I've fallen for...

27.12.09 - 12:40
... an Angelic Pretty item.

They have this star shaped bag at the moment and I want one!

What is happening to me? It's so tacky and 80's and way too expensive.

It has inspired me to have another go at making a handbag though. I was going to try something like a heart shaped one, but maybe I'll try a star instead.

Also I got a couple of nice books for Christmas that I'd like to tell you about.

I'm lucky to have a few days off now until I have to go back to work so I might even have time to do both.



Merry Christmas!

25.12.09 - 08:29
Every year I say that I am going to make a Christmas dress. Guess what? No Christmas dress AGAIN! I am starting to think I will need to begin making it in June if I want to get it done...

Hope everyone has a lovely time!!



It's nearly Christmas

21.12.09 - 22:03
I love Christmas time. And not just the big day. I love shopping for presents and making Christmas-y things and watching Christmas songs on VH1.

I've tried something new this year - edible tree decorations. I used Nigella's recipe from her Christmas book (recipe also available here) to make these sort-of-gingerbread biscuits.

Next time I think I'll use a lot less pepper than she suggests. They still taste nice but, yes, peppery. I tried a few different cutters like hearts and bells but the tree shaped ones came out best. I really like their traditional look, especially with the red ribbons.

I was going to make cards again too but I didn't have time as I was designing engagement announcements. *giant grin* That's right my man and I got engaged!



And the winner is...

1.12.09 - 19:08
Today is the first of December - giveaway day!
Lets get straight to it. I went to random.org to pick a random number and the winner is:


I'll be getting in touch soon to find out what size you'd like and to get your address :) I hope you'll show us if you do make yourself a coat.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! Sorry there could only be one winner this time.

Also a few people asked about buying patterns - I'm working on this - hopefully I might have something sorted out after Christmas. I'd like to finally open my Etsy shop but I need a little time to draft some different sizes first.



Last day to enter the pattern giveaway!

30.11.09 - 14:16
I'll be picking a winner tomorrow so make sure you enter today if you want to win!

Lolita coat pattern giveaway - Enter here

If you are in the mood for giveaways you might also want to enter this one:
Gothic lolita calendar giveaway over at Ribbonlicious.

Good luck!



Faux fur removable coat collar

29.11.09 - 21:41
I've been busy this weekend with some top secret projects but I did have time for a teeny little bit of sewing...

Continuing with the winter theme I thought I'd do a fur collar for my coat. It's faux fur on the top and pink wool underneath. I made a couple of 'pockets' at the front to tuck the real collar into so it's totally removable.

I think it could do with a bigger better ribbon. That one just happened to be handy.

And what do you think of that brooch? It's kinda big but it's all sparkly and a bit vintage. I had hoped that it might make the whole thing look a bit less sweet and more elegant/classic. Maybe a more classy ribbon would do the trick.



Warm spiced apple drink recipe

26.11.09 - 21:51
Seems like a lot of people's favourite part of winter is that feeling you get when you can finally be toasty warm and cuddled up with a hot drink!

This is one of my favourite spots for a hot chocolate, especially while out shopping. I don't drink coffee so I'm a big fan of hot chocolate.

Last winter I visited a friend on a feezing cold day and she had made a warm spiced apple drink which was just as delicious, not to mention a lot healthier. So I thought I'd share the recipe - it's really easy.

All you need is a litre of apple juice, a cinnamon stick, 3 whole cloves , a couple of strips of orange zest and a pinch of ground allspice.

Pop all the ingredients in a pan and simmer very gently for around half and hour. Make sure to remove the spices before serving in warmed glasses or mugs. Enjoy!



Lolita pattern giveaway!

16.11.09 - 20:55
It really doesn't seem like that long, but today is the two year anniversary of this blog! I've learned a lot in that time about Lolita fashion and sewing; and yes, I'm still learning.

I've been thinking back and one of the most annoying things I found when I started making Lolita clothes was the lack of patterns available. I found the ones in gosu rori hard to figure out - especially as they weren't quite my size. So, as any long time readers will know, I started out adjusting commercial patterns with varying levels of success.

More recently I've been drafting my own patterns, which is so much better and I love it!

Now, to celebrate two fun years of Gothic Lolita Sewing and Other Amusements I'd like to make a paper pattern for one of you. Since its winter round here I thought a coat would be a nice idea. It would be in your size (UK 8-24) and I'll include some construction notes so you know how to put it together. And I'll post it anywhere in world.

