Thursday, 26 June 2014

♥ Handmade Lolita: A lost gift? ♥

When I started wearing lolita, however many years ago that was, making your own lolita fashion items was the "in" thing. It wasn't as difficult to find lolita pieces as it was the years prior, but it seemed like handmade items still had its hooks in the community! Lately I've been noticing that the trend seems to have completely dissipated: Is handmade lolita really no longer an aspect of the fashion?


When I had originally joined EGL, back in 2007, the community and its other sister LJ comms were, as far as I know, the only large-scale lolita communities back then. It was actively used with many posts being shared in a day. In the days of old, people had often shared their photoshoots with posts on EGL. After seeing some beautiful handmade items being showcased in one of those many photoshoots, I did some searching and found the Sew_Loli community.

Amethystcitrine made this beautiful JSK with some help from Miscy!

Though I never got my nerves to calm down enough to actually post to Sew_Loli, it inspired me very to work towards making my own handmade pieces. Back then it seemed like everyone else posting were experts at their craft and my pieces weren't exactly desirable, haha. I was inexperienced in sewing but I had definitely learned from the community. It's surprising to see the community is still going strong!

Looking at the archives for Sew-Loli in May 2008, at the same time as the photoshoot above, there were eighty single posts in that month alone! In the May of this year there was only six posts made. Is it true that handmade lolita is a thing of the past? Is it simply the case of Livejournal communities becoming less popular over time?


I decided that I would hunt for the 'modern' handmade lolita! I had managed to find a few tumblr blogs, but they both have seem on permanent hiatus since a few months back. I can find two lolitas well known for their handmade items, but it seems that I can't find much beyond that.

So what happened to handmade lolita? What happened to sewing your own pieces? I think I have a good idea.

Cute dessert themed accessories made by Sweet&Spicy.

It seems like there has been an explosion of indie brands over the past few years. More and more are coming out of the woodwork, either by selling dresses, accessories, and other pieces suited to lolita fashion. Listing them all would be nearly impossible! This list created last year features indie brands, both large and small, compiled together! While it only lists indie brands that make clothing, it still is amazing how many different small indie brands there are listed there. Imagine if it featured every single Etsy and Storenvy shop that make lolita accessories!

From what I can see, it seems like lolitas haven't given up making their own handmade items, they've just decided to share their talents with the world!


In my opinion, making your own pieces and accessories is one of the most fun and enjoyable aspects of the fashion. Even if you don't have any experience in sewing or crafting, it's a fun and worthwhile reason to learn. While crafting can be both inexpensive and very pricey, depending on the materials, making something one of a kind for yourself or others is definitely worth the time and effort.

How do you make your own lolita items? It's simpler than you'd think.

  • There are many lolita sewing and crafting tutorials online. You can find a few common, but useful, tutorials listed here. The post is a little old, but still useful! You can find more tutorials here, at FYeahLolita, as well.
  • Gothic Lolita Bible magazines include patterns and instructions every issue! While all the instructions and patterns are in Japanese, they are still easy to follow. There was a few English GLBs released, but they're no longer in production. However, it is fairly easy to find them secondhand.
  • There are also Japanese books dedicated only to handmade lolita patterns and sewing. These books, Otome no Sewing, are fairly easy to find online. They are only in Japanese.
  • Have you never sewn before? There are many easy to learn tutorials and projects online! My favourite website for beginners is HowToSew.
  • In order to sew, you don't need a sewing machine. You can handsew all your pieces, but it will take much more time and effort.
  • There are many places you can find supplies to help you in your handmade lolita adventures. For fabric, my favourite place to go is Another favourite of mine is Etsy. It's easy to find fake flowers, lace, cabochons, Japanese fabrics and other handy materials. Many people use Taobao for their crafty supplies, but unfortunately I don't know much about that or where to look.

I hope I was able to help you all today! If you have any questions or would like help with your handmade lolita projects, please let me know and I'll help you as well as I'm able!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

♥ Must Have Items for Your Summer Lolita Wardrobe ♥

Lolita fashion can be quite difficult to wear in the summer. The fashion is perfect for fall and winter with it's many layers and typically thick dresses, but can be difficult to wear in the summer. Many lolitas I know simply don't know how to work their wardrobe for the change in the weather and often take breaks from wearing it over the summer or simply wear the same outfits in the summer and struggle with the heat.

