Saturday, 30 November 2013

How to make a Lolita skirt in 15 minutes for under 10$! :)

Ok, so getting into Lolita fashion can be rather expensive :)

So, this is my best - dirt cheap - quick fix, Lolita tip:

Do It Yourself Lolita skirt
made from a thrift store curtain!

What you need:
1) A good-looking curtain in the right skirt-length with a curtain rod pocket.
2) Elastic waist band, the length of your waist + 2 cm.

(3) You actually don't need to use a sewing machine, 
you could sew it for hand if you wish too.
But of course, having a sewing machine makes things easier.
(4) You don't need a washing machine either - 
you can wash the fabric in your sink.

Step 1
Rummage thrift stores in hope of finding a curtain that looks something like this:

It has a perfect length and an adorable ruffle at the hem!
The print is floral, which is perfect for classic or country Lolita :)

Carefully examine the fabric, make sure that there are no holes or big stains
(that you can't fix ;)

Buy it! 
This one cost me 40 SEK ~ 6.2$

Step 2
Take the fabric home and care for it :)

This is what the fabric (curtain ;) looks like when unfolded :) 
It is totally 275 cm long.

On Sew Loli Livejournal, we have had discussions about good hem circumference, ranging from 2-3 x your waist measurement to 2,5-3 x your hip measurement. For instance, a friend of mine uses standard 150 cm x 2 (since it is the standard length of a bought piece of fabric on a roll). You could always measure the hem of your favourite dress, to see what hem measurements you prefer.

But for the sake of simplicity in this tutorial, I'm going to use the whole length.

Chuck it into the washing machine :)

It is always smarter to wash the fabric BEFORE you make your creation.
Partly because it is nicer to work with a clean fabric,
but also because adding lace etc. may make
the end product more difficult to wash!
Step 3
Sew the skirt! :D

Now, get yourself a piece of elastic waistband.
My piece is 80 cm (my waist measurement is 75 cm) and it cost me 22 SEK ~3.4$
Total: 6.2 + 3.4 = 9.6$ :D

Oh... ooops, I accidentally bought wrong size waistband :#) 
BEFORE buying elastic waistband, please measure the 
pocket where the curtain rod goes ;)
So that it fits ;)

Okeeeej... So I ended up with black elastic waistband 
(Luckily, I had a right-sized spare piece in my drawer ;)

It fits!!! Yäj! :D

So, now I'm taking a sturdy and big safety pin
and safely fastening it a bit in on
the elastic waist band.

Now, I thread the pin with the band into the 
curtain rod pocket.

OK, so now you see that it is inside! :D

I keep on pushing the fabric over the pin + band.

When the band ends, I safely secure the band to the fabric with (two!) needles, 
so I can keep on pushing the longer fabric over the shorter waist band as I go.

Victory! I'm through to the other side! :D

So now I fasten the two pieces of elastic waist band together.

And with a little machine-sewing, the two bands are firmly attached!
Make sure that the bands haven't twisted before you sew them together ;)

So, I'm needling the two skirt ends together!

When you turn the skirt over, 
you can start too see 
what the end product will look like :D


So close! :D
Now on to the sewing machine :)

Here I'm sitting with my sewing machine.
You can see the elastic band inside the pocket.

It's somewhat tricky to sew the two pockets together without
sewing in the elastic band.
Use your magic skills here ;)

Tralala... Sewing it together :)

And Voilá!

The skirt is finished :)

In less than 15 minutes under 10$!

Country Lolita coord with skirt :)

Here are two other great links for basic skirt tutorials! :D

violet le beaux
fille de porcelaine

HUGZ/ Mary

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How to get a lot of high quality lace for a low cost!

(c) Fabric Happy

High quality lace is expensive!

In Sweden, at my local sewing store I pay 22 SEK (3.3USD/ 2£) up to 49 SEK (7.4USD/ 4.6£) per metre. 

And most Lolita dress patterns acquire a lot of lace :) in different shapes and sizes...
Sometimes the lace can actually be more expensive than the fabric for the dress!
Different lace on Btssb Dessert OP 2012

So, what you need to do is take a trip to your local thrift store/ charity shop,
start rummaging around the curtain or the cloth section and look for fabrics with nice high quality lace! :)

Buy it and toss it into the washing machine :)
This heap of fabric (a JOTEX curtain) cost me 40 SEK (6 USD/ 3.7£)

Now, start ripping :) carefully remove the threads that attach the lace to the fabric, using a seam ripper.

