Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review #5.5: Bodyline - The Others

My wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the last section about the "other" things I got; a skirt, some bloomers, a wig for the model wardrobe and one of their costumes.

L303, M, blk

This skirt is really, really cute! I was a little worried that it wouldn't fit, given that I'm at the upper end of the measurement provided and the Alice skirt I previously ordered had been a bit tight but it fits fine! The gigantic bow is fortunately detachable and will soon be turned into a headbow. The print is nice and clear, the lace is decent and all in all it's a well designed and well constructed skirt.

Pan028, sax

Pan031, blk-blk and wht

I am perfectly capable of making my own bloomers, but these were all so ruffly and so cheap! I have a very limited patience with sewing excessive ruffles. They are all a perfect fit verging on being a tad small so I would advise if you're at the larger end of the supplied measurements maybe give them a miss. But they are nicely made, the lace is decent, the fabric is soft and they are covered in a shit ton of ruffles. What more could you want?

Wig089, pik

This wig is really gorgeous. I don't have a lot of experience with wigs but this one is soft to the touch and hardly shiny at all, so I think it's pretty good. No photos because we couldn't be bothered putting it on me properly but it will feature in a photoshoot soon so follow our facebook page if you want to see!

Costume511, 4L

We bought a lot of costumes for the model wardrobe and one for me as well. It's quite well made, very sturdy and the fabric is quite thick - it's actually really warm and I'm trying to figure out how I could get away with wearing the jacket with an outfit without it looking like a cosplay. However, the detachable bow is all wonky for some reason. I can fix it, either with ironing or a few hidden stitches but it's weird - every other bow on my Bodyline stuff has been great! Also, the pleats in the skirt are stitches together loosely which is odd, but it actually looks really cool in this case so that's totally okay. All in all I think this costume is great.

The Pros:
  • All the clothes are sturdily made from decent materials.
  • The wig seems quite nice and is soft and not shiny.

The Neutrals:
  • Sewn together pleats are an oddity, but it works and if it didn't they'd take a minute to remove, so not a problem at all.

The Cons:
  • Wonky bow is wonky. Fixable but stupid.

Other sections:

Intro Post
Shoes and Socks

Review #5.4: Bodyline - Jackets

My wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the section about jackets. Originally only the vest was intended for me but I wound up with all wonderful three!

For some reason Blogger really doesn't like my photos of any of these garments but fortunately thee product photos are perfectly accurate so that's okay.

L470, 2L, win

The sizing of this is a tad odd - theoretically it was too small for me but in reality it fits fine and is even a little large! We bought it with the intention that if it fits, I get it and if not, it goes to model wardrobe and I am very glad it fits! I have a sneaking feeling that it will go rather nicely with the skirt of the outfit we got from Fanplusfriend...

P127, 4L

A simple, easy, comfortable vest that I think will work for lots of different styles and looks. There's honestly not much to say about this. It's neatly made, fits well and looks exactly like the picture. What the picture doesn't show, however, is that it actually works really well on your body.  And that's nice ^__^ 

P220, 4L

We bought this coat hoping it would fit James but he's too broad in the shoulders for it! So it's now mine, and I am glad of it. It's a bit on the costume-y side but it's well made, decent fabric and you only see a hint but it has a red satin-y lining which looks quite sexy. I can't wait to wear this but unfortunately it may have to stay in the wardrobe until summer has come and gone. So I'll have yet another reason to be excited about autumn!

The Pros:
  • It's all good. Not really any need from dot points but I like to be consistent. Decent fabrics, solid construction, nice designs. It's a win all round.

Other sections:
Intro Post
Shoes and Socks
The Others

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Review #5.3: Bodyline - Shoes and Socks

My wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the section about shoes and that classic shoe-accompanying accessories, socks!

Shoes271, 245, blk-owh

Given that I still wasn't sure what size I was exactly we decided to order this pair of shoes down from what was most likely my shoe size, 250. And given that we were accurate in our measurement of 250 these shoes were a tiny bit too small. They are really, really cute though! An odd detail that may not be noticeable in the product photos is that the tongue of the shoe is actually kind of ruffly. 

