Saturday, April 27, 2013

How to Make a Petticoat: Simple Ruffles

Hey everyone! Today I'm going to be showing you how to make a simple ruffled petticoat with some regular fabric. This petticoat is fluffy enough to give your skirt some puff without being overly warm during spring. Let's get started!

This tutorial contains a lot of pictures, so if you have a slow connection you might want to stop the page from loading completely and load the pictures separately as you get to them.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Fabric - Amount will vary depending on measurements; White is best for color
  • Waistband elastic - Length will vary depending on your waist size
  • Thread to match your fabric color
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Cutting board
  • Pins - A pincushion will make them easier to use
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread if you're going to hand sew it
  • Iron and ironing board for pressing seams
  • (optional) T-square or other long straight edge for drawing straight lines 

To star with, here's the basic concept I used for designing the pattern I used.
Since my original petticoat using this fabric had turned out rather bulky around the waist, so I wanted to try making a petticoat with a non-floofy waist to try to prevent this. Since my skirts mostly end about knee length, I wanted my petticoat to be about the same length.

Let's start measuring! To start with, you'll want to decide where you want the floof to start (such technical terminology, I know). Measure from there to where you want the petticoat to end (see illustration below). It helps if you have a friend for this, but you can just have the end of the tape measure hanging down about where you want the end of the skirt and read it from the top.
Write this measurement down. Now for a little calculation (not much! I promise). Divide your measurement by how many layers you want. More layers means more floof, but I wouldn't make them too narrow or they'll be hard to gather and sew together. I'll be presuming you're doing three layers in this tutorial. I made my petticoat 3 sections at 6.5 inches tall each, but you can make them a bit shorter or longer depending on the length you want your petticoat. Make sure to add a little extra length for seam allowances and due to the floof causing slight loss of length. Mine ended up around 4 inches shorter than my measurements.

Now let's measure the waistband length. Measure from where you want the waistband to start, usually the waist, to slightly past where you want the floof to start (see image below). Add an inch to an inch and a half to this measurement and then double it. Write this measurement down.

Now that you've determined the length of the sections and the waistband, we'll need to do a few calculations to determine how much fabric you'll need. The sections for the floofy part should be 25-30 inches long, so a 60 inch wide piece of fabric would be better than a 45 inch wide piece. I used the remaining half of a sheet I'd used for my first petticoat which measured about 50 inches wide. You'll need 12 rectangles worth of fabric plus enough for your waistband. Since the fabric will be doubled over, you only need 6 sections worth of fabric lengthwise. Add this measurement to your waistband length measurement to determine how much fabric you'll need (example below).
Actual results will vary (1.5 yd, not 15yd)
Once you have your fabric, make sure to wash it first on the same settings you'll use once you finish the petticoat. This preshrinks the fabric so you don't have to worry about it shrinking on you after it's done. Iron it all out then lay it out on a cutting board folded in half widthwise (selvages together). Using your tape measure, mark every six and a half inches, or however long you want your sections to be. Make the marks little arrows pointing at the measurement on the tape. (Ex: v) Mark out six sections like this, then use a T-square or long flat edge to mark out straight lines at these points (see image below). Cut them all out on the lines you made, then cut each of the sections in half. (Leave the fabric folded in hal after cutting the sections to make this a little easier.) You should now have twelve sections that are the height you wanted and about 25-30 inches long.
Time to pull out your pincusion! Pin the short edges of three of the sections together making a circle. Repeat with four sections, and then the remaining five. Make sure that the right sides of the fabric (side with printing on it if you have a print) are all facing inwards (see image below). These are going to be the layers of your petticoat. Press the seams open before moving on to the next step.
Sew the edges that you pinned together. Make a small hem on the layer with 5 sections. This will be the bottom of your petticoat. Sew gathering stitches on the top of all of the layers. Gather the bottom layer to fit to the base of the layer with 4 sections. Sew them together, then repeat to attach the middle to the top layer (See image below). Make sure the right sides of the fabric go together and not the wrong sides.
Now for the waistband. Take your measurement from before for the length of your waistband, measure it out on your fabric, draw a straight line, then cut it. Measure around the fullest part of your hips and add two and a half inches to that. This will be the width for your waistband. Err on the side of caution and cut the waistband down to a bit bigger than this measurement. Pin it where you'd put the seam, then check to make sure it will fit over your hips. Once you've confirmed that it does, you can cut off any excess fabric from the width, leaving enough for the seam. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and sew a tube at the top wide enough for your elastic to easily fit in. Leave a little wiggle room in the tube to make sure the elastic won't be getting folded down. Sew the ends together, making sure to leave the ends of the tube on top open so you can put the elastic in later. Gather the top edge of the skirt to match the waistband then sew them together. Again, be sure to put the right sides together. I messed up here and had to take the seam out and do it over again.

