18 May 2015

Rose Tsumami Kanzashi.

I have been experimenting with making rose kanzashi for ages and I think finally managed to find a design that works in my eyes.

Previous ones have been very pretty.  They are very pretty roses but somehow my eyes thinks something is missing.

So after lots of thinking and experimenting.  Yes lots of experimenting, my sewing room is full of proto roses.  It is actually quite sad seeing all these flowers.  I will have to think of a way to give them a good burial.  I always hate throwing away my flower failures.  

Anyway with a bit more playing, I think I have make ones that I am even more happier.  These ones are 7.5 cm in diameters so they make a lovely hair accessory or bouquet (ohh I must make one).

At the moment I have only made them in habutai silk but I would like to try and make them in kimono silk to see what effect it will create.  I think those roses will be lush and I can't wait to make more.


16 May 2015

Kitty Kanzashi is back!

I have been very bad and neglected my etsy store.

Mainly due to the fact that I started a new job 1.5 years ago and have not been able to find a routine.

Anyway after a move from Sheffield to Belfast, getting full time job and then decided to move to my own flat!  I have finally managed to settle down enough to get things back in order.

So to slowly get back into the kanzashi business I have decided to start with something I have been thinking about for only the last month or so.

Glitter Kanzashi!

Seriously, glitter makes thing sparkle and everything is improved with glitter.  Well it was something I use to believe in as a child and then I went through a glitter hating moment.  Mainly because you can not put the stuff on your university work.  But now I need sparkle and lots of it.

The gold one was the first one I made because it is my default colour when I think of glitter but there are other colours.

As you can see I have only played with three at the moment,  I would love to play with more but I will need your help for that ;)

So here is where you can get these little bundles of joy.  There is only three at the moment.

4 May 2015

Making a Dress - Green Jumper Skirt with matching french hood part two

For ages I have been looking for suitable lolita style hair accessories.  

I  like bows but most of the time they get lost in my hair and the head eating ones are just a bit too much for my classic wardrobe in my eyes.

Bonnets are lovely!  However when I tried one on when I was in Harajuku I looked......well.....a bit provincial.  So that is a no no then.

Hats I love but expensive as I like the huge ones.  Quite frankly the bigger the better for my face.

What I want is a cross between a flower crown and a hairband so I hit upon an idea of how about french hoods.

If you are not familiar with french hoods then think of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn  

Now I wasn't thinking of going the whole hog with the french hood as there are many components involved but I wanted to get the overall shape of the main part.

Essentially I am making a OTT headband.

Pattern-wise I searched the internet for one and then I tweaked it a little to get the right size and shape.

Now if I was being completely hardcore I would have made the base with buckram and wire but alas I don't have that in my room so I used heavy iron-on interface and to make it strong I will use two layers one for the front and one for the back.

I mainly completed this after work so the picture are not brilliant but here is the starting point of when I put on the kanzashi.  

Close up of one of my kanzashi flowers.

At this point in time this is only pinned to my mannequin head I will be adding ribbon to it later on.

Okay not shot of construction after this as I got a bit carried away and I wanted to finish it for a work event but here is the finished french hood.

I never wear a wig but I wanted to see if it would work with a twin tail ponytail wig as I am considering making for other lolita.

and so finally my outfit is complete.  I wore it just over a month ago for a work event.  Unlike a real french hood I wore this behind my ear so it is a OTT headband.  

I  think it was a hit although I did get one person asking me if I was part of some sort of show.  Nevermind!

Making a Dress - Green Jumper Skirt with matching french hood

For ages I have been waiting for a particular JSK or jumper skirt design to appear in Otome no Sewing book and finally in volume 6 it has arrived!


I just like the look of them for some reason.


I wanted this one to be hard wearing so rather then going for 100% cotton I decided to buy something call bi-stretch.  It feels like the fabric the school uniforms are made from which means it will be hard wearing!

And despite the fabric being polyester, it has a lovely drape to it and the assistant at the fabric shop that I brought it from said that it is very popular with costume designers because of the drape.  Which is good.

