12 September 2014

Completion: Classical Floral Dress in Bordeaux FINALLY + UPDATES - New Blog!

So I finally finished this dress. I started it before I left for Japan this past August (yes I was in Japan for about 2 weeks! More on that later...) I had planned on bringing this dress with me on my trip, but I didn't finish it, and in fact, did not wear lolita once while on my first trip to Japan.

BLASPHEMY!

But I had my reasoning. It was August. It was hot. It was my first time traveling such a far distance on my own, and packing lolita clothes would have made the trip so much more difficult.

Anyway, this is a sewing blog right? So lets talk about that instead shall we?

As an aside, I started a new blog! It's called "My Life's Libretto", and you can find it over at libretto-macabre.blogspot.com! Excuse the basic layout, I will change it soon. I thought I should start a blog for my life outside of sewing, since I really missed writing and archiving things about my life like I used to on LiveJournal back in it's heyday. It's not as private as LJ was, but it's fine. I share what I can, and I'm not shy about speaking my mind!

There is only one entry, which is an introduction, but I will be writing in detail about my Japan trip over there, so if you are interested, please feel free to follow me. I will be reminiscing on the trip, the country, and my experiences. After that, general life stuff, daily life, thoughts, and Lolita-related stuff outside of sewing (but it may overlap sometimes.) I hope you will visit me over there.

Anywho...

This dress is done! It features this gorgeous bordeaux cotton floral which I of course, like all other fabrics, bought from ShabbyFabrics.com (which lately has been disappointing me a bit, good though because I still have so much fabric in this house.) On to the photos!


Front
This dress features this beautiful embroidered tulle lace like my previous dress. This time at the front bodice as well as at the hem. The dress pattern is basically the same, minus the bustle and shirring at the front, but they look like two completely different dresses right? The magic of fashion design. 

Side
I used those gold rose buttons again for the detachable ties, you may remember me using the same ones on some of my previous projects. They are a nice touch.

Back
Featuring the shirred back panel and corset lacing. You know the usual. I used red grossgrain ribbon here as I did with the front waist ties. 


And now for some random detail images...




I also put together a near complete coordinate for this dress. I will be debuting this piece at RuffleCon 2014. RuffleCon is a new convention for Lolita and Alternative Elegant fashion, taking place in Hartford, Connecticut this coming October 3rd weekend. I will be wearing this outfit at the Sunday Tea Party!

I'm still missing shoes and a purse, and jewelry and things, but at least I have a blouse (I bought this one in Innocent World in Harajuku, it was on sale! It's a little big on me, since all they had was L size, but under the dress you can't even tell.) The floral headpiece, I unfortunately did not make, instead I bought it at H&M. It was only $15, so I couldn't pass it up!








And that's it everyone! I wish I completed this dress faster, well I kind of did, but the last minute finishing touches took me some time (aka I was lazy.) But hey it's finished now right? I'm really happy with it!

In other thoughts, I really need to re-cover my dressform. I love how vintagey she looks, but she makes all the clothes I keep on her smell all old and moldy, well because she is old...1989 model, and she wasn't well taken care of. She's got water damage and is ripped to near shreds at this point. I got her in a contest my college had held giving away old dressforms. So yea, she's very used and abused, and only deteriorating further...sigh.  I wish I could have her professionally reupholstered, but that costs nearly just as much as buying a new form. So sad. 

Now to take these things off and air them out. I can't with the moldiness. 

Hope you like it! I don't know what my next project is going to be...I have a few options. My hugest plan at the moment is to sew a black bonnet for my RuffleCon Masquerade outfit (since I won't be wearing a handmade dress, I need to make at least some part of my outfit!) I'm also thinking of making a black organza overskirt a la Haenuli to go over that dress I'll be wearing...we will see. I work full time so said things aren't easy. 

After RuffleCon it's back to your regularly scheduled programming. I'm going to be doing a lot of sewing and pattern work in the coming months, and I promise you all will be hearing about it!

Wish me luck!

Until next time...

19 June 2014

Completion: Classical Floral Bustle Dress - It's For Sale!

