04 December 2013

Brand New Updated Blog Layout!

Jut a quick post to say I updated my blog layout to a more lighter classical look. I was getting tired of how dark it was. I was in the mood for a change. How do you all like it? It's foreshadowing for the influx of Classic Lolita garments on their way!

Art credit goes to artist Kira Imai (many of you probably recognize her work, she's one of my favorite artists)

Sadly the Midnight Pastoral JSK I was working on has come to a standstill yet again. Every invisible zipper I used on the dress split! I admit I'm a little fed up with the dress now so I put it away until I'm ready to change the zipper again. I think I will have to opt for a metal tooth zipper. The fabric is just too thick on the bodice (it's a cotton twill). It alway splits at the waist seam because of the bulk. It's very frustrating.

However, I did work on a design for a new dress! Here it is... (capped from my Instagram)



This dress however is for me, it won't be for sale. I can't remember the last time I made myself a lolita garment, I need more things!

My goal is to finish this by the end of February.

And that's it for now! Until next time. If I get the motivation to replace the zipper on that dress, expect you will see it here first!

10 November 2013

In which I collect fabrics instead of making things out of them...this must end!

I'm a fabric hoarder. I really am. I see pretty fabrics and I just buy them without anything in mind to make with them. Then said fabrics sit in a bin/drawer for months, and at this point years without being touched. I just pull them out now and again, look at them, and then woefully put them away.

I want that cycle to stop.

When I first got into lolita I was so excited to delve into sewing my own lolita clothing. It was fun and exciting, and a great learning experience. I sewed my first lolita garments in High School, and I did a lot research and experiments before I attempted at making anything real. It worked out, and I've created lots of very lovely things as the years have gone by.

But there is also so much I havent made. I have plenty of ideas, folders on my computer full of sewing inspiration images, lists of ideas on things I want to create, all of which haven't gone far. There are a lot of factors that contributed to this lack of creation, some of which I touched upon in my previous post. But I can't allow myself to fall into a deep embittered melancholy over the fact that I haven't been able to do as much as I wanted. It simply comes down to...

"Well, just go on and try now."

I will.

Recently I went on a bit of a spree and bought about $100 worth of fabric yardage over at Shabby Fabrics, you know, the site that I'm always raving about time and time again. Well, they got me yet again! And on top of this I still had 3 other prints I bought back in mid-2011 that were sadly sitting in a drawer. Now I've set them out so I can see them as a reminder to make the pile shrink.

I bring photos of said fabrics! Click the photo to see the larger image!





These four are my newest and recent purchases. The fabrics are currently still available. I would do some poking around in their "Florals" section if you're interested in buying stuff from them. They have some to die for fabrics. I can never resist! The cottons are amazing quality and so worth the price (about $10 per yard). The two on top I am keeping to make Lolita JSKs for myself, the bottom two I am making things to sell off. Not sure what they are yet, but I am going to be sketching out some ideas. I'll be sure to share them here once I do!




Now these three may seem quite familiar, as they are the old prints I purchased. I posted the one on the bottom here before. I planned to make an OP out of it, but I ened up scrapping the original plan. I may revisit it. The first one pictured here, the blue one, I'd planned awhile ago to make an elaborate Rococo inspired OP from it. I might have sketched something once, but I would have to dig it up. I was inspired by that I think it was Victorian Maiden (or was it Mary Magdelene?) OP that had a very Rococo aesthetic. 

I plan on making brand new lolita patterns for all of these. I want to try out some new construction details, cuts, and silhouettes. I also need to alter my sizing standards, as the standards I used to use I am now too small for. Though I make everything with shirring, I still have to size things a little more carefully for myself going forward. I'm planning to create a size range that encompasses US Women's aprrox. size 2-6 (about a 32"-36" bust, 24"-30" waist with shirring) and then another range that encompasses 8-12 (36"-42" bust, 30"-36" waist). It will be tricky though. Everyone no matter what is shaped differently, but I do want my garments to be able to fit a range of sizes, so I have to work in a lot of adjustable details into them. 

Some silhouettes in Lolita clothing I want to try that I never have are Empire waist bodices, raglan sleeves, 3/4" sleeves (or sleeves in general for that matter). I want to play with difficult fabrics like chiffon, organza, and georgette. I want to dig through my inspiration photos for design details I've never tried. While I'm on the subject, here are some random images from my folders as some preliminaries!


Classical Bustles, Underbust (which I have done both, but I want to do more!) 


Bodice and sleeve detailing, Openings with Ruffle details. 


 More shirred raglan sleeves (tried it on the Midnight Pastoral JSK, but it needs refining), Fully gathered bodices.