So if you are interested in my little giveaway - here are the rules:
1. you must be a follower (but you can sign up now if you have been reading!)
2. leave a comment on this post and tell me your favourite thing about winter!
♥♥♥One of my favourite things is seeing the Christmas trees all covered in tiny sparkly lights with pretty baubles and decorations. Gorgeous.♥♥♥
3. you can't enter with an anonymous comment as I won't know who you are. ha ha.
4. please leave a link if you write about it on your own blog! Not everyone has their own so you don't have to make a post to enter or anything.

I'll be picking a winner at random on the first day of December, good luck!



Maniac nurse costume

1.11.09 - 13:04
I hope you all had a spook-tacular Halloween! Ours was very special and the trick-or-treaters we had all looked amazing in their costumes!

Last year I dressed up as a spooky broken doll and the year before that I was evil Alice so this year I decided to change it up a bit and be... a brutal maniac nurse covered in blood.

I put it together pretty quickly, in just a few hours, so it's not lined or anything. I used the pattern from my coat so I could wear it over my clothes and to get that double breasted look.
The blood splatters are on separate patches and tacked on so it can easier get more or less bloody.

What were you for halloween?



Happy Halloween!

31.10.09 - 20:06
One of my favourite holidays is upon us and I felt compelled to make a spooky costume to greet our trick-or-treaters.
Pictures tomorrow!

Mwaah hahah hhah ha!



New project: Pink lolita coat

19.10.09 - 20:52
It's that time of year again when we start thinking about winter coats. I know I've got a perfectly good coat from last year, but it's not really a lolita shape... I think this is a perfectly good excuse to have another go at making a lolita style winter coat. I might actually finish this one!

So here is a quick 'in progress' shot. I drafted the pattern myself - its quite similar to a dress block but it has a little less waist shaping and is a bit bigger so you can fit a nice warm cardigan underneath. It's going to have a double breasted front. (Though I think I've got it fastening the wrong way in the photo!) The main parts are sewn together but the collar and hem are just pinned so far.



Overdress/waistcoat - finished

11.10.09 - 13:05
This week I've finished the waistcoat that goes with my three tier skirt. I changed the design a bit so it's a bit more like a tailcoat - except it's still a skirt at the back.
I've also got a blouse that matches! No I didn't make that one, its actually from Baby. I think I still need to make a tie or something to go with it, maybe a very thin bow?
Anyway, I'm pleased with the way it looks, though it's not especially flattering on. I might make another one at some point and make the front extend down further. I'd like to make it from better fabric, maybe something a bit thicker and also put some lacing at the back as the mid section seems to be really calling out for it on this picture.



Shopping: Ghost Love Jewelry

9.10.09 - 23:19
I was actually looking for something else entirely when I came across Ghost Love on Etsy.
I was really taken by their jewellery and their cool logo. A lot of the designs combine gothic and victorian themes with a bit of steampunk; but are still classy and not too costume-y.
I think the hair clips are just lovely. I don't know what they are like in real life yet, but here are a few of my favourites from their shop:



Overdress/waistcoat - In progress

24.9.09 - 20:55
I've started work on the waistcoat style overdress that goes with the tiered skirt I made.

It looks a bit iffy at the moment but its not sewn together or anything. I'm having a go at draping on the dress form rather than drawing a flat pattern. I've not tried making something this way before and I'm not sure the shape is quite there yet; the gap at the front of the skirt looks a bit funny.

The other problem is the length. I thought it would be good if the waistcoat was shorter than the skirt but I think I'll add a ruffle to the bottom make them a bit more even.

I'd like to find some better fabric but I am going to use these buttons - they are the same as the ones on this waistcoat.

I'm starting to think about making a blouse to match too, maybe with a big neck bow.



Crêpes and hot chocolate fudge sauce - recipe

7.9.09 - 20:32
Crêpes are much lighter than pancakes and very tasty. These recipes are really easy and don't need any special ingredients. I am so impressed with how well this sauce works, there must be some kind of magic involved.

I've put the american measurements on here as they are easier for this kind of simple baking and you can double them up quickly for more people. No pictures again I'm afraid - they just don't stay around long enough!