Green was not my original colour of choice, it was going to be black but then I looked into my wardrobe and just saw a see of blue and black lolita dresses.  This will not do so I thought what colour do I like that I have not made any clothes for.  Then as I was looking through my fabric stash I noticed my green kimono bolt.  That was it green!  I will make the dress in green.


No major changes were made to the pattern apart from three things.

One, I decided from now on that I will add side pockets to all of my dresses if I can.  This is to make them more practical because my aim is to make a work friendly lolita wardrobe.

Two, I added some ruffles at the bottom.  The original pattern asked you to make this dress out of tartan material but since tartan is not my thing I decided that a row of ruffles would be the best replacement.

And three, I was to fully line the jsk.  Maybe that is a major change?

But it needed some trimming and for some reason I wanted it to be gold.  Somehow in my head I wanted the jsk to look a little military-like but I knew gold lace would be impossible to find.  So as I was buying my green bi-stretch at the fabric store only a 1 minute walk away from work, I spied some gold trimming.  Perfect and brought 5 metres worth.


Everything went according to plan.

Pockets went in nicely, the trimming was sewn over the seams and overall everything was going smoothly.....until I had to put in the invisible zip.

My first attempt resulted in the fabric getting stretched and therefore when I did the zip up it was all puckered.  I was very disappointed in myself so I took the zip off and in the process I accidentally stuck my seam ripper in the wrong place and ruined the zip.  D'OH!

Anyway with a replacement zip brought the following day, I managed to get the new zip in.  Still had some trouble as the gathers near the zip where stopping it from going up.  So I had to had stitch those down flat and then add in a little eye and hook to take some of the weight off the zip.

Yey for pockets!

As with all my projects, I always try to make a matching headdress because I love accessories so I thought I would make a french hood inspired hairband.

I toyed with the idea of actually putting it on a hairband but they never stay in my hair for long so I stuck with ribbon tying instead.

The base design is from one I saw online but I tweaked it a little wasn't as big.  Then the fun begins.

8 April 2015

Making a Dress - Blue one piece lolita dress with wide collar.

I love my Otome no Sewing book as they provide me so much inspiration for future project.


So I came across this little darling.

Very simple lines and of course perfect for the office.  I have to make it!


Since I went a little bit overboard in buying the blue summer weight fabric for the parade overskirt I thought it might be a nice idea to use up this fabric first.  I mean it is lovely fabric and wouldn't it be sort of nice to have a set of clothes all made from the same fabric.


As I said before I love the simple lines which appeals to me a lot.  I do love frills but I like my lolita wardrobe to be more suitable for day to day.

The original design in the book was unlined but this was not an option if I was using my blue fabric.  It was very thin so I decided that the version I was going to make was going to be fully lined.

The actual drafting of the pattern was pretty easy apart from the collar.  I had a hard time getting the curve right and in the end I had to cut the pattern out of the book to get it right.  Oh the heartbreak!!!


All the pieces were cut, sewing was actually quite simple.

The collar was a little tricky as it was only after putting on the collar that I realised that it didn't sit flat on my shoulders.  I suppose that is good really but it does pose a underwear issue!

Unfortunately in my new flat there is no where I can take a picture that looks good.  So after many many many takes this was the best one.

In hindsight I should have put on a petticoat but I didn't feel like it.

Although I love the dress there is one slight problem and that is the sleeves.  When I bend my arms they are a little bit tight but other then that it hangs very nicely.  I have already worn this a couple of times at work so I might make another one with short sleeves for summer!

1 April 2015

Making a Dress - Empire-line Otome dress

Hello peeps

Long time no see!

When was my last post.....oh it was that long ago.... oppps....well things have been very hectic back in Kitty World.  I started a new job back in October 2013 and then in April 2014 I finally managed to get myself back into accountancy.  I tell you one thing, having a job is great on the personal finance side but it does eat away the blogging and crafting time.  Then if that was not enough, I decided to move to my new flat!  Yep I am finally on the property ladder and the best thing to come out of this move is my new crafting room!

