I had sooooo much fun this past week. Yesterday was like the cherry on top! So many photos from Fashion Week, Alice in Wonderland Ballet and the Alice Tea Party. Since Wonderland is an appropriate metaphor for the adventures, and things are not as they seem, lets check things off in reverse order shale we.
19 lovely ladies and 1 dapper gentleman participated in our NYC Alice Meet Tea Party on Saturday. We reserved the Looking Glass Room at Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2. All any of us could think about when we arrived was the food. Many of us came from the ballet and were famished.
Xiaoyu made the cutest toy soldier hat ever!!! It was the perfect finishing touch for her Angelic Pretty Loyal Rosette salopette. She had marvelously cute soldier gloves too.
I was cutting things incredibly close and only the night before made a gift to give away as a small raffle prize. Using unbleached muslin, some lace, pearls and beads I magically whipped up a White Rabbit fascinator/pin. Alexandra pulled the winning card from the deck (4 of hearts for the record) and it made my day to see how excited she got when she opened the bag and found out what was inside.
My friend Asumi and her friend are visiting from Japan and both dressed up in lolita for their first time. They looked so cute!! Next time I am in Tokyo I think we will pay a visit to Maison de Julietta and hit the Butler Bar to continue our Kawaii adventures.
Angela decorated a straw hat with beautiful roses. I love how creative and artistic everyone is!! She coordinated it with an old school Baby, the Stars Shine Bright one piece. I wish I got a close up of her broach too which was handmade and featured an adorable rabbit.
In addition to the raffle prize I ordered Alice themed gift bags and Eat Me cookies from two Etsy artists. They turned out really great and both were super about making sure they arrived on time and safe-and-sound. I hope the girls enjoyed them. It just wouldn’t have felt like a proper tea party if everyone didn’t receive a little something to take home as a momento.
I really hope everyone had a good time. Confess that I am pleased with myself that I pulled this off without a hitch – and for the first time being a hostess/organizer. Feeling pretty inspired to do it again. I learned a lot so have all sorts of ideas and things I can improve upon next time *✲ﾟ*｡✧٩(･ิᴗ･ิ๑)۶*✲ﾟ*｡✧
Animal ears and antlers have been showing up more and more in J-fashion the past couple of years. The lolita scene has not been immune. Cat, bear and bunny varieties have all been released by the major brands. When Baby, the Stars Shine Bright released a fluffy set based on their cuddly mascot Kumya-chan I had to make my own.
Fawn fur, or Bambi fur, has also been all the rage for several seasons. So it makes sense that antlers are now becoming easier to Google. The two go hand-in-hand. What I love about this idea is that it can span so many different styles. From classic to sweet it is possible to pull off the look in a lolita coordinate. The more obvious is in mori girl combinations as well. The best antler inspired creations also include some flowers which softens the look to make them more feminine.
What do you think. Is it too much of a leap from cuddly kitties to a head of horns?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ＼(≧∇≦)／
Traditional yukata fabric is like sewing through butter. Seriously, it is really great quality which makes it such a pleasure to work with. Busting at the seams with excitement on this project. Monday night I attached one of the sleeves to the bodice. I’ll wait to post photos of the finished blouse. Last night I made one of two detachable bows.
Making bows and ribbons is a form of meditation for me. It is a total stress reliever. They are super easy to make and there are infinite possibilities for how to dress them up. Lace, ribbon, beads, mix-n-match fabric…
Years ago a shopping bag had this blue and white ribbon for handles. The ribbon is a very good quality grosgrain and I just knew that I could upcycle it someday. It matches beautifully with the indigo dye of the yukata fabric.
The bow is made up of 4 pieces of fabric. I sewed 2 rectangles together and then the other 2 together. By leaving a small opening at the bottom they can be turned right side out. After a good pressing with the iron, I next attached a very thin cluny lace to just one of the rectangles. I really want this yukata coordinate to have an understated cuteness instead of a heavy over-the-top feel. A little bit of lace goes a long way.
I then folded the middle of the bow until I liked the final shape. Wrapping the shopping bag ribbon around the middle and adding a few quick stitches by hand holds the whole piece together. Final step was to add a pin back so that the bow can be taken on and off of the yukata. This will make it easy to press the blouse after laundering. Plus, you can move the bows around. I am not sure if I want to place them on the bottom or the top of the sleeves. We will have to wait and see.
Wishing the staff of Angelic Pretty, Secret Garden, and all the lovely Lolitas of San Francisco many thanks. It was a pleasure to meet and spend time with you today. The tea party was was wonderful.
Delicious tea service at Secret Garden.
A competitive round of janken (rock-paper-scissors.)
Prizes were given for those who could stack the most sweet hearts. I personally liked this team's creativity.
I won a Wonder Cookie poster - kawaii. A free lunch bag was given to all who attended.
Reminiscing on the day's memories back at the hotel.
What a treat. I was asked for work, very last minute, to participate in meetings with a vendor out in San Francisco. And the timing could not be more perfect. It puts me there right in time to enjoy Angelic Pretty’s “Angelic Valentine Tea Party.”
No sooner had I booked my flight and hotel then I was on AP’s web site checking availability of tickets. Received an affirmative confirmation yesterday.
The theme is Valentine’s Day which is perfect. (One guess as to what color I will style around.) My only issue is that I don’t own an Angelic Pretty dress. The reason is simple – way too small on me. So I am going to wear the competition, Baby The Stars Shine Bright, for my main piece. I am a bit nervous about it, feels rude. So to make up for it, I will accessorize like there is no tomorrow with all my AP accoutrements.
Maybe later today or tomorrow I’ll pull out everything and pop it on my dressform to share the coordinate. Very excited.
I have a creative job working in digital marketing, but I like to dabble in more traditional crafts in my spare time. It is such a rush making something by hand that you can use. Taking advantage of the long holiday weekend I had some fun.
It would be an understatement to say that I like Japanese Alternative Fashion. The challenge – my comfortable U.S. size medium is a Plus Size by Japan’s standards. Some of the most extraordinary designs are out of reach for me. So I mustered up my determination and whipped up a cutsew blouse and one piece dress this weekend.
Pink 100% Cotton Cutsew T-shirt
I favor a more relaxed form of Lolita fashion, so a comfortable cutsew shirt is a critical staple; works well under a jumperskirt or as is with a skirt. As far as patterns go, I use them more as guides than as rules. For this I took some liberties using New Look’s pattern 6078.
The collar was a bit of a challenge, as I wanted a pullover and the pattern was for a button up, but it worked out very well in the end. My only regret with this piece is the ruffle at the hem. I used left over fabric from another project and there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room. Would have preferred the ruffle be about a 1/2 inch wider, but this was all I could mange.
Rose Print 100% Cotton Cutsew Onepiece Dress
The dress again is made from knit/jersey. I was going for something more Otome Kei than Lolita with this. My muse was Milk. I followed Vogue pattern V8411 pretty closely for the dress, but added neck straps and altered the pleating a bit.
Added a little decorative stitch as well across the front. It is a subtle touch that added some extra structure to support the weight of the pleating.
The inspirtion for this weekend’s projects: Aoki Misako, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty, Milk and Emily Temple Cute.
Well it’s back to work tomorrow. Hope everyone had a lovely holiday. Happy 2012!