Historically inspired dresses (Photo credit to Lieschenr), Interesting lace details.

I also want to delve into accessories again. Especially bonnets. I've yet to ever make a bonnet. Half bonnets are more appropriate though. I really want to try some! There are also jackets, corsets and bustiers, underskirts, and more. But I can't spread myself thin! I must focus on one thing at a time. 

So there we have it. I need to stay inspired and motivated. Seeing my Lolita sewing dreams come to life will bring me so much joy, I can't even truly fathom it. After its all done I will look upon myself with so much accomplishment. Now enough talking and more doing! Sketches coming soon! First i will sketch them by hand and then on the computer for a nice clean presentable look!

See you all soon! I'm posting more, go me!

02 November 2013

I'm back! With a project in progress? No you're not dreaming!

Hello Followers! Are you all still here? I know I've been so bad at keeping up this blog, and trust me I feel awful about it, not only because I've been neglecting you all, but also because the frequency of my sewing and creating had dismally fallen. I didn't post because I wasn't creating anything to post!

My life has become quite busy. I was promoted in my job, good news yes, but it also meant less time for my crafts. I'm still at Kahn Lucas, but I'm now the Assistant Designer to the Infant/Toddler Mid-tier division of the company, no longer an intern at the Dollie & Me division. It's wonderful, but also more stressful. I get home sort of late and I'm often too tired to do much anything. On weekends I get preoccupied with other things and other people, not that those things are a waste of my time, but I'd been feeling unbalanced in life and now I'm making steps to changing that.

I'm also quite busy with building my collaboration brand for girls with my friend Jen, Lilith et Adalia (as I mentioned and linked in my previous post here), and that too has kept me away from Lolita projects.

But again I feel motivated to create in every aspect of my interests, and even though it is hard doing so much, it brings me so much joy that no matter how tired I am I must do it. I must create beautiful things in every form that I enjoy. This is what truly brings me fulfillment in life and I must never forget that.

And saying this, I will kickstart my plans to create by sharing with you all some previews of the progress I have made on my long awaited Midnight Pastoral Jumperskirt that took me ages for no reason.

I would have finished it today but the invisible zipper I was putting in broke, and now I have to go buy a new one next week. It's a real bummer.


Creating the front shirring.


Fitting.


Testing out the corset lacing. Trying contrast ribbon, what do you all think?

I will have nicer, detailed, and better lit photos of the dress soon! These were taken from my Instagram, haha (I'm dixmacabre on there if you would like to follow me, I post mainly creative stuff.) 

I feel like the bottom is a little plain, but I don't know what else to add and I'm tired of putting beading lace on everything I make. Maybe the print speaks enough for itself and I should leave it at that? I'm also adding waist ties tot he back but I'm unsure if they should be ribbon or self-fabric. Decisions decisions... 


That's all for now. Once I finish the dress next week I will post the completed photos! It's about time this dress was near completion...I cut out the pieces for it in August of LAST YEAR. Now see that's a huge problem! No more of this madness! I must finish things from now on. 

I also need to update the layout of this blog. Its really dark and boring. I need to create a custom banner and brighten the place up a bit. I will work on that soon. 

Expect to see more of me! Sorry I'm always gone for so long, but life really has gotten in my way over the years. First it was school, now it is work. I won't give up though. I need to follow my dreams. 

See you in my next post!

04 August 2013

Part 4: What's Next for Dixmacabre?

Hello everyone! I'm working hard again to keep this blog up to date. As the years went on, and as my life was often busy due to schoolwork, my online presence as a lolita, and a lolita seamstress has sort of dwindled away. I hope I haven't been forgotten about!

As you all know now, lolita fashion is not my only passion in life when it comes to sewing and designing. My love for Children's Fashion has really come to fruition in the recent years and it has seemingly taken over, but fear not, I never see myself throwing in the towel on Lolita Fashion forever (so sit tight because I have an upcoming completion)

Since I've graduated I've been working in the industry, interning at a Girls fashion company called Kahn Lucas and Lancaster under the brand Dollie & Me, where I assist the designer and her technical team to make garments for girl and her matching doll come to life. I enjoy it there. The people are nice and I'm always busy.

But I always think ahead, and I know that one day I want to design on my own and at my own accord.

And with that I bring amazing news. 

Today I'm going public with a grand project I've been a part of...



Lilith et Adalia - Girls Dress Online Shop on Etsy!