Now for the last step: putting in the elastic waistband. Measure your waist to get an idea of how much elastic you'll need. Depending on the stretch of the elastic you buy and how tight you want it to be, the amount of elastic needed will vary. I recommend slightly stretching the elastic around your waist to the point where it is a little tight, but not so tight it'll leave a mark once you take the petticoat off. Be careful not to use too much elastic as it will pretty much be useless if you do. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic, then insert it into the tube, pulling it along to the other end of the tube. Pin the loose end of the elastic to the edge of the tube to make sure you don't have it go inside. Once you've fed the elastic through, pin the sides of the tube together with the elastic sandwiched between and sew through all of the layers. I recommend hand sewing on this part as elastic can be a little difficult to sew on a machine.
Now your petticoat is done! Here's some pictures of how mine turned out:

Without Petticoat

With Petticoat

Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial and also how it turned out for you. All pictures taken by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lolita on a Budget: Punk Lolita

Punk Lolita is probably my least favorite Lolita, but that is mainly due to the fact that I'm not especially good at putting together punk outfits. Also it's partly due to personal preference since I prefer more cute styles of clothing. Here I've done my best to put together a Punk Lolita outfit using clothing from Bodyline! exclusively. The total for this outfit is $142 plus shipping and handling. Let's go!

The asymmetrical skirt, in blue and black, is one of my favorite parts of the outfit as I like the way that the blue underskirt stands out from the black over skirt. The blouse was a little difficult to decide on, but I eventually found one that I thought would work nicely. This ruffled vampy blouse  in off white is very elegant, but still works for a punkish look. To add a bit of color to the top I chose to use this dark blue ruffled pin at the neckline of the blouse over the ruffle. For a slightly Gothic feel, I decided to pair the outfit with a pair of spiderweb print tights, but a pair of lacy black tights could be substituted as well if spiderwebs aren't your thing. My next favorite part of this outfit is the shoes, chunky heels with chain accents. I love how these shoes retain the more innocent look of the mary jane shoes while having a punk accent with the chains and little skull charms on the backs. The last item is optional: take a couple chous or scrunchies in black and put them around the top middle part of your upper arms as sleeve garters to add a bit more color to the blouse. Alternatively, one can buy or make sleeve garters instead of using the chous. If you don't mind spending a little more, you can also get some cute skull accessories from Bodyline! to match the ones on the shoes. I hope you enjoy this outfit!

All of the items in this outfit plus more in this style can be found on the Bodyline website. No pictures due to the fact that I haven't received permission to use Bodyline!'s images. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thrift Store Find: Sweet Lolita Skirt

Whenever I visit a thrift store, I like looking through the linnens section to see if there's anything that would look cute as a dress or a skirt. A while ago I found some curtains with a very cute print and ruffles along the edges, so I bought them and made one of them into a skirt. The skirt turned out a bit longer than the ones on my other Lolita dresses, but it's a very nice skirt. I don't wear it very often mainly due to the fact that I don't have a blouse that works well with it. I found one that works alright as long as I pull the skirt waistband down around my hips though. I plan on turning the second curtain into a blouse once I find a pattern that I like.
 I'd run out of waistband elastic at the time I made the skirt, so I instead used a ribbon I had lying around. It turned out very nicely.

All images were taken by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Poll for Blog Content

Hello everyone!
 I've decided to do a little poll to try to find out what my current readers and any potential readers would like to see more of. To vote, simply leave a comment below. This specific poll will close in two weeks time, April 24th 2013, so I would appreciate it if readers would avoid posting comments after that date. Without further ado, here's the poll!

What would you like to see more of on Anime & Lolita Couture?
  • Cosplay tips.
  • Lolita looks on a budget.
  •  Recipes for cakes and other sweets.
  • Tutorials such as for hair and crafts.
  • My home made clothing.
  • Reviews of clothing and items I have.
  • My various cosplays. (I don't have many cosplays to my name as of now.)
  • Other stuff. (List your ideas in your comment please!)
 Make sure to leave a comment below telling me what you'd like to see more of. Thanks for your feedback!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thrift Store Haul: Loliable Clothes

So, I've been going to thrift stores a lot lately and have been having a lot of luck finding cute new clothes and things. This time I'm blogging about some cute Loliable clothing I found. I love my Lolita dresses, but unfortunately they're a bit too formal for everyday wear, so I've been expanding my wardrobe to include cute casual skirts and blouses that I can wear on a daily basis. This trip I got a new blouse, skirt, and short sleeved cardigan.

The blouse is a very pretty Gothic Lolita like blouse with a mandarin collar and delicate lace accents. The blouse itself is made of a very thin material, so it's best worn with an undershirt or sweater during chilly weather. I really love the lace on it as it ads a pretty touch to the blouse without standing out too much.

The skirt is very cute. It has a nice eyelet type pattern to it giving it both texture and detail. It's got multiple layers which give it a nice little poof and add a level of cuteness to it. My main dislike of this skirt is the waistband, which is wide elastic. This makes it so that the skirt is a bit uncomfortable to wear at times and also makes it so the skirt slides up a bit as the elastic tries to rest on my waist. Other than those slight annoyances, it's a very nice skirt.

The cardigan is a very nice color and works very nicely with my new skirt and a lace camisole. The pockets are deeper than they appear which surprised me at first. They're big enough to comfortably hold a smaller cell phone, but the weight of the phone makes the pocket droop a little bit so it's visible from under the bottom edge of the cardigan.

All images are by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.