Thursday, 31 January 2019

Lolita Blogpost Roundup: January 2019

Welcome to the first roundup post of 2019! The lolita online sphere is most active this month, with wardrobe posts everywhere as well as reflections and goals, but the "regular" lolita blogging continues on as well.

Lolita Blog Carnival: Differences between Lolita Now verses Lolita Five Years Ago from Silk and Shears
I missed most of the LBC topics this month, so I'm featuring a few of them here! This was a nice retrospective on the recent changes in lolita from a new lolita blogger. Yay for new blogs!

5 Underrated Dresses from Cupcakes and Unicorns
Another LBC topic, and I love that the focus in this post was not on specific dresses, but types of dresses. Because let's be honest, you could argue that anything not super hyped is "underrated" so I really love this take on the topic.

In which she discusses getting casual… from Make Lovely
Casual lolita is fast becoming a favourite of mine - twice in 2018 I did a coord with a nerdy t-shirt and they're some of my favourite outfits from last year! So it was great to read a sort of analysis into casual lolita along with some flatlays. Let's make 2019 the casual year y'all!

Living the Lolita lifestyle in everyday life: MUSIC!! from The Sensitive Petal Princess
Another post from a recently started blog, focusing on exactly what the title says.

† Wardrobe Post 2019 † from Cynical Neo-Princessism
Would it be January if I didn't feature at least one wardrobe post? And if I'm going to feature one, it had to be this because of the awesome creative presentation!

Gilding an Angelic Pretty ring from Miss Filigree
I love this kind of unique post! More random DIY post in lolita blogging, please ^__^

Top Outfits of 2018 from Pastel Peggy
A whole bunch of super cute (and sometime quirky) outfits, check it out!

So that was a slice of January in the world of lolita blogging. As always I appreciated the diversity of posts that people came up with - and though I only shared one I'm loving seeing everyone's wardrobes as well!

Monday, 28 January 2019

2018 in lolita outfits - thoughts, graphs and general ramblings

I did a post like this last year and really enjoyed analysing my lolita wearing habits, so I wanted to repeat it this year. Prepare yourself for (as the title says) thoughts, graphs, and ramblings!

In 2018 I wore lolita 27 times - a 58% increase from 2017's 17 times and averaging out to being a little more than twice per month. I'm very pleased with that! I also, like last year, feel like I wore lolita for a good range of occasions - for work all the way up to my own wedding! I went to one more meet in 2018 than 2017 and overall I feel like I kept up the lolita habit without having to force myself to focus on it with specific goals. So yeah, I'm happy!

But who would I be if I didn't put some facts into graphs and ramble on. First little factoid: my most worn main piece in 2018 was my handmade cherry skirt. Unsurprising, as it's super comfy and fits into one of my favourite wardrobe colour schemes and themes. 2017's most worn, Bodyline L417, was a tied second with my black Victorian Maiden skirt at three wears each. 

 And now for the graphs! First up is outfit distribution by colour.

It's no surprise at all that black once again dominated, though slightly less than it did in 2017. What I'm very pleased with, however, is that the rest of the pie chart is divided up between more colours. I even wore more red than brown! That was unexpected ^__^

The red outfits of 2018 ^__^

I continued the trend of wearing a good mix of sweet and classic, with a single outlier, and leaning more towards sweet. I'm actually quite glad that this statistic has remained consistent - I love both sweet and classic and am pleased that I wear both.

I think that part of the reason I tend towards sweet more than classic is that I'm really getting into wearing lolita more casually, and it's much simpler to do casual sweet than casual classic. I put together a collage of my favourite outfits from the year (excluding my wedding outfit, because gorgeous as that was it's really an outlier) and I think that kind of illustrates what I mean. Casual/simple sweet is what I really like, though dressier classic is also up there. But it's just so easy to put together a cute sweet outfit!

Overall I just like having range in my wardrobe, and I like that I showed more variety in 2018. I also wore lolita for varied reasons, as you can see by this very neatly distributed graph.

