Angelic Pretty Toy Fantasy Yukata Obi

angelic pretty toy fantasy and baby the stars shine bright good friend of kumya-chan

I’ve been lucky to get my hands on a couple of brand yukatas in the past few years. I admit they don’t get as much wear as I would like them too, but they are still some of my most prized possessions in my wardrobe. My love for lolita fashion is rivaled only by my love of traditional kimono. Sadly, wa lolita is usually poorly done and covered in the most awful lace; taking ita to a new level. I take this as a personal challenge to try and turn things around. While I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I am making it a goal to put more wa into my looks this year.

One of my most popular posts of all time is a yukata blouse that I made using a rub off pattern. I never did figure out how to make a PDF pattern for it (sorry interweb friends) but it was an inspiration for this project and see what other ways I could mix both styles. Countless searches for a pre-tied or vintage obi that would match with the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright My Mate Kumya-chan yukata all ended in disappointment. Pre-tied yukata obis looked flat in their solid colors and inexpensive polyester. On the other hand, traditional obi patterns all clashed with the sweetness of the pink print. When these things happen I get stubborn, very stubborn. Time to take matters into my own hands.

DIY Sweet Lolita Obi

toy fantasy skirt border print is used to make the base of the kimono obi

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DIY Upcycle: Vintage Wool Vest Ouji Style

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R  ! ! !  While the new year is officially underway, I still have a lot of projects to catch everyone up on. Starting with this one.

We spent the Autumn Equinox in Paris and were on a shopping mission like no other. Of the many amazing places we explored we hit the jackpot when we came upon Kilo-Shop. This is honestly one of the best thrift/vintage stores I have ever been too. Super well organized, extremely well priced, and with top notch curation. And it was a rare experience that both of us equally had choices to select from – an atypically well balanced mix of hip mens and womens ware. Ideas were literally pouring out of me onto the shop floor and our arms were over burdened with everything we were hording for checkout.

breathing new life into an vintage thrifted wool vest

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Handmade: Macaron Patisserie Jumperskirt

I wore my Victorian Doll JSK for ILD as planned despite it not, strictly speaking, being Lolita (to hell with a petticoat.) Can not even begin to describe how good it felt to have something that fit like a glove. It honestly made me so much more relaxed as I was comfortable and could just have a good time with out the whole suffering for fashion nonsense that comes with squeezing into too small brand.

jumperskirt made from japanese yuwa macaron fabric

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Handmade: Victorian Doll Maxi JSK

Taking a little gamble for this year’s Winter ILD and going with a handmade maxi dress for my coord. The moment I saw this “make your own” Victorian doll fabric it spoke to me. There is a hint of Jane Marple or Emily Temple cute about it that I couldn’t resist. However, I had no intention of making the actual dolls as the manufacturer intended, instead to use the panels as an unusual take on a border print.

maxi length otome kei dress made from victorian paper doll fabric

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Handmade: Chocolate Quartet Floral Rosette

Have you ever wondered what to do with the small swatches of fabric that come with your Angelic Pretty purchases? Trust me when I say I have spent way to much time pondering this question. Then by accident I was pulling out accessories while packing for Anime Matsuri and put one of my rosettes on my desk. It just so happened that a few AP swatches were scattered about out as well. Then it hit me – these are the perfect size for handmade lolita rosettes!

handmade rosette using angelic pretty fabric swatch

Suffice it to say that I have plenty of left over fabric from the alterations to Chocolate Quartet… but right then I just had to make a matching accessory for the Skyline Tea Party out of that swatch. I had made up my mind on wearing Cameo Window and thought it would be nice to blend a little of both our looks into this piece. The rosette that came with the Chocolate Quartet sash is rather wimpy, so envisioned a more substantial adornment to really make things pop.

pink and chocolate cameo window twins

I didn’t stop at just the Angelic Pretty swatch. For his look I removed the ribbon from an Innocent World tie to mix in the Chocolate Quartet bow. As I have no intentions of restoring the IW tie, the left-overs provided another element to link our two looks in a very subtle way. Happened to have just enough left over Laduree ribbon as well to pull in more of the gold tone to match the sash embroidery. All that was left was to add a pop of pink for harmony with Cameo Window. Top it off with a violin button and voila!

