Happy 4th of July

Flags, Watermelon and Geraniums for the Fourth of JulyWishing you all a very happy Fourth of July.  I consider myself very fortunate to live in this great country.  We’ll be making it a pretty mellow day this year and spending a quiet day celebrating with loved ones.

Already cut open some watermelon for a refreshing summer snack.  Our geraniums are in full bloom.  I love the contrast of their bright red against the green of the trees.  Captured this snapshot of Old Glory fluttering over the main street in P-Town when we were in Cape Cod on vacation.

Hope you enjoy the holiday!

My DIY: Country Lolita JSK

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?

DIY July

I love summer.  The days are longer and with all that extra sunlight my artistic gene kicks in to high gear.

DIY July BannerAnd it looks like So-En, Japan’s first fashion magazine (started in 1936,) also has the bug.  The July Edition is aptly named, “DIY GIRL.” It is jam packed with tons of do it yourself inspiration and how-to examples.

The July 2012 Edition of So-En MagazineOne spread is dedicated to a bib-front, tuxedo style shirt. Looks a bit complicated, but love the sassy style.  The model is wearing the blouse with a simple pair of shorts and a chunky pair of shoes which keep the look from being too serious.

DIY How To Examples

If the blouse is too ambitious, check out the article, “Tokyo Reworkers.” I have been clipping articles like this from Japanese Magazines for years.  One day I will have to pull the Lacoste remake from my archives – still my most favorite remake ever. But anyway, if you have intermediate crafting skills than this is the article for you.  I am noodling over the jeweled collar.  They are even showing up in U.S. magazines now, so I am long overdue to try one myself.

So En make your own ribbon necklaceOr if you are looking for a quick project, check out the “everyday ribbon” article. Very simple and very sweet ribbon necklaces that can be whipped up out of pretty much anything.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri




P.S. I have been saving up some of my own DIY projects.  So look for the following to make an appearance here on L.S.E. in the coming days (*^^*)

Do It Yourself Sneak Preview

Pearls: The World Is Your Oyster

Miracles!  Mon Petit Choux Choux found a second pearl this week!!  It is simply incredible.  The first was found while we were visiting Cape Cod.  Today he picked up a dozen oysters from our local H-Mart and voilà.  It defies statistics.  So amazing.

beautiful fresh pearls found in oysters

Of course this means I am going to want to eat oysters everyday now for the rest of my life (^_-)☆

Summer Holiday in Cape Cod

Hi!  Just returned from a lovely getaway to Cape Cod.  I was much in need of some R&R and a change of scenery to get the creative juices flowing again.

While my better half has visited many times, it was my first.  The Cape does seem to be sort of locked in time; or at least that is my impression.  Small cedar shingled cottages and campgrounds look pretty much like they must have back in the 1950’s and Victorian’s even farther back to the turn of the century.  I couldn’t help but think of the holiday camp from Dirty Dancing as we explored (but as I recall Kellerman’s was in the Catskills.)

Collage of fun things to see and do in Cape Cod

  1. We purchased 2 dozen oysters pretty much everyday.  How could one resist.  On a sunny afternoon, while my beau was shucking them for a happy hour snack, he discovered a pearl!!!  What an incredible surprise!
  2. Lobsters, lobsters, and more lobsters.  It is the Cape after-all.
  3. Yes, yes I did bring lolita with me.  But went easy on the locals with a low-key country-loli look.  I made the dress last summer.  Had been inspired by a very sweet Mary Magdalene piece with a three-tier skirt.
  4. Lobster rolls at the Raw Bar in Mashpee.  Steamers and stuffed quahogs were streaming out of the kitchen.
  5. One of many windmills; this one located in a cottage resort in Dennisport.
  6. Antiques, antiques, and more antiques.  Isn’t this carousel horse adorable.  His price tag was a bit shocking, but a photo was free.
  7. I can’t even begin to explain how impressed I was with all the flora and fauna.  It was peak season for hydrangeas.  The garden shops were overflowing with them if you have a green thumb.
  8. The real reason one comes to the Cape – for the beach.  Nothing like enjoying the sunset and listening to the waves gently rolling in.
  9. No trip is complete with out stocking up on a few bags of namesake chips as a treat for the return trip home.

