Project Kickoff: Alice in Wonderland Book Print One Piece

jane marple british library alice inspired dress

Well it happened. I am coordinating my first Lolita meet. There is a production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ballet at Lincoln Center. And how could we just leave it at suggesting we all get tickets? Why not go for the whole shebang!? Dinner and tea after at Alice’s Tea Cup AND with an Alice inspired coordinate theme. Now your talking. Its a bit pricey for some of the community, as its 2 events in one, but we already managed to pull a good size group together.

I have seen the nightmares others have had coordinating meets so hope I can manage. Its really just making the reservation and colleting funds. Given my years of project management experience feel I am up to the challenge. Fingers crossed for me and counting on a little beginners luck.

But that brings us back to the Alice inspired look… and what the heck am I going to wear???

alice inspired code jane marple emily temple cute

There have been so many amazing Alice prints over the years but the only one I have is Alice’s Dollhouse from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. My favorite all time Alice print is by Jane Marple. And sadly, just like with Emily Temple cute, Milk, Katie… there is no way possible it would fit me. Ironically, I just purchase and received a book print fabric that includes many characters and references to Alice. So perhaps if I mix Jane Marple’s Alice print with their British Library print maybe I can make my own one piece?

I might be mad to think I can pull this off. Still need to finish honey-bunny’s look since this will be his first adventure into EGL and I don’t want this to be an Emperor’s New Clothes theme party for him. Counting on that long Labor Day weekend to work to my advantage.

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Sweetie’s Challenge: Handmade Ouji Vest Part 1

While waiting for parcels to finish my other blouse, this weekend I dove into the world of making menswear. And we have named this adventure, “Royal Order of the White Rabbit.” The concept is to have layers of cream but with very royal details such as the military braid and the lush raised velvet arabesque in the main fabric. OK Sheri so if it is about the “white” rabbit why is it cream? Well most white bunnies I have encountered aren’t exactly pure white so I am sticking with it.

Work in Progress

handmade kodona ouji velvet brocade vest tail coat

I made significant changes to this Butterick pattern. Always start with a muslin draft folks!!! The armholes on the pattern were just dreadful so trimmed them back and made modifications to the fit of the shoulder.  Then took it in a bit on the sides. Also removed a few inches from the front and drafted the inset vest panels. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to ensure a professional finish as the pattern was unlined. There are 3 seams inside that I didn’t properly think through in my mind first so can correct for that on the next vest by splitting the back lining at the waist. The tail flaps and the front seams all turned out crisp and nice which was the key objective.

belgian medal of civic service and french macaron fabric details of this kadona vest

Still a ways to go and finish up. Need to make the button holes, finish the arm holes, add the collar, and add pockets for some extra distinction. Then it will be onto making the ouji/kodona breeches. Not as worried about those as I have made shorts for the Boy in the past. But still, need to ensure all the details come out just right.

Oh and how can I forget, it took a few searches, but finally found a plain, cream, wool tricorn on eBay. Originally I assumed we would buy a brand hat for him, but since I’m at it might as well make a matching one to complete the look. Spent more than I would have liked, but it appears to be well made and is a blank slate so that I can decorate it to my liking.

no ouji look would be complete without a proper hat so a wool tricorn is added to the project list

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Handmade: London Travel Adventures Rosette Badge

ferris wheel rosette made to coordinate with magical etoile

All that travel in July must have made a mark on me. I was tidying up my studio the other night and bumped into this Cath Kidston patch I bought a couple years ago. The cute little illustration of the London Eye clicked inside my brain as being a good match for Angelic Pretty’s Magical Etoile which I just got from San Fran. And so I started scavenging thru all my trims, beads and buttons leading to this England travel themed rosette. Its a nice personal momento to remember the trips by.

cath kidston london eye ribbon rosette details

The best bit is that this was finished in just one night. It sorta all fell together nice and easy. On the back I added both an alligator clip and a pin back so that it can be work several different ways. There is a small strip of cream tassels also sewn to the back that peek out of the bottom but don’t distract from the main players – the patch, the England crown button, and the silver tea pot charm. A few clear seed beads give the patch some depth and act as the carriages on the ferris wheel.

angelic pretty magical etoile cath kidston london eye code

Since the dress has a Paris theme and the rosette a London theme I am tempted to make another rosette so that the coordinate can really take on a travel adventurer spirit. I have a Tokyo patch and a Hawaii patch but not sure yet if either has the right colors to work. We shale see. A small trunk style purse would be super cute too with stickers from around the world as a nice matching accessory. Will have to look into that…

I am waiting for some star buttons to arrive by mail and need to pick up a little more ribbon to finish my Twinkle Constellation blouse, so hopefully will get that all wrapped up here in due time as well. I still have a couple very ambitious projects on my plate that I want to dive into and finish up this summer.