Shoes265, 250, blk-owh

Ridiculously cute? Yup. I was worried these boots wouldn't fit around my calves - my calves aren't unusually large but I was concerned that these would be made with thin legs in mind. But they are actually an absolutely perfect fit and really, really comfortable. They're actually a lot sturdier than I was expecting as well and I feel like they'll hold up well to wear. The photo I took of them was rather shoddy, but the original product photo shows them perfectly, so there's really no need.

Shoes257, 250, owh

These shoes are almost too cute for me! They fit perfectly and are comfortable and easy to walk in but my goodness they are unbearably cute! And they also scuff far to easily as I have already discovered. So I think they will be my last foray into white shoes because I don't like having to worry about my clothes overmuch. But still, they are wonderful, and cute, and if they get really scuffed I might see about getting one of my housemates to do a custom painting job. 

Socks425, sax


Socks412, blk and owh

Socks354, pik

All the socks are totally and utterly adorable, and quite good quality as far as socks go. However, the band at the top won't stretch enough to reach up to under my knees which is disappointing. I tried on the blue ones but the others have remained in their packets. Two pairs are going to my niece for her birthday and I'll figure out something with the others. It's a bit of a bummer, but given that they are a one size item from a Japanese website it's not really too surprising that they won't fit the legs of a Western girl on the larger side of average.

The Pros:
  • All the shoes are really good for the prices. They are definitely on par with equivalent quality shoes you'd pick up from a shopping centre and the details are really nice.
  • The sizing of these three pairs are very consistent - I've read sometimes that Bodyline has variable sizing but not with these shoes.
The Neutrals:
  • The socks don't fit my legs. But that's not entirely unexpected and I should have bought a test pair instead of several at once.

Other sections:
Intro Post
The Others

Reviews #5.2: Bodyline - Blouses

My wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the section for blouses ^__^

L474, 2L, blk

This blouse is really gothic or period depending on how you wear it. Which is awesome because it means I'll get a lot of photoshoot and costume use out of it as well as some lolita wear. The jabot and cameo are fortunately detachable, which to me increases the wearability of this blouse. It's decently fitted and sturdily made except for one tiny problem...on putting it on two buttons instantly came off! And when I tugged the rest to see how swell they were sewn on another two came off. Which is annoying. I'm going to make it into an opportunity to replace the buttons with something a bit fancier, maybe pretty silver buttons, but it's still not cool.

Without jabot.

With jabot.

L327, M, owh

This blouse is cute and comfy! I've tried it on today over skirts and under JSKs and it goes well with either. Since I'm taller than the model the blouse sits a fair bit shorter on my torso, but it's still long enough to cover the waist band of any skirts I wear. It's obviously made of some kind of synthetic and for lack of a better word feels a bit crackly but that will hopefully come out with washing. I may eventually remove the little bows as well, but for now they're cute enough.

L311, M, beg

This blouse is interesting. When I first saw it online I thought it was weird, but then I came to like it. Same in real life. It's definitely comfortable, well made and would be able to fit a range of body types. It's perfect to wear over skirts because of the shape but less perfect under JSKs because of the almost off-the-shoulder design. However I love having a blouse that is collarless. I know the collars are a big thing in lolita and I think they are adorable, but I like having a bit of both. And to further increase versatility the bow with the cameo is detachable...but after I removed it I couldn't tell which side was the front! As far as I can tell there is no set front or back. Like the previous blouse, this is made out of something that sounds crackly and feels a bit plasticy but as long as it comes out in the wash that's not a problem.

L009, 2L, bl-owh

Yes, yes. Black fabric and white lace is an ita staple and the bunny ears make it "worse". But it's really cute and is actually a perfect fit on me, except that the sleeves are a bit tight on the arms but that's solvable by undoing the buttons. It has detachable waist ties that will probably stay permanently off. I'm probably going to wear this nearly exclusively under JSKs to tone down the ita-ness and also with non lolita clothes for a bit of anime cuteness. 

The Pros:
  • Everything fits nicely! Which was kind of a surprise in the non-shirred blouses.
  • All sewing is quite sturdy...except those damn buttons!
The Neutrals:
  • The oddly crackly fabric is a tad odd, but we shall see what happens with a good washing.
The Cons:
  • Buttons that fall off. Fixable, but uncool.