And just like that, this lovely piece is completed! It took me a few weeks working on it off and on (I work full time, so I only have time to sew briefly in the evenings after work and sometimes on weekends if I'm not busy)

This dress as I mentioned before is 3 years in the making! I've had the fabric for that long! I designed the dress and let it collect dust for quite some time. I quit thinking and started doing, and this is what I have to celebrate.

Let's get right into the photos, I know that's what you are all here for anyway (or maybe you like my useless blabber? I applaud you.)


Details
This dress features a gorgeous Brown and Pink floral motif fabric from Shabby Fabrics. I highly recommend them for their quality cotton floral prints, many of which are imports from Japan. Since I bought this fabric three years ago, it's no longer available, but they have many comparable ones now in stock.


The bustle ruffles are made with ivory cotton/poly poplin fabric with a soft lace overlay. The front bodice also has the same lace overlay atop the front shirring panel. The dress is a raglan sleeve style that can be worn as a One-Piece dress or with a blouse underneath if desired.


A side view. The bustles are most dramatic at this angle.


And the back, which features center shirring like the front, except including corset lacing with ivory grosgrain ribbon. The waist ties are of course detachable.


Some closeups noting the ruching detail on the front bodice, trimmed with tiny pink satin ribbons. Also the delicacy of the ribbon lacing, the pearlized heart shaped buttons that attach the waist ties, and the off white embroidered tulle lace that peeks from the hemline. There is also ivory Cluny edging lace around the hem of the dress and on each bustle ruffle.

Additional images for your viewing pleasure.





You may also notice the small rosettes floating around on the bustles! I placed and hand-sewed each and every one of them (there are about 14) underneath the lace overlay on each bustle ruffle. I think it gives the most adorable touch. Definitely an idea to revisit on future projects.

And in case you were wondering what it looked like with a blouse underneath, I coordinated it for you!






Again, this dress is for sale! Here is all the info:

Sizing 
This dress was made to fit a US Size 4-8. US 10 is a maybe, but that would be the max.
Bust: 32"~36" Max
Waist: 24"~32" Max
Hip: Free
Length from Waist: 20" (+2" for lace trim)
(Note: This dress sits 1" above the natural waist)
If you would like additional measurements please comment and ask!

Optimally, I would recommend this dress for you lovelies who are not super busty, though the shirring will stretch to fit, I'm unsure of how flattering it may look with this particular design. Just a word of caution! 

I tried the dress on for size comparability and it's a comfortable fit with some ease. I am a US Size 4 (Bust 34", Waist 26") and about 5' 3" tall. I would suggest anyone up to the height of 5' 9" could wear this dress without the need of additional underskirts (but feel free to add them if you want!)

Pricing
$280 $250 $230 or Best Offer
**PRICE HIGHLY NEGOTIABLE!!** 
Feel free to make an offer! Highest offer gets priority.

I ACCEPT PAYMENT PLANS UNDER THE FOLLOWING TERMS:
3 Payments - First Payment $100 - Second and Third Payment - The remaining funds as desired.
2 Payments - Half and Half
All payments must be made in approx. 3-4 weeks post sale date, but we can discuss terms as you see fit. I am open to negotiation.
Anyone offering to pay in full upfront gets priority for the sale.

I have some sales feedback here if you would like:
(A bit outdated as I've been off comm for quite some time, but feedback nonetheless)

Shipping
I am in New York City. I do sale meets in the general Midtown area on weekdays only.
Shipping within the US - $16 including Tracking and Insurance
International Shipping - approx. $35 with Tracking and Insurance
I'm not responsible for loss in the mail. Please make sure your shipping information is as accurate as possible. I will confirm shipping before sending.

I only accept PAYPAL. No Personal/Gift Payments however. 
I will invoice you with agreed payment terms, feel free to leave your address in the comments or email me at punkneko66[at]gmail.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ON LACEMARKET!

HAPPILY SOLD!!