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Handmade: Twinkle Constellation Star Hair Facinator

hand sewn star facinator using baby the stars shine bright twinkle constellation fabric

There was just, and I mean just, enough fabric left from the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright handkerchief where the neckline was cut out to make a small little matching accessory. Last year Baby sold out of the Halloween Kumya chan Trick or Treat star hairclips in practically a fraction of a second. Or so that is how it felt. And I have been dreaming of that little star ever since. Thus that became the jumping off point to inspire my Twinkle Constellation shooting star hair facinator.

I tried to make mine original, but still give a solid nod to its inspiration. Star clips, pockets and accessories are pretty standard fair but hopefully I managed to make this piece be unique but in keeping with its big Brand equivalents.

star clips and accessories by angelic pretty and baby the stars shine bright

Looking back at the Trick or Treat star there really isn’t much too it. Its one of those designs that its simplicity is brilliant and the materials all just come together with ease. That said, I do like a little more fantasy in my own accessories and had the idea to add a tulle train and make my version a shooting star. shooting star pixel gif

navy silk ribbon, silver star charm, detailed lace, and a tulle train make up the hair piece

It took a lot longer than I expected to complete this little guy. The entire piece is hand sewn. That was, in part, so that I could sit with my lovely by the TV and chat+sew and also because I didn’t think my machine could handle the delicate turns and twists that I was aiming for with the tulle and silk ribbon. There is a simple pin clip on the back. I might still add a hair comb but for now I ended up removing the hair bow from the Baby matching accessory in order to steal the headband. If that just gave you the shivers {eek she altered brand} wait till you see what I am going to do with the hair bow fabric!!

stars of confeito head bow made using baby the stars shine bright fabric

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Refashion: From Land’s End to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

Do you have that one item in your wardrobe that you love but just don’t know what to wear with it? Mine has been Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Twinkle Constellation and the Stars of Confeito Skirt in Dreaming Vega (fancy name for white.) Back in 2012 I wasn’t that excited about the print, but when I saw it in person in Tokyo, the contrast of the navy to purple to pink on the white background won me over. Two years later and sadly I’ve only worn it once. In order to remedy that I have been cooking up a cutsew remake to pair with it. If you’ve been following along on Instagram you’ve already had a sneak peek ヾ(^∇^)

refashioning a land's end polo using baby the stars shine bright fabric and a vintage peignoir

I was super fortunate to attend a Baby tea party at Anime Next where designers Masumi and Saki gave out print handkerchiefs as a small gift. Stephanie, who also attended, swapped me for a dark print I received in exchange for the Dreaming Vega!! I knew right then and there this was going to be jumping off point to build a new coordinate. My original idea was to make a kuma mimi out of it. I even sketched out a cute design. But that concept didn’t make the best use of this rare opportunity so I shelfed it.

Work In Progress

design the collar, crop the t-shirt, pin bib in place, trim with white lace

The bib on my recent Cherry One Piece project turned out well and re-inspired me to do something similar with the handkerchief. I dove right in and added just a couple of tucks, then traced around the Land’s End polo’s collar to figure out where to cut into the Baby fabric. Then went to task trimming the entire piece out with a very delicate little lace to finish the edges.

mixed in a vintage peignoir to add some sheer details to the tshirt kawaii upcycle

The thing with refashioning pieces is that you really have to go with the flow. Its not like working with a pattern and a pre-set direction. You have to be flexible and adapt to what the materials are telling you. And luckily, I stopped and stepped back before I went to far. My original idea was to mix in a lace knit fabric but it just wasn’t looking right. Wisely, I took a pause (watched Sailor Moon and painted my nails) and then came back to it.

A vintage peignoir that I picked up on Etsy just so happened to be the perfect matching shade of pink. Sheer has been so popular lately as well as styling with retro bed coats so figured I would throw it into the mix. This of course started me down a whole new path and hours and hours of hand stitching…

Next Time: Sheri gets totally distracted and makes a matching fascinator to go with the new blouse.

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Travel Log: San Fran Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers

July at last came to a close and so did the frenetic business travel itinerary that I’ve had. The last stop on my journey was San Francisco. After three previous short stays, this trip I feel was the first time I could really come to know the soul of the city and appreciate its many facets. My better half joined me and we made it a work-cation, meaning after all the meetings for work concluded we hit the town at night as well as squeezed in leisurely Saturday of fun. One of the absolute high points of our visit was the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

san francisco travel log 2014

tropical plants galore inside this victorian conservatory

Its simply incredible how many plants permeate the space. You walk into this explosion of green and it transports you to another time and place. I was blown away by how well maintained all the plants are. You can’t help but brush up against many of them, which made me nervous about causing them harm. Yet despite it being a tourist attraction and the human proximity the plants are robust, healthy and in harmony with their environment.

