Friday, April 29, 2011

Shop Update!

I have just reduced the prices on several items in my shop! The link to my shop is on the sidebar. I haven't made a sales post to egl_comm_sales yet because I want to give my readers first pick :3

The designs are customizable (different fabrics, details, adding bows and ruffles and lace, etc.) Want to see what is available?

Mother Goose Skirt
WAS $85
NOW $70
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Mermaid Tales JSK
WAS $180
NOW $160


Jewelry Butterfly Bustle Skirt
WAS $60
NOW $50


And all bloomers have been reduced from $15 to $12!
If you would like to buy the bloomers as a pack (buy 7 get the 8th free!) I can create a custom listing for you. Just message me and let me know! Thanks!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sparkle Stitches~Structured Purse Tutorial

After a couple tries at making structured purses (and consulting with professionals) I have put together this little tutorial to show how to make a structured purse.

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Front View. I didn't fully push out all the corners and edges when I took this photo - sorry for the sloppiness! I was a little bit braindead from sewing for hours on end

The shape I am making is a piano, but it can also be done with any other motif you want! Strawberries, Carriages, Crowns, etc. It is best not to have too many sharp turns or too many small curves though!


All photos are clickable to make larger. I used crazy prints for my lining so you can see the difference easily.

Materials:
Fashion Fabric
Interfacing
Lining
Bag Strap
Bag Strap Length Adjuster Pieces (optional)
Bag Binding Strips (this is thicker and sturdier than regular bias strips)

Directions:
1) Cut out all your pieces and fuse the interfacing to the pieces.

POINT! Interfacing should NOT have the seam allowance added! It will create too much bulk in your seams

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2) Sew the zipper pieces to the zipper tape. Sew the fashion fabric side fist like this (right side of fabric to right side of zipper):
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Then fold it over and iron to expose the zipper teeth. You will topstitch it in the next step.

3) Pin your lining piece right side UP to the wrong side of the zipper tape like the picture below:
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Topstitch 1/4" from the fold, catching the lining fabric with your stitching line as you do so

4) Iron both the fashion fabric and lining pieces to the side to expose the zipper teeth. Sewing the lining separately from the fashion fabric ensures that it will never get caught in the zipper teeth:
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Repeat on the other side.

5) Iron down your seam allowance at the top of your side pieces (fashion fabric AND lining) and sandwich the ends of the zipper piece between the fashion fabric and lining. Instead of stitching and then topstitching, I just topstitched to hold everything in place.
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If you are going to add straps, now is a good time to sew them on to the fashion fabric side. This way, the stitching will not show on the inside! I forgot and added mine after I already had one Face attached.... it was REALLY difficult!!

6) Sew the fashion fabric base to the fashion fabric sides, and the lining base to the lining sides. Remember to keep RIGHT SIDES together

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Fashion Fabric base attached

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Both attached and flipped right side out

You have essentially made a big loop out of the zip, sides, and base pieces

7) Now turn your loop inside out and pin to your Face pieces (both Fashion Fabric and lining, which will be treated as ONE piece). Make sure the Fashion Fabric is facing to the inside. Your purse will end up being inside out at first!
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All the piano-y goodness on the inside

8) Stitch around
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9) Trim the seam allowance to allow your binding to fit around it and stitch the binding down (just like a Hong Kong seam finish)
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10) Repeat on the other side
POINT! Unzip your zipper first to allow more flexibility while sewing. Also, you will need to turn your purse right side out through the zipper
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11) Turn your purse right side out through the open zipper on top, push out all the corners and edges, and you are done!
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Front View

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Back View

I hope this helps some of you out. I am not an expert in making purses (this is only my 3rd one) but I haven't found any tutorials for standalone purses, so I thought I would share what I have learned!

If you have any questions, ideas, comments, want to buy a purse (this fabric is out of print though!), etc. please leave me a comment below!
Thank you!

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Friday, April 22, 2011

We Love Japan! U-Stream Program

Today I discovered an online streaming program which will start streaming this Sunday (the 24th). It is called We Love Japan! The first theme will be Lolita fashion, with Mr. Sakurai Takamasa as the MC and featuring Lolita idol Misako Aoki.
今天發現了一個網路撥放節目叫做We Love Japan! 週日開始撥! 第一個題目是蘿莉塔服。美沙子會上節目喔!