details of the floral rosette and sash

(\˳˘ ɜ˘)˳ ♬♪♫

Project Complete: Melty Mozart Angelic Pretty Remake

Angelic Pretty dress remade into Ouji coordinate

A pair of scissors, a stitch ripper, a few yards of brown fabric, some braid trim and a whole lot of courage were applied to Angelic Pretty’s Chocolate Quartet and this is the result. As I described in my last post, your main piece to attend the AM Skyline Tea Party was required to be one of the 4 brands who would be represented. Somehow I knew sweet ouji could be done, but trying to find anyone else who made such radical alterations was impossible online. Deep down I was having all sort of feels that he would be turned away since it was not the original design. All my worry turned out to be for naught.

getting to see your design with asuka and maki ... priceless

Every second of anxiety was rewarded with the out pouring of happy reactions to the look. THANK YOU ALL!! I loved that Asuka and Maki didn’t make a fuss. They had the most perfect of Japanese masks on the entire time. But there were subtle clues that they were pleased and hopefully flattered. Their adorable associate Rin-chan certainly was very diligent in taking several photos of all the details (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

adel with midori fukasawa and jla ambassador daniela

By far the best reaction was Midori running, not walking, across the room with phone in hand to ask Adel for a selfie. ٩(ó。ò۶ ♡)))♬ I managed to catch the best parts on film.

adel with the j-fashon models

So many photos from the party!!! I can’t believe that it has almost been two weeks since then. I am still reliving all the wonderful memories on Facebook with new posts that are trickling in. We met so many wonderful and amazing people which is honestly the most rewarding part of this fashion. Yes its about the clothes, but that is just what breaks the ice and brings us together.

making alterations to chocolate quartet to make ouji style

The majority of the vest was made from fabric from the JSK. The body of the vest was taken from the skirt. I reinserted the original JSK collar. The remainder of the skirt was used to make the back tails of the vest. From the salopette I reused all of the buttons and did my best to mimic the double breasted panel. Part of the skirt was used for the tails on the front of the vest. And the ribbon from the salopette was attached to an Innocent World tie in a mash up of bow-tie meets cravat. Oh and the little button panel from the back of the salopette also made its way onto the back of the vest.

I tried really hard to not make too many additions. But I needed a few elements to create balance. Especially important since the border print is so strong. The addition of the 3 melty chocolate pieces felt just right to me to establish harmony; two panels on the front of the vest and one on the back.

While I adore how this turned out there are so many things I would have done differently if I was starting from first principles. If I had just the original fabric it would have been nice to keep the border print only on the tails of the vest instead of also on the body. But you work with what you have. At the end of the day I am over the moon pleased. I really hope you like it too ෆ⃛(ٛ⌯ॢ˃ ɪ ˂ٛ⌯ॢ)

His & Her Gryffindor House Lolita Coordinates

handmade harry potter accessories for lolita coordinates

And here it is at last after lots of weekends of sewing. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter meet was on Saturday and the NY crew did not disappoint. The photos are still pouring in on Facebook which means we get to relive the fun all week long. The whole event was just perfect!! Complete with dragon eggs and every flavor beans! At the restaurant, Jones Wood Foundry, we even had long house tables!

Lots of little projects went into our looks this time. I am really enjoying the challenge of how to make his and hers combinations. Not that we want to be matchy matchy all the time but sometimes its fun to team up. Its like a couples version of twinning I guess.

head boy and head girl gryffindor lolita

I stayed fairly true to the movie school uniform looks versus just following the house colors. Perhaps that puts this project somewhere between fashion and cosplay. I am still going to lean towards the former as all the styling was true to the EGL silhouette and esthetic and we were just being ourselves and not specific characters.

My concept was to make matching pieces in the same fabrics but yet have each be slightly different to spin one masculine and one feminine. Landed on short capes for robes, school ties, house rosettes, and house hat bands. The capes were made from a velveteen black fabric from JoAnn’s. The stripe and argyle fabrics I ordered through Spoonflower. Was my first time using the site and while this worked great for this project, I am not particularly impressed by the quality of the digital printing process.

His Look

gryffindor house ouji style coordinate

I kinda-not-really used a pattern from Otome no Sew (乙女のソーイング) Book 2 to make his cape. All the patterns are way too small for mens clothing but the cape (item 10 – page 6) had the basic shape for me to start from. Once resized I also altered the neckline to a v-neck. This way the cape matches well with the shape of the vest underneath and does not impede the tie – the main focal point. One simple band of lace helped keep the cape from being boring.