exotic orchids in san francisco golden gate park

If you get the chance to visit I highly recommend it. I also suggest you wear layers. The conservatory is located in the Golden Gate Park so while you pick up a crisp breeze outside, once inside it is a tropical paradise – a very moist, humid and hot paradise. So much for straightening my hair that morning.

tropical plants orchids turtles amazing conservatory

Even the exterior is incredible with beds of marigolds and other punchy flowers making bold statements on the front lawn. We learned it is an excellent place to lounge or picnic on a warm sunny day.

adi taking it all in outside on the beautiful lawn

The cherry one piece dress I made was perfect for the occasion. I was so comfy all day running around the city and even in the heat of the garden. For some reason this summer I am absolutely addicted to Grasshoper loafers which are beyond comfortable for walking around or being on your feet all day. Luckily found a pair in a bright cherry color to match my coordinate.

otome kei cherry cutsew one piece san fran

 

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Wizard’s Duel on Platform 9 3/4

My inner 12 year old kicked in on the last night of the London trip and lucky for me my colleague from St. Louis was a good sport and willing to queue to have a photo at Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station. We each had the obligatory pushing the trolly thru the wall shot but mixed it up in the end and starting goofing off and dueling. Perhaps I should have worn Slytherin colors – he he he.

my wizard duel on platform nine and three quarters

Also spent some time in the little shop. They did a great job with the decorations and made you feel like you have transported out of the Muggle world. Even if you don’t buy anything the displays and vignettes are really well done. They have something for all price ranges from just a simple paper tickets to Hogwarts, Gryffindor jumpers and scarfs, and on the higher end wands, time turners…

harry potter logo

harry potter platform 934 shop clothing wands

I had pretty much blown my budget for the month already so only picked up a couple of metal badges. Still had a great time browsing and snapping photos which the shop staff had no issues with.

hogwarts express trunk hedwig ticket

platform 9 3/4 ticket to hogwarts

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Remake: London Calling Phone Box Necklace

londons calling vintage cute coordinate

Picked up the most adorable skirt from Poppy England which features vintage storybook style illustrations of London’s main attractions. The drawings feature a little girl, Poppy, and her friends, such as Fred the dog. The history of the company is really charming – check it out here. While in Heathrow waiting for my flight back home I found a key chain of a classic British phone box in Harrods and was immediately inspired.

diy necklace remake banana republic harrods london keychain

I could barely wait to make this when I returned. Had a picture in my mind of something sweet but simple to match the skirt to pull a whole look together. By sheer dumb luck, left over fabric from curtains I just made for the house turned out to be an exact match for the turquoise color of the skirt. Then I remembered a necklace from Banana Republic that I never wear but haven’t been able to part with. It was covered in little crochet butterflies and flowers. The chain had patinaed so I stopped wearing it but the charms were still in good shape and also a good matching shade to compliment the curtain fabric bow. The skirt has red, white and yellow details so after some digging in my bead box decided on glass beads that are large enough to balance out the size of the key chain. Originally was going to use a linked pearl chain but opted for a double loop silver chain instead to support more weight. The key chain fob is a bit heavy.

anglic pretty socks and bodyline shoes

Since I have to start plotting my packing strategy for a visit to San Fran next week, just a wee bit excited, pulled out pieces to complete a coordinate. Red and white stripe socks from Angelic Pretty match the vintage children’s storybook vibe of the skirt design. White rocking horses might not make it into my suitcase (not practical for this trip) but would be a nice finishing touch. Also threw in a Scottie dog bracelet I picked up year’s ago in Germany – isn’t he adorable!!

 

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Travel Log: London Tower Bridge

london travel log 2014

There is never enough time to really take in the sights and sounds when traveling on business. That didn’t stop me this past week from making the most of meetings in London. Our hotel was tucked nicely between the Shard and Tower Bridge in Central London. Perfect for taking a stroll along the River Thames before and after work. As it turns out, Tower Bridge just celebrated its 120th birthday on 30 June. So to celebrate this Victorian gem’s special day hope you don’t mind my photo tribute from every angle I could manage.

london tower bridge 120th birthday

heraldry on tower bridge

london tower bridge selfie

tower bridge gothic gargoyle victorian design

london tower bridge at night

I’ve always had a thing for Gothic and Victorian Gothic architecture as it would seam did architect Horace Jonesand John Wolfe Barry back in 1884. Turrets, gargoyles, heraldry, lancet arches, uh, I seriously want my own castle!! But what is a princess these days to do. He he he.

 

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And the winner is…

Congratulations Yanise!!!

Yanise Cabrera and Andra Jayne will debut as models in the fashion show at Anime Expo.

Am tickled pink that one of our NYC lovelies won Kawaii.I’s latest contest. Yanise is going to be featured as a model at Anime Expo amongst other amazing opportunities that await her. Absolutely thrilled that she won. Very well deserved indeed. Fan her on Facebook now folks, we have a Kawaii superstar on the rise.

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