Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas! Taipei Christmas Snaps!

Merry Christmas to all my lovely followers! My family actually doesn't celebrate Christmas here, and it's not actually a big deal (I had a final exam on Christmas Eve....) but some places do still do decorations and big companies do holiday sales~
My mom and I only celebrated winter solstice ;)

I would like to share some Christmas-themed snaps and a wedding proposal my cousins and I stumbled upon. I hope this is a cheerful time for you, Christmas or not, and thank you all for following my blog! If you'd like to share photos of the holiday season in your country, I would really love to see those, too!

First is me and by teddy bear at SOGO, a big department store. The yellow duck is still hugely popular!
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Then my cousins and I went to Taipei 101, where different brands had put up trees:
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And there were two costumed bears you could take photos with:
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A recently renovated place nearby called ATT was also all decorated. I had yet to go to ATT, so we walked around and snapped photos of all the business-funded Christmas decor!
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Shoutout to Australia!

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There were also some foreigners who I think were performers:
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Even Pringles got in on this:
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Now, for the lovely marriage proposal we happened across! The hopeful groom-to-be dressed up as Brown, the Line bear sticker:
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So many onlookers! The girl cried and accepted~
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Some more random snaps:
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Yes, even alcohol companies
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I had no idea Disney was doing another movie :o

And on Christmas Eve, we got these at work:
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I find this hilariously ironic.

Unfortunately, on Christmas Day, I just went to work, went to class, and actually out of class an hour late!! It's not even Christmas here in Taiwan any more, but I hope the rest of you enjoy it!

Does your country or your family celebrate Christmas or any other winter holidays?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bunny Cell Phone Pouch

Hooray for the second installment in the English Gothic and Lolita Bible sewing tutorials! I chose an easier-looking project, the cell phone case from the final volume, and am happy to report that it is fairly easy to make and customize.

*20cm faux fur fabric
*15cm fusible interfacing (I did not use it)
*35cm of 24mm-wide ribbon (optional)
*2 eyes
*black embroidery floss

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 90 minutes

1) Cut out all your pieces. Keep in mind the direction of the fur! I like to trace all the pieces on the back of the fabric before cutting so I can double-check to make sure the fur is going the way I want. I suggest using a box-cutter or other type of small blade to cut the fur fabric from the BACK to avoid having bits of faux fur flying around as you would have if cutting with scissers. Cut through the woven back layer, leaving the fur as uncut as possible.
Note: keep your ears and arms separate! They look similar and it is easy to confuse them. (The rabbit ears and arms, not yours!)

2) Stitch the head pieces together. Stitch the two halves of the face (front) down the center, and then the two halves of the back down the center. This will give you two circular pieces. Also stitch your arm and ear pieces together so you end up with two arms and two ears.

3) Pin the ears to the face (front) right-sides together with the ears pointing DOWN so the seam allowances line up with the face piece seam allowance like so:
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This ensures that when you stitch and turn the head, the ears will stand UP.

4) Stitch the face and back of the head together, leaving the neck open for stuffing later. Turn the head right side out and it should look like this:
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5) Stitch the body pieces together. It took a bit of careful eye-straining to figure out how the body was supposed to look based on the photo in the mook (white on white really doesn't show up well!) and messed up at first. The seam should be running down the center front and center back. It is clearer just to show the picture:
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Then roll down the top and stitch it down so the top edge is finished.

6) Stuff the bunny head and embroider a face and eyes (or use buttons.) Stitch the neck closed.

7) Stitch the arms and head onto the front of the body by hand. I think the arms would look nicer if they were stuffed too, so you could try it! I found that the placement of the head should not be right at the top edge, but rather flat against the front in order to keep the bunny from having a strangely long neck:
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In the profile picture you can see how the head is lower down on the front of the body.