The original idea was to have the chain closures attach to the buttons but it dawned on me that guys tend to have less dainty hands. To make it easy on and off instead I used a few jewelry findings and sewed them to the edges keeping inline with the placement of the decorative buttons. I love the buttons – they say “Honor” on them and have a heraldry design that matches brilliantly with the Gryffindor emblem.

gryffindor house robes made from otome no sew book 2 pattern sort of

For the school tie I confess I borrowed liberally from an Innocent World tie in my collection. The 3-tiered base is the same shape from the inspiration piece. But the addition of the Gryffindor pin and medallion was all me. If you are wondering, yes, I hot glued the pin on permanently. Why? because the pin kept spinning around which drove me nuts! Hello perfectionist! Now it isn’t going anywhere.

I added a couple of satin ribbons on top of the red stripes in the fabric. The fabric just felt too flat without it. Plus, the shine of the satin is a nice mimic for silk typically used for ties. A few flowers and beads give extra drama and the black lace helps create a contrasting border so the medallion stands out.

egl style ouji gryffindor house school tie

The master plan had me making matching boater style hats, however, time was against me. There are only so many hours in the weekend after all. Probably was a good thing looking back on it now. Hats are not a familiar part of my sewing vocabulary. We picked up this lovely hat when we were in San Francisco last year and its classic shape saved me. To create cohesion with the coordinate I added a ribbon with a corresponding medallion that simply slides over the original hat band. Easy way to transform the hat without damaging it.

gryffindor egl style top hat

You didn’t think I would make it through this project without adding a rosette did you? The “official” Gryffindor patches are about 4″ in size. That felt clunky for the outcome I wanted to achieve. Instead I bought these not-so-official versions that are half the size. They are the perfect base to go wild with lace, ribbons and flowers. I was worried at first about the colors as the red and yellow on the patch are not genuinely Gryffindor hues. Luckily once all the elements were pulled together they managed to blend in.

handmade gryffindor house classic lolita rosette

Her Look

Well, I’ll get have to get back to you on that next time ;)
Stay tuned.

Credits: Thanks to Xin Lolita Photography for letting me use his amazing photos  |  Pinstripe Wallpaper is from TheLadyAvatar

 

DIY Upcycle: Japanese Lucky Knot Strap / Charm

good luck charm japanese knot from a dassai 23 sake cord

I love being able to make things for my friend who lives in Tokyo. She often travels to NYC on business and when she comes its fun to present her with a small gift. Its inspiring for me to think up new ideas each time; something that isn’t too big or expensive – just a little trinket. Crafter challenge accepted!

For this visit I came up with the idea of recycling the purple cord used to decorate bottles of Dassai sake. The hope was, because she works for Dassai, it would be a more personal gift. I can’t bear to throw the cords out when we open a new bottle and that means I had plenty of them tucked away to play with.

My DIY Materials

asian style knot book and swarovski crystal beads used to diy this strap

Ages ago I bought this book called Asian Knot Style {アジアンノット・スタイル} from the craft section of Kinokuniya. Sadly, every time I attempted one of the knots I failed miserably. I don’t think it has anything to do with the book being in Japanese as the pictures are very clear to follow. Apparently its just some sort of mental malfunction I have when it comes to knots. The gentleman of the house however has no such issue. Bonus prize – he can now officially say that he has “crafted” thanks to this project (*^^*)

My secret weapon for many of my DIYs, especially those with small details, is beading needles. I use them all the time and not just for bead work. They are very thin and long and for me super easy to work with. The only difficulty is threading them. Dang the eye is small!! Well and they can bend easily as another downside so you can’t be as forceful with them like a standard needle. The sharpness and length though is awesome.

japanese success and flower knots with beads on a strap

Its not uncommon to use beads with this style of decorative knots. However the beads are typically ones with large holes and the cord of the knot is slipped through the bead. The book also suggests using a touch of glue to secure the knot. Instead of all that I went for much smaller beads and the thread used to attach them acted as an alternative to the glue.

To make it even more personal I added lettering beads to spell out “Dassai” and her name “Asumi” in pastel colors. This was the big gamble for the project. Most of the other beads were more fancy, like Swarsovski crystals and Japanese glass seed beads. I feared these might look too low brow compared to the others. The use of seed beads between each letter I think helped bridge the gap so that it all harmonized after all.

Color was critical to making it come together as was scale. It took a couple of tries to get the balance right on top to counteract the weight of the beading at the bottom. All-in-all I think it turned out very nice.

