Sewing & Alterations: Angelic Pretty Decoration Dream

Next weekend is International Lolita Day.  This weekend is, OMG what am I going to wear day.  Finally settled on wanting to wear Angelic Pretty’s Decoration Dream from 2011.  Found it at Closet Child in Harajuku when I was on vacation.  Couldn’t beat the price but knew it was going to need some work to fit over my, ahem, non-Japanese figure. I find Baby the Stars Shine Bright to be more forgiving both in width and length.  It is never so with Angelic Pretty.

angelic pretty decoration dream before and after

This week’s sewing lesson, waist ties are a fuller-figure girl’s best sewing friend!  Throwing caution to the wind, I drafted a few different option to increase the waist dimension about 3-4 inches.  And the hope was to also increase the length if possible, otherwise the straps would also need to be altered. Wanted to only take on one major change and not two.  And it worked out like a charm.

kera lolita sewing book 3

Earlier this week I received the latest Lolita Sewing Book (乙女のソーイングBOOK 3) from Kinokuniya.  Put it to good use right away to draft a new waist band for the skirt.  If I learned anything in art school it was always have what you will know will work as option 2, and what you think would be innovative and ideal as option 1.  I knew I could use the waist ties to just make a basic rectangular waist band and add some elastic in the back.  But that is boring.  So for the ideal but more complicated option I was inspired by the waist band on the skirt on page 17 of the new book.

altering a lolita skirt using the waist ties

After an outrageous amount of stitch ripping, I ironed the waist ties and cut them into 5 1/2 inch sections.  I transferred the pattern from the book onto tracing paper and added about 2 inches to the pattern in order to let the waist band cross over a bit in the back.  I should mention I only cut one of the waist ties to begin with (just in case the creative idea didn’t work).  I then did my best to realign the pieces to match the curvature of the pattern.  It was a bit tricky and I didn’t exactly get all the fabric to line up on grain.  After sewing the one tie back together into its new configuration I knew it was OK to go for it with the other one.  Decided to reuse the 2 bows from the ties to embellish the front panel of the new waist band.  As it is now much taller, without the adornment, it would have looked odd left bare.

adding snaps to angelic pretty skirt

I did my best to make the flap above the zipper nice and neat.  My math didn’t exactly work out as you can see by the imperfections.  But It isn’t a disaster and I can live with it.  Used 3 pink snaps to finish it off.  The snaps also came from vacation. Purchased them from Tomato in Nippori.  The skirt came with a basic latch clasp but I think snaps make a much cleaner finish and hold better.

clean seams inside lolita skirt

Inside I used a solid pink fabric to line the new waist band. Hand stitched the inside edge to make it tidy.  I know no one will be able to see it, but that’s how I like to roll.

how to increase the size of a lolita skirt

All-in-all it has some issues, but only if you are really checking it out.  Pretty proud of my achievement.  The waist band is triple its original height giving the straps at least an extra 2 inches for my long torso.  You can see the difference in the above photo.  I used every last bit of the ties so the only fabric that remains is the original waist band.  Can’t make much out of it, but perhaps a small hair bow maybe.  Also not sure what to do with the lace that came off the ties.  For now have added it to my stash for another day.

Only trouble is, now I need to find a good pair of matching socks for ILD… hum.  Guess it is a good thing, that by shear dumb luck thanks to work, I get to spend a day in San Francisco this week!  AP & Baby here I come!

Ripped Apart a Perfectly Good Skirt

bodyline skirt transformation

So you might be asking, what’s up?  Didn’t you just buy that skirt not too long ago? And the answer is, yep.  But I think this skirt is destined for something a bit different from its original purpose.  Stay tuned, more to follow…

DIY Korilakkuma Sweatshirt

Found this Korilakkuma washcloth thingy when I was in San Francisco ages ago. Japan Town has so many fun little shops.  Loved her because she is adorable, but had no idea what to do with her.  Bought her anyway.  And this weekend was glad I did.  Found a good basic pink sweatshirt on, tossed in some ribbon and lace in my stash, as well as some little charms I found locally, and before I knew it had a DIY project.

diy korilakkuma sweatshirtkorilakkuma replacing the button with a pink ribbonkorilakkuma sweatshirt appliquekorilakkuma teapot and key charms korilakkuma bear ears hoodiekorilakkuma sweatshirt patternsweet korilakkuma pink sweatshirtI also added a couple of bows to adorn the ears on the hood.  It is hard to see from the snaps I took, but in person they add a needed balance and continuity to the ribbon on the applique.  The sweatshirt now matches wonderfully to Baby the Stars Shine Bright’s My Sweet Mate Kumya’s Honey Hunt skirt. Very proud of my little Thanksgiving weekend accomplishment.