Lilith et Adalia is a brand me and my dearest friend Jen came up with and are now collaborating on as Children's Wear designers, along with the assistance of another friend of ours, Kim, who is an illustrator and graphic artist (she designed the beautiful frame for our logo!) As of now we are in the early stages of preparing for Spring 2014. Already we have designed the 12 total dresses for the line, bought fabrics, and came up with ideas for accessories to compliment them. The dresses will be in Size 5-6 as it is our frist release, but as seasons go on we hope to expand into more sizes.

Our theme for Spring 2014 is called...
~ Petit Antoinette ~

All our dresses will be handmade by us in their entirety with care and intricate craftsmanship.

But we can't be truly successful without the help and support of friends online through social media and blogging, which is pretty much our only marketing base.

You can find us on all of these sites!
Etsy 
(Actual Shop Debut February 2014)

Facebook
(Regular updates on progress and promo material)

Tumblr
(Our constant flow of inspirational images, quotes, music, and more)

Blogger
(Detailed updates select Sundays at 12 PM EST)

Pinterest
(Interactive Mood Board)

Twitter
(Mini updates)

Likes, Shares, Follows, Reblogs are all appreciated. We can't reach potential without you all! 

Our goal is to create a real Girls Lifestyle Brand, that evokes whimsy, love for everything vintage and decadent, elegant, and sweet. We also promote a girls creativity and self expression through fashion and the shamelessness in embracing femininity as she chooses to. 

Ultimately we will be living and breathing everything Lilith et Adalia, along with juggling life and career, which isn't easy, but with balance and dedication, as well as pacing ourselves, we can really make our dreams a reality. We have so much planned to share with you.


I thank all of you that have been following my blog over the years, admiring my work, and giving me feedback. I cannot express how much I appreciate it and going forward my skills can only improve. I hope to provide you all with more inspiration and insight.

I hope you all love my Children's Wear just as much as you did my Lolita Clothing, and again there will always be Lolita garments popping up on here now and then! Stay tuned!

10 July 2013

Part Three: My First Photo Shoot: Feeling Like a True Professional

Again, it's been quite some time since my last post! 
It took awhile for me to get the pictures from the shoot, so it took me some time to get this post up. I hope to have some more steady posts for you soon.

So lets get to business!

At the end of my last semester at FIT, I got the greatest opportunity to have my garments shot on a live model by a photography student! It was an exchange, she would have things for her portfolio and I would have professional grade images of my garments! I was so excited to have this opportunity.

I arrived at the photography studio class in the mid-morning. I'd met with photographer, Hana, previously  and we discussed and collaborated on everything for the shoot. I had 4 garments for photographing, and my model was ready to go. 

Hana got a model from Future Faces NYC for us to work with. Her name was Brooke, she's 5 years old, and she arrived soon afterward with her dad. She was new to the company, and this was her first photoshoot as well (as it was mines). She was very cute and sweet and it was a real pleasure working with her. She was cooperative and patient. We couldn't have asked for anyone better.

When the photoshoot was over, I asked Brooke which dress was her favorite of mines, she said "I dunno..." with the sweetest voice, and I asked then if she liked them all, and she was like "Yes!"

I couldn't of been happier. My ultimate goal is for my designs to appeal to my targeted customer, in this case, young girls. I also realize more and more that Children's Wear, especially girls apparel  is my true passion in life. 

So without further adue, here's the photos!

Click the smaller images to see them bigger!






 



All the dresses fit her so perfectly! I really felt like all my hard work paid off and that what I was doing in life was right. I love fashion, I love Children's Wear, and I see myself sticking with it, career wise, for life. 

My next post in this little blog series will be about my plans for future career wise. Hopefully by then I can reveal an exciting surprise about my future that I hope to make reality.

Look out for my next post! Also I hope to  have a lolita completion to share. Don't worry everyone, I haven't left lolita, I've just been focusing on other things for quite some time, but I'm slowly getting back into the lolita world again. Alternative fashion is also and will always be a great passion of mines as well. 

31 May 2013

Part Two: My Process Film - Documenting My Creative Process Through Filmography

I had a class this past semester called E-Portfolio, in which we had to make an interactive pdf of our design portfolios. In addition tot his, we were instructed to create our own process films.

Since I had no previous history in creating videos, I recruited the help of my dearest boyfriend (check out his youtube channel here) to input some of his film expertise so to speak. Without him, I probably would have never gotten this done and I thank him so much.

Basically, our Process Film was to consist of photos and video of the creation of our fashion show garments and our inspirations. I sort of pulled something together at the very end, but all in all I think it came out nicely. I would love to do a better one someday, much more professional and self promoting. 

So without further delay, here you have it.
My Creative Process



I hope you enjoyed. Mainly basic video effects here. We didn't have much time to perfect it and my video and images weren't the best quality (neither is my camera), but if I ever do this again I promise it will be so much better. 