Decorate with ribbons, crystals, embroidery, etc.
Add a ribbon handle to help keep the cell phone pouch closed, as the head weighs it down unevenly
Add a button and elastic closure to keep it closed
Make a little bunny tail to stitch onto the back
Add wire armature inside the arms so you can pose them
Use microfiber cloth to make a lining so your phone screen gets cleaned while it is in the bunny pouch

As always, thanks for following and be sure to leave any comments or questions below! Thank you!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pink Bouquet Makeup

Oh wow has it really been that long since I last posted? I've almost got the next EGLB sewing tutorial ready, but in the meantime I decided to try following some of the other tutorials in the Gothic and Lolita Bible. I tried the first makeup tutorial in the second volume, which was flower themed and showed three "Flow Bouquet Makeup" looks. The first is the Pink Bouquet modeled by Misako Aoki:
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I didn't style my clothing or hair at all - only focused on the face to see what the makeup would look like. And here is my version:

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I took some photos in various lighting:
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And one more if Misako:
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I think the look was rather pretty and sweet, though the step about highlighting the bridge of the nose I think could be edited to include some shading on the side. It may not be as necessary for people who have a more defined bridge of the nose, but for most Asian features, the bridge is much flatter and only highlighting without then doing some light shading to create more contrast will only make the nose even less defined.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Kana Ruffle Blouse: Editing Needed!

Today I decided to try another EGLB sewing pattern, and decided on the Kana Ruffle Blouse from the third volume. I took photos of the steps as I went, but I found several issues with the pattern and directions that I'd like to mess with before actually doing a tutorial because... well, it just is difficult and some parts don't make sense!

This is what it looks like so far (no buttons because I'm not sure I want to bother)
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When I get more fabric I'll try it again. If you'd like to see a list of what I found trange with the pattern and directions, keep reading:

*Collar pattern is strangely curved
*Collar doesn't seem to fit correctly
*Collar stand and collar are attached in a very strange and difficult way
*Cuffs are attached in a strange and difficult way
*Front darts go above the bust point, which makes no sense unless your chest is larger than your bust
*The sleeve cap is very shallow, making the sleeves naturally hang at an outwards angle rather than straight down, meaning there is more fabric bunching up at the underarms when the arms are relaxed
*Directions say to "fold the placket as shown" but there are no pictures or anything showing how to fold it (don't worry, it's easy)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

EGLB Sewing Tutorial: Mille Fleur & Mille Noir Mini Fur Cape

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I said that I would make sewing tutorials for the English Gothic and Lolita Bibles that I own because the printed directions are really vague.

Well, after my first foray into the Kana Knickerbockers pattern, which didn't match up, I became quite disheartened and gave up for a while. Today I gave it another go with a simpler pattern from the fourth EGLB:
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The majority of the patterns in this volume are knitted patterns (I am awful at knitting... crochet is more my thing!) but the Mille Fleur & Mille Noir pattern for a Mini Cape is rated one star, so it should be a good one to start with!

First of all, you need to copy the pattern pieces. There are only two, but they are both labeled "Fabric x1" so you will see in the photos I made a mistake.

*45cm X 80cm fur fabric
*45cm X 80cm lining
*130cm of 36mm ribbon
*80cm of 15mm wide stabilizing tape (fusible)

NOTE: I did not use stabilizing tape!

I originally wanted to copy the printed directions and add my own notes, but the given instructions are such rubbish that it would make no sense, so I wrote my own!

Time: 4 hours (it did not take me four hours)

1) Cut your fabric. The larger piece is the fur fabric, and the crescent shape is the lining. They are both labeled "fabric" so I thought the cape would have a collar and cut both in fur!
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The white pieces are the pattern pieces.
Make sure to notch where noted so you can match up your pieces later!
Also cut your ribbon in half lengthwise so you have two ribbons.

2)Finish the ends of your ribbons so they don't unravel. Roll the end twice to encase the raw edge and then stitch like so:
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Finish just one end on each because the other end will be sewn into the cape, and finishing the ends would create a bulge.

3)Match the notches on the curved edge of the two pattern pieces, right sides together (that is, the furry side facing the right side of your lining). Pin your ribbon ends to the fur with the long tails hidden between the two layers of fabric. Stitch up until the notches at the neckline where the pattern had a squiggly line (means it needs to be gathered).
Turn your cape right-side out.
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Trim or shave the fur from the seam allowances to reduce bulk!

4)Hand-sew the neckline, matching up the center of both pieces. The fur piece will fold down to meet the lining piece because it is larger. This allows a clean-look when the cape is worn so the lining doesn't show.
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That's it! You're done!
Here is what it looks like being modeled by my dress form, Caroline:
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I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. If there are any questions or if anything is unclear, please leave me a comment to let me know!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

What Am I?

Did you guess what my homework dress inspiration was? If not, I will show you the answer

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Fat goldfish!!!