This took me 15-20 minutes. Be careful and cautious when ripping so that you don't damage the lace!

Fabric and a nice round pile of lace :)

1 curtain for 40 SEK (6 USD/ 3.7£) ended up in giving me 4,2 metres of high quality, 8 cm broad lace! :)

The fabric is going to be put to use as well :)
Nice, cotton fabrics in neutral colours are great as dress-liners when sewing your JSK.

You could also sew a nice under-dress with this neutral cotton fabric, 
to protect your Lolita clothing from your skin :)

Keep your eyes open for bargains in thrift stores/ charity shops/ garage sales! :)
Reusing old fabrics is a great way to be environmentally friendly :)

Hope you enjoyed this post!
*til next time*
<3 Ta Ta <3

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Bodyline L496 *JSK + Bolero* Classic Lolita REVIEW

L496 Bodyline
This is a review of the L496 Classic JSK + Bolero from Bodyline!
Venus Angelic looks great as the Bodyline model! :)

Me in L496

I was very nervous when I received my packet, since I've bought quite a few Lolita items now second hand and from on-line stores, that turned out to not be what I first thought... (Bad quality, wrong size...)

So, I own a lot of Lolita clothes that I really can't wear. And this dress is hopefully a dress that fits!

The dress costs USD 80 (I ordered during a 10% off campaign for USD 72) + Bodylines' flat-rate shipping price USD 10. I had to pay 200 kr (ca 31 USD) tax and postage fees extra for the package in Sweden.

So my bargain dress ended up costing a lot more than I first thought (Total 112 USD/ 725 SEK).

The dress arrived in a Bodyline bag + soft plastic packaging.

Bolero + JSK in velveteen and "manchester"-like fabric

Pretty buttons (That later unfortunately ALL fell off!)

The ribbon is unfortunately high-shine.

 Lace detail

Detail of print, The print is upside down sometimes.

I bought the 2L size, which is perfect for me (I am 176 cm long, ca 67 kg, EU38)

The zipper is a bit odd - very visible.

Velveteen bolero. I love the poofy arms! :D



Highly visible zipper in back. As you also can see, the print is upside down.

Ahh... the feeling of cutting of a new dress tag ;)

 Lost in the woods *haha*
 I love the chain detail of the bolero!

Oops, buttons falling off :P

Bad thread...

This is, as you can see, not a high quality dress.

The print is awkwardly upside down at some places, the buttons fell off within an hour of wearing the dress and the zipper is not really the same hue as the dress and it is very much visible in the centre of the back.

But it is still a fairly decent Lolita dress for a great price - but don't forget to budget for taxes and your countries postage fees! (In Sweden 25% of TOTAL value - postage + dress + 100 kr Posten fee)

I would have done some extra needle-work myself, to make sure that the buttons don't fall of, if I had bought this dress again. The buttons have really ugly white plastic backs, so I'm not going to bother to sew them back on (and I lost one button forever when walking to the bus).

This dress receives 2/5 Hazelbelle Nuts because the buttons fell off, otherwise the JSK and bolero would have received 3/5.

UPDATE 8/11 2014: I ordered this when I was new to Lolita and didn't know about the Yen-trick.
The yen-trick is awesome - you just change the currency shown to Yen instead of USD. Bodyline charges hefty rates for using USD instead of Yen! And on the last page, after you have paid for your goods on Bodyline, you may choose to devalue your packet with 50% or 75% to avoid customs. Please note that this is illegal, however, and if you are caught by authorities doing this, you will be charged with a fine.

Did the items match the pictures on Bodyline? 3/5 Fairly well. 
Where the items of good quality? 2/5 Not really, the buttons came off when wearing the dress for less than an hour!
How was the sellers communication? 3/5 Good. Bodyline cancelled my order of stockings (that I ordered at the same time as the dress). I found out when they paid back the amount on Paypal, a bit awkward - it would have been nice to receive an email from Bodyline, too.
Cost versus quality? 3/5 It's still a fairly reasonable price for a two piece Lolita dress.

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