Becoming a better Lolita

This week’s entry will be short. A few months ago, a long-time friend of mine sent me a picture of me in my first Lolita outfit that I wore at Sakura-Con 2005. It made me laugh so much!

My first Lolita outfit.

My first Lolita outfit.

Gosh, I look so young! I first discovered Lolita fashion in 2003. When I first left home and went to college, I got into Goth fashion. I had been into Japanese pop culture since my adolescence and there was a Japanese book store in the city I moved to. While perusing the shelves, I found a magazine called “Gothic and Lolita Bible.” I was immediately attracted to the word “Gothic” and began flipping through it. My like was forever changed! I was thinking “what are these fabulous clothes that these people are wearing?!” and thus, discovered Lolita fashion. My closet and fashion sense has never been the same.

I really wanted to dress in Lolita, but being a poor college student, I tried to put together an outfit from things I found at thrift stores and Hot Topic. And that’s where this coordinate comes from. But it’s also really great to look back and see where I started and to see where I am nowadays.

Taken by my friend, Patricia Pitre.

Taken by my friend, Patricia Pitre.

This was taken in fall of 2013. It’s a Juliette et Justine dress~ http://juliette-et-justine.com/products/detail.php?product_id=872

People should also check out my friend’s page! She’s an artist and illustrator~ http://www.rainyisle.com/

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T-shirt skirt

I like to volunteer for a few anime conventions in the Northwest and one of them is Kumoricon- https://www.kumoricon.org/

As a volunteer, you get a special staff shirt that looks different than the shirts that are sold to the attendees. After doing it for multiple years, I end up with too many staff shirts!

So I take my scissors to them! And here’s what I did.

Tee shirt skirt 02I cut the t-shirts up a while ago and I sadly didn’t take ‘before’ pictures. What I did was draft a pattern piece (yay for tracing paper!) that looked like a long trapezoid. I centered it over the design and cut away. I cut out 4 pieces and I made the pattern piece a trapezoid so the skirt would flare out while wearing. I used the hems of the shirts to also be the hem of the skirt and because not all the shirts were the same size, not all the the final pieces were the same length, which is ok because I like uneven hemmed skirts (I love handkerchief hems and hi-lo hems).

Then I stitched the 4 pieces together and added the waistband. I actually grabbed the waistband pattern and elastic instructions from Simplicity 3640.

Simplicity 3640Why reinvent the wheel when I can grab it from a pattern?

The patches were other designs that were on the shirt that I cut out and then hand-stitched to the skirt.

I’m so happy with the results. I can’t wait to wear it at the next Kumoricon!

Tee shirt skirt 03Tee shirt skirt 01

Kimura U at PSU (hey, that rhymes!)

On January 17th, Kimura U came to Portland State University. Who is Kimura U? She is one of three Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed Kawaii Ambassadors who’s mission is to promote Japanese youth culture, fashion, and pop culture overseas. Here is Kimura U’s official website-

http://kimura-u.com/

And her official Facebook page-

https://www.facebook.com/kimura.U.829

The Portland/Oregon Tea and Cake Society had a big meetup to meet “the most pink creator of the world” and it was an absolute joy! She was so cute and friendly!

There was first a meet and greet. She signed autographs, posed for pictures, and some people even brought her gifts. I posed for a picture with her, but I felt so derpy next to her. She was too cute!

With Kimura U 01

Then she kindly posed for a group picture.

Kimura U Group Picture 01Kimura U is also a fashion designer so there was also a fashion show. Her brand is KOKOkim. Here’s KOKOkim’s Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/KOKOkim

And then buy it here- http://www.yesstyle.com/en/kokokim-women-women/list.html/bcc.11143_bpt.299_bid.313937

The clothes are too cute! I will admit, I’m not really into pastels a super cute styles, but I certainly appreciate cute clothes and there are some things in the collection that I really want.

I apologize for the quality of my photos. There was a light at the foot of the runway that really blew out my photos. Also, I was using my cell phone camera. I’ve tried adjusting the contrast and brightness to make them a little better (so if some of them look a little odd, that’s probably why), but I don’t know if that helped much.

Kimura U Fashion Show 01 Kimura U Fashion Show 02 Kimura U Fashion Show 03 Kimura U Fashion Show 04 Kimura U Fashion Show 05 Kimura U Fashion Show 06

Kimura U Fashion Show 07

The designer herself!

Blah, my pictures suck.

On Kimura’s Facebook page, they had WAY better pictures of the models and outfits so here they are.

10358890_837455286312195_6798761063682797301_n 10924756_837108866346837_5272716359083304980_n 10929924_837457162978674_674170534929983990_n 10933768_837454516312272_8799163585828024681_n 10941029_837106589680398_7349246096489325175_nAnd a much better picture of Kimura U in her fashion show outfit.

10011397_839445559446501_5522114506187972084_nAfter the fashion show, Kimura talked about each piece and had a short interview with each of the models. Once again, sorry for the crappy quality of the photos.

Kimura U Fashion Show 08Kimura U Fashion Show 09Kimura U Fashion Show 10Kimura U Fashion Show 11Kimura U Fashion Show 12Kimura U Fashion Show 13Kimura U Fashion Show 14I really want that hoodie!

