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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Sweet lolita with sprinkles on top

Back in February, the very last day of our stay in Tokyo coincided with the Baked Sweets Parade release by Angelic Pretty. I remember being so disappointed finding out the JSK didn’t have full shirring. Shame on you AP, shame on you. The La Foret AP had been closed during our trip for renovations so I stopped in on that last day to see what the new space looked like. Adorable of course. What to my surprise did I find? That they had a special set with full shirring! Ayyyee!

la foret for the angelic pretty baked sweets parade release

I totally want to make one of those candy pops by the way. But that is not what this post is about today. I do have plenty of sugar in store for you though. How about a sprinkles cutsew? Hu hu hu. (more…)

Project Complete: Cotton Candy Fairy Kei Sweater

pastel top made from recycled sweaters and shorts from Japanese fabric

details of this fairy kei pastel cutsew and what to wear with it

pastel icing cookies and doughnut jewlery from Dolly House, Q-pot and Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

It might seem a tad odd posting this sewing project just days before the Summer Solstice. A sweater, really? In the summer Sheri? But here we are. Technically this was completed while the days were still chilly however, I realize it might not get its debut out-and-about until the autumn. Another oddity of this project, can you believe it began almost 2 years ago?!?! Yep, back with this post here. Then we decided to move and into limbo it went, all the pieces cut out ready to be finished, tucked nicely into one-too-many boxes of fabric.

The joy of this DIY project is recycling so many different pieces. All in all it was 3 sweaters and 3 t-shirts, plus some extra jersey and then the lace and crochet trims. The lilac fabric at the bottom wasn’t a part of the original design. It was a Wonder Rocket sweater that just never fit right. When finally sewing all the pieces I quickly didn’t like the top of the piece being the sweater knit and the bottom plain t-shirt. It looked unfinished otherwise.

The sweater came together fast — zip zip zip on the serger. Hey I know, why not make bottoms to go with it! Not sure if I can label the shorts as neo lolita but all the buzz of that trend influenced me. The iced sugar cookie fabric was intended to be made into the typical lolita cupcake skirt one day. What swayed me from the traditional for this super sweet print? Lack of time to attend events basically. I need more doing your homework at Starbucks on Sunday coordinates. This style of short is great because it is full enough to sit cross legged on the bench at my local Sutāba and still be modest and cute. So lets write this one up as part fairy kei and part neo lolita. Now I just need to wait for the air to turn crisp and the leaves to be tempted from their branches telling me autumn has arrived. Until then my friends…

P.S. The pull quotes used in the Kera-inspired layout are from this poem.

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.

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.

Mood Board: Toasty Tootsies

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Hope everyone had a spectacular holiday!!  Today Mother Nature is giving us a blizzard here in Connecticut.  And honestly, it is so much fun.  The new house is starting to feel like home so I don’t mind being all curled up inside with a nice cup of hot tea, a fluffy blanket, and the interwebs.

hime room wear rilakkuma kigurumi

1. Hime Kotatsu  |  2.  Liz Lisa Room Wear  |  3.  Character Slippers  |  4. Korilakkuma Kigurumi

But it got me thinking about keeping warm in kawaii.  Not so much inside but when outside.  Anyone who has been into lolita fashion for a while knows that the materials used for coats and boots are not exactly made for the elements.  And if there is one thing that I can’t deal with it is cold feet in the winter.  Sure there is a fair selection of sweet boots available to choose from.  But they are all form and no function IMHO.

typical winter sweet lolita shoes

5. Angelic Pretty  |  6. Queen Bee  |  7. Winter Lolita Perfection  |  8. Angelic Pretty  |  9. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

So I am inspired to try my hand at a DIY option in the coming days.  I still want that sweet look but also want warmth.  I hope I can pull it off without it looking too far fetched.  The obvious go-to is Ugg.  Some will argue that Ugg is all function and no form.  I’m pretty smitten with them for sure so will argue otherwise.

ugg style sweet lolita winter-boots

10. Sweet Ugg  |  11. Fluffy Ugg  |  12. Pearly Ugg

Found a few really cute options to get the creativity flowing.  But my real muse will be Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Little Princess Coat.  Ideally I would like something that coordinates well with that overall esthetic.

