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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking at sales on patterns

Vogue knitting sent me an email stating that they are having sales on their patterns.

Meh. Their stuff is too expensive to buy directly from them. I heartily say check out ebay or amazon for their patterns. Heck, I was SO lucky, I got the Vogue knitting book, normally 38 dollars, for 5 dollars at the thrift store. The thrift store is mecca for off brand mori kei, dolly kei, and lolita accessories and clothes, btw. Though, don't expect much in the way of finding cutesy girly stuff if you're larger than a size L.

I've been into mori kei lately. It is one of those styles that can use a lot of lolita stuff. Mori kei is about looking like you're a forest wanderer, a free spirit. Dolly kei is similar, but its purpose is to make you look as if you came from a european fairy tale. I love both of those styles, but lately I've been making dresses for Lolita. I have one pale blue dress that I am making out of a Mc Calls pattern. Will post pics when I can, am exhausted, just came off of a shift working at Walmart.

Whoooo. This is the book I have. I am getting quite the store of knitting/crocheting/sewing books.


As for tips for accessories to make for any of these styles... I suggest joining ravelry.
The following patterns are from my queue on ravelry.
A pattern that would be great for...

Mori Kei: A Maiden's Glory, http://www.theanticraft.com/archive/beltane06/maidensglory.htm , a circlet made of crocheted flowers and leaves. Very beautiful. I tried to make this before I properly knew about gauge. Didn't go well. Am going to try again though.

Dolly Kei: Two measures of joy, https://www.elann.com/Commerce.Web/Product_freePatternsDetail.aspx?id=118832, A felted purse knit in the round. It has the first couple of notes of Ode to Joy knit and embroidered onto it, so its kinda nerdy, but goes along with the very romantic look of dolly kei.

Lolita: The Grown Up bonnet, http://www.lhoffman.com/grown-up-bonnet, a bonnet knitted on size 5 straight needles. I am in the process of making it but I put it aside so that I can knit christmas gifts.


Anyway, all of these patterns can also be found on Ravelry, if you wanted.

Am going to continue drawing and posting some things up here, when I'm not tired. Farewell for now.


-MNR

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First Sculptris sculpt

Scuptris is made by Pixologic, the same people that make Zbrush.
Its basically an easier version of Zbrush.

Its a 3d sculpting program.

Anyway, I made my first sculpt in it! I know there  are areas I can improve upon, but I'd say it looks much like a person!

I make the same nose and lips every time though. Bleh.
This is a screenshot of the program since I don't know how to take a .png of the sculpt.




-MNR

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The X Marks shawl

This shawl is great for beginners. It includes all of the major stitches, and works up very fast. It has a bit of lace as well as the warmth of the smaller stitches.

Abbreviations: (US stitches)
Sc = single crochet, hdc = half double crochet, dc = double crochet, trc = treble crochet, dtrc = double treble crochet.

Treble crochet: Wrap yarn around hook twice. Insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull through loop three times.
Double Treble crochet: Wrap yarn around hook twice. Insert hook into stitch, yarn over and pull through loop four times.

For worsted weight yarn, and an even weave, I would use an I or J hook.

Using a J hook and worsted weight yarn,
Ch 51. (Or some number divisible by 3.)

Rows 1 and 2: sc in each stitch across. 50 stitches.
Rows 3 and 4: Ch2. Hdc in each stitch across.
Rows 5 and 6: Ch 3. Dc in each stitch across.
Row 7: Ch4. Trc in each stitch across.
Row 8: Ch 5. Dtrc in 3rd stitch, skipping the 1st and 2nd stitches. Ch 1. Dtrc in 1st stitch. *Skip two stitches. Dtrc in next stitch. Ch 1,  then go back and dtrc in the first skipped stitch of this repeat.*  Repeat the sequence within the *'s till the end of the row.

Repeat these 8 rows until desired length.

Finishing:
Make a hdc border around the entire shawl.  To evenly distribute the stitches on the sides of the shawl, follow this rule of thumb: every two sc = 1 hdc. One hdc = 1 hdc. One dc = 2 hdc, One trc = 3 hdc, one dtrc = 3 or 4 hdc. Or, use your best judgement.


-MNR

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Card Shark Dress

Another design for a lolita dress. Maybe when I have enough money to buy fabric I can make it.

I feel like this dress should involve white ruffled trim on the 3/4 sleeves. The rest of the lace should be eyelet and or cutwork lace.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mileage Shawl Pattern

Mileage Shawl Pattern


Well, this can be a shawl or an afghan. Its named this because it works up very fast. I like how fast trebles work up, but I also like the single crochet stitch. There is such a neatness created by single crochet stitches.