Crêpes (makes 4)

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
pinch salt
1 tbsp melted butter (or oil)
1/2 cup plain flour

Mix egg, milk, water and butter in a bowl add salt and flour last. Beat till it's smooth.
(I put it to one side at this point while I made the sauce.)
When you are ready put a frying pan on a medium heat and add a little butter or spray oil.
Put 1/4 cup of the batter in the middle of the pan and swirl it around.
After about a minute the edges will start to lift slightly and look a bit crispy - slide a fish slice or something similar underneath and flip it over to cook on the other side until it's slightly brown.
Serve folded over with chocolate sauce in middle. yum.

Magic hot chocolate sauce (plenty for 4 crepes or even 4 ice creams)

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp flour for runny sauce or 2 tbsp for super thick sauce
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp butter (or oil)

Mix the sugar, flour, salt and water together in a small pan with a whisk then add the cocoa and stir over a medium heat until it starts to boil.
It suddenly goes really thick and gorgeous!
Take it off the heat and stir in the butter and possibly a drop or two of vanilla or coffee.
Let it cool slightly.
Try not to eat too much of it before the crêpes are ready!

(I found these recipes here and here.)



Three tiered skirt/under skirt

30.8.09 - 14:42
Some time ago I saw an Alice and the Pirates waistcoat and started thinking about an outfit based around something similar. So here is the first part, an off-white, tiered underskirt.

I started off using the method described by the weekend designer which I was talking about previously. The pattern calls for two 'quarter sections' meaning it would form a half circle skirt. But, I soon realised that it wasn't going to be frilly enough. So, I've used three 'sections' for this one. It meant that the waist was way too big - but I left it that way so that I could gather it into the waistband.

It only took an afternoon but I used a full three metres of fabric for this skirt! I'm quite pleased with it except I don't have an off-white blouse to match... yet.



£100 black dresses

29.8.09 - 14:20
Lolita is expensive, we all know that. It's one of the main reasons I like to sew my own things. However, brand things are nice too. So what to do? Well here is a selection of 2nd hand dresses available at the moment for just £100. (they were all still there as I write this, but obviously they may sell at any time!)

Meta/Tokyo Rebel
I was quite tempted by this one actually - but I think it might be a bit long on me.
waist: 33in
bust: 36in
length: 36.5in

Angelic Pretty/Closet Child
I doubt this one will hang around for long.
waist: 28in
bust: 32in

BTSSB/Clothing Drop
waist: 23-39in

Atelier Pierrot/Clothing Drop
waist: 23-43in

BTSSB/Tokyo Alice
Its says width: 43cm which I presume is the flat measurement, meaning about 33in. I does have back shirring.



The net is vast and infinite

28.8.09 - 20:03
I've been foraging about on the interwebs and found a few interesting bits and pieces.

First up blogs:
I'm adding even more English language blogs to the list. A whole range have started up this year which is great news. I hope they will all keep going and giving us inspiration or news or interesting debate or whatever they like to blog about!
One of these is: Prince des Enfers - quite a new blog but already chock full of lovely photos, gorgeous clothes and some great sewing. It's also mainly kondona/boystyle which is very refreshing.

Next up, sewing things:
Kay at Sew Serendipity has written this cool post about using invisible zips. A lot of people are worried by these but you don't even need the special foot to use her method. Give it a try, you'll never look back.

I've been checking out the 'new look' burdastyle and I really like IvyFrozen's work. I'm not sure if she wears lolita but she says that some of her dresses are lolita inspired and they suit her beautifully. Very nice.

Modern Sewing Patterns has this pattern up for free at the moment - I don't know if anyone will find it useful. Maybe with a little alteration it could be the basis of a JSK? Not sure...

Finally, some Japanese sites. The translation doesn't always work too well but it's fun to look, like with the Gothic and Lolita Bible.
Gothic Lolita Union , Gothic Lolita.jp and Gothic Lolita Links all have lots of links leading to other places.

So that's what I've been looking at this week. Hopefully there will be more time for sewing this weekend!




21.8.09 - 20:48
I've had a bit of a virtual tidy up tonight, I've started following some blogs I've been, well, following for a while and I've added some new links to the ever expanding lists to the left there. I've added a couple of shops and the fantastic Weekend Designer.

Sadly I've taken down a couple of great blogs which are not being updated anymore - Petit four press and 夢見る (Yumemuri).

