lolita / steampunk

My TOP 13 FAVORITE Cosplay Posts of All Time!

My TOP 13 FAVORITE Cosplay Posts of All Time!

It's one of my FAVORITE times of the year! HALLOWEEN!! While I am in the middle of making all the things for the kiddos, I thought it'd be quite festive to do a list of my favorite cosplay/dress-up posts of all time! So! Let's get STARTED and check out my spooky, top 13 dress-up posts ever!!

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Sew Geeky Studio Ghibli! Nausicaä! Calcifer! Forest Spirit!

Sew Geeky Studio Ghibli!  Nausicaä! Calcifer! Forest Spirit!

I told myself that I wouldn’t go over the top; that I want to keep Sew Geeky a little more casual so that I don’t burn myself out trying to outdo myself every month. It’s exhausting! It also makes me struggle to make other things; the essential things. BUT STUDIO GHIBLI?! I could not go small. I just couldn’t! Ugh, I am my own worst enemy, I know! Narrowing it down was incredibly hard. I have the urge to STUDIO GHIBLI ALL THE THINGS!

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a little chibi easter. 2014

So I had a crazy week last week. So crazy that, in fact, I didn't think I'd have anything special for the girls to wear for Easter!!! We're not a church going family as I have mentioned before, but we really love holidays and celebrate them thoroughly!  We do a big Easter egg hunt in the backyard (heck I was surprised that the Easter Bunny hid eggs in the front yard as well this year ;-)  And we have a tradition of hubby making authentic Italian Easter foods!  Unfortunately I am off eggs for the duration until little miss Akira can handle them in my breastmilk which made the holiday a little heartbreaking for me!  We had a lovely holiday otherwise!

The dresses.  I had much more grandiose plans for everything originally, but who would have thought it, having a newborn makes things really hard to get things done!  It's especially hard since we are an anti-pacifier family who hadn't even brought up the swing until a week ago!  We had a good run at not needing contraptions for the first month; never lasted this long before with the others!  But sweet little thing that she is, needed to be in just the right conditions for me to get some sewing done so promises could be fulfilled.

My secret to surviving that week:  swing, tucked with blankets, lights off, and Blossom Dearie on constant rotation.  Hey, you do what ya gotta do sometimes, am I right?!

So let's dissect these outfits:

Alas, the headbands and other accessories I was hoping to make proved to be impossible to finish in time.  My love of sewing occupies a vast amount of my time and mental capacities, but I allow myself to completely unwind and enjoy what's around me, which is why I am such an infrequent blogger.  Heck, I'm embarrassed to check when the last time I did a post that was not obligatory!  But I am a perfectionist about content so, blogging is an event for me every time. So no accessories :-(

Let's start with Akira

I wanted a fuzzy romper of the animal persuasion and allowed my husband carte blanche on the color scheme.  I wanted the gold, and since the colors he chose were on the more masculine side, I added pink fuzzy dots.

I also drafted this romper from scratch, having hoped to share a pattern for it but it needs to be tweaked so perhaps someday. No promises, but I really would like to.  

I wish you all could have held her in person in this thing!  It was on the snug side (fits but not gonna get a ton of wears out of it) and when you held her, it felt like you were passing around a doll or stuffed animal!  Soft, compact, and tiny...it was so amusing!

For Azriella's outfit, I started with a very basic bodice that I highly modified from A Sunny Spot.  Then I decided I wanted all the other elements:

  • concealed button placket
  • peekaboo bunny feature
  • Easter egg pockets
  • simple but outstanding colors
  • full, layered twirly circle skirt with swoops
  • drawstring open back bodice

The peekaboo bunny feature was a necessity because if it's not fun to wear then I feel a failure.  I basically did this: 

  • made a buttonhole through the bodice main and lining
  • sewed on the pocket
  • fusible webbed a bunny together and stitched a ribbon 18" long to the bottom of the bunny
  • sewed a buttonhole through the skirt layers
  • sewed the pocket on. finished the dress
  • threaded the ribbon through the buttonholes and tied a knot at the end once it was threaded into the skirt pocket.

This was the first time I had done a concealed button placket!  I feel like a ninja!

The flutter sleeves make me so happy... The yellow was a last minute decision because I had realized I cut out sleeves from two colors... looks amazing to me now!  

In fact, I have declared my new favorite color combo mint and aqua!  Don't be surprised when you see it again in a bigger arena here!

As much as I don't like to play in to the princess mentality, she was so pleased to "feel like a princess" and that makes a maker mamma's heart happy.

