23 Feb 2015

Tutorial for sewing a skirt

I know I'm a bit picky when choosing a print dress. That is clearly an understatement, because I just love most dresses on anybody else but me. They look good until I put myself in the picture. Well, I surprised even myself and bought a flowery fabric from Eurokangas. It's a sort of vintage styled print.

I found the fabric as a ready cut piece, so it cost me less than usually. Also the zipper was form an old secondhand skirt which I turned into a shopping bag a few months ago, so I saved on that too :3 Later on I bought some lace for another dress and decided to use the "leftovers" (there's still a lot left!) for this skirt.

I love the fabric, the colour is perfect! I couldn't find a proper reference for making the skirt, so I just came up with something myself and worked without patterns. The fabric is cotton and sturdy (not a light weight fabric), so it is quite puffy by itself even without a petticoat.

I washed my fabric before I started cutting and sewing it. It shrunk a little in 40 celcius, but I was left with 200 cm x 102 cm piece (I don't remember how much I had before it shrunk, because it was already cut when I bought it). I cut the fabric and kept an eye on the pattern, which obviously had to be flowers facing the same way. I cut the skirt part first, which was a rectangle of 50 cm x 200 cm. Then the two pieces for the ruffled hem, 18 cm x 200 cm.

I  zigzagged all the edges and sewed the skirt part into a circle (more like a tube actually). Then I sewed the hem pieces together to make a sort of large circle. I folded 1 cm of the bottom of the hem and ironed it, then I folded it again and put needles and sewed it to make a nice finished hem.

I folded 3 cm of the top of the ruffle piece hem and ironed it.

I changed my sewing machine settings to have it take a longer step when stitching, and sewed two seams for the ruffles. This enables pretty and even ruffling. Here's the difference of a long stitch and the regular one:

I pulled the threads to make the ruffles and tightened the knots when the ruffled hem measured exactly as much as the skirt part.

I put in needles and sewed regular stitch between the two ruffle seams. After that I unstitched the two ruffle seams.

Next I cut the waist pieces. These 4 waist pieces are 10cm high, 40cm wide at the top, and 42cm wide at the bottom according to my own measurements.

I zigzagged them and sewed together. I folded and ironed 1 cm around the edges. Then I folded the entire waist part.

I changed my sewing machine settings to have it make the longer stitch and sewed two seams on the upper skirt part for the ruffles. I pulled the threads to make the ruffles and tightened the knots when the ruffled skirt part measured exactly as much as the waist part.

Then I put in needles and sewed between the two ruffle seams. Then I unstitched the ruffle seams.

Next I sewed the zipper (not much to tell about that, it's my nemesis every time!).

For the shirring I measured and cut 4 pieces of 11 cm elastics. The length of the elastic depends on the measurements of your waist and how high you want your skirt to stay put. There should be enough fabric to stretch along with the elastic, I had 22 cm of extra fabric, which is twice the length of the elastic. The elastics are sewn one at a time by attaching both ends of the elastic securely to the fabric and then stretching it to the length of the fabric, in this case the 11cm elastics were stretched to 22 cm. 

I ended up loosening the wais elastics a bit after wearing the skirt, because it felt too tight when I had all my puff underneath it :3 I just took out a few stitches at the ends of the elastics and sewed a few stitches there to make the elastic secure again, then I just cut the excess elastic off.

Here's how it looks so far without the finishing lace details (there's a creamy white cotton petti peeking under the waistline):

Next I added some good quality lace to finish the skirt! I stretched the elastics at the back a bit and sewed the lace there too, because I wanted it symmetrical.

And voilá, finished skirt with ruffled hem and lace details:

 And here's me wearing it to Vapriikki Vintage :3

18 Feb 2015

At Vapriikki Vintage

Photo by Atelieri O. Haapala ω They usually take gorgeous neovictorian photos, but this time the theme was 60's. I am now dreaming of a new lolified wedding photo taken by them in an old fashioned way, I even got my husband to agree, so that's a wow

We dropped by at Vapriikki Vintage with a small group of lolitas a little while back, but I didn't realize that I should have taken more pictures (><) As it was a vintage happening, there obviously were lots of vendors just for that curious old stuff, but what I didn't expect was that people had actually dressed in vintage clothing too! There were people wearing outfits that dated back at the 20's or 60's etc! It was so nice seeing all those fancy people! I had never been there before, even though the event apparently has been around for a while already, but I will definitely be wanting to go next year too!

Got to wear my new hair extensions too :3

And here's what I ended up hauling!

