Starting 2018 off sewing

In the past five weeks I have been questioning a lot about myself, my life and the path that I’ve been on. One thing that has led to is the conviction that I need to get back into sewing. I’ve missed it dearly and honestly, it’s what I’m best at. I will write a whole post about it at some point. But for now, here are pretty things.

I made these two reconstructed dresses over the past week.
The first is reconstructed from a skirt and a top which I never wore, with other scraps added to it. I love how it turned out so much! It’s so cute and comfy. A perfect dress for a casual lolita look, but could also be dressed up with a blouse and petticoat and everything.

DSC04839 copy

DSC04841 copy

Despite all the layers it’s really light, which I love.

DSC04843 copy

I got the middle strip of lace from a second-hand market last week. Antique lace is the loveliest.

DSC04844

This old, ill-fitting Queen of Darkness skirt and an ill-fitting thrifted top formed the base of the dress:

DSC04836

I took this skirt apart almost completely, while I kept the top basically intact, save for the closure. (Yes, the skirt was beautiful, but I’m a punk crafter and have no remorse.)

DSC04837

This second dress I reconstructed from a vintage dress I’ve had sitting in my closet for years. I got it from the Brick Lane market in London, back in 2012. It was a shapeless maxi dress with embroidery and long sleeves. Not the type of dress I would have usually considered, but the dye-job on this was absolutely gorgeous.

Because of the dye-job I sought to make it work. I already altered it a bit back then: shortened the sleeves and took in the waist with elastic. It didn’t help much. So it sat in my closet. I only took it out again last week, and now I’ve finally managed to salvage it.

DSC04828-copy2

It’s super flattering, comfortable and has pockets! I can see myself wearing this a lot in the summer, and on my next trip to the tropics.

DSC04830-copy2

DSC04831-copy copy

DSC04834 copy

The little things I added are all old things from my scrap heap. The stringy thing for the bow I made myself, back when I was in fashion school (2010?) and had to research different textile techniques. This method was a sort of knitting; it’s called “punniken” in Dutch, I have no idea what it is in English. At long last, it’s gotten a purpose.

This is what the dress was before:

DSC04826 copy

Thanks for looking!

Advertisements

Inspiration for WGT

I can’t believe WGT is in 2 1/2 weeks already! I’ve barely been able to think about what I will wear. Ideally I’d go for over the top gothic lolita and Victorian-ish looks, with some trad goth mixed in. Unfortunately my wardrobe and budget are not too accommodating, but a girl can dream.

Here is a somewhat random smattering of my personal style inspirations for WGT.

aw2013-3From Alice Auaa’s AW 2013/14 collection

tumblr_nzhi13fBqq1qbhoiro1_1280

tumblr_o75kf7Wdvc1qbhoiro1_1280

Marie Dauphine basically embodies all my gothic lolita goals.

tumblr_m31rbwdsI41qftzvco1_500

fille_de_porcelaine_iii_by_remussirion-d9g1062Fille de Porcelaine

pennydreadful-vanessa3

Can never get enough of Penny Dreadful‘s Vanessa Ives and her fabulous wardrobe.

baroness-dress-7Picture from Fantasmagoria, obviously

One day I will get this Punk Rave dress. One day…

blackfriday-darkincloset5

438024b2bb88a3d819903ff385ff0380

Black Friday is one of my continual inspirations.

tumblr_m07qhw0pDp1qbc9v6o1_1280

tumblr_mfac0sojsQ1rm4u2co1_1280

As are traditional 80’s alternative styles. Trad goth outfits can be a lot more practical for clubbing too.

Hope you could find some inspiration in this post!

*Uncredited images are saved from Tumblr, where all credit goes to die.

my first lolita tea party

frankmillarphoto by frank millar

last sunday i went to a lolita tea party at summer tales boutique, right at the centre of the dutch lolita community. it was the first time i went to a lolita event. i got all dressed up in my angelic pretty dress, slapped pastels on my face & donned a long wig and a cute bear hat. i think i did pretty well with my coord; i even got some compliments. unfortunately i forgot to take pictures, otherwise i could have shown you.

since i live relatively close by, i went on my bicycle, getting lots of interesting looks along the way. i arrived at the same time as some other guests & i walked behind them to the main area. before i had reached the top of the stairs i was already thinking what the fuck am i doing here? (behold un-lolita language) it was a phrase i would repeat several times in my head throughout the afternoon. it’s strange getting involved into such a new community. when i stepped over the threshold i stepped into a whole ‘nother world. the smallish space was filled with petticoats. all the people in-between looked spectacular. it’s nice having other people to dress up with.