Some of the new ones I've added are not in English but most can be translated with google translate. Recently I've found a lot of nice lolita blogs in Hungarian!

Also I've been venturing in the world of Japanese blogs, I've got quite a few bookmarked but I had really hoped to find some sewing lolitas over there. I've had no real luck yet apart from the one called the Gothic and Lolita handmade club.

If anyone has visited any cool lolita sewing blogs recently I'd love to know about them!



Lolita petticoat tutorial

18.8.09 - 20:58
Okay, as promised here is a simple petticoat tutorial. This is how I made my organza petti the other week and also how I've made previous ones out of plain net. You can use what ever you like to make yours but it's best to avoid bridal tulle as it's usually quite soft and doesn't stand out as much.

You will need:
A small-ish piece of cotton fabric
net or organza around 3 metres / 3.5 - 4 yrds
A piece of elastic or ribbon - enough to fit over your hips easily

First of all you need to decide on a few things -
1. How many layers do you want to make?
2. How long do you want it to be?

I'll be showing you how to make a one or two layered petti. The two layered one has a layer with two tiers like in this picture.

Once you have decided it's time to start on the yolk. To make this you need two rectangles of fabric the measurement 'W' on the diagram should be your hip measurement plus 5inches(15cm) the one marked 'L' should be around 8in( 20cm).
You'll need to sew these two together at the ends to make a band and create a simple channel at the top by folding it over twice and sewing it down. Leave a small gap in this line of sewing - this is where you will insert your elastic or ribbon to make your petti fit your waist.

Next - cutting your net. When I buy net it is usually folded over (like in the picture above) from being on the card in the shop. I suggest you leave it like that for now, it's easier to measure and cut.

The petticoat that I made was 18in (46cm) long. The yolk accounts for about 5inches of that once the top has been folded to form the waist band and the bottom is hemmed. Therefore on an 18in petti, 13in is net + seam allowance. I cut the pieces for the top layer 15inches long and as wide as the whole net - 44in (112cm)
Check out my chart for a one and two layer petticoats (click to enlarge)

For one layer cut 8 'A' slices from the folded net. For two layer cut 6 'A' slices for the top layer and then three 'B' and six 'C' for the under layer. I made 'B' 10in and 'C' 5 in to match the 15inch top layer 'A'. (the complete length of piece 2 was 3 metres probably closer to 3.5-4 yards)

You should end up with lots of 44inch long strips. You need to join the ends together in a big loop. So for a single layer petti you are now looking at 9-10 yrds of net! You'll have to hem it if you use organza, but I don't hem the net as it doesn't fray.

Now you need to start ruffling. I find it easiest to
do it in sections. Make sure to pin the half way joins to the seams of the yolk - then half way between that and half way between that. These sections are then a bit more manageable and you know they will be even.
The edge of the net should be on the inside so you can't see it when its done.

For two layers there is even more ruffling as you need to attach the line of 'C' pieces to the line of 'B' pieces then also ruffle the top of the 'B' pieces to the yolk under the 'A' pieces!

Lastly you need to insert your elastic or ribbon using a large safety pin to thread it through the top. If you use elastic secure the ends together and sew up the gap. With ribbon you may want to create some button holes on the outside of the band for the end of the ribbon to come out through? I personally prefer elastic.

Then that's it. Until it becomes sooo flat you can't even tell it's a petti any more and then you add more layers or make a new one!

Here are a couple of other petticoat tutorials you might find useful too:
Chrissy's tutorial - three tiers, sewn directly to the elastic
Sugardale tutorial - very detailed, uses hook and eye for fastening


The secret ruffler foot

- 20:24
Something strange happened today. My parents popped in to visit me and brought a package (addressed to me) which they had found in their garage. It was a bit grim - all dusty and the numbers had totally faded from the postage label. However it was well wrapped in a jiffy bag and when I looked inside, it contained a brand new ruffler foot for my sewing machine.

I must have sent for it over two years ago. There's no packing slip but I think it's a cheapy generic one that I ordered from ebay. Obviously I either forgot or wasn't that bothered when it didn't arrive!

I've tried a ruffler foot since then and it's never worked, in fact I thought they were a total waste of time. But the one I got today has changed my mind. Check this out. It's in perfect condition and worked a treat.

Wow. It even worked on the 'every stitch' setting which constantly jammed my machine with my other one. And it's so fast and so neat and even.

Ruffles just got a whole lot easier.



