18 May 2015

Rose Tsumami Kanzashi.

I have been experimenting with making rose kanzashi for ages and I think finally managed to find a design that works in my eyes.

Previous ones have been very pretty.  They are very pretty roses but somehow my eyes thinks something is missing.

So after lots of thinking and experimenting.  Yes lots of experimenting, my sewing room is full of proto roses.  It is actually quite sad seeing all these flowers.  I will have to think of a way to give them a good burial.  I always hate throwing away my flower failures.  

Anyway with a bit more playing, I think I have make ones that I am even more happier.  These ones are 7.5 cm in diameters so they make a lovely hair accessory or bouquet (ohh I must make one).

At the moment I have only made them in habutai silk but I would like to try and make them in kimono silk to see what effect it will create.  I think those roses will be lush and I can't wait to make more.


16 May 2015

Kitty Kanzashi is back!

I have been very bad and neglected my etsy store.

Mainly due to the fact that I started a new job 1.5 years ago and have not been able to find a routine.

Anyway after a move from Sheffield to Belfast, getting full time job and then decided to move to my own flat!  I have finally managed to settle down enough to get things back in order.

So to slowly get back into the kanzashi business I have decided to start with something I have been thinking about for only the last month or so.

Glitter Kanzashi!

Seriously, glitter makes thing sparkle and everything is improved with glitter.  Well it was something I use to believe in as a child and then I went through a glitter hating moment.  Mainly because you can not put the stuff on your university work.  But now I need sparkle and lots of it.

The gold one was the first one I made because it is my default colour when I think of glitter but there are other colours.

As you can see I have only played with three at the moment,  I would love to play with more but I will need your help for that ;)

So here is where you can get these little bundles of joy.  There is only three at the moment.

4 May 2015

Making a Dress - Green Jumper Skirt with matching french hood part two

For ages I have been looking for suitable lolita style hair accessories.  

I  like bows but most of the time they get lost in my hair and the head eating ones are just a bit too much for my classic wardrobe in my eyes.

Bonnets are lovely!  However when I tried one on when I was in Harajuku I looked......well.....a bit provincial.  So that is a no no then.

Hats I love but expensive as I like the huge ones.  Quite frankly the bigger the better for my face.

What I want is a cross between a flower crown and a hairband so I hit upon an idea of how about french hoods.

If you are not familiar with french hoods then think of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn  

Now I wasn't thinking of going the whole hog with the french hood as there are many components involved but I wanted to get the overall shape of the main part.

Essentially I am making a OTT headband.

Pattern-wise I searched the internet for one and then I tweaked it a little to get the right size and shape.

Now if I was being completely hardcore I would have made the base with buckram and wire but alas I don't have that in my room so I used heavy iron-on interface and to make it strong I will use two layers one for the front and one for the back.

I mainly completed this after work so the picture are not brilliant but here is the starting point of when I put on the kanzashi.  

Close up of one of my kanzashi flowers.

At this point in time this is only pinned to my mannequin head I will be adding ribbon to it later on.

Okay not shot of construction after this as I got a bit carried away and I wanted to finish it for a work event but here is the finished french hood.

I never wear a wig but I wanted to see if it would work with a twin tail ponytail wig as I am considering making for other lolita.

and so finally my outfit is complete.  I wore it just over a month ago for a work event.  Unlike a real french hood I wore this behind my ear so it is a OTT headband.  

I  think it was a hit although I did get one person asking me if I was part of some sort of show.  Nevermind!

Making a Dress - Green Jumper Skirt with matching french hood

For ages I have been waiting for a particular JSK or jumper skirt design to appear in Otome no Sewing book and finally in volume 6 it has arrived!


I just like the look of them for some reason.


I wanted this one to be hard wearing so rather then going for 100% cotton I decided to buy something call bi-stretch.  It feels like the fabric the school uniforms are made from which means it will be hard wearing!

And despite the fabric being polyester, it has a lovely drape to it and the assistant at the fabric shop that I brought it from said that it is very popular with costume designers because of the drape.  Which is good.

Green was not my original colour of choice, it was going to be black but then I looked into my wardrobe and just saw a see of blue and black lolita dresses.  This will not do so I thought what colour do I like that I have not made any clothes for.  Then as I was looking through my fabric stash I noticed my green kimono bolt.  That was it green!  I will make the dress in green.


No major changes were made to the pattern apart from three things.

One, I decided from now on that I will add side pockets to all of my dresses if I can.  This is to make them more practical because my aim is to make a work friendly lolita wardrobe.

Two, I added some ruffles at the bottom.  The original pattern asked you to make this dress out of tartan material but since tartan is not my thing I decided that a row of ruffles would be the best replacement.

And three, I was to fully line the jsk.  Maybe that is a major change?

But it needed some trimming and for some reason I wanted it to be gold.  Somehow in my head I wanted the jsk to look a little military-like but I knew gold lace would be impossible to find.  So as I was buying my green bi-stretch at the fabric store only a 1 minute walk away from work, I spied some gold trimming.  Perfect and brought 5 metres worth.


Everything went according to plan.

Pockets went in nicely, the trimming was sewn over the seams and overall everything was going smoothly.....until I had to put in the invisible zip.

My first attempt resulted in the fabric getting stretched and therefore when I did the zip up it was all puckered.  I was very disappointed in myself so I took the zip off and in the process I accidentally stuck my seam ripper in the wrong place and ruined the zip.  D'OH!

Anyway with a replacement zip brought the following day, I managed to get the new zip in.  Still had some trouble as the gathers near the zip where stopping it from going up.  So I had to had stitch those down flat and then add in a little eye and hook to take some of the weight off the zip.

Yey for pockets!

As with all my projects, I always try to make a matching headdress because I love accessories so I thought I would make a french hood inspired hairband.

I toyed with the idea of actually putting it on a hairband but they never stay in my hair for long so I stuck with ribbon tying instead.

The base design is from one I saw online but I tweaked it a little wasn't as big.  Then the fun begins.