Other sections:
Intro Post
Shoes and Socks
The Others

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Review #5.1: Bodyline - Dresses

My wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the section for dresses ^__^

L411, M, gre

This dress is greener than I expected...and I love that! It's lightweight, comfortable, pretty and makes me happy. It's fully shirred around the bust and waist and I think it could probably fit all the way up to 120cm [though don't quote me on that]. It has really thin detachable waist ties which I actually really like.

L136, 2L, blk

After buying the skirt in the blue I found myself lusting after the JSK in black. So we got it. It's a really cute design and a great fit on me, though the zipper seems to have a spot that it doesn't like passing. I do have to say though that I really dislike the buttons and the upper two bows. But that take around two minutes to fix and I bought this dress knowing I would be making those alterations so it's no big deal at all. The waist ties are sewn on so I may end up removing them as well, or at least converting them to be detachable.

L406, 2L, blk

I adore black and white stripes. It's been one of my favourite things for ages and I was really glad when Bodyline came out with this JSK because it meant I could try out lolita with one of my favourite colour and pattern combos! It's a great fit and nicely made - the solid black part is actually a complete attached underskirt rather than just a ruffly fake front panel. Due to this, and the fact that it's made out of a not-thin-but-not-exactly-thick fabric it's actually rather heavy. The lace seems to be nice cotton lace as well. I will probably remove the large bow because waist bows just don't do it for me and perhaps remove or modify the waist ties to be detachable, but other than that this is a really cute dress.

L497, 2L, blk

I was a bit on the fence about this dress when we were choosing what to get, but James liked it. And once again, I am so glad I listened to him! It's a little on the "drowning in lace" side, but it's really cute! The print is actually really gorgeous in real life and the colours are really vibrant. As with all the dresses in this post, it'a great fit, well constructed and nice fabric.  but the detachable bow is going to become a hairbow and I'll most like unpick the waist ties as well.

The Pros:
  • Lots of cute fabrics!
  • All dresses are well made with no noticeable construction flaws. 
  • They are all true to size and the website images.
  • Every JSK has two different strap lengths, which is handy.
The Neutrals:
  • None of the dresses are lined. I personally don't care but some people do.
  • Bow and waist tie removal required! But again that's entirely a personal opinion.

Review #5: Bodyline

The title of this post may be a tad misleading, because this post is not in and of itself a clothing review. Fact is that my wonderful man recently bought me an absolute haul of lolita from Bodyline! Such a haul, in fact, that I have split my reviews into various sub-sections to avoid gigantic uber posts of doom. This is the introduction post with a few overall notes as well as links to the individual sections.

Like the first time we bought from Bodyline, there were no problems ordering or paying. The website is a little sluggish, but nothing too terrible.

Within the specified time frame I received the emails with tracking numbers - all ten of them! Bodyline splits orders for DHL shipping into 1.8kg packages...I think that demonstrates the immnesity of our order! It wasn't all lolita, we also bought some of their costumes and punk clothing for the Soul Capture model wardrobe. However, they really need to get rid of the part in their automated message that says items will be shipped within three days because DHL only ships on Tuesdays, and we ordered on a Thursday...that ain't three days.

As mentioned above, Bodyline posts on Tuesdays. And today, Tuesday one week on from shipping, we received all of our glorious packages. One week is not bad at all in my mind, and it's not even two full weeks from placing the order!

Grey postal bags, shoes wrapped in tissue paper and sandwiched inside piles of clothes in cute red bags? Check. No damages and a very happy me and James? Check check.

The pile of packages at the foot of the bed.

I am so excited and happy with what we got! I've never been able to leap this fully into a fashion style, and it's great to be able to give lolita a proper go straight off the bat. I have to say, honestly, I have the most awesome boyfriend in the world. Nuff said.

Other sections:
Shoes and Socks
The Others

Monday, 24 September 2012

A review revisted.

As I recently posted, I got a bit of negativity over posting links to my Personalizationproduct reviews on EGL. So in the light of that, and also my growing experience of lolita through our Bodyline and Fanplusfriend purchases I wanted to do a bit of a revamp and recap of my reviews. I've never been a fan of rescinding an opinion because it is met with an opposing opinion, so the reviews are going to remain up in the original form, and my opinions are pretty much still the same.

What I find humorous though, is that though some people disagree with me on the garment quality, mostly I just got crap for thinking the coat was a dress. Sure, that was silly of me, but it's just an honest mistake. Big deal.

