Project Complete: Cotton Candy Fairy Kei Sweater

pastel top made from recycled sweaters and shorts from Japanese fabric

details of this fairy kei pastel cutsew and what to wear with it

pastel icing cookies and doughnut jewlery from Dolly House, Q-pot and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

It might seem a tad odd posting this sewing project just days before the Summer Solstice. A sweater, really? In the summer Sheri? But here we are. Technically this was completed while the days were still chilly however, I realize it might not get its debut out-and-about until the autumn. Another oddity of this project, can you believe it began almost 2 years ago?!?! Yep, back with this post here. Then we decided to move and into limbo it went, all the pieces cut out ready to be finished, tucked nicely into one-too-many boxes of fabric.

The joy of this DIY project is recycling so many different pieces. All in all it was 3 sweaters and 3 t-shirts, plus some extra jersey and then the lace and crochet trims. The lilac fabric at the bottom wasn’t a part of the original design. It was a Wonder Rocket sweater that just never fit right. When finally sewing all the pieces I quickly didn’t like the top of the piece being the sweater knit and the bottom plain t-shirt. It looked unfinished otherwise.

The sweater came together fast — zip zip zip on the serger. Hey I know, why not make bottoms to go with it! Not sure if I can label the shorts as neo lolita but all the buzz of that trend influenced me. The iced sugar cookie fabric was intended to be made into the typical lolita cupcake skirt one day. What swayed me from the traditional for this super sweet print? Lack of time to attend events basically. I need more doing your homework at Starbucks on Sunday coordinates. This style of short is great because it is full enough to sit cross legged on the bench at my local Sutāba and still be modest and cute. So lets write this one up as part fairy kei and part neo lolita. Now I just need to wait for the air to turn crisp and the leaves to be tempted from their branches telling me autumn has arrived. Until then my friends…

P.S. The pull quotes used in the Kera-inspired layout are from this poem.

DIY Upcycle: Men’s Kawaii Shirt

super easy way to take a plain men's shirt and make it kawaii

When I saw big pink gingham in the men’s section of Target I didn’t have to think twice about buying it. Good bones for a DIY project and under $25 to boot. Its a Merona shirt and comes in green too if pink is, well, too feminine. Now that my friend has a good base for his Aristocrat wardrobe its time to help him tackle casual pieces for less formal events. What better motivator than Sebastian Masuda coming to NYC with a Hello Kitty Time Capsule!! Needed a simple project that had punch and could be done in a jiffy.

how to transform plain shirt into kawaii style

Picked up this cute candy print fabric at Walmart in Kona, Hawaii of all places. Several years ago they stocked a pretty healthy section of Japanese fabrics. The print is so colorful and seemed appropriate for seeing Masuda-san. In addition it has a couple sections of pink gingham which provides continuity with the shirt print. All I had to do was remove the original pocket and trim down the sleeves. Then using the new fabric replace the pocket and add cuffs to the now short sleeves. I could have gone fancier on the cuffs and made it overlap and add a button if there had been more time. Oh yeah, and added a wide rickrack across the shoulder for extra pop.

Time After Time Capsule Event

Sebastian asked everyone to bring a happy colorful memorial item

You couldn’t ask for a more perfect spring day. One of those days where you can opt for short sleeves but still be comfortable in pants {or a petticoat and OTKs.} A few of the local girls were there when we arrived. A small but colorful crowd starting to blossom. Sebastian was all smiles. He personally greeted everyone who came and contributed to the time capsule.

shop girl yuka and a film crew at the event

A Japanese film crew was there and Adel got interviewed. Haven’t yet been able to find it online. They were asking questions about the growth of Lolita internationally, what do you like about dressing in kawaii clothing, where do you see the trend going…etc. VictorianMe then proceeded to do a mock interview which basically cut to the chase, “So Adel, how do you feel about wearing pink?”

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˘)˳ ♬♪♫

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 ˂ٛ⌯ॢ)

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!!

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

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

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…

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.

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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