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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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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