I will actually be quite interested to see how this distribution changes now that I no longer have an office job. I had intended to wear lolita while being all writerly, but I've settled into a routine with exercise scattered throughout the day, so I'll be wearing gym clothes instead. However, I'm going to be going to a lot of conventions this year so I may end up wearing more lolita for that, and since I'm no longer burnt out by said office job I may go to more meets and be more sociable in general. I'm also hoping to get back into modelling more frequently, which will likely involve some lolita looks. It's going to be interesting to see!

So that was my 2018 in lolita! I'll keep posting outfits every couple of months like I have been and while I'm once again not going to set any goals for wearing lolita this year I'm keen to see how it goes ^__^

Friday, 25 January 2019

Lolita Blog Carnival: Share 5 Winter Meetup Ideas

It's a nice little mental holiday to think about Winter while the current Australian Summer is humid and horrible, so here are five ideas for lolita meets in the colder months.

1. Baking together
This is probably a meet idea more suitable for a small community or a group of friends, but the idea is simple - gather together in someone's home and bake some tasty things together! The most typically lolita thing would be to make so cute sweets, but honestly I think it'd be great to combine this idea with a bit of a potluck and bake bread together which you then eat with soup that everyone brings.

Stock images all sourced from Pixabay ^__^

2. Snow art
Obviously this only applies for those who get snowy weather, but rug up, get out, and make snow men. Or snow lolitas. or snow...whatever you people with your snow tend to do for fun. Then go inside and have a good strong cup of tea ^__^

3. Knitting and quilting
This would require having someone t teach the skills, but something nice for the Wintertime would be having a meetup where you could start knitting a scarf or pair of mittens. Quilt blocking would also be lovely, though it's obviously a much longer term project.

4. Potting plants
Sometimes the cold weather leaves you dreaming of Spring, so why not spend some time potting up nice arrangements of indoor plants? You could also make terrariums, of pot up some bulbs that will flower as soon as the weather turns. For a more practical result, putting together a kitchen herb pot would also be a great idea. If you're particularly artsy...why not decorate the pot as well?

5. Book club
Cold weather always makes me want to laze about somewhere warm with a good book - so this meetup idea is about sharing that experience! Whether it's everyone reading the same book then discussing it, or hold a book exchange, or any other thing relating to books

So those are my ideas of what might be nice to do specifically for Winter! Bring on the cold weather, because now I want to just read and sew!

Read more from other bloggers:

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Review #51: Enchanted Dream Wear Socks

I need to start this review with a bit of embarrassing honesty...since I still haven't posted a review of our wedding outfits from Lyris Design I'm getting out of chronological order by posting this and it really, really bugs me! But this is a much simpler review but me cares that things are out of order ^__^

Anyway, recently on a bit of a whim I bought myself a pair of cream Choco Ribbon OTK socks from indie brand Enchanted Dream Wear. Here's the stock photo of all three available (well, only pink's available now) colourways.

Ordering through Etsy is easy and streamlined, and my socks shipped on the 4th of January. I think they arrived on the 9th or maybe the 10th - either way they got here very quickly! As a side note, the Etsy store says they're in the USA and items are made in the USA, but my package was shipped from South Korea. I don't care at all but still wanted to mention that.

The socks arrived in a standard postage bag, and were wrapped in this cute plastic packaging. And when I pulled them out, they looked just like the stock photo, only redder in tone. My photo is pretty accurate to colour, even if it's horribly light blurred.

Sorry for the abysmal photo quality here...

Overall I love the design of these socks, and the quality seems very good - they feel sturdy and well made. However, they are not plus size friendly. I mean, I'm quite plus sized at the moment, but I think if you have even moderately chunky legs these are not going to fit well (or at all) which is unfortunate. I'd probably put them on par with older BTSSB socks in term of stretch, if I had to make a guess.

The very red-toned brown also makes them a bit hard to match in my opinion. I laid them out on my Jam Paradise JSK (which is the warmest brown in my wardrobe, I think) and they don't even match it too well.

This review may be sounding rather negative and I guess I am disappointed by both the colour and the fit, since they're not going to be useful like I'd hoped. But I'm very pleased to have tried a new indie brand and honestly would recommend these socks if you have slim legs and browns that would match. They're a lovely sock, just not for me!