For reference, the original reviews are here and here.

The Pros:
  • I love eBay. I love buying from eBay. It's a great site and for me being able to make my first lolita purchases from a familiar site, if not a familiar seller, was a big plus.
  • The fabric used in both garments is a fairly thick and sturdy cotton or maybe cotton-polyester blend, and the [mostly cluny] lace on the coat is decent as well.
  • Construction is very sturdy. Neither item is lined, but all the seams are overlocked and I didn't notice any flaws in the sewing at all
  • The red dress is not a onepiece exactly, but an overdress with an underskirt. This is great because I can change the underskirt to wear the dress in different styles.
The Neutrals:
  • They are both replicas. This is a touchy issue, I know. Some people care and some don't.
  • Sizing is on the larger side of accurate, which is much better than it being too small, but still not perfect.
  • Postage was fairly quick. I'm putting this down as a neutral because while it was fast for an eBay international purchase, I've received other packages from various countries faster.
  • Pricing was decent. Each garment was $45AU including postage. I said this before in one of the original reviews - I'm a fairly experienced sewer and factoring in price of materials and the time it would take, I couldn't do it for better.
  • The red dress initially puckered a little along the underbust seams. However, with ironing this came out but it's probably going to be a bit of a recurring annoyance.
  • The corset lacing ribbon on the red dress is unfinished, but nail polish prevents fraying so it really doesn't matter.
The Cons:
  • The lining on the right side of the neckline of the red dress refuses to stay inside the dress, even after a good ironing. But with a few hidden stitches I can make it stay down so it's not a major issue - though if I couldn't do simple hand sewing it would kind of be a deal breaker.

Despite these garments not being quite as amazing as I thought when I first saw them, I still do not think they are anywhere near terrible. Sure, there are better out there, and you can get cheaper from Bodyline - but you couldn't get this coat or this dress from Bodyline. And these were the items I wanted to get to dip my toes in the gleaming waters of lolita.

My long-winded point is basically buy whatever the hell you want, from wherever you want. If you want to buy from this eBay store you'll most likely get something rather decent. Not brilliant, not horrible, but definitely more than okay. And most of the time, I'm okay with things being just okay.

Review #4: Fanplusfriend, Mystere Wonderland and Corsets-Au

Today felt like Christmas. James and I have been ordering quite a few things online lately, and this morning we got three packages! So here are three reviews - photoless this time because my photos didn't come out too well.

Firstly, and for me the most exciting, was this outfit from Fanplusfriend that James got for me!

I have to say, I love military lolita. And the jacket of this outfit so so gorgeous on it's own as well! It will work for lolita, steampunk and probably straight up "normal" fashion as well. The outfit is very true to the picture and also true to size - I had to get the Lady 90, which is a tad large, but there is corset lacing at the back of the jacket so it still fits fine. I'm probably going to replace the buttons and chain with something more brassy/coppery and perhaps cover the logo on the skirt but those are personal preferences rather than design faults. The skirt and jacket are both lined, and the main fabric feels decent. I think it's a poly-cotton because it doesn't feel like proper cotton. It's all sturdily constructed but some of the sewing is a bit messy. It also came with a little beret/hat thing that is very cute but the clips were sewn on really badly - one came off in my hair! So that's a bit of a re-do. On a good note, postage was very fast. I do have to say that it seems a little basic for the price, but I think it looks fantastic and it works well on me, so I am very happy.

Recently James also ordered this Infanta dress from the eBay store Mystere Wonderland for the Soul Capture model wardrobe.

It's way too small for me so I can't say anything about the fit, but it's a really beautiful dress in person and beautifully constructed. I know you can buy Infanta from other sites seemingly cheaper, but being able to pick it up from eBay probably works out cheaper because you don't have to deal with shopping services and besides, eBay is so easy!

Lastly we received three of a bunch of corsets we ordered from Corsets-Au - these are the ones that were in stock, the rest need to be made to order. These first three included an underbust with buckles and a plain overbust in black PVC for the model wardrobe, and a gorgeous cream brocade with black trimming in my size. Since corsets are corsets I haven't tracked down the original product photos but as usual with Corsets-Au they are really well made, steel boned, quickly posted and extremely well priced. I honestly wouldn't buy a corset from any other retailer unless the design was stunning because we've never had an issue with any of their corsets, and if you trawl the clearance section you can find amazing stuff for ridiculously good prices.

