Project Complete: Summer ILD Sailor Cutsew

pastel lolita marine style sailor cutsew

The past weekend was International Lolita Day. I was very fortunate to attend a meet with some of the most badass Lolita’s of the East Coast. The theme for this year’s get together was “a day at the beach.” Well, you know me, theme-time!! Except I have nothing that wold pass for beach, mermaid or marine in my wardrobe. Was time to get cracking.

Work shipped me off to Singapore for meetings before the event, and how can you complain. Can you say S-i-n-g-a-p-o-r-e?!?! {It was amazing by the way.} That didn’t stop me. The minute I landed back home I was at my sewing machine. To hell with jetlag we need something, anything, that says beach.

coordinating hand made accessories with Sugar Baby Icing Cookie

The solution was to make a sailor cutsew blouse. It had to be something simple that could be knocked out in a day… because that was all I had. So I pulled out one of my previous patterns and a few of the Otome no Sew mooks to find a sailor collar. After franken-patterning them together we were on to something. There was just enough of this really nice sky blue jersey lurking in my fabric stash.

Originally I was going to trim it with white braid and lace making it more traditional sailor style. However when pulling out trims this pink braid landed on top of the fabric and it was love at first site. Pink trim is really hard to find in NY, really hard. When I do find some I save it as if it is treasure. If you sew, do you ever have that feeling, telling yourself to hold on to something for the just right project? That’s how I was but forced myself to say that perfect project is right now.

My last haul included Kumya chan’s Sugar Baby Icing Cookie in a sunny yellow. Sea and sun, check. For one extra pop of color and marine touch I converted a keychain into a necklace. During the Singapore trip I found this adorable charm featuring the Merlion. And the best part is that it glows in the dark!!

As for everyone’s coords… check out this awesome video that was on the New York Daily News!!

Hope you had a blast on ILD in your neck of the woods :3

P.S. When editing the photos for this project I was really inspired by a spread in the June edition of Kera. Was getting bored with doing basically the same layout for all my posts and thought playing around and trying something new would be fun.

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

 

Project Complete: Red Riding Hood Cape Set

custom made lolita red riding hood cape and purse

As I mentioned in my last post, was hard pressed what to wear to a fairy tale inspired event for the opening of Into the Woods. This encouraged me to finally try out a pattern from the Otome no Sew books. The Red Riding Hood cape from book 5 seemed the most logical place to dive in. Well and for good measure threw in a bag and matching coord for Kumya-chan while I was at it. I’ve been itching to use the patterns and honestly am not sure why it has taken me this long.

Like other Japanese pattern books you have to be sure to add seam allowance. That was easy enough. Bonus, the Otome books patterns include 3 sizes – Japanese small, medium and large. I am a Japanese 2L which meant grading the pattern up for my project. The cape was perfect choice to start with since its not form fitting. I got a feel for their instructions and pattern quality with little risk.

Putting aside the fact that the pattern is in Japanese I would give the book a 3.5 or 4 stars. I think the books are good but not great. If you are a beginner sewer I think you would be frustrated not just with the instructions but the many shortcuts the patterns take. While I am self-taught I have enough tricks up my sleeve to know when to deviate from what the book was saying in order to get a better end result.  What I admire most about Lolita fashion is the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. The pattern I choose did not include a lining for the cape only for the hood. This is an example of what I mean by shortcuts. Couldn’t have that so added a full lining for good measure.

handmade lolita fashion for kumya-chan

The pattern was meant to have a ribbon closure, but for this project I left it off. Instead I got a little lazy and reused the ribbon from my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Sweet Fawn Cape. Its a beautiful cream velvet that matches with the laces I used perfectly. And why make another ribbon that would have pretty much been identical?

The main fabric was a fun find from one of my fabric stores on the planet – Discount Fabric Warehouse on the Big Island of Hawaii. Every time we vacation there I ship back boxes (that is plural folks) of crazy inexpensive fabrics. You never ever know what you will find. The strategy there is to buy it if you think it is cute even if you don’t have a project in mind yet. This jem sat in my stash for about a year. Its a high quality, thin, cotton corduroy in punchy red, pink and blue. Has just a taste of the Eastern European feel I was hoping for in this look. Again I wanted to give a nod to the homeland of so many fairy tales I loved growing up. But I didn’t want it to scream folk art or for that matter be a super obvious Red Riding Hood either.

Into The Woods

into the woods coordinate made using the otome no sew book 5

Above is how I styled my look for the Into The Woods meet. Pulling on the blue in the cape I matched it with a pair of navy tights featuring birds and an open bird cage. Gave both Kumya-chan and myself matching silver bird cage necklaces on simple navy ribbons. And added monster flowers to my braids – in a woodland lolita take on Princess Leia.

Didn’t get many good shots from the meet so literally headed into the woods the next day
to show it styled in a more toned down way.

kumya chan goes into the woods

Feeling pretty good about this project and inspired to try my hand at some more of the patterns now.  There is that sailor dress that I have the perfect fabric for…

Credits: Cute little clip art found here