Are there any other indie sock or tight brands you recommend? I want to support more indies in 2019 and I'm a massive sock hoarder, so I'd appreciate any recommendations!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Things to sew

Now that I have quit my job, and suddenly find myself in possession of both more time (because I'm taking a few weeks fully off before diving into writing!) and a clearer head, I want to tackle my pile of "things to sew". I have two main categories of things that I want to make for my lolita wardrobe, or at least, they are divided into things I want to get done in time for my wardrobe post next January and things that are a little more “it’ll happen when it happens”. So in the interests of blogging I thought I’d briefly share the lolita things that are on my sewing horizon (there's cosplay in there too, but that'll go on my Facebook page instead) in those two categories.

Things to Sew Now

The biggest thing that I want to get done in the near future is turning my handmade chocolate JSK into a skirt. I've got two main reasons for this. The first is that almost immediately after making it I felt bad for ripping off the pattern from my underbust Lyris JSK. I mean, no dress cut in lolita is particularly unique, but still in retrospect I wish I hadn't done that. Secondly, it was also a poor choice of cut for this dress, and I somehow botched the front panel. I have not worn it, and haven't ever really wanted to (only once that I remember), so I want to turn it into something I may actually wear, like, and feel proud of. As the skirt portion is quite simple, I may add some lace or braid trim to it somewhere, but I'll see how I feel once I complete the modification. I don't think this should be too hard to do, and here's hoping it turns out!

Still love this fabric so much!

While I'm working with the chocolate fabric, I also want to make myself some matching chocolate hair accessories. I'm currently thinking of making a headbow, a pair of two way clips, and a beret. The beret will probably be the first thing I do, as it will be the most unique and also will be totally awesome!

On the topic of hair accessories, I also want to whip up a pair of two-way clips to match my handmade green floral skirt since I don't really have much that matches it aside from the headbow I've already made.

I also need to replace the elastic in the sleeves of my Berry Stripe OP - it's been sitting in my mending box for like half a year (or more!) and I miss it. I may have other mending that I've forgotten about, but if I do I'll find it when I open the box to get to that dress!

Keen to wear this pretty thing again...

Those are the more "urgent" things that I want to sew, and I'm confident I can get them done in pretty good time.

Things to Sew Later

There are a lot of things I want to sew. Whether or not I ever do is a different matter, but hey, by publicising them here it may make me a little more likely to actually do them!

Starting simple, I want to make myself some more headbows and berets (provided I can figure out a good pattern for the berets). I don't have any fabric I want to use in particular for these but I'd love to get a few simple pieces in less common colours, and maybe some dramatic layered bows as well. Basically, stuff that would be good to have but that I don't want to spend any money on!

I would also love to decorate some berets, and in fact I've already bought myself a few more blanks. I definitely want to attached loads of flowers to one, and love the idea of doing a few with contrasting braid trim in colours that work with my wardrobe (black x pink, anyone?). If I ever feel up for it I'd also be interested in learning ribbon embroidery, because I think it's beautiful and would make for  gorgeous beret decoration!

In bigger projects, I really want to make a sweet black or black and white skirt. Just something simple, comfortable and casual that I can easily wear in simple coords, or super casually with t-shirts. I have some black and white tartan that I'll probably use for this, or I may pick up a striped or dotted fabric or do it in just plain black. Mostly leaning towards the tartan though!

Dots are super cute though!

On a similar note, I also want to make a simple brown skirt - either solid brown, a floral, or in a neutral pattern like stripes or plaid. Once again this is just to give me some more easy to wear options and there's not much more to say about it.

A while ago I also bought some black classical painting fabric to make an opulent classic dress. It probably won't surprise you to know that said fabric has been sitting in my stash for a few years now. My main problem with this, I think, is that I want to make something truly OTT and sumptuous, and I honestly don't think my sewing skills are at that level yet!

