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!

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