Thank you very much for viewing! I have been getting so many sweet comments and feedback on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. I really appreciate every last bit of it! It's what keeps me motivated to create more and more! Links to my Instagram and Tumblr in the blog sidebars if you would like to follow me!

I have another project in the works for myself! Looking to finish it up in the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned!

06 June 2014

My First Post of the Year in JUNE? I'm back again!

Shame, shame, SHAME on me! My dearest followers, who I do hope still exist here, I have returned after what, a 6 month hiatus? It was completely unannounced and I honestly did not mean for it to happen. But so much has happened in the past few months that I've neglected blogging, and I honestly regret it!

But, no more apologies, lets just get right back into the swing of things!

As many of you may know, with the help of my dearest friend Jennifer, we have successfully opened our Etsy Shop, Lilith et Adalia, where we sell one-of-a-kind Children's dresses. Read my post here where I first discussed it.

We worked on the collection for about 8 months and released it in March of this year. However, we have yet to make a sale since! We have gotten a lot of admiration, but the buyers just aren't coming in. Honestly, Etsy isn't the best platform for design businesses anymore (with the influx of factory made items consuming the webspace), but we felt that it was the best starting point for us. We hope to open our own website one day.

If you could all do us a favor and share our shop with everyone you know, it would mean a lot to us. Also, if you have any ideas for marketing strategies to target the proper audience, that would also be helpful! Feel free to also read through our blog and see all that we have done. You can see full photos of all the garments and read more about them all. It's been a slow start but this is only the beginning. We are optimistic.


Here's a screencap of our blog, click the photo or HERE to visit our blog, and please do check out all our other social media sites!


So, in the past month, I've also revisited Lolita sewing! It remains a true passion for me and it's definitely not something I plan to ever stop doing.

I've revisited an old project! Read here where I first ever mentioned this dress what, like 3 years ago? Crazy. I guess there comes a time for everything to eventually happen. I'm making two dresses simultaneously at the moment actually, this one and the Red Floral Dress I mentioned in my previous post.

Photo time? I think so. Taken from my Instagram, you can find my link on the blog sidebar, or check out the hashtag #dixmacabresewing

Fancy photo effects. I can't believe this dress is 3 years in the making.

Bustle coming to life.

I think I've finally perfected this shirred raglan sleeve style. I did it first successfully on two of the dresses I did for Lilith et Adalia, and now I'm pro at them all around I think I can say.

Collage time!

I love how it's coming out so far!

*_*

I'm so excited to complete this dress! Once it's finished I will be putting up for sale here and various places on the web. This dress will feature front and back shirring, back ribbon lacing, a front 3 tiered bustle, and more! This dress will be able to fit a US Size 4-8 approx. I will take more accurate measurements once I'm done. 

Now for project two, which is a dress for ME! So excited, I love this fabric!




I'm missing some components for this dress, I need embroidered tulle lace and I'm not finding the particular ones I like locally. I may poke around online for something. I wanted to do a self fabric ruching panel around the hem like I have drawn, but sadly I ran out of fabric! So I need to alter the design a little. I'll see what I decide to do.

I also have two new designs that I'm ready to start right after I finish these two. I've been on a roll! The dress on the left is a tea-length dress with a double ruffle in this lovely brown floral fabric. I'm debating on whether I want to do this in a bigger size (about a US 10-12) to cater to a different size range than I usually do, but I'm not sure if the bodice side panel lacing will lend itself well to a larger figure (especially if you're busty, I don't think it's the best idea) so we will see. If not 10-12, then 8-10? It will also be a nice dress for taller lolitas. This dress will of course then be for sale. 

The dress on the right is mines and it will also utilize the side lacing detail. The fabric is a beautiful lilac floral with a postage-like background. Very elegant. 


My goal is to finish off my fabric stash with various Lolita and Children's Wear projects by the end of the year. I have such a big hoard and it's time to make something of it. 

Thank you for reading! See you in my next post where I will have a completed dress to show!

(Oh and in case you are wondering what happened to this dress? Well, I had a bad zipper mishap and haven't touched the dress in months sadly. Hoping to go back to it one day but for now, it's shelfed.)

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!