Gothic Lolita Punk: Book review

9.8.09 - 19:04
I picked up this book the other day, Gothic Lolita Punk by 'ricorico'. It says it's 'A stunning showcase of cutting-edge work from the best Gothic Lolita artists working today.' I'm not so sure about cutting- edge but it's a nice collection of work.

It's got artwork by Kira Imai and Yoh as you would expect but what's cool about this book is the addition of 'step by step' sections by the artists. They have each taken one of their illustrations and shown the process by which they put it together.

Also as the book is a decent size (26 x 18.4 cm) you can see the details in the pieces which are sometimes lost when viewing on the Internet or in smaller publications.

The strangest thing about 'Gothic Lolita Punk' is the whole introduction is an interview with DJ SiSeN. I haven't got a problem with him and I even quite like some of the Industrial music he plays. Seriously though, one google image search shows his style is rather Cyber Goth. Some of what he says is interesting - about music and fashion not being as linked in Japan as it is in the west. So it's not that I disagree with what he is discussing - more that I'm not sure he was the best choice for this particular book.

It's a lot less exploratory than 'Japanese Goth' but it's also less serious. 'Gothic Lolita Punk' is a very accessible collection of Lolita artwork with added interest for artists or those interested in the artistic process.


Thanks guys

- 17:48

I went to a meet-up yesterday and met some really nice people. I had a fun day so I just wanted to say - thank you!
Also a quick thank you to all of you for following and reading my blog I hope you find it useful sometimes.
On an unrelated note, I just found out how to type a ♥. It's alt and 3 on the number pad. Why didn't I know this?!?



Review: StyleShake.com

4.8.09 - 21:38
Remember the other day when I was taking about playing around with StyleShake? Well I decided to give them a go and see what the dress would actually come out like. So I ordered something very similar to the image in that post. It’s a basic black cotton dress with a flared knee length skirt, puffed sleeves and a round collar.

I ordered it on the Tuesday and it arrived the following Wednesday. The website said you would have it in 10 working days so that was pretty good. The quality of the sewing is what you would expect from a shop, it’s not ‘homemade’ looking at all. The fabric is cotton – kind of like a good cotton but not that thick stuff that the brands mostly use. More like everyday clothes. It’s all lined which is nice and it actually fits really well.

I set the measurements to the closest to mine it would allow. You can only get it to your exact measurements if you are in proportion like the average sizes. I'm not quite, but there was enough ease in the dress so that it fits (yay).

The only problem I’ve had is that the dress came without the collar as you can see in the picture. It looks kinda weird without it and I paid extra for it so I wrote an email to their customer services. They didn’t answer my first email so I re-sent it a couple of days later. I asked if they could add the collar for me, but I got an email saying my money was being refunded to paypal. They refunded the £2 extra I paid for the collar and made no attempt to fix the dress.

I was not very impressed with this. What if the skirt part had been missing? Would they have refunded me half the money and left me with half a useless dress?

I can add the collar myself if I want to, but not everyone has the skills or the tools to do that. Also this dress is very plain. I don’t think I’d want to wear it ‘as is’. I’ll probably have to add at the very least a ruffle around the bottom. This all seems like a lot of work for a ‘ready to wear’ dress.

All in all I think they’re product is pretty good but their custom service is lacking somewhat.

UPDATE: I've had another email from Styleshake asking if I got their previous message about fixing my dress (which I didn't). So now it looks like they are going to fix it. My estimations of their customer service is going up!



New poofy petticoat

2.8.09 - 21:39
I made me a new petticoat today. My old ones are so dead that even wearing two doesn't do very much.

I decided to try out this crisp black organza as an alternative to the basic net I usually use. I've used three metres here and it was just enough for two layers, though the under layer does have two tiers.

I'm going to do a petticoat tutorial as soon as I get time to do the illustrations. It's all made up of rectangles so it's easy to do, just lots and lots and lots of ruffling.



Ideas for a more versatile wardrobe

1.8.09 - 22:17
Victorian Maiden recently released this under-dress. When I saw it, my first thought was that it's a lot prettier than some of the recent print releases from other brands. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a delicate ruffle to images of cakes every time. But I digress...

What I actually wanted to talk about was the possibility of using this kind of item to create variation in your wardrobe without spending too much money.