Using the fantastic Google translate, I THINK the "admission reception" application allows 10 foreign Lolitas to be a part of the show using u-stream. The application details are here. Hopefully somebody with actual Japanese-reading skills will do a better job of translating ;)
我雖然看不懂日文,用GOOGLE翻譯多多少少看懂一點點。有一頁聲請加入節目的說明。

I'm excited to see this and hope it will have English subtitles.... Be sure to tune in and check it out!
很期待這節目! 希望會有英文字幕。。。
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Crafty Crafting!

Been busy lately trying to make a structured purse. This type of purse is difficult to make because it has to hold its shape while freestanding. My first attempt turned out only OK, but I went and asked some purse-makers today and should be able to make it successfully now!

After the cut are some photos of my first attempt. I am also willing to record the process/write a sort of tutorial on making a structured purse if anybody is interested :)


All photos are click-able to view in full size
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Front

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3/4 view

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Back with a zippered insert pocket

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Other side

I have barely enough material for one more try (I cut out the pieces today), so here's to hoping it turns out perfectly!
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Flora Expo Lolita Outing!

Taiwan opened an amazing, awesome Flora Expo last year and it is ongoing until April 24 this year. On Wednesday I went to see it with my mom and my old Chinese School teacher. The Expo is HUGE! So we only got to see a little bit of it, but it was fun!

I wore a simple Lolita outfit and carried a parasol because it was quite hot. My camera ran out of batteries partway through the day, but I have a couple pictures to share!


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Me in front of a wall of flowers!

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I love this type of rose. The colors are so beautiful!

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As we all know, everything in Asia requires a mascot

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Or two

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Or three.... Actually, there are 6 mascots in total, but I only got these photos :(

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This 3D picture is made with REAL dried flowers!

Something wonderful I noticed while at the Flora Expo, is that food prices are not hiked up.
In Minnesota, we have a State Fair, a Valley Fair amusement park, and Renaissance Festival. In ALL of them, food prices are RIDICULOUS. Think US$8 for roasted corn. I can buy corn 10 for $10!! (Side note: corn is expensive here in Taiwan :( Sad face!) The food prices at the Flora Expo were comparable with regular street food prices. Cue guilt-free eating at Expo! My family rarely if ever bought food at fairs and festivals due to the high prices (stereotypical frugal Chinese parents...) so this was an extra fun experience!

Which makes me curious, Readers, do you usually buy festival/fair food? Do you save up specifically for the event or just try not to buy too much? I know some people save up hundreds of dollars JUST FOR FOOD at State Fair!

Also, Do you like to wear Lolita to festivals/fairs? I won't go into too much detail about rude ninja photographers I encountered (let's just say there is now an album on my FaceBook called "Pictures of People Taking Pictures of Me"), but 4 parkfuls of flowers seemed the perfect place to get Lolita photos taken! I have never encountered ninja photographers while in MN. They always asked. Either that, or they were so ninja that I didn't notice

Hope you had a fun week! Let me know your answers!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Pose! Number 4!

Sorry for the long gap between #3 and #4! There are less popular poses using 4 fingers (unless you count a double victory sign, but I put that under #2!)


"Aye Aye!"

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A casual salute is cute for Sailor Lolita, Pirate Lolita, and Military Lolita.

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(Photos Googled)

"Angry Cat"
This one is really goofy and fun!
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I like to include silly poses and facial expressions because hey, we don't have to take ourselves too seriously all the time!

Do you have any ideas for more poses? I'm all out of ideas for this one ;D Only 2, sorry!
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tiana's Kitchen~Perfect Parfait

Need a quick snack? Want an easy-yet-pretty dessert? Why not try making a parfait?

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BABY Parfait Print!! Haha this photo is over a year old :o Anyway, moving on....

A versatile, adaptable dessert, parfaits work for just about any setting. They can be transportable in the right containers. They can be a simple combination of 2 flavors or a complex and elegant display of culinary art. Adjust according to your own tastes, event themes, and layering skill level!


