This is a question I’ve gotten a lot over the years since I started this blog. Originally, I started it to catalog my own collection of various official Lolita patterns in the Gothic and Lolita Bibles, Gosu Rori, and Otome no Sewing and it became a reference for others as well.
You need a particular pattern? Don’t know which of those books have it? I made a searchable database you could use before you went to buy the exact volume you needed. I realize that the database for the GLBs is incomplete (scanning takes a long time, guys).
No Patterns Though?
I started sharing select diagram pages from the Gosu Rori and Otome no Sewing books as well. Those are the patterns. I can’t very well scan the pattern sheets themselves, since they are too big and would need to be scaled correctly if they were to be printed.
Instead, I offered what the published books already have: the diagrams. I teach how to draft the patterns using the measurements (all those multitude of numbers!) in metric. I have videos on what tools you need, and the essentials on how to do it.
But Pattern Drafting is hard!
Pattern drafting isn’t as hard as you might think. Doing it from scratch might prove difficult, but the diagrams in all those pattern books are telling you exactly where and how long to measure lines. You can do this with one tool to start. It’s about $20 at Joann’s. You need wide format paper, found at Staples (banner paper 30″ wide, $7). You need pencils.
The moment you begin this process, you realize it becomes easier as you go. EGL patterns are hard to come by, and a lot of the first run of the Otome no Sewing books are no longer available. You could find them on ebay if drafting from the diagrams is not something your interested or comfortable in trying. Still, it’s what I offer on this site and hope that it’s useful for some.
I hope this answers some questions some of you may have had, and I’ll try to answer more as they come in.
Woot! This was a long time coming but I finally did it! The holidays happened, New Year’s, then my birthday, and it’s been crazy! After receiving some beautiful fabric from Modes4u, I was finally able to create a beautiful dress (and accessories!) and make them picture perfect.
I’ve known about this lovely kawaii shop for several years now, and have purchased fabric from them before. They always seem to have the cutest prints available from textile manufacturers that are otherwise not carried in the US. Especially from companies like Kokka and Lecien (I think they’re my favorites, ’cause I mention them a lot).
Fairy Tale Fabric, you guys! Prints with Alice in Wonderland, mermaids, dragons and unicorns . . . they even carry Cosmo Tex fabric, and that’s another Japanese textile company that has some of the best prints for cute Lolita fashion.
Not only do they carry cute prints, but the fabric quality is exceptional. I had never used oxford weave fabric before I got my hands on some Japanese fabric. They carry your standard even weave quilting cotton too, but the oxford gives dresses a durable texture without adding weight to the hand. So if you’re looking through their (thousands!) of fabric, don’t be deterred if you see that it’s an “oxford”. I made this dress, a head bow, and even a little matching bag out of it.
All of that out of JUST 2 meters of fabric!
Modes4u was actually kind enough to send me two different prints of fabric. The first one that’s pictured above is a Unicorn print that you can still find in a periwinkle colorway!
I also received this beautiful quilting cotton with dragons and castles on it, to make a second coordinate out of. This is your more standard quilting fabric, but it also has a slight stretch to it! I bet this one’s going to make a super comfy dress!
You can make all kinds of things with fabrics like these. I like to make dresses for a living, so that’s what I made. But the accessories to go with the dress were a breeze to make. For the bag, I used a free pattern from Blue Calla called The Clematis. You can make totes, aprons, head bows (obviously!), reusable shopping bags (a necessity these days, with plastic bag bans happening all over the US now), skirts, doll clothes, et al.
They literally have thousands of different prints of fabrics, but they also have a ton of other cute things too! I’m personally a fiend for stationery and have purchased several letter sets over the years.
So check them out and see how many cute things you find! There’s free international shipping for orders over $70 too!
Hello to everyone! I’ve been flooding all my social media with this announcement, hoping people see the important change about my username on Twitch.
It didn’t make sense anymore to use my silly configuration of my original handle (LunarCrystai) in which the last L there was supposed to be a clever way of taking back my name with an uppercase i. That’s been my handle since I was very young and was upset that I couldn’t use the actual spelling anymore on Twitch because someone else was using it.
In any case, I have a name that most people know me as these days, so my Twitch channel is now under MissCarolBelle. I read or heard somewhere, sometime, that consistency is important or some such thing. heh.
Well, my friends . . . I did it. I finally did it. I was originally commissioned this piece a long time ago by another client, and unfortunately that project ended up falling through due to circumstances in my own life at the time. But I had initially designed an entire outfit based on a client’s request of “Can you make a Catbug cosplay in Lolita for me?”
So I had no idea, in the beginning, who or what catbug was until my partner at the time said something to the effect of, “Oh! From Bravest Warriors!” I think I was told that the character is voiced by the producer’s son, so when I watched it, I could see the instant appeal of this adorable character.
Needless to say, looking at the color scheme was my first job. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Lolita style with those exact colors, so I felt it would be pretty unique and (possibly) recognizable to anyone familiar with Bravest Warriors and Catbug in the first place. So I designed a thing. Looked something like this.
