Monday, October 18, 2010

Of monochrome flowers

A myriad of thanks and welcomings to my new followers! I do hope you enjoy your stay at the Ballroom.

Now, then. Recently I took a couple of excursions to one of the farther-away-but-massive Jo-Ann's Fabric stores, and you know what that means: picture time!

Browsing with the eye of a kuro gothic, I was unfortunately not able to find much useful fabric. It seems Jo-Ann's suppliers have not realized that subtly embroidered black-on-black wovens (or even just plain polished cotton or cotton sateen) are Absolutely Essiential. Next I will have to try looking online or dying fabric that's already close to black in color.

However, the visit proved useful in other ways.

Lately I've been craving more of a black-and-white aesthetic--not so much oldschool (though I like that too) as "delicate details in black white and grey scale, all mixed together." It's hard to explain, but perhaps you'll understand when I explain that part of my inspiration for this new greyscale craving is the Japanese artist Yoh, who creates beautiful and delicately morbid artwork without a hint of color in sight.

With that in mind, I decided to have a look at the quilting fabrics (which are generally stiffer than you'd want for regular clothes, but not bad for lolita skirts, or so I've heard). They actually have quite a few black and white prints, and in the end I purchased this one.

I love how bold yet ornate it is. It doesn't hurt that flowers and curlicues are some of my favorite motifs. I may try making just a simple rectangle skirt this time, both to show off the print and to hone my skills in skirt-making (drat that waistband).

On the next outing, I discovered some ribbon that almost matches the material. I'd like to figure out some sort of headpiece to make with this, to match with the skirt.

Speaking of the skirt, I found some buttons that will look lovely as fastenings for the skirt. They had several black and white button designs, but after deliberating I decided these pearl buttons would show up better than a button with such a similar design to the fabric.

I also bought a couple packages of these buttons, a while back. I don't know what I'll do with them, but I know it should be A Special Project. The blossoms are so pretty; they remind me of Japanese art.

And last but not least, I have now purchased ten yards of stiff tulle! It was only 2 dollars per yard, and with a 50 percent off coupon we were able to cut the price in half again. I must admit, so much tulle in one place is quite a formidable sight.

 I shall use it to make the petticoat from the tutorial posted here on EGL by LJ user adriannrod (based on the petticoat in this article about 50s singer Alice Lon), and maybe my heavy two layer skirt will finally poof to its full potential! The new tulle  feels quite stiff and scratchy, so I might use my current, relatively-un-poofy petticoat beneath it. But I am quite looking forward to moving closer to becoming a dark, frilly cupcake.


  1. I hear, if you want consistent poof that chiffon is the way to go concerning petticoats.

    I really adore that fabric you found though. I need to make a trip to the fabric store soon as well.

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  3. I heard about that a couple days ago, too. >< Ah well, I have the tulle so I'll see how it goes.
    Glad you liked it. I'll look forward to hearing what you find--if you make it into a post of course. lol

  4. That fabric is beautiful! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make out of it :D


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