Worsted weight yarn
I used lily sugar and cream scraps in blue, white, and "landscape".  It will take at least 8 small balls, or two cones.
Size I hook

Chain 59.
Row 1: sc in each stitch across. 58 stitches.
Row 2-3: sc in each stitch across.
Row 4: Treble crochet in each stitch across.
Repeat these rows until desired length, or reach 3 feet in length.

-MNR

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Boobs and Exercise, the good and the bad



It might be a secret that I have large boobs. Esp. since I don't post pictures of myself. D= I just can't find good ones!
I am fat, but not every fat woman has large breasts. At least they make my waist look small. But in some ways, I envy fatter women with large breasts. For example, they can find sports bras! Once you hit cup D and up, it becomes astronomically more expensive and more difficult to find. I REALLY don't want to pay $65 dollars for one sports bra. Its a bit unfair that some women have to pay more for decent bra and some pay less... and of course can find their size...

FYI, I researched breast taping as an alternative. They flatten your breast tissue and can cause lumps, poor circulation, and improper taping can crack your ribs and compress your lungs. Oi, being a female can be difficult.

Why am I saying all of this? I used to love running when I was younger. I used to be amazing at sprinting.  I also used to be skinny. I just... really miss running mainly. Of course I want to lose a bit of weight, but that is mainly so I can enjoy running again. It is a great past time.

I feel, the main things that are stopping me are:
1. my boob size:  finding sports bra, them moving and hurting me
2. I hate sweat cuz it causes me skin problems.... even after washing myself
3. my knees and ankles tend to hurt after a few days of running, what with cracking and just feeling like I've sprained them.
4. I have no one to run with (either in my area, within my family, or in my size range). I guess I could search for a running group in my area, but I feel... these people will be people that are experienced, and run 5 miles  a day, with their lean, rippling leg muscles...

I've been working my way up to running 1 block. I also want to know what times people choose to run. I feel that I'm not a morning person, noon is when the sun is pounding down upon you, afternoon is when the few television shows that I actually do watch are on, and obviously you can't jog at night, what with cars and crime. AND MOSQUITOES, ugh, bugs, I hate jogging and having bugs get in my ears. HATE it. If I put on headphones, then the bugs just touch my neck and chest and legs. Why....

What I really want is a running skirt... those look so comfortable. Of course, like the breast reducers/sports bras, they're EXPENSIVE.

I tend to build muscle fast, in general.
I have found walking doesn't build or tone my muscles as fast as running, hiking, stair climbing or bicycling.

I struggle to find a way past these problems. My online searches only yield generic advice for slim people OR  larger people. It truly seems either/or. It may be my search terms that are the problem.


Umm, on another note, I'm almost done sewing a different style of lolita skirt. Hand sewing. It is going to have an elastic band used as shirring: it has a folded over waistband, sewn onto the actual skirt, which has a wider diameter and is shirred.

I don't know, I just prefer sewing by hand to machine sewing, even though it is vastly faster. I've also accidentally stabbed my fingers several times this summer, just by hand sewing. I somewhat want one of those leather thread pullers or leather thimbles, to minimize that. Usually I just wipe my finger and continue on, as it isn't worth it to put a bandage on a pinprick. It stops bleeding in minutes anyway.
I need a new petticoat for that matter. The last one I had I foolishly put in the dryer....I have some old t-shirts and bedsheets I wanted to experiment with. Cotton/polyester. I want to reserve my larger pieces of fabric for actual skirts, dresses and tops.


-MNR

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lolita bonnets, knitted?

I am totally making this bonnet. I've had it on my ravelry to do list for quite a few months. The link to the pattern on ravelry was just fixed, and I dod love my bamboo size 8 circular needles. Now all I need is a decent yarn that won't make my head sweat or dry out my hair.

I'll show you all how it turns out, and if it is feasible to knit a lolita bonnet. =D

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pilgrim-bonnet
http://tanglewashere.wordpress.com/patterns/pilgrim-bonnet/

Many thanks to the designer for fixing the link and posting the pattern.

Taken from met museum website here: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/C.I.64.32.3a,b


On another note, isn't this dress just lovely? Its a 1700s robe a la francaise. I want to sew this, by hand. Because I am an insane person. I've been researching free patterns for them. It basically consists of a back and a front, sewn in at the waist, and the middle is a stomacher that covers the corset. Three pieces, yet SO  many yards of fabric. Around 15 yds. Need to see about getting cheap but pretty fabric from somewhere... when I have money.

https://www.google.com/search?q=robe+a+la+francaise&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&oe=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=kmFFUM_0Msue6wHM6IGwCA&biw=1366&bih=622&sei=lmFFUJiGL8XF6wGwrYDoBg

BTW, I'm taking a semester off from school. I will be working on a job, but I really wish that my job would be artist. I am trying to get my artwork into some contests and shows. Mainly acrylic paintings, too scared to do oil, for it is horribly messy and dries SLOWLY.

