From boudoir to street style — peignoir remake

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.

using a mix of j-fashion styles to remake a peignoir

 

The Materials

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…)

Vintage Black Tie Coordinate Under $300

Work springed a bit of a surprise on me this week; one both welcome and troubling. It appears I will be attending a black tie event in about a week’s time. Lovely. But classic problem… I’ve nothing to wear. I have plenty a pretty lace jumperskirt but nothing that says black tie in my lolita arsenal. The timing of it all is also a challenge. My bank account is still #rufflerekt this side of RuffleCon. So I need to be extremely thrifty to solve this dilemma. Never fear, Etsy to the rescue.

putting together a black tie gown coordinate on a tight budget

(more…)

Alteration: Emily Temple cute Chocolate and Ribbon

strawberry and chocolate coordinate with etc and angelic pretty

vintage blouse from etsy has the perfect collar for emily temple cute op

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…)

DIY Upcycle: Vintage Wool Vest Ouji Style

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.

breathing new life into an vintage thrifted wool vest

(more…)

Handmade: Victorian Doll Maxi JSK

Taking a little gamble for this year’s Winter ILD and going with a handmade maxi dress for my coord. The moment I saw this “make your own” Victorian doll fabric it spoke to me. There is a hint of Jane Marple or Emily Temple cute about it that I couldn’t resist. However, I had no intention of making the actual dolls as the manufacturer intended, instead to use the panels as an unusual take on a border print.

maxi length otome kei dress made from victorian paper doll fabric

(more…)

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…

Remake: Rabbits in the Garden Wicker Purse

The past couple weeks have been fun, started back to Japanese lessons and then there were the fashion shows. On the flip side that means my sewing has slowed down. Still have a few things to post but need to get back in gear as I have set a lofty goal with my summer project line up. Before my mini break, I completed the second of several items in the Garden Party coordinate project.

garden party rabbit wicker lolita purse

Once I finished the Rabbit Apron my attention shifted to a remake of a vintage wicker hand bag. This is turning to be an annual summer event as last year you might recall I remade another wicker purse to go with a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright cherry dress.

quality lace braid and beading used for embellishments

how to upcycle a vintage wicker purse

Did I start this post saying I completed this bag? Well that is not exactly true.  I still need to do something to the interior of the purse. Right now it is gingham which is absolutely charming but is not in keeping with the color palette and styling of the rest of the outfit. Fussing over the details is important to make a good project be great. Which is why during all of this I also add a couple of bows to the apron to make the lacing feel more finished.

recover-interior-of-old-wicker-handbag

Materials for lace wrist cuffs have been cut and I just need to finish them but have been distracted by a couple other items so hope to wrap those up soon. So all-in-all off to a good start on my list of to-dos but can’t slack off anytime soon. Thank you summer for the motivating sunshine and energy! よし、がんばれます。

Feeling Retro

addicted to vintage these days

Thoroughly frustrated with finding good brand lolita blouses that will fit me I have since resorted to vintage. Vintage was my lifeline in college. There were some amazing, with an upper-case A, thrift stores in the greater Detroit area. At 50 cents to a few dollars it was all I could afford. God, I remember panicking over buying a pack of Gap socks one winter knowing it meant going without food in order to afford them.  Frozen feet won out in the end.

When I first moved to NY some of my first freelance jobs were working for Emanuel by Emanuel Ungaro and Tommy Hilfiger. I was emboldened by the NY fashion scene and was always after something new and fresh. And slowly but surely I also got my financial sea legs. So it is funny that now at my current fork in the fashion road the journey has me returning to my fashion roots.