Beyond these projects, I have a lot of other ideas floating around. I always have ideas! But these are the ones that have metamorphosed from tenuous concepts to actual plans and therefore warranted blogging about. Hopefully I can make some headway in my newfound free time...and if I do, I promise I'll blog about it!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Seagull Secret Santa

Last year I did something I've thought about doing for several years now - I signed up for the CGL Seagull Secret Santa! I signed up to give (and receive) one gift in the $30-40 USD bracket and had a lot of fun being involved so I wanted to blog about what I got and also what I gave ^__^

First of all I wanted to show what I received. I stated in my form that I was only really interesting in receiving wearable items, and listed off the main colours and themes of my wardrobe, as well as listing some specific items I'd like to receive and linking to some Etsy stores with items I liked.

My Santa identified themselves only as MM, and were from Australia (or at least posted their gift from within this country). They sent me a unicorn card and two Disney themed gifts - a pair of pouches from Typo and an Alice in Wonderland figurine.

This is my blog, so I'm allowed to be honest - I was quite bummed about my gift. When we submitted information for our matches there was a field for "what don't you want" and I put in one thing - no figurines. I also made sure to list some basic things I would have liked to get - floral hair clips and pastel bead bracelets, for example - and I know several mainstream Aussie shops where you can easily grab those kinds of things.

But oh well, it's how these things work. It was still fun to be involved and the pouches may be useful for makeup or something, and the figure is cute.

Even though I was a bit disappointed with my gift, I still had a lot of fun shopping for my match and I really hope she was happy with everything. I tried to get her a mix of things so even if I missed the mark with some I'd get it right with the rest!

I'm not sure if it's considered in bad taste to blog about gifts you bought for someone but I had heaps of fun assembling my gift so I'm doing in anyway ^__^

My match said she was into lolita fashion (sweet and classic, looking at gothic and military too), larme kei, idols (real, games, and anime), Digimon, and Korean make-up. In the end I focused only on the two fashion subsets of her interests. Since I'm no good at telling bootleg from real merchandise, and the stuff that seemed to be real was expensive (up to half the budget for one little keychain!), the idol and Digimon stuff was not something I wanted to pursue, and likewise I know nothing at all about Korean makeup! So fashion it was.

She mentioned that she was in need of wristcuffs, legwear and hair accessories for her lolita wardrobe (main colours black, navy, wine and gold) and tops for larme (main colours black, pink and white) as well as outerwear for either. So armed with that information I went shopping!

In the end, my gift included a few items I'd bought for myself at various points but that had since migrated to my sales pile, as well as some items I bought specifically for her. I'll admit, I felt a bit bad including some items that I already but I squished that feeling because hey, they were good items for her! Ultimately I went a bit over budget as well so I feel like I did a good job and according to her post on the SS thread I did well, so yay!

Sorry for the photo quality!

Her gift consisted of two big items - a BTSSB cutsew for lolita (and maybe larme) and a chiffon bolero for larme. Then I included some AP OTKS and Bodyline UTKS; some wristcuffs, a velvet bow, and a little dusty pink barette from Taobao; a couple of usamimi style headbands and a pair of flower clips from eBay (say what you like, I love getting little accessories from eBay); and a Liz Lisa hair accessory.

All in all I really enjoyed participating in this gift exchange and I think I will take part in the next one! Possibly at a higher gift tier, even...

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

A casual Christmas meet with the Newcastle Community

After disappearing into a hole for the latter half of this year, I decided to crawl out and organise a casual Christmas meet for the Newcastle community to cap off what turned out to be a really busy December. If I’m to be honest, this mostly came about because I discovered some of my Newcastle-based friends (who I’ve really only gotten to properly know this year) are into lolita! So of course, I added them to the Facebook group and decided that I really should organise something, especially since I could guarantee there’d be more attendees than just me and Rosie this time ^__^ And then I discovered that one of the girls in my Love Live group (who also lives kind of in the area) is into lolita! And then at the Sydney Christmas meet James and I met one girl who lives partway between us and Newcastle as well as a couple who live literally the next suburb over to me and James!

So in the course of a month or two, we added a half dozen new members to the Facebook group, and when I put the event up it was very gratifying to have people RSVP as coming. And, most gratifying of all, James wanted to come along as well! Cue even more excitement!

