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!