Sunday, January 30, 2011

Of other chroniclers...

Not to spam you, but I wanted to note that I have added a new section, "Other chroniclers from the darker side," to the side bar over to your right there. This section will consist mainly of blogs written by (and in many cases for) goths and/or gothic lolitas. Not all of them will be specifically goth or gothic lolita; some of these are simply blogs that I thought my fellow goths and goth lolis might enjoy reading. I know that it's hard sometimes to find blogs that cater to one's own substyle (or subculture), so I hope this will help sort out the wonderful mad mass of my "lolita blogs" section.

If any of you have a blog that you would like added to (or removed from) this new section, please let me know! Also, note that any of the lolita blogs listed under "Other chroniclers" will remain in the lolita section as well. Lucky you, getting listed twice!

For that matter, if you have any sort of lolita blog, let me know and I'll be happy to add it to the lolita blogs section!

Of outfit photos from Meetup the Second

(Picture heavy!) Thanks to all the lolitas who allowed me (and my sister) to take pictures of them! As always, if you see yourself in a photo and would like your name/ljname added, or the photo taken down, just let me know. (Sadly I can't remember most of your names or lj names. I'm terrible with that.)

I love her tights and shoes, and the bat necklace!

That corset is absolutely beautiful, and I love the violin purse too.
I met these two at the last meetup. Hurray for gothic!

On that note, we have a couple more fabulous gothics here, along with another lovely lolita.

The lolita on the right remembered me from last time! At both meetups she had a darling coordinate, and I love her friend's kodona outfit.

I had a delightful time chatting with this fabulous lolita. (And even here, I cannot remember her name. Cue the facepalm of shame.) She said she had DIY'ed her blouse, and so I was happy to find a kindred spirit in that regard.

I love how fairy kei the middle coordinate looks (and its wearer is adorable!) and I applaud these two gentlemen for donning the frills of prince style.
My sister had brought along several of her handmade dolls, and she asked a lolita "lookalike" to take a picture with each one.

This doll has batwings and an all black ensemble. Incidentally, this lolita's coordinate was my favorite of the meetup! I loved seeing all of the gothics that attended, as there were quite a few.

This doll has a rather punkish outfit, so my sister was happy to find such a lovely punk lolita. Click on the picture and you'll see (I hope) the skulls on the doll's red overskirt.
And last but not least, the pink-clad doll had a photo taken with Oli (of Lemon Tree), our amazing host. Thanks again to Oli for hosting the meetup!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Of Meetup the Second

(Warning--picture heavy!) I know I start every post with by exclaiming over my growing number of followers, but...forty?!? Wow! I'm so honored that all of you want to visit me here at the Ballroom!

Also, I want to thank everyone who commented on my last post, regarding the family situation I had received news of. Things seem to be going pretty well, but in any case it was very encouraging to read your comments.

Now, on to the meetup report!

This past Saturday, we had a meetup of truly epic proportions, hosted by Oli of Lemontree. I've heard various estimates as to the number of lolitas who attended: anything from 50 to 100. There were quite a few boyfriends and husbands in attendance as well.

Anyway, I arrived at the meetup with my sister, who was wearing fairy kei. We're both shy, but we did manage to talk to a few people even before things really got going. I saw a few familiar faces, but started getting to know quite a few new lolitas as well. I was surprised by how many said this was their first meetup! (Yay, I'm not the only newbie!)

Picture time! In between chatting, eating, and buying/selling at the swapmeet tables, we played a few games. I missed the first game, but next we played Stop and Go (or Red Light, Green Light). Look at all the lolis racing down that hill--or rather, doing their best to stand frozen. I think I caught them at a "red light" moment.
My sister is the girl in the pink skirt and striped tights, by the way.

Soon after, we played a game where everyone had to stand in a circle and pass around a couple of prizes. Whenever the meetup host said "Stop!" the people caught holding a prize would have to drop out, and the last ones standing got the prizes. People got pretty enthusiastic in the course of this game!

Toward the end, a pinata was hung--which took a bit of hassle since the rope they had at first kept breaking. I didn't swing at the pinata myself (I admit I was too busy taking pictures for my readers), but it was fun watching.

Despite my determination to go the offbrand/sewing route, it was fun to see brand dresses up close at the swapmeet. There were several tables full of stuff! Here's one of them~

I didn't expect to purchase anything, but my sister fell in love with a mini top hat that had been handmade by (lj name) chiiyo_rin, I believe. So I bought it from her.

This post has gotten long, but in the next post it might be fun show you a few of my snapshots of the various lovely attendees. My sister brought along three of her handmade softdolls, and for each of them she asked a lolita "lookalike" to take a picture with the doll in question, so if she doesn't mind I might post those as well.