Finally Sephira.

In a word: piecing.

I wanted a mosaic look that utilized scraps from Azriella's cut outs and pockets that could be disguised as just part of the design.  This was mostly self drafted again, but also, once again, I used a pattern from A Sunny Spot as a platform for my vision.  For hers I also didn't want a full twirly skirt,  I wanted a more playful look.  I went with a layered half circle skirt look with a shorter length to give it a younger feel.

As always, the buttons are handmade.

I have another tradition:  Easter Egg Hunt dresses.  Time to pass the torch to Sephira!  There are a total of six pockets on her dress.  Have you find them all?

So that's that!  

  I can't believe how fast my girls are growing up these days!!!  

Only other thing I want to talk about is SEW GEEKY!!!  

Max and I are working hard to make our May Sew Geeky an Extravaganza to remember!!  And we are eager to get you all in to join the fun!!!  Email us if you would like to be a part of it in some way!  We are beside ourselves with bringing back our series!  We will keep you all posted with the goings on as soon as they happen!  But MARK YOUR CALENDERS FOR MAY THE FORCE, err, 4TH and check back here then!  

Until then!

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Behind the Seams: A Sunny Easter Spot 2013 with bunny ear headband tutorial

Behind the Seams: A Sunny Easter Spot 2013 with bunny ear headband tutorial

Can anything be cuter than a pose-able bunny ear headband? This tutorial by Sew Chibi Designs shows you how to make this quick and easy hair accessory that not only stay put with a couple of twists but is comfy too! Look SUPER adorable by using this quick DIY!

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A Sunny Easter Spot. Japanese Sewing for Easter 2013 sew chibi style

Good Morning everyone!!!  I have been anticipating this post for a REALLY long time now... Some of it for almost a year now and some discoveries I had a la minute!  Needless to say,

this. is. sew chibi.

So I have been obsessed with Japanese Pattern books this year.  It seems all of my sewing has been dedicated to two things: Japanese Patterns and button-making!!!! 

Quick disclaimer:  I am not an affiliate for any Japanese sewing book whatsoever.  I just think these books are totally boss and wanted to share!

Back to Easter.

As some of you know, my blogging flourish started with an Easter dress last year. It's pretty hard to top... I mean, it had a little bit of everything!!!  And then Sephira's little lamb outfit, well... let's just say my artist vision has never been the same since.  Those outfits mean the world to me and opened up a whole world of wonderful people and relationships I could have never imagined.

So, I have been salivating over this one, particular book, A Sunny Spot, which I blogged about back in January.

I pretty much want to make every. single. thing. in this book.  And I have never said that about a pattern book before!  I decided immediately that I wanted to make this dress for Azy... 

... and then pretty much five seconds later I decided I wanted to do this one for Sephira.

Later, I decided I needed something more for Azy's dress since I didn't want to take away from the simplistic beauty of the pattern, I decided I would make a fun apron for the top from this pattern.

So are you ready for my versions??? I feel like there should be trumpets.  Can you all close your eyes and imagine trumpets blaring for me?!

BAM!


Sephira



Azriella


Now where oh where to start?!

Gosh I am having such a hard time right now deciding which one I want to talk about first!  Hahahahah!

(mental "rock paper scissors" game... ....the results... Azriella!)

Okay!  Azriella's look is up first!

I think I always sorta knew what I would do for her dress. color blocking.  It's just such a sweet shabby cute dress!  I went with a pastel pallet and decided to do either gray chevrons or just gray for the collar.  In then in, just gray won.  It's funny, Max, and I were having one of our bajillion conversations and when I showed her the fabrics she asked me how I come up with my color combos and I was startled because I had never had that question posed to me before.  I think I responded "an internal process of elimination!"  HA!  Really, that's all it is usually... Every now and then I'll get an idea that is outside my stash realm but most of the time I try my hardest stash bust.  With that being said, I didn't do that at all this time!

The pattern is meant to be flow-y; not fitted.  It was really easy to follow too!  I didn't have any problems with it at all!  I got to do something special, button-wise, that I had never done before:  blending colors.

I blended a couple of colors for the back pink buttons.

I also decided that if Azy was gonna wear this after Easter, it had better have pockets!  So that was all that I altered to add to the dress.  I am so proud of the outcome!!!  It couldn't have been better, to me.