-MNR

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Amigurumi tips

Hello all.

I got an email recently from one of those crochet sites, advertising: 5 tips from amigurumi pros.
Amigurumi is japanese term. I don't know the exact translation, but it basically is crochet stuffed animals or toys. I consider knitted stuffed animal/toys to be amigurumi as well, but that is my personal preference.

 From the Crochet Me email/website:
 
Tips from the Professionals on Crochet Amigurumi

Laura Gibbons: Don't give up! I think many people look at the patterns and their brain just starts to hurt because they don't understand it. Take the pattern line by line, piece by piece.

 
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Stacey Trock: Amigurumi should be fun, not frustrating. Don't get too caught up about positioning the ears "just right" . . . whatever looks cute to you is right!

Gina ReneƩ Padilla: Don't be afraid of crocheting amigurumi, if you know the basic stitches of crochet, then you will have no problem crocheting amigurumi. Take your time, draw a picture, even search online for something that will inspire you.

Allison Hoffman: Keep those stitches tight and stuff 'til you can't stuff' em any more! Sketch the face out first (embroidery, eye placement, etc.), and it makes it a lot easier to transfer your idea onto the toy. Experiment with different kinds of yarn for texture.





Nancy Anderson: Use smaller hooks in order to crochet tight fabric with no stuffing show-through, but rest your hands regularly, as this tight gauge can make your hands hurt. Have fun and don't be afraid to be creative and whimsical with colors, embellishments, and feature placements. It's okay to go a bit wild and crazy, it's just a toy. Best of all, have fun—that's what it's all about.


Well, the advice was OK, but it is mostly what you tell beginners when they're starting ANY craft or activity. Mostly motivational. Their advice is not wrong, its just not how I learned.


I thought I would share some more detailed advice, more helpful advice for making nice looking amigurumis you can either love or be satisfied with.

Amigurumi tips

1. When using single crochet, decrease by inserting hook through back loops only. This creates an invisible decrease, if you want an invisible decrease.

2. When sewing on different parts of the creature, sew them onto the vertical bars (into the holes) made when you crochet around a stitch. Don't sew through the yarn strands themselves.

3.  Memorize (or have handy) the basic circular increase or circular decrease. You know, the kind that makes a sphere shape. That way, if you want to lengthen or shorten a spherical shape, or you want to make a sharper increase or decrease, you have within your power to do so.

4. Insert eyes and sew on any details BEFORE stuffing your amigurumi with whatever stuffing you're using.

5. Use a hook small enough to make a tight gauge, but not so much that it hurts your hand to use. You don't want to see the stuffing poking through, it just doesn't look right generally.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hair and dresses.

So I'm having a bit of financial troubles at the moment, and a lot of things are stressful.
I've come to the point where I can't sustain my website and domain, calienteokami.com. One day when I'm actually working I'll be able to buy it back, but for now, I cannot afford it... College is really taking its toll. I'm about ready to be out of it and onto the real world. One of the reasons being I don't like bouncing in between two locations. I'm never sure which address to use for something, because I'll only be home for a few months, and then I'll only have my dorm address for a few months. Also, I'm tired of being broke.
I want to pay for my own things. I want SOOO many wigs, and dresses. Dresses I can make. Wigs I cannot. Which is kinda sucky. I'm starting on a new skirt, I'm going to try hand sewing it, even though at home I have access to sewing machine. (another reason I want a permanent residence, I won't have to lug my things back and forth. Also, the sewing machine is not mine.)
In my google searches for various things, such as handmade lolita and lolita pattern and lolita fabric and whatever else I've been searching for this afternoon, I've come across a number of pictures of black lolitas. Eeek. Its just uncommon to see. I've even seen one with twists in her hair; cool!
Anyway, since I can't afford wigs, I want to explore my hair options as a black lolita. I have natural hair (coarse and curly, but soft) , of shoulder length, and it takes a while to grow.
I neither want to cut off my hair, nor go dred, and I'm not particularly interested in getting my hair permanently straightened.

There are plenty of options for lolitas with straight hair. One could wear it long, or in pigtails or pony tails, or curl it up, etc. If one has enough money, one could purchase a variety of wigs that will give your hair this effect.
I ask you, potential visitors and readers, what can someone with fragile curly hair do to look victorian, steampunkish, regency, rococo, etc?