But first, I'll leave you with a picture or two of my coordinate. It was a little experimental for me, but I'm proud of how it turned out, especially the hat. I received several compliments on various parts of my outfit, which does make a new loli feel rather special.
Oops--please excuse the slipping bloomers. As I've said before, it can be hard getting these to stay up.

I didn't realize I hadn't gotten all of my hair, so you can only see part of the lacing on the back of the blouse. But I wanted to show you the layered bows, which you can't really see from the front. The bow does not look that orange in real life! At least, I don't think so...

Everything is handmade, except my shoes and most of the accessories on my hat. I bought the red bow from The Funeral Parlor, Etsy shop of akumaxkami of Les Fleurs Noires.

...And we'll end with a shot of my sister, just because.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Of brand inspiration for a dark faerie princess

39 followers? Wow, thank you all so much!

Now, as to this post~

I'm sure that many of my readers have a favorite brand, possibly even those readers who (like me) prefer to be sewing and offbrand lolitas. It never hurts to get style inspiration, right?

Up until recently, I had thought of Alice and the Pirates as my favorite brand. I like their nonprinted items fairly well, but it was really their gorgeous prints that caught my eye. Over all I prefer elaborately detailed, nonprinted designs, but aside from that I would fill my closet with pieces like Vampire Requiem, and the Sleeping Beauty and Midsummer Night's Dream inspired prints.

Still, the fact remains that the "look" I really truly love the best is that of an all black ensemble with as many ornate details and light-catching textures as one can fit in, without looking too busy. I mean the types of pieces that give a delicate, ethereal shimmer to a kuro gothic outfit.

So lately, I've realized that I would probably feel much more satisfied with my small wardrobe if I turned my attention to making pieces that fit what I think of as my primary style. I've had fun working with fabric and patterns that are a little odd for me, stylewise (for one thing it's hard to find solid black fabric at JoAnn's), and I would certainly like to branch out and try different looks as they catch my eye.

But oh, to look like a dark princess of Faerie...

That being my goal (as it has been all along), I've decided to make my next big project an elaborate kuro gothic JSK or OP. Yesterday I was able to purchase a pattern (Simplicity 4015--a costume pattern, or that's what they think) with the type of bodice I'll need: one with princess seams, so that decorations such as my beloved corset lacing can be added across the center panel. Handily, it also comes with pattern pieces I can make (or alter) into a capelet and/or cape, pieces which I've been eagerly waiting to bring into my wardrobe.

As to brand inspiration, however, I've finally discovered a brand that seems to capture pretty well the look I'm after. That brand is Atelier Pierrot, which I had heard of before, but I really discovered them through the Tokyo Rebel blog. To give a visual example of what "dark faerie princess" means to me, let me link you to a couple of posts on said blog.

~The Bustle Corset One-piece in black (scroll down a bit) could easily be one of my dream dresses. You may remember the first skirt I made, which had a similar bustle effect to this one. This onepiece (or is that jumperskirt?) inspired the design of my next project. It was already going to have corset lacing (that's my default in blouses or bodices!), and I've made a skirt like this once already, so there you go. I may add poofy sleeves--can't get enough of them, either.

~The Cup Bustle One-piece (the second and third pictures down) is a bit more unusual, but I like the girly look of the neckline ruffles, and it's neat to see other ways that a bodice with corset lacing can be designed. The skirt is pretty cool too, I have to say.

Well. Somehow I feel better just by having resolved to pursue the lolita style that's most "me," even if it takes a little while getting there. (Fabric-acquiring is in the works, though. Yes. Hopefully.)

On a side note, please do wish my family good luck. I found out this morning that my grandmother probably has cancer. However, as Jillian Venters (of Gothic Charm School) has said, distraction is very good at times like these, and I'll look forward to telling my lovely ballroom guests all about my second ever meetup that happens in three days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Of a beret, socks, and a skirt

Well, I've just about finished my coordinate for the meetup, and I still have a week to wait. Maybe I can do some more crafting and sewing (or house cleaning and reorganizing) in the mean time.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you a few of the pieces I've finished this week. I was able to knit up the beret in a surprisingly short two days, using the "Beret Tam" pattern (the English version) by Tricofolk. This pattern can be found on, but you have to log in (accounts are free).

The finished beret~

Next time I'd make the portion before the decreases (just after the ribbing on the edge)  a bit longer; I think the beret needs to be a bit deeper to keep its "beret shape" on my head. Anyway, I'm pleased with the result over all.