The natural color palette in Cape Cod.A parting thought, as we packed the car to head back, it struck me that Cape Cod has a very distinct color palette.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri







Finally a Phone Strap for iPhone

I love my iPhone.  But its one shortcoming has always been that it lacks the lovely little feature of allowing a phone strap to be attached.  Admittedly, the ability to add adorable cases and screen protectors did make up for it… that is until now.  Found the greatest accessory this weekend.  A phone strap that fits into the earphone jack!

iphone phone strap

A simple snap and viola, up’d the kawaii of my sweet little phone!  And yes, yes I do have the world’s oldest iPhone.  It still does its job and I am not complaining.

ice cream phone charm

And better yet, there is room on the ring to add more charms!!  The Rilakkuma phone cover has seen some major wear-and-tear now for a couple of years.  Picked up the matching macaron charm on my last visit to San Francisco.  Had no idea that I would someday be able to put the two together.

rilakkuma sweets phone case and charm

Pick up your own earphone jack accessories at strapya-world.com.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri





Back to School

Yawn.  Got up really early.  Very excited.  I start back to school today – yay!  Japanese 2! Must confess that I slacked off between the end of last session to now.  A little thing called work distracted me.  But excited just the same to see Aizawa-sensei and my classmates.  My book bag is packed and ready to go.

Japanese for Busy People & Kinokuniya Book Bag

Summer Must Have – Flatforms

Thank you Anthropologie for having an entire line of summer Flatforms!  I have no idea who came up with the term flatforms, but I hope the trend sticks around for good. I outright refuse to wear high heels, but these are great.  All the comfort of a flat plus fun lift.  Mind you, I am 5’8.5″ so don’t need the boost unlike some of my vertically challenged friends.

Can’t decide between these 2 pairs.  Super pop coral or subtle silver?  Can just imagine how stunning a big splash of orange would look with a nice summer wrap dress say in a cool blue and white print.  The silver can go with just about anything!

Two of Anthropologies' lovely summer flatform shoes.

Asos also has a good size collection of flatforms this year too.  Not exactly as pulled together as Anthro, but still have some pretty decent cousins.

asos and prada flatforms

I wasn’t quick enough to snap up a pair of Prada creepers last year. Still sad over that one.  Would give anything for a pair in blue and black. And eBay hasn’t yielded any fruitful results. ( ̄へ ̄)I am not giving up though.  Have a pair in size 39 you are willing to let go of?

Sweet Dreams, Sheri







Happy Memorial Day Weekend

happy memorial day weekend

Hoping you are having a smashing holiday weekend!!

We are making homemade pizza, working on the house, planting geraniums in the window boxes, and soaking in the lovely sunshine.  What are you up to this fine weekend?

Photoshop Freebies + Macaron Skirt

In a random Google search for macaron clipart came upon the most awesome Photoshop and graphic design freebies by Pugly Pixel.

lace, macaroons, and cute skirts

First up, a free download of the macaron PNG files collection.  Exactly what I was looking for to have a little puri kura fun.  Finished alterations on a Bodyline macaron skirt this morning.   That is what lead to having macarons on the brain.  After downloading and playing with the PNG files figured I would see what else was there.

Pugly Pixel has a ton of Photoshop brushes, textures, and more.  My download folder is full of a lot of goodies yet to be unziped.  They also had a link out to Nadine Pau’s Lace Brushes.  As you must know by now, I love to sew.  So finding adorable lace brushes stuffed my download folder further.

All of that was then blended with a sweet little free app called Xiamen Meitu Technology Co. It has a few kawaii frames and filters.  Put all of the above together and here is the result:

purikura photos and photoshop fun

So if you are looking for a little design bling to spice up your photos or blog – I HIGHLY recommend Pugly Pixel.  Check em out!!



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