Thank you for viewing!

I hope to show you images from the photo shoot I had in my next post! Look forward to it! 

24 May 2013

I'm Back, and I'm a College Grad! Part One - Catch Up Time: My Sewing Completions Since February

As usual guys, apologies for my long absence!
These past few months I was thoroughly wrapped up in my Senior year at Fashion Institute of Technology, and as of Thursday, May 23rd, 2013...
I'M AN OFFICIAL COLLEGE GRADUATE!

It's been a very long and arduous time at FIT. The past 4 years were enriching, yet brutal. I learned so much, but at the same time sacrificed a lot of my life and free time. Being a Fashion Design major is a double edged sword in that sense, but I'll never regret doing it. Fashion Design is my calling, my lifestyle, and what I've wanted to do since I was nine years of age. I've been doing it for so long, I just had to keep running with it. 

Fashion Design is not easy. It's not like what you see on TV. It takes hard work, dedication, and talent. It's the farthest thing from glamorous. Being a designer doesn't always mean you want to be the next big thing in fashion or have your garments strutting the runway on Fashion Week―at least for me it isn't.

I found my true calling as a Children's Wear Designer before I realized it. When I designed Women's Wear, not only were they highly alternative (mostly Lolita inspired, Street Fashion inspired, Vintage, etc.), but they were very youthful. My professors told me that they couldn't really see the garments I designed on women. I fretted about it at first, and tried to change my aesthetics to fit a more mature demographic, but then I thought 

"Why am I trying to be someone I'm not?"

Then it hit me. All along I've been doing the wrong thing. I can design alternative fashion for youth. I can be a Children's Wear designer.

Yes, I do still make clothing for adults. I make lolita dresses to fit women. I do edgy and punky styled garments now and again for women too, and enjoy it very much, but more so like a hobby. 
For a career? I can do Children's garments forever. 

I love designing frilly little party dresses, play clothes, streetwear, dancewear, and even sometimes active wear for kids. However, Party/Special Occasion dresses are my downright specialty. 

Okay this post has gotten a bit lengthy, so let me get to the point! 
I know you're all here for photos after all! 

In our senior year, all Senior fashion design students are hard at work on their Senior Thesis, which is creating garments to be submitted for judging to get into our school fashion show, you can read more about this here and here if you would like. 

There are different specializations, Children's Wear, Evening Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, and Sportswear. Everyone worked hard sewing their garments in hopes of it being chosen for the show. 


I was also chosen as the official blogger for the Children's Wear Specialization on the school's Fashion Show coverage blog, Future of Fashion!
There you can also see some of my fellow classmates work that I showcased!

Thus what I'd been working on since February.

Lets start out with the theme I chose, Baroque Romance.


This was a great season trend and I found it to be relavent, therefore I was certain to use it. Baroque is a beautiful aesthetic that I've always admired. 

And I made a Blue and Black Silk Brocade Dress in Size 5. It has a Sparkle and Dot Tulle yoke, flared hem, and a dramatic bow at the back with sparkle tulle trim.



I was ecstatic when it was chosen for the fashion show. I truly felt like all my hard work paid off.



Then for class we were to have two other looks that were cohesive to our theme. One was supposed to be a cotton piece for the Cotton Inc. contest that every design student could participate. I decided not to submit mines however. 

This simple pale blue cotton shift dress with gilded lace was the result. 


It also had a matching blue velveteen peplum jacket which sadly failed in its construction. I've thus discarded it. It sounds dismal, but as a designer, we do have failures from time to time. It's all part of the learning experience. Never take them to heart, just pick up the pieces and move along.

Lastly, for my third garment, I created an adorable Deep Purple Cotton Dress with a Jacquard-esque print. I made this dress in a very short amount of time, so I'm really pleased with how it turned out.



It features a ruffled neckline, elastic ruched straps, black lace trim, and black satin sash. 


Now for some artsy fartsy photos of my two favorite dresses of the three together...






So there you have it for part one of my catch up! 
There's a little bit more left to see, so look out for:

  • My Process Film: Documenting My Creative Process through Filmography
  • My First Photo Shoot: Feeling Like a True Professional
  • What's Next: My Plans for the Future


Four part blog series!
I couldn't cram everything into one post, and I'm still waiting on the edited images from my photo shoot!

Then it'll back to your regularly scheduled programming. I have to finish that Midnight Pastoral JSK (yea, I never started it, though I've led everyone to believe that I had, my apologies. Nothing holds me back anymore so expect an amazing Lolita completion soon, and sale of said JSK! Not keeping it!)