P.S. Apparently I forgot to switch the direction of the drop shadow in Photoshop for a couple of the images.  Kinda like the randomness of it ( ̄ー ̄).

I ♥ Scotties

lolita scottish terrier tartan coordinate

There were a bunch of blog posts recently on the topic of  Lolita Print Themes I’m Dreaming Of.  For me the answer is a no brainer.  I really really really wish the major brands would come out with a Scottish Terrier themed print.  Scotties are so sweet and cheerful and for a dress design would be very iconic.  I fill this void by mixing in many of my rather large collection of scottie accessories into my own coordinates.  As Halloween is fast approaching I went full tilt today.

  1. Scottie Cardigan
    Ages ago Anthropologie released a wool cardigan with a scottie on the side.  It was a favorite winter go-to that I literally wore to pieces.  But the applique was tough and survived after all these years.  So to breathe new life into it, I cut it out and recycled it with a basic heather gray cardigan from Target.  With this redux I added my own personal touch which includes a chiffon collar, a silver dog tag engraved with 愛 {love} and a chain leash that drapes across the torso.
  2. Inu Mimi {Dog Ears} Alice-band
    This item is a bit over the top, and I love it.  Instead of the more popular neko mimi, I decided to make my own inu mimi, or scottie mimi in this case.  Some scrap tartan fabric mixed with black pleather and white fleece make up the base.  A red grosgrain ribbon and a black scottish terrier button adorn one ear.  This is on my top ten list of favorite weekend accomplishments.  I wear it around the house frequently just to be silly.

In the spirit of the Blog Carnival theme – what would your dream print be?

scottie dog lolita accessories

Kawaii French Baret

sweet lolita pink baret

Another project makes its debut – yay!  The classic French baret is a popular item in the Lolita Fashion circle.  But for it to qualify, the baret must take on characteristics common to the alternative fashion style.  I mixed and matched a bit and pulled in an off-white ribbon lace to go with the sweet style and a bow made from kimono silk to pull on the wa {traditional Japanese} style.

diy decorated french baret

For class last night, I paired my latest creation with the most awesome polka dot sweater I found on Asos and a Western take on rocking horse platforms that I found last winter {also from Asos.}  Also tossed in a sweet lolita blouse, kodona {boy style} shorts and some tights.

I ended up clipping another ribbon to my hair, so think I might make a few more kimono bows to sew on to the base of the baret.  It looks great from behind but needs a little something to frame the face when worn.

This was a super easy DIY project, but I am a nutter perfectionist.  I sewed by hand around each and every ribbon in the lace to make it look as if it was embroidered to the baret.  I could have been lazy and run a straight stitch on my sewing machine but it just wouldn’t be as professional.  In the end I am really happy that I invested the extra time and diligence to create a strong piece.

My DIY: Card Suit Cardigan

Recently I mentioned Joyce Trimming in NYC.  In the back of the shop they keep a section with boxes stuffed full of different types of embellishments.  I had to have a few sets of their card suit embroidered patches.  Knew right away that I could DIY a Baby the Stars Shine Bright cardigan that I have long admired.

Make your own BTSSB cardigan.

This is another pretty easy do it yourself project.  The first and most important step is to align the patches so that they are evenly spaced on your cardigan.  Be sure to use a ruler! The cardigan I used is a very basic three-quarter sleeved by Merona from Target. I first ironed the patches down on low heat to set them.  Followed the iron by stitching each very close to the edge to ensure they wouldn’t pop off in the wash or with wear-and-tear.

Next up was the lace.  I choose a lace with hearts on it to stay with the card suit theme. It is smaller than that which Baby used, so if you want to make an impact you could use a more substantial cluny lace. With the lace you have to pay attention if you want to stitch it around the waistband like I did.  I ended up hand sewing it so that I could have more control and be sure to stretch the cardigan as I went along.  I was afraid with the machine I might lose the elasticity of the knit.

The finished card suits cardigan.

Must say I am pleased with the outcome.  Was even brave enough to wear it into work (on a casual Friday.)  It certainly was a conversation starter.  Most comments were a in passing question of, “are you feeling lucky?”

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