I figured the star of the show would be the skirt, which I intentionally layered with a crystal organza “as the wings” idea. Lots of ruffles, minimal lace, and bows (of course). The top was to be a simple cutsew, so I got stretch knit fabric and thought about following one of the cutsew patterns in Otome no Sewing (I forget, now, which volume). The hardest thing to find was an appropriate “ladybug” type printed fabric. Like, really, it’s super hard to find exactly a red fabric with black polka dots!
But anyway, the first client I had to refund, get my life in order and all that stuff. I had posted that sketch on my blog at that time with the intention of following my progress here on the blog. Time goes by, a couple years, in fact, and a second client approaches me on Etsy. They found the design illustration I’d posted on the blog and asked if I could make that for them. This time, I was in a more stable place in life, and accepted the challenge.
I had no idea how I was going to put everything together, since the design was original. There were the basic building blocks and patterns, sure, but this thing was layered to heck.
The skirt has two different types of fabric; a very fraying cotton sateen (that’s “sateen” as in a satin weave but not made with silk), and an all-over eyelet lace . . . in exactly the right sky blue catbug colors. There’s half elastic in the back of the waistband (full elastic waistbands make skirts WAY too bulky, in my opinion, so I try to avoid that when I can).
The overskirt with the ladybug print is a separate pieces (also, again very bulky) and ties in the center back. The crystal organza is cut into four “leaf” shapes to emulate the wings under the dotted “shell” of the overskirt. The top is a simple cutsew out of sweater knit fabric. And then there’s the detachable collar (which I’ve never made before). I’m glad I had the right venice and embroidered lace lying around for that, because those details are delectable (IMHO).
I think it came out pretty okay. ^^
Yay! A new Otome no Sewing book for us to enjoy . . . until next year, anyway (hopefully). I may have mentioned before that these books used to be semi-annual releases, and have now become only annual releases.
While many of us who received the book when it came out feel that it seemed lacking, there are some choice gems in here – like all the rest. Some are hit or miss patterns and coords, but all of them are adaptable in their own way to make something truly unique. As I say many times, all it takes is a little skill and some vision to make the basic building blocks you get in these books work for you. Modify a little here and there, add some embellishments, and you’ve got yourself something of brand quality.
Anyway, without further ado, here are the pieces included in Book 14.
Otome Kei and Themed Coords
Akio Namiki Collaboration
Featured Accessory Tutorial
Dressmaker Academy + Otome no Sewing Book Collaboration
These are the designs that have received the most criticism from new owners of Book 14. But I feel some explanation might shed light on why these were included. It may not be obvious to some that, with the subsequent pages of an article detailing the design and making of these outfits, these are student projects.
Both these outfits were designed by students, 2 were chosen as the “best” within their class, and with some guidance from the instructor, patterning was done, toiles (mock-ups or muslins) were made, and the outfit finalized with the fabric choices and constructed. The designs were featured in the Otome magazine to partly advertise the fashion academy that hosts a class in Otome or Lolita fashion sewing.
The themes of the outfits are Rococo x Retro Pop (the brightly colored patchwork outfit), and Rococo x Lingerie. I find the corset/waist cincher thing of the second outfit to be ill-fitted, but I really can’t hark on either of these too much. They were bold and creative efforts from students who are trying to push their limits and are still learning.
I won’t even go into the atrocities I pulled off when I was in school and first starting to learn. These are lightyears beyond those early attempts of mine.
If you like them, or if you don’t, they are both available within this issue as draftable patterns. I’m sure many elements can be changed. I like the puffy blouse of the “Lingerie” version, but might choose a finer fabric than whatever stiff material they decided to go for in their sample. All the coords in the book should be taken with a grain of salt and a dash of creativity.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions! See you in Discord and on Twitch! ❤
Live stream class on making the Blouse from Otome no Sewing book 8 (8-68) will be held today from 12:30pm – 4pm MST.
The stream is being recorded for editing into a more concise presentation of this class, which will be added to YouTube when the live stream is concluded. But if you want to catch all the bloopers and funny stuff live, check out my channel on Twitch! 😛
Hey friends! Just a reminder about my Twitch streaming and a schedule I finally came up with!
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 12:30pm – 4(ish)pm MST!
First class will be held next week. We’re making the blouse pattern from Otome no Sewing Book 8. Class Materials can be found on the discord server. If you missed it, here’s the invite link:
The quality of the scans isn’t great, but I improvised by using an app on my phone called Scanner Pro. It does a decent enough job, and high enough quality to see the numbers on the instruction pages.
Special Coords (cover)
More Coords and Mother/Child Coords
Ads (BTSSB, Alice and the Pirates, Angelic Pretty, Sugar Cross)
Hey guys! I mentioned before that I’ve been live streaming my studio work on Twitch, and I’ll be doing so again today at 4pm MST.
I wanted to invite all of you to join me in Discord, too! We have an active chat discussion about sewing and design in Lolita Fashion, and would love for you to get involved in conversation! WIPs and questions always welcome!
Come join us!
Check out the live stream on Twitch too! Be sure to follow my channel if you want to get updates on when I’m live.