Project Update: Wicker Handbag Outside In

juicy cherry lolita wicker handbag

The summer lolita handbag is coming together nicely.  I finished the exterior decorations yesterday.  Seeing it next to Baby’s Cherry print from last year I think the quality of my execution is very in-keeping with the brand’s esthetic.  Fun, frilly, sweet but still refined and sophisticated.

hot glue the lace to the wicker purse

Hot glue was my best friend for attaching the two lace trims.  A little painters tape came in handy to line up the rows in exactly the spot I wanted them.  I was generous with the glue but also very careful.  I didn’t want big globs of it to show nor did I want it to drip thru the wicker into the inside of the bag.  I paid particular attention for the rose trim.  Each leaf and blossom was glued down one at a time.  Took a lot of patience but well worth the investment to make the finished look smooth, clean and perfectly placed.

beading a string of pearls diy

secure the beads to the wicker diy

After the lace dried I added the string of pearls.  I used a beading wire to give it strength.  Gravity is going to constantly be pulling on them so things needed to be secure.  Got creative and decided to use a beading spacer bar to make sure the wire is crimped snugly and wont slide around or slip thru to the front accidentally.

baby the stars shine bright detachable bow

And before you think I am crazy enough to hot glue on my dresses waist ribbon, I am not.  Using the same beading wire and two jump rings I made hoops for the detachable bow to attach to.  Originally I thought I would just pin the bow on to the lace, but that worried me.  The weight of the bow could tug on the lace too much and pull up the hot glue or it could just damage the lace over time.  Neither would be pleasant situations.  The location of the hot glue also challenged that idea, it is smack dab right where I want the bow placed anyway.  So with a little strength and a good sewing needle I was able to pierce the hot glue and string the hoop through instead.

The bonus prize for this method is different color bows can be mixed and matched on the front of the purse.  For example, the blue ribbon from this sax color BTSSB dress to make a perfect coordinate, and say a pink bow to match another.  I’ll whip up one using the lining fabric to start things off.

applique cherries lolita fashion diy

Last step was to hot glue on the cherries.  I found these small crochet cherry appliques at Joyce Trimming in NYC.  They have a section towards the back of the store where you can find plenty of boxes of applique and patches to suit many different tastes.

create a new lining for a vintage purse

Before dinner I had just enough time to start planning out the interior of the purse.  Light does filter through the wicker so using some fusible interfacing and pink cherry fabric to line the main body seemed like the right thing to do.  Next, I added a layer of quilt batting to cover the wooden frame.  Hopefully after work today I can do the math to start the lining.  Found this tutorial that should be a good jumping off point for keeping all the handbag contents nice and neat.

For now, ciao lovelies.  Have a super Friday.


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?