Still a little messy but you should have seen it before the racking.

Anyway since the big move I have finally gotten round to making my empire line otome dress.

There was a slight change of plan with the fabric since it dawned on me that I do not have a blue and white yukata so I spent the next 2 weeks trying to find a suitable alternative and eventually I did.

It is a bit more bluer then I wanted but I was so lucky to get the other one that I thought at least this one will not get stained so easily.

Anyway as normal I was going to take progress photos but this was such a simple project that by the time I realised I have not taken a single photo, my dress was almost complete.

Oh well!  So here is the finished dress.

Isn't it adorable?  It is really light and comfy to wear and it is perfect for the office as it is not too frilly to look out of place.

My only complaint with this would be the straps as the fabric is a bit too soft so the hemming did not go very smoothly.  In addition, I decided to use my new hemming machine foot and although it made the hemming work a lot shorter, It created a wavy effect of the edge.  Maybe with a bit of iron it will reduce it but overall I do like the look of the straps.

16 March 2014

Making a Dress - Bird Parade Lolita Overskirt and Underskirt.

So one of the many blogs that I follow is Craft Blog UK and this post particular took my interest!

It seems that Hillarys Blinds was running a competition where the prize is £1000 if you can transform 1 metre by 1 metre of Hillarys Blinds "Country Retreat" fabric into something interesting.  I like a challenge and I had the perfect project!

To make a lolita skirt and hair accessories to match!


Well I have always loved the look of the lolita bustle skirts because of the frills!

However my plan was to replace the frills with the Bird Parade fabric that Hillarys so kindly sent to me because it would be a crime to cover it up.  Then of course you can not have a lolita outfit without accessories so with any fabric remaining I will make a large bow and kanzashi that will go with the skirt.


As mentioned above I chose the Bird Parade fabric because it is just looks gorgeous and works perfectly with lolita aesthetics. 

But I will also need some fabric for the overskirt as well so after a bit of searching on ebay I found some lovely navy blue fabric which should go nicely with the peacocks' colouring.  Not the best of pictures but I assure you, the fabric is lovely to the touch.


For my design I thought I would break with the traditional lolita bustle skirts which are made as one piece.  As I like my wardrobe to be as flexible as possible my plan was to make a underskirt which will have the frills and "Bird Parade" fabric and then a separate navy blue overskirt which will drape over the underskirt.

This way I could rolate the underskirt around and have frills instead if that is how I feel.  Fortunately the design with be based on a simple rectangle skirt but there will be a lot of work to make sure everything all line up nicely.


So I have made rectangle lolita skirts before but never have I ever made a tiered skirt before but I have spent sometime thinking about it and I have a good idea on what to do.

Therefore without further ado I decided to cut the fabric.  I took half of the Bird Parade fabric and cut an equal sized piece of lawn cotton and made a simple tube.

It was at this point I decided that rather then making it half and half like I originally planned, I decided that making the underskirt reversible would be so much more fun and versatile!  So after adding the frill at the bottom of this half of the skirt, I went about making the frilly half.  Oh the fun of gathering 10-12 metres of cotton

But I persevered and this is the result!  On its own it will act as a casual petticoat!

Now to make the overskirt.  Again another gathered rectangle skirt but of course with the front cut out to create the apron look. 

I drew the curve for the apron dress free hand but it is like a slightly elongated quarter of a circle.

And these are all the pieces to make the overskirt.  Now lets skip to the end result!

Now this skirt is not complete with some hair accessories so with the remaining materials I made some cute little bows!

The boater hat was something I had lying around and I have been wanting a good excuse to decorate it. 

I am quite proud actually!  I managed to make all of this in less then a weeks work which is pretty quick for me.

I think in the future I might alter the underskirt so it sits nicer under the over skirt but I will need to have a think of the best way to do this.

Still have a small piece of the Bird Parade fabric and I wish I had enough to make a mini boater hat but alas I don't so I will need to consider the most efficient way to transforming it into hair accessories without wasting it.