Project Complete: Sweet Lolita Summer Cherry Handbag

country lolita wicker purse cherry pouch

sweet lolita pouch and key ring

It is so satisfying to finish a project.  And this DIY vintage wicker handbag transformation is complete!  The finishing touch was the addition of a sweet lolita makeup pouch.  Blending form and function, the pouch is more substantial than a typical makeup bag – by about 2 inches.  It also features a small clip so that keys don’t slide around or get lost when you open and close your purse.  Alternatively little charms could be attached to it to add a personal touch.

materials to make a makeup pouch

I didn’t follow a pattern for this bag but I did flip a Lancôme freebie inside out to examine their general construction.  I doubled a piece of the cherry fabric and ironed in some fusible interfacing to half of the fabric.  The side with the interfacing became the outside and with the extra stiffness I was able to embellish it with lace to match the main handbag.  I then attached a swivel clip to some pink ribbon for the key chain.  Last was the addition of a big pink ribbon.

inserting a zipper into the lolita makeup bag

I wanted to use a white zipper, but my sewing stash failed me.  Seeing the finished product, I think it worked out best to have the contrasting red zipper instead.  After inserting the zipper I serged the two sides and then a quick stitch across the bottom corners gave the pouch its final shape.

The pouch comfortably holds a brush, hand lotion, blush and a powder compact with some room to spare.  If your wondering where to keep Life’s Sweet Essential #4 – Money, well, my Vivian Westwood wallet tucks in nicely in front of the pockets on the other side of the purse.

DIY Result

I’ll conclude this DIY July project with a small photo shoot of the finished handbag and a few before and after shots to show its makeover.

sweet lolita cherry theme photo shoot

cherry sweet lolita summer coordinate

vintage wicker handbag before and afternew fabric lining for vintage handbag

summer lolita wicker handbag coordinate

Sweet Dreams!

Project Update: Sweet Lolita Handbag Organizer

nothing beats a well organized handbag

While the outside of this wicker handbag is charming and refined, the inside is an over the top explosion of cute.  I really outdid myself on making this purse organizer.  So thrilled about the final result.  My daily essentials are perfectly placed and easy to get to:

  • Mobile Phone
  • Lipstick
  • Mirror
  • Tissues
  • Business Card Case
  • Tic Tacs

No commercial lolita brand would spend this much time on the inside of a purse.  Far to expensive to manufacture.  But wow what a difference it makes.  The vintage purse is still a modest size compared to styles popular these days in mainstream fashion.  But once the bag is well organized that size difference isn’t a big deal.  And this is just one side of the bag.  There is more to come.  But first lets break down how the organizer was made.

vintage purse organizer insert

The finished piece looks like this.  A simple flat organizer that can be slipped into the purse.  I did decide to attach it to the lining in the purse for stability, but that is personal preference versus a necessity.  Below is an overview of the steps to make your own organizer.

template for handbag organizer

measuring the organizer pockets

sewing a perfect organizer pocket

stich flip press and close opeing

My biggest advice is to go slowly and be sure to think ahead to the next few steps.  With patience and diligence I would rank this an intermediate sewing project.  To make it more basic, I would drop the lace trim and the rounded corners.

It was dark when I finished the other side of the purse.  After brunch I’ll get around to taking some photos to share with you the other half of what has turned out to be an exquisitely organized handbag.