Directions:

Start by putting your cookies in a plastic bag and smashing them:
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You can combine 2 or more types of cookies to make unique flavors
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*POINT* Try using granola, Oreos, corn flakes, Chex Mix, nuts, or anything else in small, crunchy sizes!

Next, whip up some whipped cream! Adding flavoring or sugar is optional
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*POINT* If your cookie layer is quite sweet, don't make the whip layer too sweet or it will become overpowering!

*POINT* Try using yogurt instead! Yogurt is a bit sour and contrasts nicely with a sweet or lightly salty crunchy layer.

Now, for the fun part: layering!

Start with your container. I am using a take-along container that would be nice for a picnic meetup or potluck-style meetup where the parfait needs to travel. Plastic container is resistant to breaking and the lid helps keep everything neat!
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Put a crunchy layer about 7mm-10mm thick on the bottom:
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Add an equally thick layer of whip:
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*POINT* Try not to touch the sides of the container with your spoon in order to keep it neat. Use a smaller spoon if you need to. Touching the sides of the container will leave white streaks that will be seen in the final product :o

Repeat your layers until you reach the top, finishing with the crumbly layer. Add garnishes such as fruit, cookies, chocolate, etc. if you wish. Then put in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours
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And that's it! This "recipe" is simple enough for children to help out in the kitchen:
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If you are having a meetup or party at your home or if you don't need to travel too much with the parfaits, try using wineglasses, shotglasses, crystal goblets, etc. for an extra touch of elegance. If your container is tall enough, you can do layers with three different ingredients such as a cookie-fruit-whip combo. Have fun!
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Gothic and Lolita Bible Trend for Spring!

Spring is here! I downloaded the latest Gothic and Lolita Bible, and as I was flipping through the pages, the one thing that stood out to me most was: braids.

Half the models had a braided hairstyle! I love it! Braids keep your hair up without needing much product, heat stylers, or too many bobby pins (depending on the style). It doesn't damage your hair like teasing or heat curling/straightening, but has lots of visual interest. Braids can be fancy or casual, Classic, Sweet, or Gothic, and can work with many lengths and textures of hair.


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Braided Pigtails
I like to wear braided pigtails because it is quick and simple. You can make "puffy" braids by pulling on the finished braid to make it looser and wider. I like to wear mini-bows on the ends of my braids in a coordinating color. Braided pigtails with all or some of your hair keeps it out of your face and looks very Country or Classic Lolita!
If your hair is shorter, you can try half-up pigtails by using only the hair from the top half of your hair. The braids will be thinner and longer than using all your hair

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Looped Braids
From braided pigtails, you can make looped braids. Bring the ends of the braids up towards either the starting point of the braids, or to to top of your head and secure with a couple of bobby pins. Misako Aoki often wears her hair this way with a beret or a big headbow. It looks very cute and is fairly simple. Experiment with different loop sizes to see what looks best on you!

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Braid Buns
Another way variation on the braided pigtails is to wrap them into little buns. This is super cute and would look lovely with Sweet or Classic Lolita

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Crown Braid
This style is a little more difficult to do, but still pretty easy. Just braid one or more locks of hair from the base of your neck and wrap it over your head to the other side. Keep in place with a few bobby pins.
Another way to do a crown braid is to French or Dutch braid across your head from one ear to the other. This is a bit more difficult, but with some practice, you can do it!
Vary the thickness of the braid(s) to change up the look. Accessorize with roses, pins, clips, or bows. Or even make a "braid rose" for a unique look! Take a braid and roll it up on itself to create a layered spiral, which is your rose.
Here is a tutorial for making a Dutch braid type crown braid, and shows the braided hair corsage too!

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Side Braid
A big side braid looks elegant and romantic. Make it neat or messy. Add some texture by braiding smaller braids into the large main braid, or combine it with a crown braid! This is also very quick to do (unless you are adding many many small braids, of course!)

That's it for the quick write-up on braid styles from the GLB39! Take some time to practice these styles at home :) To finish this off, have a cool hairstyle made of rope braids:
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Pretty and PUNK!
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