Mood Board: Summer Gingham Code

gingham coordinate with pink and black angelic pretty accessories

Solving my lack of tops trouble one tea party at a time. Thanks to Taobao I have a couple of good blouses for winter, but my wardrobe is still lacking good staples for summer. I definitely favor more casual and comfortable fabrics in my everyday wardrobe and am trying to bring that over to my EGL style too.

I just bought Angelic Pretty’s Dream Color Gingham JSK from Closet Child and am eager to wear it when it arrives. And while this might be too matchy-matchy I have more pink and black accessories than I realized and hope they compliment it nicely. Now the question is do I continue the theme into a cutsew top? I have a little bit of black and white gingham and plenty of pink jersey. Perhaps I’ll give this a try…

Sunday Style: Tartan & Fur Sweet Lolita

Well, we cancelled our Cloisters mini meet today.  It is raining, it is Sunday, everyone is spent after Christmas… That didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to dress up.  Especially not after finishing my first creative project at the new house.

BTSSB Fawn Lolita Coordinate

I absolutely adore my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright pink tartan JSK.  It was the second dress I bought when I was first braving the Lolita waters.  I have had more use out of it than any of my others.  The fact that it has 3/4 shirring is certainly a contributing factor since it makes this dress the most comfortable brand piece I own.  Major bonus points.

velvet lolita hair bows for pigtails

Super pleased with how my new deer antler twin tail bows turned out.  While the cream color is slightly darker than the BTSSB fawn cape, it isn’t as noticeable once worn.

I am very fortunate to have a landscaper for a neighbor.  The hedge along side the house looks very pretty and that is in the middle of winter.  I look forward to seeing how this little corner of our new home-sweet-home evolves with the seasons.  Its my new favorite photo shoot spot.

stone bunny in the yard

And of all the random garden oddities that could happen to be found in the back yard – our new place came with a rabbit!  Looking forward to following him down the rabbit hole.

Candy Shoppe Black & Pink T-Shirt

otome kei style cutsew top pink and black

Building on my Candy Shoppe Girl challenge, last weekend I finished a cutsew top.  This t-shirt pulls many of the same ideas and shares fabric from its sister dress from the previous weekend.  Where it differs mostly is that it feels slightly more grown up than the dress.  The addition of a dot tulle overlay mimics the yoke from the dress.  But the difference in fabric combination creates a new energy.

tulle overlay on cotton jersey blouse

Instead of a matching lace collar, I used the black jersey to make the peter pan collar.  However, the lace collar last time was the jumping off point for selecting a similar black lace to finish the edges of the tulle overlay.  One of my biggest complaints with standard issues t-shirts is I the sleeves are always very short.  I choose to cut these just an inch or two above the elbow.  It provides good coverage and comfort on a warm day.  My target for this collection is autumn/spring.  So its nice to have items that can be layered as well as some short and some long sleeve pieces.

cutsew blouse side lace detail

nippori tokyo ribbon iron on patch applique

The back is simple.  But I couldn’t resist.  Just had to add a little something.  I can’t remember exactly where, but in one of the Shibuya shopping complexes I stumbled on a Daiso-like discount store.  They had a small craft section that had really cute iron on patches.  I picked up a few of these pink dot ribbons in a couple different sizes.  I think it works as a subtle nod to the white ribbon fabric from the dress.

placement of the tulle fabric overlay

The tulle is super soft and super squirmy.  I serged the edge to give me a little something to run a gathering stitch through.  I then used a ruler to line up the edge on the fabric and pinned it generously all around the bodice.  The photo shows my progress before pinning the neckline and underarms.  I absolutely love the finished effect.  And I have waited a very long time to try this technique.

What pleases me most about this top is it is all me.  I know this wont sound that big of a deal, but I drafted the pattern.  Sure it is a very basic t-shirt shape, I know, not that complicated.  But as I have no formal sewing training, it is a big deal to me that I could wing this one without a commercial pattern.  Pretty proud right now.

angelic pretty strawberry ice cream dish

Since I paired the top with my Angelic Pretty Milky-chan skirt, it felt only fitting to bring some of Milky’s friends into the photo shoot.  The ceramic rabbit canister and origami fox came from Target.  The mini-Milky I found at Kinokuniya.  And then there is the holy grail of Lolita, my most prized possession.  When I was in Tokyo last spring, Angelic Pretty’s Fresh Picked Strawberries had just been released.  In the Marui One shop I was fortunate enough to get the novelty fair glass ice cream bowl with my purchase. (≧∇≦)

Candy Shoppe Cutsew Onepiece Dress

The past 3 weeks I was swallowed up in an unexpected blur of busy busy work, I put my foot down last weekend and devoted 2 solid days to fun.  “Candy Shoppe Girl” is the result.  I have wanted to take on a big fashion challenge for a while to really push myself.  So I have set a goal to produce 2 weeks worth of full coordinates.  Some items might be alterations and others, like this dress, originals. I want the pieces to be easily transitional for both autumn and spring.  Warm but not too heavy.  Cute and delicate but also relaxed and comfortable.

