29 Jun 2015

China inspired coord for a meetup

Thanks to Erica for this photo Everything is handmade by me (except for the underskirt and shoes). So sorry about the shoes though, I still haven't received the shoes I coorded for this, and my bust knee won't allow fancy shoes at all, so I had to make do with what I had.

Some weeks ago I attended a meetup to celebrate Erica's 3 years in this city. Sadly she moved to another city, but I'm hoping we'll get to see her often despite of that! I always enjoy conversations with her and had a great time at the meetup! I finally got to wear my ancient China inspired coord (though I am not entirely sure if this coord is strictly speaking lolita).

Everybody brought a little something, so we ended up having way much!

Erica had made the most delicious salad, so I took a photo to remember the recipe! I could just have eaten the whole thing (••) nomnom....

Frills and more frills!

I had improved my Lolita Coord game a bit more, and we enjoyed a few rounds again ❤(^▿^

I am just so very happy with this coord ω Though I did have this image in my head that it would be much more OTT once finished, but it turned out rather modest in the end. Go figure. Anyway, I'm pleased with it!

This is one sturdy purse!

Again, proud to manage a hairdo with my own hair (and a few hair extensions). I know it's a bit of a clishé, but I really love this style in hairdos (and I went through tons of different styles only to come back to this one).

I got most of my makeup specially for this purpose (although this coord was rather an excuse for getting some new makeup). It doesn't much show here, but I am wearing bronze eye shadow and gold eyeliner and there's gold shimmer on my lips too. I also made my eyebrows darker than usual to match the coord better.

The jade fish was an old treasure I had been carrying for years and now it got to good use with this coord! I love the spark of colour it brings! I made the pearl necklace for this coord already way back in february out of a vintage necklace I bought at Vapriikki Vintage.

Feast your eyes on my handsewn buttons!

I planned for the hair pieces for a LONG time (and the hairdo as well for that matter). Initially I was going to purchase them readymade from Taobao, but alas, the ones I wanted got sold out. So I decided to make them myself.

I used the "leftover" materials from the hair pieces to make myself a few different pairs of matching earrings too!

The details are just breathtaking, even though I say so myself :P I just love the way the fabric shines and reflects light! I fell in love with this vintage saree as soon as I saw it and decided it would be a must for this outfit!

I was told qi-lolita might not get taken well by other lolitas in the internet because of religious and ethnic opinions (or some such nonsense), so I've been refraining from posting it further for now. Even so, I can't help but thinking if there are others like me, who absolutely would love to see more outfits like this, but can't seem to find pictures, not even for inspiration. This made me really wonder about lolita fashion and the including and excluding of things in it. 

I really don't see how beauty and aesthetics should be bound by blood relations, religions or owning your cultural history. Isn't lolita all about taking and combining old and new aesthetics in history to make this entire fashion? And furthermore, if a Finnish girl making and wearing ancient Chinese inspired outfit is frowned upon in lolita fashion, because the wearer has nothing to do with Chinese culture, wouldn't it be the same with a Japanese girl wearing a rococo inspired outfit, which is in fact part of European culture, and had never been part of Japanese culture during the period of rococo? Rococo fashion is as much cultural history to those born in Europe as ancient Chinese fashion is to those born with Chinese roots. 

It's true that religions often shape the fashion, but clothes are not worn by religions, they are worn by people. It is also people who shape cultures, not the other way around. So why do people fight over the rights to manifest culture in clothing? Everything else is free for the taking for anyone wanting to enjoy it, art, music, religion and all that which makes culture what it is, so why not fashion too?

I am not here to start a fight or even a debate, I was just wondering how strange it is for a fashion such as lolita (which usually doesn't give two hecks about what others might think) to stir up so much trouble over something so very simple. Beautiful things such as these should belong to everybody and be allowed without having to discuss ones religion or cultural roots, they've got nothing to do with it.

I am making and wearing clothes for myself, and not somebody else. I rather see my coord as a tribute anyway, so I should think it only as appropriate wear and definitely not insulting. Though this kind of thing happens to me often enough to know that every effort I really want to make is always worth the possibility of being rejected or stirring up negative emotions (though I do hope this is not the case this time). But I should hope for this coord to bring joy to others as it does to me rather than stir up trouble.

26 Jun 2015

Finished my secret project!

I've been babbling on about this project for quite some time now, but it is finally finished and outed even! It's just a one-way coord for now, but I'm planning to make it into a two-way once I find myself lacking in things to do ;3 

This project began with me having a craving for a special outfit with gilded details. I loooove the aestetics especially in ancient chinese and indian clothing (and in so many other cultures too). But I just didn't like the way that qi-lolita is usually made. It is somehow too modern for me and and I felt like it's lacking in detail. What I love is the feeling of devotion you see in a handmade outfit with exquisite detail, you see the history and the thought behind such pieces! I felt like I wanted to make something like that for myself.

I began by looking for suitable vintage fabrics. I was mostly searching for saris (or sarees) with maybe red, but definitely with a certain kind of gold borders. I didn't have a very clear idea about the patterns until, after a very long time of searching, I found this red sari:

Then everything was suddenly all too clear! Even with the sequins that I hadn't liked before, I knew that this was the perfect fabric for my projecty and I had to get it! Sorry for the horrible photo quality, I took these with my phone, because the package arrived just as I was stepping outside for an errand. Later I just forgot to take better photos before I had cut the fabric. And see, I got myself two different saris, so I'll probably be using the other one for some elaborate lolita project as well!