Being a daily/lifestyle lolita, I have wore lolita fashion in all kinds of weather. Though Canada may not have the same sort of summers as typical summer hotspots, I've still had my fair shares of hot and dry summers. Even in these hot summers, I've worn lolita fashion. I've definitely learned from my experiences and today I'd like to share some items I believe are the most useful for summer weather!


Cutsews, Tees & Camisoles
 My favourite summer lolita pieces are cutsews and camisoles. They are a great alternative to blouses as they're light and incredibly comfortable. Cutsews and camisoles are nice because they're usually cheaper to buy than normal blouses and come in a wide variety of colours.

Cutsews, like blouses, can be worn on their own with a skirt or under jumperskirts. Their designs can very from the most basic puff sleeves and a printed picture to having sleeves of lace, tiny bows and heavily detailed sleeves and ruffles.

Camisoles are mostly worn over skirts, but are not normally worn under JSKs like cutsews. Camisoles are not very common to see being put out by brands nowadays, but they were a summer staple in old school lolita. Finding them secondhand is fairly easy and they are often very affordable.


Ankle socks, Sheer Socks, & Sandals
A very popular summer trend in lolita fashion is ankle socks, for good reason. Ankle socks are much more comfortable in the summer and much less hot than wearing the ever so popular OTKs. Sheer socks are also a nice alternative, as they're very light and comfortable. Sheer socks also come in a variety of lengths, so if you're uncomfortable with the shortness of ankle socks it is a good summer alternative.

A good alternative for regular lolita shoes are sandals. Some might argue that the open-toed look doesn't fit the lolita aesthetic but multiple lolita brands have released open-toed shoes for the summer and have shown no sign of stopping. When using sandals in a coord, just make sure that the materials and general look of the shoes match your coordinate and it will turn out fine.

If open-toed shoes aren't your cup of tea, another option are the popular 'jelly shoes'. These sandals have open sides, rather than open-toes, and are made of a very soft 'jelly' PVC plastic. These shoes also come in various colours and styles, including some with glitter, so they can work with almost any lolita substyle.


One Pieces (Without Blouses Underneath)

This is easily the most popular advice given in the summer, and for good reason. Wearing an OP without a blouse is the easiest way to beat the heat in the summer! Losing one layer doesn't seem like much, but your core is easily the warmest part of your body and cotton likes to keep heat trapped underneath it. By ditching the blouse, you lose that hot cotton layer and let your skin breath a little bit better. If you are nervous about staining your OP with your deodorant or sweat, underarm guards are an inexpensive pad for extra protection to keep your clothes safe.

In my opinion, wearing a jumperskirt without a blouse in the summer is okay as well. I know it's a bit of a controversial topic, but I think if done well it can look very nice. If you do choose to wear a JSK without a blouse, I recommend to try it only with a JSK that has detailing or lace on the shoulder straps or to wear your JSK with a lightweight bolero over-top, to hide the lack of blouse.


Chiffon & Other Lightweight Fabrics

The best way to keep yourself cool is by wearing lightweight and breathy fabrics.

Chiffon is easily the most common lightweight material used in lolita fashion. It's comfortable, lightweight and, in most cases, a very breathable material. Chiffon is an incredibly popular material in lolita fashion, with many brands releasing main pieces, accessories, and other items that utilize the fabric. Most of the time it is used as an accent or in blouses, but dresses and skirts made of chiffon often are released in the spring and summer.

Organza is another lightweight material, but it's more stiff than chiffon. It is often used in petticoats and 'support layers' in clothing. Having an organza petticoat for the summer, rather than a tulle petticoat, is great as it's very soft, comfortable and breathable.. Organza is much less itchy than tulle, and it doesn't stick to your skin,  so bloomers aren't as necessary. Although bloomers are often not very heavy, losing one less layer can help a little bit on a hot day.


Sun Protection
Lastly, the most important thing in preparing yourself for warm weather is keeping your skin protected from the sun. A high SPF sunblock is incredibly important in keeping you free from sunburns, or tanning if you're not a fan of that. It is also good to have a sun parasol as well. It won't block out the sun completely, but it will lessen your exposure to the sun.

Sunhats are also a good alternative to headbows and other popular hair pieces as it will help block out the sun and lessen chances of heat exhaustion. Keeping yourself in the shade and staying hydrated by drinking water are also good rules to stand by in the summer, wearing lolita or otherwise.


I hope I've been able to educate and help you in what you can do to improve your summer lolita fashion experience! Hopefully these tips can help and make wearing lolita fashion in the summer easier, and much cooler, haha.

Are these any items or tips I have missed? Please leave the in the comments below if you'd like!