Obviously buying your under things from VM isn't going to save you a whole lot of cash but making things more versatile could. Ever have a reversible jacket? Okay, bad example.

But think about it, an over skirt uses less fabric than a full skirt as it can be shorter and also doesn't have to extend all the way around the back.

As you can see in these examples, you can apply this principle to a JSK or a dress. Leaving openings at the front or at the back, or wherever you like and creating very different looks.

I like the idea that you could easily dress it up in different ways, without having to make a whole dress. Especially for a theme meet-up or a holiday when you might only want to wear that style once or twice. The construction of the outer part could be quite simple and probably wouldn't even need a zip in many cases.

I'm filing this one away as something I'd like to have a go at. Maybe it would be a good winter project? Having extra layers would make it warmer and the long nights might give me enough time to sew all those pin tucks.


Poorly netbook :(

- 22:10
My beloved netbook broke last week. I was quite sad as I had become quite used to having it to hand to look something up or check out the latest brand offerings. Hopefully it's all sorted now, so I can post some of the things I have been thinking about and peeking at in my lunch hour.



High-waisted skirt

15.7.09 - 19:29
Last night we went to see Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails which was very cool!

So on Monday I decided to make a new skirt to wear. I drew out the pattern, cut and sewed it up in less than a day so I think it turned out pretty well.

There's a zip at the back and I put a couple of pieces of plastic boning in the lining at the front to hold the point up.

I actually wore it with a high collared black blouse and black braces. The look was definitely a lot more gothic than lolita.



Style Shake

13.7.09 - 11:06
I've only just come across styleshake.com even though it looks to have been around for a couple of years. It's a very easy to use website where you can 'design' your own clothes and have them made and sent to you.

There are some limitations - its not made to your actual measurements, but you can make slight adjustments to the sizes provided. Also its more pick and mix than actual design but I managed to put together this OP in a couple of minutes. I don't know how lolita it would turn out. It's made from black cotton so even though it looks a bit shiny in the picture it should be quite matt in real life.

The company is based in the UK and this design would cost £44 to order - that sounds like a very good price to me for a bespoke dress.



Update: Bib dress project

28.6.09 - 10:31
Some time ago I decided to make a dress based on a gorgeous Mary Magdalene design. It's the most ambitious project I've tried so far especially since I also wanted to draft the whole pattern from scratch.

So this is how far I've got. Everything is just pinned together in the picture but I've cut most of the pieces and made a start on the bib and collar. All the fiddly pin tucks and smaller ruffles are done.

I'm still working on the sleeves and I need to make some waist ties. My sleeves always seem to come out too puffy...
There's also masses of ruffles still to make for the skirt.

I best get back to work!



Weekend designer - lolita skirt patterns

27.6.09 - 11:42
Have you seen the Weekend designer ? It's a blog about pattern-drafting where the writer takes inspiration from fashion pieces and makes simple patterns that you can use to make things for yourself.

Check out these posts for making skirts:
A three tiered skirt like these from Meta and Angelic Pretty.

Three frilly tiers like these from Baby and Boz.

I think it goes without saying that you'll have to lengthen the skirts a bit for lolita - but as the paterns are drafted it shouldn't be too difficult.

EDIT: Take a peek at this post if you fancy making one of these!



Keyboard/musical notes bag

21.6.09 - 15:31
A few weeks ago I bought a skirt with a keyboard trim and I fancied making a bag to match.
So here it is.
It's a little clutch bag with a zip along the top. There's a wrist strap on the other end so you can still hold a drink if you go to a gig or something.

The back is black with a musical note print (from my quilting shop adventure) and the black keys are velvet ribbon. Its also lined in black. I'm quite pleased with it.



Spending too much time on Etsy

20.6.09 - 10:15
I saw these the other day - they are all little pocket mirrors. They are only 2 .25 inches across so you can pop it in your bag and discreetly check that your make-up is still okay or that all you hair clips are still there!
Also they are only $4 so they'd make lovely little gifts.



Crafty lolita

17.6.09 - 22:03
I've not been doing a lot of loli sewing recently mainly because I've been getting back into crafts in a big way.

It all started when I found a quilting shop in my area and drooled over all their amazing fabrics! I love novelty prints now - I wonder if I got that from all the crazy lolita prints?

I've been having a go at knitting and crochet and I'm also thinking about opening an Etsy shop. Maybe not with all lolita things but definitely with lots of cuteness. Stay tuned for more info!



