Time for another one of my super easy alteration projects. Broken record here, you know how much I adore the prints from Emily Temple cute, Leur Getter and Milk. And you also know the struggle with them being too tinsy. My go to trick is to convert dresses into skirts and that is what I have for you today.
I come back to this fashion fix all the time because it is so easy and the result is well worth it. The bodices of most jumperskirt style dresses don’t really have that much fabric in them relative to the overall piece. Admittedly, the bodice does usually have the details that make the piece standout however with these brands the print is what comes before anything else. The key is to use the high waisted dresses and ones with pleats or lots of gathering so that you can achieve the needed width and length of a larger size compared to the brand’s actual skirts.
While I very much want to support these brands financially, I wouldn’t recommend buying directly from the brand if you plan to do this type of alteration. Expense-wise, you will pretty much be eliminating resale value and there will be waste in fabric from the original garment. Personally I find ways to use up the left over scraps in small accessories, but I have never been able to 100% recycle the remaining bits into other projects.
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…)
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
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. ·͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙*˚⁺‧͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙ ༶･･ᗰદ૨૨ʏ ᘓમ૨ıડτന੨ડ･･༶ •̩̩͙*˚⁺‧͙⁺˚*•̩̩͙✩•̩̩͙*˚⁺‧͙
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.
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…)
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.
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…)
This year I have been taking a hard look at my wardrobe. I have lots of individual pieces that I love but not necessarily full looks. My hope is to narrow down my closet and reorganize pieces into coordinates to establish quick “go-to” choices. They need to fit well, be cohesive, and to a degree be simple. Also, they need to strike a balance between casual and pulled together. I don’t like being “dressed up” all the time, its just not who I am. (more…)
H A P P Y N E W Y E A R ! ! ! While the new year is officially underway, I still have a lot of projects to catch everyone up on. Starting with this one.
We spent the Autumn Equinox in Paris and were on a shopping mission like no other. Of the many amazing places we explored we hit the jackpot when we came upon Kilo-Shop. This is honestly one of the best thrift/vintage stores I have ever been too. Super well organized, extremely well priced, and with top notch curation. And it was a rare experience that both of us equally had choices to select from – an atypically well balanced mix of hip mens and womens ware. Ideas were literally pouring out of me onto the shop floor and our arms were over burdened with everything we were hording for checkout.
For work I have a pretty basic uniform of t-shirt, cardigan, skirt and leggings/tights. The later item to brave the arctic temperatures that Corporate America apparently needs to preserve its employees at so they don’t spoil. The rest is a combo for comfort to spend the better part of the day staring into a computer screen and constantly calling into meetings. While a lot of pastel spills over from my alternative fashion-side into my office lady-side, surprisingly there is a ton of black. When Milk’s Castle Night (キャッスルナイト) popped up on Closet Child I thought it would make a versatile piece that could be styled for the work day or weekend.
The Castle Night print is so charming. A collection of ribbons, broaches and vintage perfume bottles in a style that looks like doodles someone might draw in their notebook when bored in class (or meetings.) It is also speckled with small glitter dots here and there. None of the photos do justice to this little detail at all.
Looking forward to wearing this well into winter for a pop of cheery color as the daylight grows shorter. A nice chunky sweater and a little ankle boot should do the trick. And so there you have it. Another simple alteration to give a little extra wiggle room into a one-size-fits-some Japanese brand piece.
P.S. Need to think of something clever to do with the fabric left over from the bodice of the dress. Maybe some hair ribbons and a rosette? Not sure yet…
Closet Child has been so dangerous for me this year. I’m on a tighter budget (saving for something wonderful) which means second hand prices allow me to still invest in my cute lifestyle. And if you have followed me for any period of time you will know that I have shed many a tear that I can’t fit into Emily Temple cute dresses. Sure I can squeeze into some with full shirring in the back on occasion, but its not really flattering nor is it comfortable. So wanting my Yen to go further and sizes to be more comfortable I saw a good opportunity. The whole make lemonade if given lemons thing.
If you are patient, and not partial to the “most popular” prints, you can pick up quite a few jumperskirts and one piece dresses from ETC and Milk for around $50-80. The way I look at it, that is on par with getting something from Banana Republic or Ann Taylor loft. But instead of boring you get something with a sweet print and quality fabric.
I look for pieces with a high waist. I tried a couple of skirts and they are dangerously short which put me onto this idea. The secret is looking for pieces that will have plenty of volume and that are high waisted. ETC dresses often have underbust seam lines mixed with pleating in the front and elastic in the back. I cut the bodice from the skirts and the skirt lining if there is one. I then make a simple waist band and serge it and insert elastic to finish the job. I cranked one out in a morning the other day and was able to wear it to work. It can be that easy.
This particular Trump Bear print is printed on a nice thick jersey. I am wearing it to pieces already this summer. Its been my go-to for cute, simple and quick on our hot summer weekends where comfort is king. I pair it with matching ETC accessories like the bear necklace and bag (also found second hand on Closet Child.)