And then after the fashion show, Kimura sang! She’s so talented. She draws and drew many of the graphics and pictures that are on her clothes, is a designer, and sings!

It was such a pleasure to meet her and to see her clothes. I even bought a few things.

KOKOkim purchaseThe hoodie was sadly sold out :(. Kimura said she’d like to do more US events and I really hope to see her again in the future!

Tokidoki at Fine Art Friday

I work at an art gallery and last Friday we had not just 1, but 2 new show opening receptions. To celebrate, we had an event called Fine Art Friday. I feel really lucky to be able to work at a place in which I can dress up and wear special outfits. Here’s my outfit that I wore that night.

I love Tokidoki.

I love Tokidoki.

Fine Art Friday Jan 16, 2015 Outfit 02

Bust shot

If you couldn’t tell from the photos, I’m a huge fan of the brand tokidoki. It is my dream someday to meet Simone Legno. So imagine my happiness last November while shopping at the mall and stopping by Claire’s to find tokidoki has created Neon Star, a line exclusively for Claire’s!

http://www.neonstar.com/

And the announcement on tokidoki’s blog in November with more pictures of line products.

http://www.tokidoki.it/blog/2014/11/neon-star-is-here/

And after checking out those links, by them at Claire’s!

http://www.claires.com/us/categories/style/brands-characters-neon-star/list

I have almost everything from the line- and I still want more! I especially love the scarf.

NewCon 2015

It’s been a little more than 2 weeks since my last entry and UGH! I feel bad. I’ve been very busy (but isn’t that everyone’s excuse?) because there was New Year’s. Then work. And then I had to prepare for a fashion show!

There’s a very active Lolita community in Oregon with most events in Portland because that’s where most of the members live. Also being the biggest city, there are just more things to do. One of the things to do around New Year’s is NewCon http://www.newconpdx.com/. It’s a fan convention meant held on the closest weekend to New Year’s and it’s meant to celebrate all kinds of subcultures and niche interests, mostly surrounding nerd and geek things. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, costuming, video games, comic books- you name your fandom and they more than likely have something related to it. This year, it was held January 2nd to the 4th and it was its 3rd year.

Now how is this Lolita related? Well since NewCon’s first year in 2013, there has been a Lolita Fashion show that been hosted by the Portland Lolita community. I participated in the fashion this year and it was so much fun! Here are pictures of what I wore-

There was a short intermission because some of the models had a quick change and wore a 2nd outfit. Here was my 2nd dress-

Photos by Tom Good.

Here is the complete photo set, all taken by Tom Good-

http://cospix.net/2580/gallery/32535/

It was so much fun and I was so glad I could participate for 2 years in a row! It’s a such a great experience for our community and here’s to many more NewCon Lolita fashion shows :D!

Sewing with knit scraps

The material I love sewing with more than anything else in the world is knit fabric and I love doing t-shirt reconstruction thanks to the book Generation T. Book information and website here-

http://www.generation-t.com/

Before I bought the books, I had (and still have) SO MANY T-SHIRTS and I wanted to do something fun and interesting with them and thus, a new passion was born. Someday, I’ll get around to photographing t-shirt projects I’ve done from the books and some I created on my own but I’ve created a new problem- I end up with TONS of scraps. I’m the kind of crafter that hates waste and if it’s there’s a piece that’s big enough for me to think I can do something with it, I’ll hold on to it. So I love patterns and projects that use pieced together fabric and I had the thought “why don’t I try to make underwear?” They’re made from stretchy knit fabric!

Because Google knows everything, I searched underwear pattern and came upon this tutorial by Novita-

http://verypurpleperson.com/2013/01/tutorial-sewing-panties/

Please check out the rest her blog too!

In the entry, Novita also linked to free panty patterns. This is the one I used-

http://www.makebra.com/free-hipster-pattern/

And here are the results!

Panty 01Panty 02They are hipster panties though in the back view, they look like boy shorts because of the way my dress form is shaped. I used picot edge elastic and when unstretched, I do have some puckering issues, but issues to work out the next time I make them.

I used four separate pieces for the front and back because I didn’t have any pieces that were large enough for the whole back and front section. The pattern pieces were designed to be placed on the fold so they’re halved and so I cut the halves then stitched the fabric together. I also wasn’t sure how( to keep the crotch lining piece from moving around while attaching the elastic to the leg opening so I anchored it down with a few hand stitches.

I’m happy to say, they are very comfortable and while it’s not completed sewing project you can show to just anyone (unless you’re a superhero), it’s a great feeling to make your own clothes.

My furry assistants

Let me introduce to you my two assistants. Or at least they think they’re assisting me. My two chihuahuas!

JJ and Brolly Bow Tie 01The tan one on the left is named Brolly and the little white one on the right is JJ. They are both males. And when I say little, they are small. Brolly is 6 pounds and JJ is 4 pounds. But you’d never know that from their personality. They strut around like a dog 20X their size!

One BADASS dog.

One BADASS dog.

So much attitude, JJ holds his hind food.

So much attitude, JJ holds his hind food.

They are best friends and brothers. Same parents but different litters born a year apart. JJ is the older one.

20130429_204047

So cute!

I absolutely adore them and they are my best friends!