For some time I wanted a very casual Lolita summer dress.  Something unfussy and relaxed.  Not all the usual bows and lace and layers.  Just a quick and simple piece that can be pulled on and kicked around in without worry of getting it dirty or damaged.  And my last requirement, something that didn’t need all the extra Lolita trappings that can be way too hot during sweltering summer days.

So around about this time last year I took the plunge and below was the outcome.

Handmade Lolita Fashion Jumper SkirtI opted for a JSK with a three-tier gathered skirt.  The fabric is a soft pink, but depending on the light takes on some lilac tones.  The print is comprised of small branches of grape leaves on a super subtle stripe.

The Dress Shirring and Decoritive StitchesTo keep with the “easy breezy” concept, I went for a shirred back.  This makes it effortless to slip over a cutsew/t-shirt top. I did have a little fun with the hem.  Opted to use one of the many decorative stitches on my machine.  That required patience as it took probably 10 times as long as a basic stitch.  But it is an understated detail where I know it is there and it makes me smile.

mary madgalene sewing pattern alterationsThe inspiration came from Gothic & Lolita Bible vol. 21 (way back in the summer of 2006.)  This particular dress from Mary Magdalene shows up twice in the issue: first in a MM ad (shown above) and then again in a spread shared with Innocent World.

For patterns, I used McCall’s Costumes M6187 as a jumping off point for the bodice.  The front was pretty straight forward.  I started by making a muslin based on the pattern and then splitting it up where I wanted straps.  The back took a bit more tinkering to increase the amount of fabric to accommodate elastic shirring.  Also made big changes to balance out the straps.  Lined the entire bodice which took some figuring out but was well worth it in the end.

The skirt is kinda funny.  I bought McCall’s M6100, which is a children’s pattern, for all of 99 cents.  It had exactly the style skirt I wanted and with the right volume to hold a petticoat.  So using some basic math, I scaled up the miniature version to adult size and my desired circumference for the final piece.

I welcome critique.  What do you think?