I recently decided that some of my older handmade items needed an update. When I first made them, I had a good grasp of the Lolita aesthetic, but I don't think I really understood what sort of lace or ribbon to use. After examining my brand pieces, I figured out what I wanted to do to update these projects.I'll be using the Music Note jumperskirt as an example, but I actually "updated" two other skirts as well.
The original trim was nice, but not really Lolita. I had used a wide trim that looked kind of like flowers, and white polyester venice lace, also nice, but not the best quality. The best way to avoid tacky-looking lace is to get 100% cotton lace--even if it isn't the most amazing quality, it won't be shiny, and will give you better results than a fancy-looking polyester lace. The main detail of the dress are the pintucks, but unfortunately I didn't realize how little they would show with such a busy print. They really only stand out on the bodice. Here is the dress as I made it two years ago:
I thought it looked a little too "square-dance", and didn't want to have such a country vibe. I removed all the lace except the trim at the neckline, which I didn't hate. (Don't worry, I got rid of the ridiculous bow.) Here's the naked jumperskirt ready for new trim:
Complete with kitty!
I didn't like how bare the waist looked. I had originally made some little matching bows in a coordinating black music note fabric, but they looked kind of tacky. Instead, I got some cotton velveteen, and made a bow pin for the waist. I may make a matching headbow with the leftover fabric, but we'll see. I put little pearls on it, taking influence from Angelic Pretty designs (I used Fantastic Princess and Original Tartan Scallop as examples).
For the lace, I used a white cotton crocheted beading lace for the bottom, and a narrow, puffy trim that reminded me of pom-poms for the top. I thought about using actual pom-pom trim (like on many of Angelic Pretty's velveteen dresses) but I didn't want the dress to look TOO winter-y. The white lace came with white satin ribbon, which I replaced with black grosgrain.
I think the final effect is a big improvement on my original design! Hopefully I'll get a chance to wear it out sometime this week. The last thing to decide is whether or not I want some small black bows on the bottom trim--yes or no? I guess I'll make a few and pin them on, and see what I think...
Shown here with a previous project, a black knit bolero.
I might post what I did with the other skirts later, if I have time. I didn't document the process like I did here, so it would just be before and after pictures, but I will if people want to see what I did.