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.  

2 January 2014

Out with 2013 and In with 2014!!!

So 2013 has been an eventful year for me.

I moved to a new city!

Where the first few days it rained and rained!  And once the rain stopped, it decided to snow however by summertime it was all lovely and hot.

Then I continued with my dressmaking and made the following dress and kimono.

However this has slowed down in the last few months as I have started a new job in September which meant my kanzashi making took priority over my dressmaking which is a shame!

However these are the stunning kanzashi that I have created.

SO what does 2014 have to hold for me???

Well hopefully in the next 3 months I will be sorting out all the financial and legal details for my new flat which will mean I will hopefully have my own little workroom where can store all my kimono, sewing and kanzashi making equipment.  I am very excited about this!

Restarting my "Making a Dress" series again with the first dress being made being  a 50's day-dress from an old kimono by 2 February 2014 so I can wear it for a vintage fair.  Still need to figure out what sort of dresses I want to make but the list is as follow : -

  • Another regency dress.
  • Wa-Lolita outfit.
  • Aristocratic lolita skirt.
  • Hand muff (okay not a dress but very practical and would be a lovely accessory).
  • Bustle style skirt.
Of course I will be making another kimono as I went on a spending spree on kimono bolts.  As always some of those will be used to make the above dresses.

And I will be looking to finding a part-time job.  I have found that since I started working full-time I miss my sewing and kanzashi making far too much and it is getting to the point where it is actually making my depressed when I am not being creative.  I really hope I can find something soon so fingers cross!