Candy Shop Girl Jersey Dress in Pink, White and Black

Coordinate 1:  Onepiece Cutsew

Materials: 100% pink jersey from Joann’s, black jersey from NYC garment district, black lace collar from Nippori in Tokyo, buttons and re-purposed jersey from a children’s dress.

Pattern:  Vogue V8411 {which I have used before for my rose print dress}

About a year ago I bought a little girls jersey dress at my local Marshalls.  It was an adorable black and white dress with little pops of pink.  The reason I bought it was the skirt was printed with the cutest ribbons and it was gathered which meant there was a substantial amount of fabric.  I have not yet found the magical land where I can buy yards of cute jersey so I have resorted to re-purposing children’s clothing to make grownup cuties.

vogue pattern v8411 neckline alteration

Patterns are great as guidelines, but I just can’t resist fiddling with them.  As the fabrics for the dress are very sugary sweet, thought it best to soften the lines and make the neckline a bit more modest. By tracing the original pattern piece all that was needed was to rough in a rounded curve for the new neckline.  I also had to add a little extra to the back as well to match the new position.  Really simple change but has a big impact on the final result.  I drew it freehand but you could match a favorite t-shirt as reference or use a french curve.

The Result

candy cutsew one piece dress front

candy cutsew one piece front lace detail

candy cutsew one piece dress back

candy cutsew one piece back ribbon detail

candy cutsew one piece dress side

candy cutsew one piece hem lace-detail

I am particularly fond of the ribbon on the back.  It was a gamble letting the ribbon tails run nearly the full length of the dress.  Tickled pink with how it turned out.  They flow nicely when the dress is worn.  I stitched around the edges of the ribbon but stopped short of where they fold under.  This way the shape is fixed but it still has some volume.

How To Style It

angelic pretty ribbon ribbon necklace parasol otk socks

For this dress I think Angelic Pretty accessories in black will coordinate best.  Specifically the Dot Cute Ribbon Ribbon necklace and bracelet, ladder ribbon parasol, and ribbon ribbon over the knee socks.  The socks have just enough pink in them to pick up on the punchy pink fabric of the dress (hard to see in the photo but the front of the socks has a ladder of ribbons.)  The parasol brings in the stripes.  Well and the necklace mimics nicely the bows on the white fabric.  And to finish it all off, why not a pair of Rocking Horse Shoes?

zappos shellys london tauchman rocking horse shoes

I found these in the last place I expected.  Today I stumbled upon these RHS on Zappos of all places!  They are called Tauchman by Shellys London.

Milky-chan Come To Sheri

angelic pretty milky chan skirt in black

I splurged and bought Angelic Pretty’s 2009 Milky-chan skirt in black last night.  Probably paid more than I should for it on Fairy-Angel.net, but it is one of my favorite prints.  I live in the woods which is kinda strange considering that it is only a 45 minute drive to NYC!  My yard is home to tons of deer, rabbits, foxes, turkeys, etc.  We even had a bear come through a month ago!  Little Milky-chan and the cute white rabbit in this design bridge my love of cute and sense of home sweet home.

I anticipate that I am going to need to make some major modifications to the waist to make the skirt larger.  Just hope I don’t have to gobble up the waist ties to make those alterations.  We shall see.

Oh, also picked up some matching Angelic Pretty hair bows.  Normally I would make something this simple, but I have too many projects already lined up so caved and added them to my cart.

Kuro Lolita Hair Bows

To best accompany my friend’s new outfit this weekend I tried the kuro lolita style for the first time.  Baby the Stars Shine Bright offered a lucky pack last year in black that I picked up when in San Francisco.  It has a fully shirred bodice which is great for the Western-sized woman.  I paired it with my one-and-only Angelic Pretty blouse; gambled on purchasing the L size which fits well enough except for it is tighter across the shoulders than I prefer.

All was great with this pairing until I slapped the big old hair bow on top of my head.  I do love the look of wigs, but have avoided them thus far.  But that monster-size, head-eating bow demands a full set of long flowing locks.

kuro lolita

So first thing Sunday morning I pulled out my box of black laces and went for it.  Whipped up the most adorable twin-tail hair bows.  I selected a cluny lace with ribbon beading that matches the lace detail on the dress.  Not sure why it is called ribbon “beading,” but it has a ribbon woven through the center which is very common in lolita fashion.

The hair bows are two tiered.  The top bow is a simple rectangle with the lace across the center.  The back bow is larger, has a larger lace and is further trimmed with roses across the top and bottom.  Used a basic black ribbon for the center.  And finished them off by hot gluing some simple alligator clips to the back.

So pleased with the result.  They have enough volume to make a statement without taking over my entire head.

In the end the only trouble I had with pulling this look together was socks!  Never realized that I only have one pair of all black socks.  And those socks were my first Baby purchase ages ago.  Long before I knew that knee-high in Japanese is not knee-high in American.  So my main critique for the outfit was how much skin is displayed below my hem.  All in all it was really fun to try a new style!