Handmade: Pink Lolita Princess Pillows

diy pillow covers in a hime princess style

We’ve been in our house for a year now and as the New Year gets underway I am determined to spend more time on decorating and sprucing up the place. We downsized when we moved and went from a loft to traditional rooms. Because of the difference a lot of our furniture has never felt right in the new place. I’ve also been thinking that the percentage of IKEA furniture relative to my years of age is out of proportion.

This is going to be a year-long commitment in order to make sure I can stay on budget. But there are small things that can be done right away like the changing of curtains and linens. About the only nice piece of furniture I have is my Pottery Barn bed. Starting there seemed the most logical place as it is staying no matter what.

pink rose fur hime bedroom pillows

For these DIY pillow covers I went more hime princess while showing restraint. Korilakkuma was dominating the bed and needed something large for balance. While the pillow covers are not perfect (didn’t exactly calculate the gathering properly) they were quick and easy to make. Plus they are a good match for the Target duvet cover in a similar dusty pink. I am also keeping my chocolate color wicker furniture such as the lamp and nightstand to ground all the pink. Hopefully I can successfully blend a little princess comfortably with clean modern lines. I don’t want it to look like a unicorn threw up when its done.

What’s Next?

french provencial vanity handpainted makeover

What I am most excited about is that my friend’s wife runs a company called The Wood Spa. I managed to get in her queue to have a desk made over so that I have a place to do make up. {I suck at make up but maybe 2015 will be the year I learn.} Sent her the bottom photo and she found this amazing French vanity which has so much storage – a must for our small house. It will be March when it is ready so I will do my best to be patient. But I am really busting with excitement and can’t wait for it to be ready.

Handmade: Rilakkuma Chocolate His & Hers Accessories

Literally riding on the coat tails of RuffleCon was the Rilakkuma Day at FAO Schwarz in New York City. We missed the chance to meet the little cutie earlier in the year so were so pleased that San-X came back. Now I am sure other artists must do the same thing. And that is come up with something you just must make, super last minute, even if it means staying up all hours of the night. That is pretty much what happened with this His & Hers Sweet Chocolate Collection.

rilakkuma inspired chocolate lolita his and hers accessories

Chocolate Korilakkuma Hat

chocolate korilakkuma hat angelic pretty purse

At RuffleCon I picked up Angelic Pretty’s Cameo Window JSK in pink. It became the jumping off point for this little accessory collection. It gave me the idea to make a Neopolitan Ice Cream inspired coordinate for each of us. His outfit was primarily vanilla and mine strawberry. All that was missing was a hearty scoop of chocolate.

The hat was the main focus of this work. I found a huge floppy felt hat at Marshals to use as the structure for the base. I was tight on time and didn’t have a good stiff interfacing that would hold its shape. I chopped off the round top of the hat cap and dramatically trimmed the brim to get the shape I wanted. From there I drafted pattern pieces to cut out the fabric. Those were sewn together and then attached to the base. Some ribbon and lace added flare and hid the seams for a clean finish. Those little Rilakkuma ears were a blast to make. I love the gold rickrack trim which makes them pop from the hat. And to finish it all off I hot glued a Korilakkuma key cover along with some miniature antique key charms found at Michaels Crafts. The key ties into the motif of the Angelic Pretty print to create harmony.

Another RuffleCon goodie was my first ever Moss Märchen purchase. I was able to get one of her incredible handmade Ribbon Embroidery necklaces. The gold frame, fleur de lis charms and ivory color are an exact match for the Cameo Window print!!

Golden Key Chocolate Collar

korilakkuma purse, angelic pretty cameo window jsk and chocolate collar

For Her I whipped up a simple collar. But nothing is simple about the icing. This piece pulls all the Neapolitan flavors together with strawberry lace and vanilla tassels. The golden key charm is from Michaels Crafts and is almost identical to the one in the Angelic Pretty print.

This chocolate fabric has been pretty popular in the handmade and indie lolita sphere. I’ve come across many different style JSKs which made me want to try something different to show the print’s versatility. I am thinking of making a cape out of the remaining fabric since that would showcase the print in a more splashy way. Plus I am hopelessly addicted to capes right now for extra warmth in the winter.

Men’s Melty Chocolate Ribbon Tie

mens lolita fashion - chocolate print ribbon tie

And finally to carry the theme through His coordinate I made a gigantic ribbon tie. This piece helps give continuity to the hat making it a look and not just a chocolate piece. Repeated a key charm on the tie again for more layering of the theme. My favorite part of the tie is that it showcases the border print. I mean it can’t be melty chocolate with out some drips.

rilakkuma logoangelic pretty key

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