The good thing about saris is that they are usually some 5 meters long, so there's plenty of fabric to sew with. The bad thing is, since they are vintage, that you can never be sure what they are made of. The red one for instance was speculated as silk blend, but after wear I'd recon it is entirely synthetic, which on the other hand is easier to wash, but not very nice to wear as it does not much breathe.

I started my project with making the patterns (oh yes, this time I actually made repeatable patterns), so the top compliments my shape perfectly, which never happens with readymade items, since my back, shoulder and other features give a lot of trouble for being very unsymmetrical. I used to have a lot of physical problems due to this, but now it's luckily mostly just down to the shot knee (which I'm told will mend).

These are the right colours. I just love it how the colour of the fabric shifts ever so gently with light and the gold parts shine beautifully!

Skirt parts all cut up!

Top parts all cut up and buttons in the making too!

And yes, I made the buttons all by "me onesies" :D  I thought golden buttons would've just ended up looking beastly and might have unbalanced the outfit. Also, it did not strain the budget to just use what I've got.

I did a lot of handiwork including the sequins. A LOT. This is the purse in the making, trying to figure out how I wanted the sequins here.

I did a few cotton layers inside the purse to give it better form, because I didn't want the corner of my phone sticking out awkwardly. It turned out nicely!

Here it is (ω) YAY! More photos and details later when I get myself to make a post about a meetup I attended with this.

I am SO happy with this outfit (^^) Everything is handmade by me, except for the stockings and the under skirt. I promise more photos later to come!

I also got myself brand new vegan makeup for this coord (okay, that was just an excuse to get something new, colourful and flashy) (>ᴗ<) Also very proud of managing a hairdo with my own hair (and extencions for the buns). My problem with this outfit was that I just had so much trouble finding the right shoes, and I am still without them. I had plenty of ideas, but they all went south.

These were the ones I originally had planned for...

...but alas, they sent me these. To top it off, they sent these in a size too small to wear.

Then I found these and figured I should get something practical I can wear even outside lolita. They are perfect for my everyday wear, and I am hoping I can own them with this outfit too. But again they were way too small when they arrived, so now I am waiting for the right size to arrive. I swear this shoe getting business is the crapiest part of the entire outfit... I decided to definitely not invest in any shoes, which I cannot wear outside lolita anymore, since I don't have the space or the budget to accommodate them. I have other hobbies and things that need my attention and funds, so compromises have to be made. Luckily I am not a perfectionist and can still be perfectly happy with my coords and have fun all the same (◕‿◕)

9 Jun 2015

Magic Tea Party tuning

 This is how the tuned dress now looks like!

As I have most probably mentioned before, when I first bought this dress: it was certainly not made to fit someone not-so-petite, even though the size was supposedly large enough to fit me. It was a very awkward fit at first. Later I concluded that they have no sense of height or boobs in Magic Tea Party's dress designs in gereral (though personally I only own this one dress from them, so I can't say for sure if it applies to all of their designs, but that's what I gathered when snooping around).

The dress was made "large" only by adding to the sides instead of making it overall bigger. Hence the dress I received was more like a babydoll cut on me (which it was not supposed to be), and not a very flattering one at that, since it was not meant to be a babydoll. The waistline needed to be lowered and it needed some other changes too to have the dress flatter my shapes more (since I, for one, do have boobs and not a flat shape as the dress would suggest).

I was also ticked off by the unfinished hemline and collar, so I just tidied those up in the process to have a more refined look (because, let's face it, the unfinished parts made the dress look just plain cheap). But I guess this is my own fault, and I expected it. I know that buying cheap is getting cheap, although that does not account for the poor fit. But I just loved the fabric so much, so I was prepared for a little fixup with this dress when I made the purchase. Though I ended up having to fix more than expected.

So, changes were in order and here's how I went about it!

 Left is before fixup and right is after. Sorry about forgetting the petti on the latter. 

Before and after.

I added some 10 cm to the shoulders and hid it under the ruffle collar. You can also see here that I tidied the collar (and hem) by turning the zigzaged edge and sewing it hidden. It made the whole look of the dress go up a notch! Details do matter (^_~)

You can see here the unfinished edge of the collar. I also had to change the lace on the collar, since the old one was too short for the new neckline.

It came quite a bit lower after tuning!

 I think the new lace integrates into the dress quite nicely!

The old waisline and bust does not flatter even the mannequin! It is just sad and saggy and baggy over the bust, like hanging a formless sack over. It does not sit right on the armpits either! It was made for someone with the tiniest boobs I recon.

So I ended up making modifications here too. I sewed two seams under the bust to make a better shape on the armpit and under the bust. It does not flatter the mannequin perfectly, but it flatters me very well and that's what matters!

And finally a large bonus for my hard work! Not only did the dress flatter me perfectly, but I found an old picture of me in the dress as it were before tuning! The same dress and hat used about six months before and just a few weeks ago in two different coords. 

 The old coord from january 2015 with the unflattering dress. Oh I hate the sight of it! Also it's a bit embarrasing to look at this coord now...

And my new coord in May 2015 with the fixed dress. No dodgy little bags or details! How's that for improvement on style? (^^)