At long last I finished those laceup knee socks I've been knitting. I borrowed the mini-melon lace pattern from the "Victorian Lace Socks" pattern by Lorri Ann Romesberg, also on Ravelry.
(Ugh, please excuse the floor--the lighting was best in here. And excuse the flash. Which we had to use anyway.)

I like the result, but they're a trifle on the loose side--something to watch out for next time, I suppose. The socks, I think, fit especially well with the theme I've decided on for my black white and red coordinate. I'd like to go with a "mad circus" theme, since it seems like a fun theme and one that would lend itself fairly easily to looking gothic.

Anyway, to conclude, I have at long last sewn that black and white fabric into a skirt! Worn, without a petti:
(Please excuse the background! Also, I might ought to say that's a Tshirt, not an actual vest ensemble. I wish it was!)
It looks long, but next time I will add four extra inches at least to allow for petticoat poofage. Oh well, if my bloomers show despite all efforts, we can call it ero? It might fit with the mad circus look, anyway. I need to make some bloomers that have elastic in the legs; my only pair so far does not (they have drawstrings instead) and it's hard to make them stay up where they won't be seen.

Problems aside, I'm proud of this skirt in part because it's the first piece I have been able to completely finish on the inside (yay for French seams!). And the fabric is just really beautiful. I'll leave you with a button detail shot.(The metal is more silver in real life.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Of goodies, plans, and a Special Anniversary

Hello, my dear Ballroom guests, and welcome to the first post of the year! I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday. Mine had its ups and downs, but in any case I'm very happy to be back in the blogging and sew-loli-ing swing of things.

Speaking of the new year, I'd like to mention that these first couple weeks in January are a rather special time for me as a lolita. I don't remember the exact date, but around this time one year ago, I realized that I belonged with the frilly beruffled masses. At that time I didn't foresee starting a blog, much less having 35 followers! Thank you all so much! Thank you also to all the wonderful blogs I follow, which have inspired me so much along the way.

To start with, I suppose I should share pictures of a few goodies I've acquired since last time. One of my favorite gifts was a Harajuku Lovers bag from my cousin, which works perfectly for a knitting bag.

My sisters and mom all love to craft and sew, so we took a trip to A. C. Moore, a craft store which we unfortunately do not have here in California (in my corner of it, anyway). I picked up a couple of charms--a rose cameo by Blue Moon Beads, and a rather awesome angel wing + dangling chain charm from Rebel Shine.

I'd like to put them on necklaces or chokers (I need more chokers!) but I'm not quite sure yet. When I acquire something this fabulous, I have to ponder awhile just what to do with it.

Last month, I had talked a little about my resolutions, which include a whole bunch of sewing type projects. Somewhere recently I read about the idea of setting monthly goals for yourself, so as to not become overwhelmed. So by the end of January, I would like to:
~Finish knitting my red lace-up kneesocks
~Finish a black lace pair that I'm also working on (pictures to come!)
~Add a ruffle to the skirt I made for a loli Halloween costume (it's a bit too short)
~Finally make a skirt out of that black and white printed fabric I have (which reminds me a bit of an ornately decorated garden--I can't wait to wear it!)

I'd also like to send off for samples to a fabric website I discovered, Dharma Trading Co. It seems to have good reviews, and I'm quite excited because they have plain black (and plain white) fabric, which is very hard to find at JoAnn's. I figure if I want embroidered fabric (which I do!), for me the best way would be to just embroider it myself. I've been itching to learn how, anyway. That, and crochet. Mark my words, I'm going to have rose lace and beaded lace somehow, and I've seen some really pretty examples of crocheted lace. <3

Some of those goals have a slightly sooner deadline than the end of the month, as it happens. Right now I'm ecstatic, as I'm finally going to a second meetup! This one is a picnic potluck, as before, and once again coordinated by Oli of Lemon Tree.

The meetup doesn't happen till the 22nd, so by that time I hope to finish my red socks and the black and white skirt. You know, I was wondering how in the world I would build a coordinate around blood-red socks when most of my small wardrobe is black and/or white. However, I have a few red accessory pieces, such as that red and white bow I purchased from akumaxkami of Les Fleurs Noires.  So a red, black and white coordinate could be very interesting to put together, I think. It'll probably be chilly, so I'd like to knit a beret or some other hat on which to pin my bow. (I just realized I'll be channeling Misako Aoki and her fabulous berets.)

I'll keep you posted as I complete projects, so look out for completion pics and worn pics! Also, I've learned that the theme this month for EGL is "showing your wardrobe," so I may do that here. I have very few lolita pieces, but it would be fun to lay out and photograph what pieces I do have.

I hope you're having a darkly frilly January so far. <3
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