Now that I was actually going to be hosting a meet for more than just a couple of people, I got my butt into gear and started organising things a little better. I booked us a table at Coco Monde for the afternoon, with the intention of going to Civic Park afterwards for outfit photos or perhaps to some other place with aesthetic Christmas d├ęcor. Then I started thinking of some Christmas games we could play, just to give a bit of structure to the day, and prizes I could give – because what good are games if you can’t win anything?

On the day I got dressed, James packed up his outfit, and we drove to our friend Andii's apartment to get ready with her. James got into his outfit, I helped Andii with her coordinate (and we loaned her some items) and James took a quick photo of us girls for his Instagram.

And then we went on our way! Thanks to Andii we got a convenient park in Newcastle and wandered down the street to Coco Monde. James tapped me on the shoulder - Rosie was approaching from the opposite direction! We said made the appropriate introductions and went inside.

Unfortunately Della, who was meant to be our fifth attendee, couldn't make it, but it was still so awesome having four entire people at the meet! Double our usual numbers! We ordered food and drinks just chatted. James and I shared a big breakfast, and all of us shared a desert platter. So much good food! I took no photos for once because I just wanted to enjoy it all ^__^

Then it was time to head to the park for activities and photos. I had prepared two incredibly cheesy games and we found a couple of shady picnic tables that were perfect for them. First up was Christmas pictionary! Since there was so few of us, I did all the drawing while the others guessed, and the first person to guess three got to choose a prize and so on.

For the record...I am not good at drawing!

I am honestly amazed they managed to guess everything ^__^

The next game was what I was calling in my head "candy cane hooking", lol. I gave everyone a candy cane and dumped another twenty-ish on the next table over. The aim was to be the person to ferry the most from that table to our table using only your own candy cane as an implement. It was intense!

I forget who won this one, but what is great is I came prepared with six prizes so everyone got two in the end. I had some accessories and brand novelties and the like...turns out I had amassed quite a few of that sort of thing over the years and it was good to send them to new homes! I was really happy that the others seemed to enjoy themselves and liked prizes too ^__^

Then it was photo time! Not only was it fun to take group photos, it was great to have James bring along a proper camera and take some really cute ones of us three girls together in front of the Christmas decorations.

We also spent some time taking solo photos, of course, and again it was so fun having James and a proper camera around for this. He took photos of all of us, and I took photos of him. You'll have already seen our solo shots in my latest coordinate round up post!

James and I also took some selfies, because of course we did, and we took two rounds of shoe shots - one on the proper camera and one on my phone.

Then it was over! Not a very long meet, but fun. Rosie made a call to get picked up, and the rest of us headed back to our car, where we promptly stripped off most of our layer for the drive. Then it was back to Andii's where James got dressed back to normal and then it was home time.

I am absolutely loving having more people interested and active in the Newcastle community. I am so glad Rosie got things started up again in 2017 and I'm even more glad that it looks like from here there will be more people than just the two of us getting involved! In fact, I'm already planning a (bigger) meet for sometime in the first half of this year and I'm overall just very excited and happy.

And, in case it wasn't obvious, I'm also excited that my cute husband is getting into ouji with me. I have an ouji accessory now, I'm a real lolita! Being able to do this together is great and here's to all the meets in 2019 being as much fun as this was!

Friday, 4 January 2019

Coordinates from November - December 2018

I didn't think I'd wear lolita much as the weather grew warmer, but it turns out 2018 ended with a bang! In the lolita sense, that is ^__^

My first lolita outfit in November came about because I wanted to wear my Sailor Moon/Steven Universe shirt to go with James to get his Sailor Moon finger tattoos done! I love my man so much...Sailor Moon finger tattoos!

Ahem. On the lolita front I just wanted to run with something comfy and cute to match the t-shirt, and this is what I ended up with.

Skirt: Metamorphose temps de fille Patisserie Dream
Shirt: TeePublic
Everything else: Bodyline/taobao/offbrand

Also, he really rocks having finger tats and now I am 95% committed to getting a Sailor Moon tattoo myself now... (and the staff at the tattoo parlour kept asking me where I wanted these ones...and I'd just reply "on him!")