Japanese Goth: Book review

20.5.09 - 22:59
Japanese Goth is the newest book from Tiffany Godoy author of 'Style Deficit Disorder: Harajuku Street Fashion, Tokyo'.

To be honest I'm still slightly confused about what the subject of the book is supposed to be. I understand that it's about art but there are hints that it was supposed to be specifically about its involvement with Gothic Lolita. Starting with a stack of Mana pictures even before the introduction by Novala Takemoto. There are also continued references to dolls and the 'dark side' of childhood; but if this is the case, why call it Japanese Goth? Did they just wimp out on the Lolita title? Was it due to a lack of understanding of the subject?

There are a couple of other problems I had with the book. Unfortunately some of the art has been spread over two pages - which means you miss the whole middle of the image unless you ruthlessly break the shiny black spine.

The other problem I had was specifically with this passage:

'Similarly there is also an awareness of the more primal urges or children, as intimated by the term "Lolita" which is used to describe this type of dress in Japan, while also being an overt reference to the temptress character of Vladimir Nabokov's novel about a man's obsession with a sexually precocious girl.'

Perhaps the author read the wikipedia entry rather than novel but 'Dolores' in the book is pretty much just a young girl taken advantage of by the main character. That's part of the point, Humbert is telling himself that she is 'tempting' him and 'coming on' to him, it's what makes it 'okay' in his mind.

Generally I think this book could have been improved by being a larger format with less words (creating a fantastic coffee table book) or having had a bit more research, become a more academic look at Gothic Lolita.

Having said that, the actual art in the book is superb. Juxtaposing artists such as Kira Imai with more darkly gothic imagery leads to a creative exploration of the Japanese dark/cute aesthetic which I personally find intriguing.


Kamikaze Girls on region 2 DVD

- 22:04
In this day and age most people can probably play different region DVDs but I was still really pleased to see that Kamikaze Girls has finally come out on region 2 DVD. Actually it came out in January, but I didn't notice till now!

Anyway - its only £7 on Play.com and Amazon so nows a good time if you haven't seen it/got it. I still prefer the book - but its a fun film.



Cute button storage

16.5.09 - 19:52
I can never resist cool fabrics or pretty buttons when I see them. The problem with this is finding space for them. I don't have a dedicated sewing space so everything has to live in boxes until I get to pull them out and make stuff.

So, I started putting some of my buttons in these cute jars and putting them on the bookshelf so I can see them all the time! These were £1 each from a cooking shop in town. (I've seen them online here - they are more expensive, but hey, you can use any jar.)



Google maps - Tokyo street view

14.5.09 - 22:45

Maybe I'm the only person who thinks this is extremely cool but you can now look around Tokyo on google maps.



Chocolate cake with no egg - recipe

13.5.09 - 13:18
This recipe is super easy to make and doesn't use any eggs so its great for when there's nothing in the house but you want something tasty to eat!
(I suppose it could also be pretty handy if you don't/can't eat eggs/dairy for some reason too)

I made this cake the other day and it was lovely and moist and it tasted even nicer the next day - a bit more brownie-like. I've not tried using this recipe for cupcakes yet, but I can't see a reason why it wouldn't work. The mixture is quite runny though.

Ingredients (UK notes)

- 1 3/4 cup sifted cake flour (we don't have cake flour so I just used plain- 195g)
- 1 cup sugar (used granulated, seemed okay - 225g)
- 1/4 cup cocoa (30g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (used bi-carb)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup fat (butter/marg 75g or apparently you can use 70ml of veg oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (mine was fine without this!)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar (used red wine vinegar as thats what we had around)
- 1 cup cold water (240ml - I read somewhere you can use coffee if you like)

Basically, you mix it all together and pour it into a greased + floured 8in/20cm tin and cook it for 30mins on 305f which is about 180c (gas mark 4) I did mine on closer to 160c as we have a fan oven.

I must admit I recently bought a set of measuring 'cups' so I can do American recipes really quick, no scales required!



High street finds

10.5.09 - 21:16
Bow headbands have been popular on the high street recently and this season 'big' bows are in. Great news for lolitas!

I've seen them in several places this weekend including New Look and Topshop. (Not just in this gross coral colour either.)

Bows are getting bigger and bigger on the catwalk too - check out these monstrosities from the Louis Vuitton autumn collection.