As for the apron, that was the last of all the items that I did.  I specially ordered a fat quarter combo from Thailand on Etsy from this shop.  I knew it was going to be a headache, and it was about what I expected, considering my modifications.  I had one goal for her apron.  It must have cut-outs!!!  After seeing them in this book, Sewing with Whimsy and the the incredible Cath Grace in some of her PR&P creations, I just knew this was the time.  So of course, Easter egg cut-outs were the obvious choice!  I decided to fuse them to some pink felt for stability and so they didn't look weird from the back.  I did a panel near the hem and a panel on the bodice, with with binding to add stability there as well.  I also felt that the top needed a ruffle, I mean, come on, it's Easter for crying out loud!  It's her only ruffle, can you believe it?! Thank goodness the pattern called for super deep pockets for her to shove her little Easter findings in them!!!

And gold buttons for the front. 

Of course, I wasn't done there.  The girl needs accessories!  It's no secret that I am in love with the mini top hat look for little girls.  It's very a Lolita style and I'm just a sucker for it!  But how to reinvent yourself...bunny ears! 

How fun is that!  She came home from school and was all giggly over her hat!  She went hopping all over the house in it! Sigh, I just love that girl.

On to Sephria's look.

Oh geez you guys, I have been sitting on a bombshell ever since the ever amazing Rae revealed her Washi Dress.  Not the pattern per sa (although I do think it is pretty darn cute and have contemplated getting it a million times) but that washi print!!!

True love guys.  True.  Love.  From that day I got the itch to make something that would simulate the look of real washi tape.  I have waited and waited for the right application. And for the super fun part? I mean, it wouldn't be a sew chibi Easter without some kind of pocket reinvention!  

I call them Plinko Pockets...  (like the Price is Right Plinko game) because the idea of scattered set in pockets made me think of that game I guess!

Those two ideas made me feel like Smeagol a little bit... They were "my precious" and I held those ideas like jewels in my mind. Does anyone else ever feel like that about a new idea?  

So where are the six pockets?

Hidden amongst the "washi" strips of course!  

The pattern for this tunic is so cute but Sephy is in the "almost" sizing for the smallest sizing and I just decided to go for it.  She's growing like a sprout, that one!

The stripey tee underneath features half length sleeves and a polkadot woven bias binding to match her tunic and subsequently Azriella as well.

And the bloomers.  Well, the book doesn't actually say how to make those particular bloomers so I had to alter one of the other patterns and measure around Sephira's legs and added up from there to make them pooftastic!!!  I totally have a crush on these little guys!

And for her little accessory, I found inspiration in this pin I found a while ago!  So I whipped up a little flexible bunny eared headband for her??? 

Want to make one for you little gal for Easter?  Come back tomorrow when I do a tutorial on my Behind the Seams on these outfits!!!

Oh!  I almost forgot the shoes!!!  After a losing battle with two pairs of Toms-making, I decided that shoes would not defeat me.  I whipped up two pairs of gray vinyl ballet flats for the girls right before the photo-shoot!

Check out the behind the seams on these outfits.

And just wait'll you hear about what else I've been cooking up!!!  It's a good'n!

Until then!

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Easy half cape tutorial!

Well, good evening my pretties.  Time for another late night tutorial. Mwahhahahahahahahha!  Today, we are going to draft and make a simple cape.  The measurements are for mid arm length cape for about a 4-5T. You could easily up size this to about a quarter 6" circle and make the length however long you like.  Just make a paper pattern first and check the fit. 

What you will need: 

  • 3/4 yard of main fabric (light-medium weight fabrics)
  • 3/4 yard of lining fabric (fleece, micro-fleece, flannel)
  •  bias tape, trims, lace, etc. (optional)
  • sewing stuff

*This amount will make a cape that has a 4"x 8" half circle and a hem of about 13", so if you need a larger cape, get a larger amount of fabric as needed.

So the cutting instructions are as the above instructs. 

Okie dokie now just follow the sewing instructions in the diagram!  You may need to increase stitch length to compensate for the thickness of the layers.  If you want embellishments not to show, stitch them down to the top layer before you join the two together (And remember to stitch the layers right sides together.)

Finished cape.  I choose to add a couple of inches to the straps so I could sew them to make points.

So there you have it! 

When cornering ribbon, it's best to flip it 90 degrees and ziz-zag along the top and bottom edges.

I extended the top layer to make my hem.  This is a little trickier and requires clipping and careful matching.  For an easy cape follow the above instructions.

 Tie it in a bow and be on your dashing way!  

Stay tuned for another Lolita tutorial tomorrow!  Good night!!