This awesome vintage collar! It is so heavy and in perfect condition! I've been drooling after these at taobao, but this one was the best I've seen so far, so I didn't think twice about getting it :3

I also bought a very long faux pearl necklace, which I dismantled and remade into a long necklace, a short necklace and a 3-tiered bracelet! I also had some secondhand freshwater pearls back home (been stashing them for years), so while I was at it I finally managed to make them into a bracelet!

And finally, a vintage inspired repro dress! I really fought with myself whether or not I should buy this dress, because I had just purchased my first brand dress from Innocent World (you'll see it later) and I was a little low on cash. But I'm so glad I bought it, I would have regretted it terribly if I hadn't! But I had to take the zipper apart and sew it back on, because it hid another 4 cm of useful fabric (which I really needed to fit in the dress)! And I'm still wearing a corset with it... But it's worth it  

Afterwards we went to grab a cup of coffee at a nearby café. I really enjoy talking with all the local lolitas here in Tampere! It's so nice to notice how most people have so many similar interest. I can honestly say I have more in common with most lolitas I've met so far than I've ever had with my colleagues back at the art school! And I spent there 4 YEARS, so that's a lot of time to get to know a lot of people, but still we had so little in common there! I am SO happy I had the guts to join the lolita community here

15 Feb 2015

Rambling about projects in the making

Lately I've been so tired. I had a crazy-assed flu, but now that it's done with me and moved on, I'm still not feeling any more energetic. I've got piles of half-assed scribbles I need to finish and post here, a pile of Tipitii stuff to photograph (and make) and post. I've still got some of that Society6 stuff to do (it's a new thing, check the link to see what's it about!), wonder if I'll ever finish it though? I've got a half-made lolita appropriate winter coat (finally yaaaay!): I'm done with planning, pattern making, silk and wool dyeing, and now I just need to felt the fabrics and sew. Oh holy crap, that's going to be a lot of work!

But I'm still really excited about the winter coat! I've been embarrassing myself with lolling around in that terribly slim normie coat I have, and feeling really awkward about it too. It's nice in normie clothing, but just so mismatched with everything I wear in lolita. But that's going to be in the past soon! One of the best things about this coat is that I only had to buy the lining and buttons, everything else I already had. So it's a sort of a budget thing really. Here's a sneek peek for a few things for the coat making :3

Wool and bamboo and silk before dye bath!

 After dye bath! The colours are actually more wine red and soft rather than hot pink, the lighing was terrible when I took the photo!

Here's the silk fabric for the coat, it's soft and flowy :3

 These I'll probably be using for felting the coat, it's going to be ombre red!

 Finally my treasures! These buttons I got from e-Bay, they are glass and they are just breath taking! They really look like candy, the photo does no justice! Also my lining fabric is still in the mail, so I can't show it to you, but it supposedly turned out to be something so much more than I had planned for to begin with (thanks to my husband's brilliant idea)! It's going to make my project into a plot twisting turn-out coat!

Let's face it, I make more work for myself with my money saving projects, but you know what, even though having lots of things on my to-do list sounds kinda bad, I'm still happy to have projects. It keeps me going. And after I've finished something I always feel happy about it, even though there's other things waiting for my attention. Usually I feel like I've just made something with all my heart, be it a pancake or a necklace (unless I screwed up, but thankfully that doesn't happen often). I just need to remember that there's no time limit to living. I used to forget it easily, back when I was still studying art, because I was just drowning in work all the time then. But I don't need to rush anymore by being busy-busy all the time. I can take my time, because usually everything is not on a deadline here. Unless I make those deadlines myself. Which I try not to do, because we all need some off-time too. Gotta remember to have some fun, because it's all part of living!

Speaking of which, this lolita thing is definitely growing on me faster than I ever expected! And in a good way too. Remember all that phobic talk about not liking gold and glittery stuff, and in fact avoiding them like a plague? Of surely not ever going over the top? Well guess what, I've got an elaborately gilded and heavily over the topped lolita coord all planned out to the T, and it is going to be gorgeous! And probably a little bit surprisingly weird too. Or maybe not? Further details are still a secret, since I have to buy the fabrics and sew it first, and there's tons of fine details and accessories I need to buy and make. And the planning is just so much fun!

But the hardest part is that there's no reference to be found to what I'm going to make. I'm guessing somebody must have done it, but I just can't find any pictures of it right now. But anyway, I'm so excited! It's going to take a few months to make, since I'm going to have to budget it, but you'll see it once it's ready! So it's going to be a super secret hushity-hush project until then!