So, in summary.
Fanplusfriend: Fantastic outfit that's also potentially really versatile! Maybe a tad overpriced for what it is and how it's made but still a great buy with quick postage.
Mystere Wonderland/Infanta: Beautiful dress, super easy to buy and again, quick postage.
Corsets-Au: Why would you buy steel boned corsets anywhere else? Great products for great prices and extremely fast psotage!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Review #3: Bodyline [also stuff about cats and sewing]

This morning started wonderfully. I woke up, snuggled the man for ages, made our morning cup of tea and we started a LOL game. And then, when James had just conveniently recalled, came a knock on the door and the postal lady delivered my Bodyline order! But I am a good little nerd and we finished the game before I pounced onto the package!

I ordered three items as this is essentially my Bodyline test order. I wanted to see how decent their items were and if I'd even fit them as I'm only a couple of centimeters off the top end of their measurements for 2L.

L137, 2L, sax

L417, 2L, brw

Shoes259, 270, ewh

And lo and behold, three items arrived! The clothes were in what I've read are the standard bags, and the shoes were wrapped in tissues paper with supports on the inside - not the most sturdy packaging, but again I've read that that is the norm and they were undamaged so I'm okay with that.

The Skirt:

I fell head over heels in love with this print when I first saw it. It's kind of tacky, but so bright and cheerful and fun! There were no flaws in the print or construction that I could see.  The fabric feels nice enough, and I actually really like the lace at the hem - it's nicer than what a lot of Bodyline reviews lead me to believe. The waist is half elasticised and there is a sturdy zipper on the left. It came with detachable waist ties and a detachable bow in pink, and it's quite a full skirt. However the elastic is rather stiff and the skirt digs into my waist a bit, even though with an 84cm waist I'm well within the 72-98cm range it theoretically fits. It's definitely still wearable though, and I know it sounds silly, but this skirt makes me happy.

The Dress:

This is hands down my new favourite dress. When we were looking on the site deciding which dress to order the choice came down to this dress or another one and I was leaning towards the other but James was leaning towards this one, and given that he knows me and my style really well I went with this and I am so glad that I listened to him! 

It is an absolutely perfect fit, and really looks good on me, if I can say so myself. There are bustle ribbons so the skirt can be ruffled or not at the front and back - personally I prefer not to but it's nice to have the option. The main fabric is actually rather thick and heavy, and the chiffon-y underskirt is really soft and nice to the touch. There's pretty rose lace on the bodice and grosgrain bows on the bodice and skirt. There is shirring with corset lacing at the back and a concealed zip on the left. It's very sturdily made, and looks and feel great! 

One other thing I love about this dress is that as well as being lovely for classic lolita, I can also wear it as a casual summer dress and could probably even formal it up for something like a nice dinner or night out. I have a very big and very soft spot in my heart for versatile clothing.

The Shoes:

Well....every single online shoe size conversion sheet I've seen lied. Size 9 theoretically equals Size 270 but not in practice! So these shoes, cute and seemingly awesome as they are, are going to go to a new home with a friend of mine at a swap meet she's hosting in early November. 

The Pros:
  • Quick postage - just under two weeks from placing the order to receiving it.
  • Well made and sturdy clothing. I think the garment construction and material quality actually beats things you'd pick up from lower-end department stores like Target for the same price.
  • Great fabrics. Bodyline uses some materials that make me cringe, but I think the Alice print is cute and fun and the brown floral is nice and classic.

The Neutrals:
  • Sizes aren't quite as generous as the website indicates - the skirt is tight and the dress fits like a glove and I don't know if it would quite stretch to the 102cm bust it supposedly can.

In other news, our household has a new cat, who's name is Syra or something like that. Panda hasn't quite made up his mind about her yet...

My man has been being absolutely wonderful over the last couple of days and is in the process of completely re-configuring our back room [which is his workspace and our storage space] to be able to be my sewing room as well! It's going to be fantastic to not have to clear the dining room table whenever I want to sew, which means I'll be sewing more. And with new dresses to make patterns from I think I'll be making lots of pretties very soon, and maybe some tutorials to go with them.

And finally, to give cyclic structure to this day of goodness, I'm off the play another game of LOL.