Sewing & Alterations: Angelic Pretty Decoration Dream

Next weekend is International Lolita Day.  This weekend is, OMG what am I going to wear day.  Finally settled on wanting to wear Angelic Pretty’s Decoration Dream from 2011.  Found it at Closet Child in Harajuku when I was on vacation.  Couldn’t beat the price but knew it was going to need some work to fit over my, ahem, non-Japanese figure. I find Baby the Stars Shine Bright to be more forgiving both in width and length.  It is never so with Angelic Pretty.

angelic pretty decoration dream before and after

This week’s sewing lesson, waist ties are a fuller-figure girl’s best sewing friend!  Throwing caution to the wind, I drafted a few different option to increase the waist dimension about 3-4 inches.  And the hope was to also increase the length if possible, otherwise the straps would also need to be altered. Wanted to only take on one major change and not two.  And it worked out like a charm.

kera lolita sewing book 3

Earlier this week I received the latest Lolita Sewing Book (乙女のソーイングBOOK 3) from Kinokuniya.  Put it to good use right away to draft a new waist band for the skirt.  If I learned anything in art school it was always have what you will know will work as option 2, and what you think would be innovative and ideal as option 1.  I knew I could use the waist ties to just make a basic rectangular waist band and add some elastic in the back.  But that is boring.  So for the ideal but more complicated option I was inspired by the waist band on the skirt on page 17 of the new book.

altering a lolita skirt using the waist ties

After an outrageous amount of stitch ripping, I ironed the waist ties and cut them into 5 1/2 inch sections.  I transferred the pattern from the book onto tracing paper and added about 2 inches to the pattern in order to let the waist band cross over a bit in the back.  I should mention I only cut one of the waist ties to begin with (just in case the creative idea didn’t work).  I then did my best to realign the pieces to match the curvature of the pattern.  It was a bit tricky and I didn’t exactly get all the fabric to line up on grain.  After sewing the one tie back together into its new configuration I knew it was OK to go for it with the other one.  Decided to reuse the 2 bows from the ties to embellish the front panel of the new waist band.  As it is now much taller, without the adornment, it would have looked odd left bare.

adding snaps to angelic pretty skirt

I did my best to make the flap above the zipper nice and neat.  My math didn’t exactly work out as you can see by the imperfections.  But It isn’t a disaster and I can live with it.  Used 3 pink snaps to finish it off.  The snaps also came from vacation. Purchased them from Tomato in Nippori.  The skirt came with a basic latch clasp but I think snaps make a much cleaner finish and hold better.

clean seams inside lolita skirt

Inside I used a solid pink fabric to line the new waist band. Hand stitched the inside edge to make it tidy.  I know no one will be able to see it, but that’s how I like to roll.

how to increase the size of a lolita skirt

All-in-all it has some issues, but only if you are really checking it out.  Pretty proud of my achievement.  The waist band is triple its original height giving the straps at least an extra 2 inches for my long torso.  You can see the difference in the above photo.  I used every last bit of the ties so the only fabric that remains is the original waist band.  Can’t make much out of it, but perhaps a small hair bow maybe.  Also not sure what to do with the lace that came off the ties.  For now have added it to my stash for another day.

Only trouble is, now I need to find a good pair of matching socks for ILD… hum.  Guess it is a good thing, that by shear dumb luck thanks to work, I get to spend a day in San Francisco this week!  AP & Baby here I come!

Saturday Style: Does it come in pink?

pink sweet lolita to go with my new pink glasses

Outfit rundown: skirt and wristcuffs by Baby the Stars Shine Bright; socks, necklace and purse by Angelic Pretty;
shoes by Bodyline; cardigan from Asos, cutsew blouse made by me; baret deco’d by me.

Hooray! Finally found glasses that are pink and that can be worn for both work and play.  I am still on the prowl for another pair so that I can mix it up a bit.  What I love about these, they are super light weight.  The clear and soft pink color making them a “barely there” choice compared to the heavy black specs I’ve had for several years now. I think this is the happiest I have ever been about my eyeglasses.

2.5 grams pink eye glasses

Picked them up today from Greenwich Optics in Greenwich, Connecticut.  The frames are 2.5 Eyephorics made by Italee.  I selected the #72 Petal color and the 179 lens shape.  You can customize every piece to be any color you want.  Was very tempted to create a pair using 5 different pastel colors but played it safe with just the one shade of pink.  Total cost for the frames, reduced thickness lenses, and anti-glare coating (a must if you spend your life in front of a computer) came to $525.

twopointfive glasses from greenwich optics

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