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Mini Witch hat freebie

The countdown for costume making in really on now!  Does anyone else feel the burn??  Here's my list as it stands to be finished:

  • top tier and waistband then pettiskirt to my skirt
  • blouse for me
  • corset for me
  • mini witch hat for me.
  • cape/towel looking cape for Sephira's Ponyo costume (you know, a towel, she has that one when they're eating soup...)
  • shoes for Sephira's Ponyo costume
  • Jon's Fujimoto coat and red tie
  • bowtie for my boss
  • skirt for my mother in law

Sllloooowy chipping away at it...:-)  

So today, I have a freebie for you all: a pattern to make your own mini witch hat headband

This paired up with my previous tutorial on how to make a mini top hat will help you create a super cute witch hat that you can gussy up as much or as little as you want! 

I made one a month ago for Azriella's Halloween Dress and just love it.  Mini hats are the best!  So just follow the mini top hat instructions, omitting the top circle and using the witch hat pattern, instead just over lap the cone piece to your fancy and attach the elastic and brim as the rest of the tutorial suggests :-)

Let me know if you have any questions!!  Happy Halloween!  Stop by tomorrow for a new tip or trick to creating the Gothic Lolita Look of yours or your little chibi's dream!

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Add a basic pettiskirt layer to a skirt pattern

Good, err, evening to you all!  Today I am going to share a tip on how to add a pettiskirt layer to that dress or skirt you are making or to one you may make in the future.  {*cough*cough* Holiday dress *cough*cough*} Oh!  And it is super easy to do!

Looking to see the whole outfit???  Click on the chibi witch in the picture!

I know there are tutorials about this stuff out in the interwebs already, but I just sort of did my own thing so I'm going to share what I did with you! 

You can make this in any size you need.  I am making a pettiskirt for my skirt using this same method I did for Azy's.

What you will need:

  • cotton broadcloth approximately 1 yard for little girls and 1.5< for adults
  • tulle (just the regular stuff) somewhere around 3 yards for girls and 5 yards for adults
  • sewing stuff 

To figure out how much yardage you will need to follow these steps: 

  1.  Use enough yardage of cotton broadcloth (or other quilting weight cotton fabric) to match the measurement of your skirt pattern's width and length, minus 2" from the length (bottom hem) so it doesn't show...unless you want that look.  For these dresses, I did not).
  2.  To figure out how much tulle you will need, you will want to take you skirt measurement and double or triple that number (depending on how poofy you want your skirt to look) and then figure this equation out and mark these numbers down:  2/3 of your cotton broadcloth length and 1/3 of your cotton broadcloth length.  Take these two numbers and double them.

To make the pettiskirt:

  • Match the short ends of the pettiskirt body with right sides together to form a tube and stitch them together, then press open the seam allowance.
  • Finish (zig-zag stitch or serge) the top of the pettiskirt body.
  • Hem the bottom of the pettiskirt body.
  • Gather the tulle tiers with two long basting stitches and pull to match the width of the pettiskirt body.  When you come to the end of a strip of tulle, just overlap the next tier by two inches and continue on.
  • Stitch tulle down to the pettiskirt body and remove basting stitches as you desire.
  • Gather the top of the pettiskirt (if necessary*) to match the main skirt.

*I say gather if necessary in the final step because it might not be necessary to gather to top if you are just making a skirt and are adding a waistband with elastic.  If you are doing that, cut a waistband that matches the width of the skirt(s) by however long you want your waistband to go down.  Usually, that means the width of your elastic plus 1/8" ease and add in seam allowances for top and bottom (for 1" wide elastic I use a 3" long waistband by whatever the top width of my skirt is.)

Otherwise, if you are adding a zipper, factor in that seam allowance (making sure it doesn't go down any further into the two skirts than where the pettiskirt's top tulle tier starts) and gather both skirts to match the waist of your bodice.

It's a little bunch under in this pic, yikes!  But if you do the pettiskirt right, the tulle should hang over the excess amount of the folded hem of the pettiskirt body.

Okay!  I am calling it an early night because we had another looong day!  I did manage to cut out the one million pieces for Jon's coat though! Hurray!  Stay tuned for another installment of Lolita tutorials tomorrow!

Hugs & Stitches,

Kat

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PR&P Signature Look: My Chibi Gothic Lolita Witch + bat bow pattern!

PR&P Signature Look:  My Chibi Gothic Lolita Witch + bat bow pattern!

My chibi gothic Lolita look!  The look consists of 8 pieces. Let's start at the top and work our way down, shall we? First let it be know that every bit of this ensemble was SELF DRAFTED.  And some were much trickier than others!

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