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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Handmade: Rilakkuma Chocolate His & Hers Accessories

Literally riding on the coat tails of RuffleCon was the Rilakkuma Day at FAO Schwarz in New York City. We missed the chance to meet the little cutie earlier in the year so were so pleased that San-X came back. Now I am sure other artists must do the same thing. And that is come up with something you just must make, super last minute, even if it means staying up all hours of the night. That is pretty much what happened with this His & Hers Sweet Chocolate Collection.

rilakkuma inspired chocolate lolita his and hers accessories

Chocolate Korilakkuma Hat

chocolate korilakkuma hat angelic pretty purse

At RuffleCon I picked up Angelic Pretty’s Came Window JSK in pink. It became the jumping off point for this little accessory collection. It gave me the idea to make a Neopolitan Ice Cream inspired coordinate for each of us. His outfit was primarily vanilla and mine strawberry. All that was missing was a hearty scoop of chocolate.

The hat was the main focus of this work. I found a huge floppy felt hat at Marshals to use as the structure for the base. I was tight on time and didn’t have a good stiff interfacing that would hold its shape. I chopped off the round top of the hat cap and dramatically trimmed the brim to get the shape I wanted. From there I drafted pattern pieces to cut out the fabric. Those were sewn together and then attached to the base. Some ribbon and lace added flare and hid the seams for a clean finish. Those little Rilakkuma ears were a blast to make. I love the gold rickrack trim which makes them pop from the hat. And to finish it all off I hot glued a Korilakkuma key cover along with some miniature antique key charms found at Michaels Crafts. The key ties into the motif of the Angelic Pretty print to create harmony.

Another RuffleCon goodie was my first ever Moss Märchen purchase. I was able to get one of her incredible handmade Ribbon Embroidery necklaces. The gold frame, fleur de lis charms and ivory color are an exact match for the Cameo Window print!!

Golden Key Chocolate Collar

korilakkuma purse, angelic pretty cameo window jsk and chocolate collar

For Her I whipped up a simple collar. But nothing is simple about the icing. This piece pulls all the Neapolitan flavors together with strawberry lace and vanilla tassels. The golden key charm is from Michaels Crafts and is almost identical to the one in the Angelic Pretty print.

This chocolate fabric has been pretty popular in the handmade and indie lolita sphere. I’ve come across many different style JSKs which made me want to try something different to show the print’s versatility. I am thinking of making a cape out of the remaining fabric since that would showcase the print in a more splashy way. Plus I am hopelessly addicted to capes right now for extra warmth in the winter.

Men’s Melty Chocolate Ribbon Tie

mens lolita fashion - chocolate print ribbon tie

And finally to carry the theme through His coordinate I made a gigantic ribbon tie. This piece helps give continuity to the hat making it a look and not just a chocolate piece. Repeated a key charm on the tie again for more layering of the theme. My favorite part of the tie is that it showcases the border print. I mean it can’t be melty chocolate with out some drips.

rilakkuma logoangelic pretty key

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Handmade: Rosettes for 2014 Winter ILD

I wish all year was as mellow as the week between Christmas and New Years!!! Finally have a moment to reflect and go thru all my photos and memories of the blur of frivolity that has ensued since October. It started with the tsunami of lace that was RuffleCon and the waves of cute have kept crashing in.  What a magnificent way to end 2014.

Today’s catch up is a pair of handmade rosettes I whipped up for this winter’s International Lolita Day. Everyone was asked to bring a small gift to exchange. I didn’t want the gift to be too impersonal so mixed things up with some small store bought items and these made-with-love badges.

sweet lolita chocolate rosette and classic lolita violin and roses badge

Sweet Lolita – Golden Chocolate Rosette

Waaaa, so happy that my friend Dixmacabre got the chocolate rosette!!! Having your artwork go to a fellow artist is humbling and such an honor. The girl has mad sewing skills. Make sure your check out her latest collection. She has been in a sewing frenzy with the most beautiful art prints and black brocade called “Walking Museum.” At the tea party she immediately attached the rosette to her beret and wore it all night.

lolita chocolate print rosette with key charm

Classic Lolita – Nature’s Melody Rosette

And the pastel rosette magically made its way to our very own pastel princess Parfait Doll! How perfect is that! I loved Victoria’s expression when she opened the package. She was all smiles and gave me a big boost of confidence with how pleased she was to have one of my rosettes. Yay!! I was going to stop on this one with the rabbit button but felt it was missing something. The decision to add the violin button was validated when she professed it was adorable on Instagram. Just needed that little extra sparkle. hime rose animated gif

victoria got the handmade rose and violin rosette

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Lucky Pack: Innocent World 2015 Fukubukuro