i sat down at one of the first tables i reached, joining two others. they were lovely. everyone was lovely. we had our first cups of tea & waited until the rest of the guests arrived. there were 55 in total. finally, the charming girl behind the boutique went up front to welcome us all. she also showed us the new collections she & her team had been working on for the past few months. all perfectly charming pieces. i was already questioning my fragile resolve not to buy new clothes anymore. i can’t get that chiffon babydoll dress out of my head. perhaps… it is important to support small businesses…

after her talk we could go down to the store to admire all the fine pieces & buy what we wished. i only bought one of the new rings, since i didn’t really have the money for more. i would have liked to try on one of the new dresses, but it was so packed in that small store. & everyone was wearing petticoats. at several points i found myself stuck in a group of people, immobilized by petticoats. we could all laugh about it though.

later we went back up to eat. when everyone was seated again, platters of baked goods and sandwiches were deposited on all the tables. i had let the people who organised it know beforehand that i was vegan. i thought that they would probably put some small things on the side for me & other vegans, but i got a whole plate for myself! a whole meal, which was fantastic. i got a sandwich, a fruit salad, a cupcake, & a scone with soy cream & jam. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. it made me so happy that they made such delicious food for vegans as well. there were more vegans there than i expected too.

then it was time for the costume contest. there were five contestants, all dressed fantastically. one girl in white had a handmade tophat with flowers and fairy lights; another had made almost her entire outfit herself, complete with an elaborate headdress with even more fairylights; there was one in oldschool lolita with bells in her hair; one girl who took inspiration from the story of christ; & a girl who was dressed as a present & threw glitter everywhere. it was amazing. very motivating to go further with my coord a next time.

DSC03505 copy

after the contest there was also a lottery. to my great surprise, i won something! i won two rings from the new collection. i went home with a lot of new rings. there was also one in the lucky pack that i had gotten along with my ticket. in my lucky pack there was also a hair bow and a rosary necklace.

DSC03502 copy.jpg

to close the event, we all went outside & braved the december cold for some group pictures. before we left, we could take a card from the small christmas tree. earlier in the day we had all written something nice on a card & hung them up. i went home with a card that said (translated) that i looked fabulous. i thought that was a sweet little extra.

it was a magical experience overall. the only thing was that i still felt a bit awkward & out of place in that community, but i think it will be better a next time. i do fully intend to go to a second lolita tea party. time will tell how i fit into the lolita community in the long run. if i don’t, well, i still have my gothicly inclined friends.

handmade lolita-esque bolero & a circle skirt

i’m pretty impressed by how much i’ve managed to sew lately. what with all the things working against my favour. here are a bolero & a skirt that i finished this weekend:

DSC03422 copy

like many things, this bolero took longer than expected. it was the ruffles. oh, ruffles. these ruffles are killing me. why do they have to look so cute?

DSC03428 copy

when i started, they didn’t look so bad. the bottom ruffles went pretty smoothly. but then the top! i had to redo them twice. first they were much too packed & it looked clownish. then the front barely had any ruffles left.

DSC03426 copy

i also added the second layer of lace at the last moment, when i had already finished up the rest of the collar. so i had to ruffle that lace separately & sew that ruffled lace over the ruffled fabric, under the more narrow lace. however, it was worth going back to do that extra work; it ended up looking fabulous. i’ve become a lot more critical with my work over the past year or two. it does lead to better results.

DSC03425 copy

i was planning to do a fuller ruffle at the end of the sleeves, but i stuck to this smallish bell shape. i thought it would be cuter. maybe i’ll add some (removable) bows to them. if they’re removable i can switch up white and black ones. the bow at the front is also removable for that same reason.

DSC03429 copy

i love this skirt so much. it’s high-waisted, super comfortable & has big pockets in the side-seams. it’s pretty basic, but basic can be very nice. i’ve needed a skirt like this in my closet for ages.

DSC03432 copy

it’s made of such nice materials. the lace especially was an amazing find.

DSC03433 copy

on a sidenote, i took out my old leopard print fabric backdrop which i used all the time back when i had my etsy shop. oh, nostalgia. i would love to have a shop again. it’s actually pretty doable at this sewing rate. difficult, but doable. maybe towards the end of the year…

the egl dress from hell, finished

i posted a preview of this on AUGUST 23RD, when i had already been working on this for a very long time, & just last week i finished it. & when i had finished it, i realised that i had forgotten my good camera at my other house & i couldn’t take any pictures & there are so many frustrations with this dress. but it’s done! i think. the hemline could be cleaned up a bit, but i can’t face those ruffles again just now. so many ruffles… & layers… & weight…

DSC03398 copy

looks good though, doesn’t it? overall. it has some small flaws, but did i mention the ruffles? & weight?

for a long time i only felt frustrated when i looked at this dress on my dressform. even when i tried it on & looked at it in the mirror. just last night i properly wore it, with a blouse & everything, & i felt like a princess. for the first time all those hours & hours & hours seemed vaguely worth it.