The next time I wore lolita was with James, and by with I mean with because he wore ouji! We went together to the Sydney Lolita Christmas meet, and I already blogged a lot about the whole thing here. Here's a rundown of both our outfits! Unfortunately I don't have solo photos because the card from the camera has gone AWOL, so have a shot of us together for my rundown then one of James on his own for his! And because he's cute, so I want to share it anyway ^__^

JSK & Flower Crown: Lyris Design
Blouse: Bodyline
Shoes: Taobao
Socks: Innocent World
Wristcuffs: Angelic Pretty
Everything else: Offbrand

Shorts, vest, and shirt: Lyris Design
Hat: Modified vintage
Everything else: Offbrand

Also, just need to put it out cute is he?! He even replaced the laces in his boots to match his hat. Which he modified wonderfully. And I should also mention that, despite what you may expect, I had no real hand in putting his coord together - it was all him!

I next wore lolita to my work Christmas party, purely because our dress code mandated we wear a hat and I'd only recently received my straw boater. So I decided to wear it with my Metamorphose Rose Stripe Shirring Pinafore JSK which is basically the main dress I'd bought the hat to match! For the rest of my outfit, I pulled out a few of my trusty staple pieces to go with it.

JSK: Metamorphose temps de fille
Bolero: Handmade
Shoes: Bodyline
Hat: Taobao
Socks: Offbrand

However, we need to have a moment of silence. My shoes, that I have worn so long and so well, gave up the ghost on this day. The left sole started coming detached at the toe and, combined with getting some sand in there that just won't come out, means that these shoes are pretty much goners. James is going to attempt repairing and cleaning them for me, but their time may have finally come.

Then I wore lolita for work again, this time for my last day. It was a really bittersweet day but I'm glad I wore lolita for it. One co-worker had said I should wear the socks I'd been gifted at the Christmas party the week before, then another had said I should come in full, proper I did both! And I liked the result quite a bit, especially because trying to tie the socks in pushed me a bit out of my usual comfort zone.

Skirt: Handmade
Cutsew: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand/taobao

I also wore lolita briefly for this years Christmas photoshoot, because my tartan BTSSB dress is just perfect for Christmas-y looks. If you want to see the rest of the photos, check out James's Facebook page or my Facebook page ^__^

OP: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Tartan Check Mini Sleeves JSK
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Metamorphose temps de fille
Everything else: Offbrand

Last of all, I organised a Christmas meet for the Newcastle community. I haven't had a chance to blog about this yet but spoiler alert; James came too! Two meets in one month! So here's a rundown of both our coordinates, me in a general Christmas theme and him as a reindeer.

OP & Bag: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Tartan Check Mini Sleeves JSK
Bolero: Maxicimam
Socks & Shoes: Bodyline
Everything else: Offbrand

And have a group shoe shot since my feet aren't in the really pretty photo James took for me and I wanted to use the pretty one  ^__^

I also need to mention...December was not my month for shoes because these ones broke completely on me! James had noticed it looked like the sole was coming loose, so he did some pre-emptive gluing but it was still not enough and by the end of the meet the soles were barely hanging on to the shoe. But oh well. They're one of my least-worn shoes anyway so I don't mind too much.

Anyway, onto James's coordinate!

Pants: FanPlusFriend
Shirt: Lyris Design
Jabot: Peacockalorum
Socks: Innocent World
Boots: Doc Martens
Ears & boot covers: Taobao
Berry clips: Handmade

Ahhhh again I can't get over how damn cute he is! Squee! I had more influence in this outfit, and the main concept and shirt/pants combo was my suggestion, but once again James took the styling in his own way (including making the clips on his braces) and came out looking amazing.

In the end, December was quite an active lolita month for me (and James, hehehe)! I had a lot of fun with lolita this year and was glad to keep up the habit of wearing it regularly. Since I enjoyed doing it last year I will probably put up a wardrobe analysis post in a little bit but for now, that's all folks!