Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lolita cut-sew

So I lied apparently about finishing the petticoat soon. I got tired of working with it and moved on to something else to distract me temporarily. I made a Lace cut-sew. (Cut-sew is basically casual tops made of jersey or what-not) Forgive the crumby pictures, my cell phone camera isn't very good, and I have nearly no lighting in my home.I quickly realized that it looks horrible on my clothing form. I'm plus size and the form isn't. I cut up some of my husband's old t-shirts to make it. The front panel has pink ribbon criss-crossing, and there is pink ribbon bows on the sleeves. I'm proud of it as being the second piece of non-doll clothing I've made. And it fits me perfectly! ^_^ The only thing I wish I could of changed was using better quality materials, but at the same time I love recycling old things and making them better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lolita Clothes

So, if the bloomers and the tags/keywords didn't give it away, Gothic Lolita fashion is a hobbie of mine. I say "Gothic Lolita" because that is what people are familar with, but mostly I just like sweet lolita and casual lolita clothing. Of course I'm too cheap to buy outfits myself, so I've set out on an adventure to make them myself.

I've been constantly browsing thrift stores looking for anything that may go with a casual lolita look, or anything that can be altered. I'm not very good at sewing and I don't like to use patterns, so I'm pretty much winging it. The bloomers were the first thing I've made. I've bought a few basic stuff so far for customizing: a pair of shoes, socks and tights, tshirts, a black polka dot square dance skirt, and a baby blue cardigan. Next projects are a cupcake skirt patterned simple skirt, and currently working on a petticoat.

I'm making the petticoat out of tulle, something I've never worked with. I browsed the net to get an idea about making petticoats and the concensus was that it's better to buy one instead of struggle with it. I don't have $30-40 to burn so I opted for the challenging route.

So far the only issue I've had with the tulle was in cutting it evenly. I don't have any special cutting tools or methods to make straight lines easy, I just lay a ruler on top and cut away! I'm sure that makes some seamstess out have heart palpatations, but it's just what I'm used to. I've never cut such loooong pieces before, so it sucked.

For those who are wondering, I bought 6 yards of tulle, elastic, and liner fabric for about $18 at Joann. So far it's way too much fabric. The tulle I folded so that there were 4 layers and cut 3 strips 8 inches wide: one layer is double my waist size, one layer is 3x my waist size, and the last layer is 4x my waist size.

I then seperated the three stacks into six 2 layer thick pieces. Each piece was then sewn into a "ring" by sewing the two shortest ends together.

Next I sewed a gathering stitch along the top line of each ring. I've never done this before so I goofed on the first tier (fixed now). The gathering stitch was done by sewing with the longest stitch length on my machine and with the tension around 1 or 2. If you leave a long tail of thread on each end you can tug them to make the fabric ruffle. My machine seems to put the ruffle in there automatically when I sew the tulle (hurray for less work!) so if anything I just need to loose those gathers.

The gather stitch is normally sewn near the top, but I did mine about 1-1.5 inches down so that I can sew that smaller ruffle on top to the outside to add extra poof to each tier. Currently I am working on pinning each layer to the next. For this I need to try and make the top of the bottom tier the same length as the bottom of the tier above it. I'll photograph the petticoat when it comes together.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I've made a few outfits for my doll but have yet to make human clothes until now. I only know the basics of sewing, and I have never used a pattern - those things are confusing! So I'm excited that I've been able to sew something for myself. I want to put together a casual lolita outfit (google casual lolita or Gothic Lolita if you don't know what it is) and am sewing most of it myself. I'm starting from the bottom up, first item I've finished is a pair of bloomers. Bloomers are puffy underpants. How do they look?It was pretty easy to make. I didn't use a pattern, I just looked at pictures of bloomers from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright and other lolita brands and figured it out. Very basic, but will be nice under a poofy skirt. I think the next project will be a petticoat or the skirt. I already have a cute cupcake fabric for the skirt. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

More Haruka pics

I took some pictures around the outside of my workplace yesterday. Here are some good ones:She looks like Bo Peep looking for her sheep.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Asian Ball Joint Doll

A year or two ago I got my first BJD (ball joint doll). This is a type of doll popular in Asian and with a moderate fan base elsewhere. They are an extremely expensive hobby! I first found out about them accidentally when I saw a cover of Haute Doll magazine on the shelves of a Borders bookstore. They all had that Gothic-Lolita look to them that I was attacted to and I became hooked.
The most common BJS is Super Dollfie by Volks, they have a distinctive "anime-ish" look to them. Other brands vary from extremely life-like to cartoon-like. People discribe my doll as looking "anime". I bought the cheapest brand - a doll by Obitsu, called Haruka - I kept this name for my doll since I always liked the name.

Most BJDs come blank and need to be customized - face painted, glass eyes inserted, you need to buy a wig, etc - when I customized Haruka I wanted to make her distictly Japanese with long black hair and glossy brown eyes. I wanted her clothes to be all traditional Japanese kimono and sweet lolita dresses.

The first outfit I made for Haruka was a furisode kimono.

I found the fabric as clothing at thrift stores. The kimono and under kimono is from Chinese silk robes, the obi is from an Indian top. The bear is from ebay. :-)

A closer view of her face. I don't really think she looks anime-ish - but rather like shes from that movie Dark Crystal. These pictures were taken on my cell phone at work, you can see my Puffy Ami Yumi poster in which they are wearing kimono punk-style - their kimono are the only reason I have the poster! I've made more kimono since this one - mostly yukata. Her first yukata was a lolita yukata - with a short puffy skirt!

One day browsing the thrift and antique stores in my area I saw that many porcelain dolls are similar size in the shoulders, so I thought their pretty dresses may fit my Haruka, so I picked up some cheap broken porcelain dolls from the thrift store that had lovely dresses. Here is the first find:

Poor quality picture, sorry! She's underneath a shelf at my work desk flanked by some Japanese temari balls I've made (I'll share about those later). This only picture I could take on my crumby phone that showed any detail to the pink baby doll dress.

Other than the lolita style yukata, this is the first lolita-ish dress I got. That day I took some pictures outside. Here she is sitting on a grassy hill. In such a short baby doll dress you can really tell how long her legs are.

I tried to get some good pictures of her standing next to a rock, but the lighting wasn't working on my cell phone.

I have some more outfits that I've taken off old broken dolls that look good on her that I have yet to photograph. Last night I worked on altering a very fine dress. I found this one at the Crossroads Doll and Teddy Bear show at the Puyallup fair. Its an antique dress for French dolls, I believe it is a reproduction. I saw the bonnet and was reminded of the Japanese sweet lolita look that I'm so drawn to and I had to get it, despite it's expensive price tag. I'm glad I got it! This time she has a curly blonde wig on that I took off a porcelain doll that had shattered. The wig is too big, but the bonnet keeps it on her head.

I'll publish more pictures of other outfits soon. I'll probablly take more pictures of Haruka in this outfit today!