DSC03403 copy

i drew up a new pattern, from scratch for this dress, & i think my pattern drawing skills could still use a lot of improving. it turned out much too big; it was supposed to be fitted at the top. however, i ended up quite liking the extra room. it makes this dress super comfortable & gives it something of a yohji yamamoto vibe. like if he would design for angelic pretty.
aside from the miscalculated sizing, the back also looks a bit off, because the pattern was drawn with sleeves in mind. for dresses with sleeves you need a little more room at the back. i changed my mind about the sleeves at the last minute. i had already pinned them on, short, extremely puffy sleeves, & then decided that it looked better without. with how big the sleeves were it would also be near impossible to wear shrugs or small jackets over it. sleeveless this dress is a lot more versatile. plus, those huge puffy sleeves did not flatter my broad shoulders at all.

DSC03411 copy

those pattern flaws are a lot less noticeable on me than on my dressform though. i would have taken pictures of me wearing it, but when i remembered to take my good camera with me, i forgot my tripod, & the lighting here in my primary home is too bad to take pictures. another time.

DSC03401 copy

this dress is fully lined & the skirt is built up of two layers. both of the layers of the skirt are divided into two parts. the top gathered part of the skirt is 3 meters wide, the bottom ruffles come to 6! a lot of the bottom ruffles are also patched together, because otherwise i wouldn’t have enough fabric. initially i bought 5 meters of the main fabric of about 1.80m wide. i thought then i would have maybe a 1 1/2m left for another project, but i ended up using it all. even buying some extra! & then there was the lining. a lot of fabric is in this dress. it makes it very poofy without a petticoat, which is what i was going for. a lot of lolita dresses look kind of sad without a petticoat & i didn’t want that.

DSC03409 copy

i probably could have used a little less fabric though. i wanted to try a bias-cut for the skirt. with wide skirts it can look a lot better when fabric is cut on the bias, but that is not the most economical way of cutting. now that the experiment is done i’m also not sure how much of a difference it made, what with all the ruffles. ruffles. ruffles everywhere. i should try a design like this cut regularly & compare it… in a couple of months when i can handle a ruffle again.

DSC03412 copy

like with my favourite lolita brand, the front bow & waist ties are removable. i also put two huge pockets in the skirt. skirts are always better with pockets.

DSC03414 copy

i also made a matching headbow:

DSC03395 copy

maybe i’ll make this dress design available as a custom order, when i’ve cleaned it up a bit. see how i can make this more efficiently & thus lower the price. as it is now it would have to be around €275-€300. feel free to comment if you’re interested.

thank you for looking!

sneak preview of a dress i’m working on

it’s a terrible picture, but i really wanted to show something of this dress that i’ve been working on. i’ve been working on it, on & off, for a couple of weeks now.

DSC033292

it’s a very lolita inspired sleeveless dress. at first it was really fun to work on this, but later it became more & more frustrating. so many ruffles & layers & weight. i also made a few mistakes and changes to the design, which made it much more work than it should be. i think it will be worth it though. it’s already looking rather fabulous. i just need to fix the bottom ruffles, & the back of the top, & improve the bow clip, & buy & add more lace…

soon.

lolita purchases

well, i did go by that lolita shop i mentioned in my last post. it’s called summer tales boutique &, even half-full, it’s so very, very lovely. i can’t believe i didn’t know it before. it’s only half an hour away on bicycle! i got to try on a hurriedly assembled lolita outfit, with a petticoat. ah, that petticoat. i had to buy it. it’s so big & cute. strangely, i’ve never owned a proper petticoat before. how i’ve missed out.

DSC03237 copy DSC03240 copy

of course, pictures taken of it laying flat on my bed don’t do it any kind of justice, but i don’t have any skirts or dresses to wear with it yet. my jsk shipped today though. aaaah, i can’t wait to receive it! & wear it with this petticoat!

i also bought a bodyline blouse. so lovely & inexpensive.

DSC03247 copy DSC03244 copy DSC03243 copy

although i’m not sure if it’ll go with my jsk. well, i can always buy another that does go with it. or make one. if only i had more opportunity to sew… i’m actually considering skipping out on that vacation to budapest next week & go have a vacation at my mom’s house with my sewing machines instead. a whole week to make lolita clothes would be so very lovely. sigh. after that whole week in which i would go to budapest i start with a new block at school & it will be all work, work, work again.

when i saw their workspace at summer tales boutique… heavenly. these things really make me want to go back into fashion. they offer internships there too. not that that would be of any benefit to my comparative literature studies. anyway, here is also a flyer the nice lady gave me:

DSC03249

if you live anywhere near houten, go check it out! it’s a very inspiring shop overall.