Rushed home to find my Innocent World Happy Pack arrived!! With the healthy dollar to yen rate right now I took a chance on the Happy Pack A Large. I had been wait-listed however won out in the end. Delighted with what I received!!

innocent world chocolate and king of lolita

innocent world Chocolate Fountain OP

IW King of Lolita Just Waist JSK

These are both keepers. I truly feel like a got a “lucky” lucky pack *✲゚*。✧٩(・ิᴗ・ิ๑)۶*✲゚*。✧

innocent world blouse, jsk, socks, hair clip and iphone case

  • Standing Collar Blouse スペシャルスタンドカラーブラウス in ivory
  • No Clue What Its Called halter top JSK in pink
  • 15th Anniversary iPhone case
  • Standard Issue floral and ribbon OTK in ivory
  • Ribbon hair clip in navy

innocent world standing collar blouse in cream

oddments from the 2014 innocent world happy pack a

This dress is totally the “we can’t sell it put it in lucky pack” item; the little flaps by the tie had to be pinned down to take the photo!! And I just don’t know if that top styling would really be flattering. And I will never know as there is no way on earth this is a Japanese large – its tiny. I do like the tie and the fabric so might hack at it and see if I can make it into something wearable.

The sleeves on the blouse are too short and it won’t button across a certain area of female anatomy… but I might still be able to salvage this as well with a few alterations.

Pleased I took the gamble on this lucky pack. It was totally a risk as Innocent World sizes run small however scored two amazing dresses that I can’t wait to try out.

(❛ัॢᵕ❛ั ॢ)✩*ೃ.⋆      ˚‧*♡ॢ˃̶̤̀◡˂̶̤́♡ॢ*‧˚     ⁺✧.(˃̶ ॣ⌣ ॣ˂̶∗̀)ɞ⁾

Innocent World what a lucky pack might include

 

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Project Complete: Red Riding Hood Cape Set

custom made lolita red riding hood cape and purse

As I mentioned in my last post, was hard pressed what to wear to a fairy tale inspired event for the opening of Into the Woods. This encouraged me to finally try out a pattern from the Otome no Sew books. The Red Riding Hood cape from book 5 seemed the most logical place to dive in. Well and for good measure threw in a bag and matching coord for Kumya-chan while I was at it. I’ve been itching to use the patterns and honestly am not sure why it has taken me this long.

Like other Japanese pattern books you have to be sure to add seam allowance. That was easy enough. Bonus, the Otome books patterns include 3 sizes – Japanese small, medium and large. I am a Japanese 2L which meant grading the pattern up for my project. The cape was perfect choice to start with since its not form fitting. I got a feel for their instructions and pattern quality with little risk.

Putting aside the fact that the pattern is in Japanese I would give the book a 3.5 or 4 stars. I think the books are good but not great. If you are a beginner sewer I think you would be frustrated not just with the instructions but the many shortcuts the patterns take. While I am self-taught I have enough tricks up my sleeve to know when to deviate from what the book was saying in order to get a better end result.  What I admire most about Lolita fashion is the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. The pattern I choose did not include a lining for the cape only for the hood. This is an example of what I mean by shortcuts. Couldn’t have that so added a full lining for good measure.

handmade lolita fashion for kumya-chan

The pattern was meant to have a ribbon closure, but for this project I left it off. Instead I got a little lazy and reused the ribbon from my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Sweet Fawn Cape. Its a beautiful cream velvet that matches with the laces I used perfectly. And why make another ribbon that would have pretty much been identical?

The main fabric was a fun find from one of my fabric stores on the planet – Discount Fabric Warehouse on the Big Island of Hawaii. Every time we vacation there I ship back boxes (that is plural folks) of crazy inexpensive fabrics. You never ever know what you will find. The strategy there is to buy it if you think it is cute even if you don’t have a project in mind yet. This jem sat in my stash for about a year. Its a high quality, thin, cotton corduroy in punchy red, pink and blue. Has just a taste of the Eastern European feel I was hoping for in this look. Again I wanted to give a nod to the homeland of so many fairy tales I loved growing up. But I didn’t want it to scream folk art or for that matter be a super obvious Red Riding Hood either.

Into The Woods

into the woods coordinate made using the otome no sew book 5

Above is how I styled my look for the Into The Woods meet. Pulling on the blue in the cape I matched it with a pair of navy tights featuring birds and an open bird cage. Gave both Kumya-chan and myself matching silver bird cage necklaces on simple navy ribbons. And added monster flowers to my braids – in a woodland lolita take on Princess Leia.

Didn’t get many good shots from the meet so literally headed into the woods the next day
to show it styled in a more toned down way.

kumya chan goes into the woods

Feeling pretty good about this project and inspired to try my hand at some more of the patterns now.  There is that sailor dress that I have the perfect fabric for…

Credits: Cute little clip art found here
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