It took just one Etsy purchase to pull me back in hook, line and sinker. The peach number selected for the recent lecture and fashion show at Japan Society lead me to coveting many more items on Etsy and eBay. Most wound up in my wish list and too many in my cart. And it wasn’t just blouses that lured me in. I have amassed a staggering collection of 1950s and 60s bed jackets (chiffon robe / peignoir) on the want list. The cult party kei girls are tugging at my fashion heart strings right now. Uhh, and then there was the have-to-have-it brass ribbon and Japanese vase … no clue where I am going to fit those into what is turning out to be a very stuffed studio in the new house.

blouses on my watch list

I am hoping to get the sailor style blouse above this week. All the rest are in the mail! But this one blouse is still tempting me, calling to me, whispering in my ear. “Sheri, you need me.”  And I expect I will cave to temptation.  Hello vintage, bye bye Bodyline.

Long Bed Coat  |  Short Bed Coat  |  Brass Ribbon  |  Lolita Girl Vase  |  Ruffle Blouse  |  Sailor Blouse (my secret for now)

Project Complete: Sweet Lolita Summer Cherry Handbag

country lolita wicker purse cherry pouch

sweet lolita pouch and key ring

It is so satisfying to finish a project.  And this DIY vintage wicker handbag transformation is complete!  The finishing touch was the addition of a sweet lolita makeup pouch.  Blending form and function, the pouch is more substantial than a typical makeup bag – by about 2 inches.  It also features a small clip so that keys don’t slide around or get lost when you open and close your purse.  Alternatively little charms could be attached to it to add a personal touch.

materials to make a makeup pouch

I didn’t follow a pattern for this bag but I did flip a Lancôme freebie inside out to examine their general construction.  I doubled a piece of the cherry fabric and ironed in some fusible interfacing to half of the fabric.  The side with the interfacing became the outside and with the extra stiffness I was able to embellish it with lace to match the main handbag.  I then attached a swivel clip to some pink ribbon for the key chain.  Last was the addition of a big pink ribbon.

inserting a zipper into the lolita makeup bag

I wanted to use a white zipper, but my sewing stash failed me.  Seeing the finished product, I think it worked out best to have the contrasting red zipper instead.  After inserting the zipper I serged the two sides and then a quick stitch across the bottom corners gave the pouch its final shape.

The pouch comfortably holds a brush, hand lotion, blush and a powder compact with some room to spare.  If your wondering where to keep Life’s Sweet Essential #4 – Money, well, my Vivian Westwood wallet tucks in nicely in front of the pockets on the other side of the purse.

DIY Result

I’ll conclude this DIY July project with a small photo shoot of the finished handbag and a few before and after shots to show its makeover.

sweet lolita cherry theme photo shoot

cherry sweet lolita summer coordinate

vintage wicker handbag before and afternew fabric lining for vintage handbag

summer lolita wicker handbag coordinate

Sweet Dreams!

Project Update: Sweet Lolita Handbag Organizer

nothing beats a well organized handbag

While the outside of this wicker handbag is charming and refined, the inside is an over the top explosion of cute.  I really outdid myself on making this purse organizer.  So thrilled about the final result.  My daily essentials are perfectly placed and easy to get to:

  • Mobile Phone
  • Lipstick
  • Mirror
  • Tissues
  • Business Card Case
  • Tic Tacs

No commercial lolita brand would spend this much time on the inside of a purse.  Far to expensive to manufacture.  But wow what a difference it makes.  The vintage purse is still a modest size compared to styles popular these days in mainstream fashion.  But once the bag is well organized that size difference isn’t a big deal.  And this is just one side of the bag.  There is more to come.  But first lets break down how the organizer was made.

vintage purse organizer insert

The finished piece looks like this.  A simple flat organizer that can be slipped into the purse.  I did decide to attach it to the lining in the purse for stability, but that is personal preference versus a necessity.  Below is an overview of the steps to make your own organizer.

template for handbag organizer

measuring the organizer pockets

sewing a perfect organizer pocket

stich flip press and close opeing

My biggest advice is to go slowly and be sure to think ahead to the next few steps.  With patience and diligence I would rank this an intermediate sewing project.  To make it more basic, I would drop the lace trim and the rounded corners.

It was dark when I finished the other side of the purse.  After brunch I’ll get around to taking some photos to share with you the other half of what has turned out to be an exquisitely organized handbag.

Page 1 of 212