙⁺‧͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙ ・・દ૨૨ʏ મ૨ıτ・・༶ •̩̩͙⁺‧͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙•̩̩͙⁺‧͙ 

Nothing to wear… whip up a coordinate

otome kei and sweet lolita whip cream designs

Life is not without irony. I am addicted to prints and accessories that include fluffy little whips of cream. In the real world however I am no fan. I like my hot cocoa naked please. But a heavy dollop is more than welcome on any coordinate. Q-pot is top of the charts when it comes to all things whip and, if I could manage, I would gobble up every single piece from the cherry sundae collection. That isn’t in the cards, but I scored something equally darling. I got my hands on a few yards of official Emily Temple cute whip and cherry fabric!!! (more…)

Alteration: Emily Temple cute Puppy onepiece

I completed this almost a year ago and its such a satisfying project so many months later. This quickly become my most favorite go to dress. I’ve been filling gaps in my wardrobe for more casual lolita looks so that I can dress up more often. At first I thought I must be mental to buy two of the exact same just to make one a smidge bigger. However the end result was more then just a well fitting dress but an entire set of coordinating accessories as well. First lets start with the dress remake.

emily temple cute dress remake to larger size

You can learn a lot by taking apart a brand dress. For Emily Temple cute I learned that they piece together the front bodice and skirt,  same for the the back, and then join them along the sides. In the past I’ve made the bodice and then attach the skirt. Its given me some new ideas on how to simplify a similar pattern I use for otome kei dresses. As for these alterations, the goal was to make it bigger but ensure that it wasn’t noticeable that it was altered. Success means making the smallest tweak so that only a die-hard Emikyu fan would scratch their head knowing something is different. (more…)

From boudoir to street style — peignoir remake

I am not really sure if Etsuna Otsuka fits into one street fashion style alone. If I were to try and force fit it perhaps then a blend of cult party and larme kei with a touch of mori all rolled up into one. There are similarities to Meno in how vintage sweaters and lingerie are remade but with a tad more sophistication and a whole lot more pastel. Inspired by her workshop in Tokyo I have been itching to try my hand at this style and after some time gathered the right complimentary vintage pieces for the project.

using a mix of j-fashion styles to remake a peignoir

 

The Materials

My local thrift stores are a bit disappointing so shopping online was really the only option to find what I needed. I found the sax and pink vintage peignoir set, sax cape, and the various flower embellishments all on Etsy. Nabbed the knit fabric while browsing fabric stores on vacation. Always check out the fabric stores when you travel — the buyers in different markets have very different tastes and you never know what you will find. With those in hand I felt one more element would be needed so pulled some blue velvet ribbon from my trims that pops nicely against the knit fabric. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling brave enough to try my hand at embroidery (just yet) so stuck with cute embellishments to give the look the dainty details needed following Etsuna’s esthetic. (more…)

Inspiration: Etsuna Otsuka Workshop

etsuna otsuka in her tokyo studio

Sometimes in life things just magically fall into place. Back in the spring some of that magic came my way when a trip to Tokyo fortunately coincided with one of Etsuna Otsuka’s workshops. The moment I saw the posting on her site I immediately reserved a spot. I received a very dear email as well to confirm that it wasn’t a mistake and, with some broken Japanese, confirmed I would indeed be able to attend and was coming from New York.

Her blend of vintage made fresh is very feminine and modern. Formerly loved but discarded lingerie is given a new lease on life in a very positive departure from today’s fast-fashion scene. There is a charm to her work that blends fairytale with classy sophistication. I can think of so many adjectives to describe both her art and her personality: charming, romantic, sweet, endearing, stylish — the list goes on. In short, I am a huge fan!

Inside The Atelier

Approaching the shop address you are greeted with a typical Tokyo building, giving no real indication of what you will discover inside. Once the door opens on the second floor however you are transported to a delicate world woven of fluffy pastel knits, vintage peignoir accents, fine lace, and exquisite embroidery. (more…)

Vintage Black Tie Coordinate Under $300

Work springed a bit of a surprise on me this week; one both welcome and troubling. It appears I will be attending a black tie event in about a week’s time. Lovely. But classic problem… I’ve nothing to wear. I have plenty a pretty lace jumperskirt but nothing that says black tie in my lolita arsenal. The timing of it all is also a challenge. My bank account is still #rufflerekt this side of RuffleCon. So I need to be extremely thrifty to solve this dilemma. Never fear, Etsy to the rescue.

putting together a black tie gown coordinate on a tight budget

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