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. ^^