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.
My inner voice had a good long debate about if this should be an OP or separates. Separates won out in the end to give it more versatility… I have a few tops that I could envision working with the skirt. While Etsuna’s silhouette is slightly more form fitting, I like things a little relaxed and tried to take the look in a cute but casual direction. There wasn’t a sketch to guide this project instead it ran purely on gut feeling as it progressed.
The top was made using my tried-and-true cutsew pattern I drafted a few years ago. That pattern is the base of almost all of my jersey pieces. Its the perfect blank canvas that allows me to use prints and embellishments for creating fresh new stories. Here, the cape was the obvious starting point. I serged together the top and hand sewed the cape in place carefully measuring to get an equal distance from the neckline. Then it was up to the sewing gods for the details. I just started making some ribbons and placing the appliques till the balance felt right.
The sleeves were the real gamble. The original peignoir was way to small for me but I really really liked the detail on the short sleeves. I didn’t know if it would work but knew the elastic was neither too big nor too small for my wrists. So I closed up the edges where it attached to the bodice and very carefully stitched following the lace to attach it to the bottom of the sleeves. End result – I LOVE IT!
The skirt was a no brainer. The scallop lace details are what drew me to the original. I carefully sewed the embroidered appliques to each point to accentuate the fairytale feeling. The sheer pink lining is slightly smaller than the outer sax layer on the original dress. So I had to carefully measure and cut away this section. It would have been too small if I just cut following the original waist line. The finished shape is so dreamy, couldn’t be happier. The length falls just below the knees and has a charming 50s flare.
Grading my work: When I step back and take in the whole piece, the back of the top bothers me. Might add ribbon lacing to cinch it in a bit and break up the pink. It will mimic the front where I reused the old waist ties from the robe. Hope it won’t be too matchy-matchy by using a satin ribbon since there isn’t any more cord from the original lingerie. And as for the skirt, the lesson learned is not to use this particular knit in gathering. Its a thicker fabric and I don’t like the volume of it around the waist when the elastic was added. It’ll probably bug me enough to remake the waistband one of these days but it isn’t the end of the world and is hidden under the top. All-in-all, I am very pleased with the outcome and will definitely try a remake project like this again. Perhaps a t-shirt combined with a lace camisole for the next act :3