Monday, February 24, 2014

Sewing Project: an Embroidered Bustle Pad

   For one of my planned Lolita dresses I'll most likely need a bustle pad, so I found a tutorial on Youtube by the lovely Traybuff and tried my hand at it.

    What should have been a pretty quick and straightforward craft turned into a matter of 8 days, when I decided to embellish it with wheat embroidery and lace insertion.

   The embroidery pattern from La Belle Assemblée, 1815:

   My first ever attempt at circular lace insertion. Or any lace insertion, for that matter:-) Kind of feels like magic to make, even though I have not quite figured out yet how to force the lace to lie down perfectly smoothly.

   I didn't mark the edge of the smaller circle and as a result it is uneven, ah well. We learn from our mistakes.

   I had no wadding at hand, so I stuffed it with white old rags - they serve well, but I wonder if wadding would have produced a smoother result?

   But overall, I'm quite happy with it:-)))

Fabric and notions used:
A piece of old cotton sheeting
A vintage ribbon (I think it is a silk taffetta, but I'm not sure)
A vintage French insertion lace

It is entirely handsewn.

Project start date: 27. 10. 2013
Project end date: 4. 11. 2013

Friday, February 21, 2014

The ill/disabled Lolita: A guide to surviving Lolita withdrawal syndrome during illness

   Once upon a time, there was a discussion on the egl about wearing Lolita when you are sickly or/and disabled. I've lost the bookmark to that discussion since, but it got me thinking. How to salvage the feeling of beauty, elegance or cuteness, when your nose is running, eyes watering and your organs seem to be bent on murdering you?
   As any sickly Lolita knows, it's not an easy task, at all. During infirmity, comfort and practicality of stuff we put on or use are usually prioritized; much as a girl could want to, spending feverish days on sickbed in a 400 USD (or even 50 USD or 40 USD, depending on where you shop) dress is simply not good for either the girl or the dress. But, certain things can be done that can uplift your spirits and make you feel like a Lolita, despite you haven't left your bed for weeks or months.
   If you have got any tips on your own, please feel free to leave a comment - I will add them, with a credit to you.

1. Sew or buy a nice set of pyjamas, or a pretty nightgown - flannel one for example is great for the cold winter weather in the Northern Hemisphere, as it's warm, sturdy and the potential ruffles and pintucks on it would not only brighten your day and night, but would also withstand even rather violent bouts of sickness.A cute dressing gown is also a great idea!

2. Wear a headbow, cute barette clips, or stick a rose pin onto your nightgown when the worst stage is over; if you get cold feet, it's easy to find cheap and cute socks with frills, strawberries or butterflies (I've got quite a number of them to cheer me up). As Zipzip suggested, pearl necklaces are great to enliven a dull sick-wear too!

3. Get some flowers to put near your bed, if you can. Potted ones are the best in my experience, since they last the longest - a hyacinth bought not-yet-bloooming is an especial pleasure. It gives out a lovely scent and watching it slowly open its blooms day by day, when you need a bit of tranquility and hope that you, too, one day will bloom into health again, is rather... soothing and cathartic. Especially if you are ill through winter - a flower is a promise of spring, and spring is a promise of new strength.

4. Cutefy your medication holders and the cups from which you drink your herbal teas. Because the plain old medication bottles and plates can be rather depressing after a time, getting a nice little pillbox with a cute picture on it might add a splash of colour and style to eating your daily share of pills. I've got three so far:

5. If you use crutches, you can turn them into candy canes with coloured tapes, or deco them with a band of rhinestones and cold porcelain roses or plastic hearts - anything is possible! Let your imagination go wild!

6. Watch cute movies - Disney, Studio Ghibli movies, anime, anything sweet, nice and well-ending to keep your spirits high; Deka Wanko or Spirited Away anyone?

7. Cute bedding might make it better too:

   To every ill person out here, Lolita or not:


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