The strength in such hair is the great volume. Extensions of course can be easily added.
Anyway, this isn't an easy question, and it isn't one that I"ve ever seen covered in the lolita community. I"m going to research it, and try to take photographs of myself with some hairstyles. I think that would be a great summer project.

I think one of the many more common solutions is to braid the hair into strands, and then manipulate it. I will try my best at styling hair. I'm mainly... interested in this topic as scientific or cultural research, to add to the community in some way.
Anywhoo... I'm going to try to get my digital camera in order.

P.S. I am sooo into period fashion and culture. o_o I totally want to make a regency dress. And then A rococo dress, like the french aristocracy. How fun. And of course renaissance. And other ones oooh.
-MNR

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lacey Things!

Good morning all.

I love lace. I recently discovered this after many years of crocheting and knitting.
I feel its one of those ultimate lolita crafts. After all, the most refined ladies of all ages mastered these things and created delicate, mindboggling shapes.
I guess I got into it when I learned I would probablyu never get rid of the large holes in my crochet. Crochet is made with vertical stitches and twists, so there are often vertical "slats" of holes. But crochet also makes sturdy fabric, much more structurally sturdy than knitting.

Don't get me wrong, they both have their benefits and to me, they benefit in certain situations. But I'm not a fan of the drapeyness of knitted doilies and edgings. I like the really tight gauge, and crochet lace works up so fast toooo, so it is my method of choice when creating lace generally.

So far, my most used technique of lace making has been crochet, but I've learned that tatting, or frivolite I suppose it was called in other languages, is VERY portable and creates very loopy gorgeous laces. I feel tatting is more freeform, so larger diagrams are sooo confusing. Plus its hard to find tatting patterns larger than a bookmark or doily.

Again, I'm promoting ravelry as really good for this purpose. Ravelry

I've even sewn my handmade lace onto lolita shirts and skirts. The edging wore out on an ebay dress I purchased two years ago, and I plan on replacing it with crocheted lace, if I could find the perfect edging! I might just use tatted lace. I really want to try remaking lolita slippers with my own canvas fabric and lace.
I also wonder what lace made with plastic bags would look like. I'm really into using alternate yarns.

The types of lace-making I practice:
crochet
knitting
tatting
punto in aria (needle lace)

Bobbin lace, one of the more traditional forms of lace from the 1400s to late 1800s in most parts of the world, is entirely hard looking! I have yet to master this. I have yet to start! I have to make pairs of bobbins to practice with, and its not very portable or fast. Plus, at any time, you can have anywhere from 4 to 32 pairs of bobbins or more. That means 8 to 64 different strands of threads weaving in and out of eachother.
When I master the basics of it, I'll let you guys know. =_=

Anyway, I need to upload images of what I've been making this boring summer, so stay tuned. Most of it is lace as it comes out pretty and staves off boredom for a short while. Uuuugh... I don't have a car so I can't get a job/volunteer. Maybe I will reopen my etsy with crocheted lace?

I've also been interested in diy technical things. I want to use things I have around the house to make a wind/solar power generator, or charger. Some of the ingredients I don't have, like magnetic enamel coated wire, so I'm going to have to bus it to radioshack or walk to the hardware store and see what they have. I didn't know it was so hard and time consuming to get from place to place when you don't have a car! Well, I knew, but I was used to taking 30 minutes to run an errand rather than 1.5 hours minimum on the bus (or walking).

Also, my computer is being fixed by lenovo (it has been almost a month) so I am using my mother's computer. That means I can't do 3d things and play most of the games I have for the computer. Eeeeeh.

-MNR

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back and Sewing



Thanks for staying with me peoples. The end of the school year always gets a bit messy timewise. I spent much of my time packing, spending time with friends, and getting any last minute work in.

Uuugh it was a particularly rough end of semester as all of my friends are graduating.
No time for lolita. D=

In fact, I packed away my dresses in a friend's apartment.
Never fear, I haven't given up "the cloth". Its just that I'm not likely to wear them over the summer. Where am I going to go with them?

This has just challenged me to use up my stash fabric. Over the past couple of weeks, I've learned a lot about pattern drafting, especially for the curvy figure.

I googled french curve and traced one out onto cardboard. It is the key to making a lot of the natural shapes in patterns. Being curvy and into lolita (which generally is still in the dark ages of one size fits all) has really made me look into taking 2d fabric and wrapping it flatteringly around a 3d form, ie a body. It has made me think about the motivations of this fashion, and the motivations of all fashion.

Bunches of lovely lolita and sewing blogs have taught me the finer parts of sewing that one usually only learns in paid online courses or in thick dictionary books. I'm still looking for a good pattern drafting and general sewing book.

My mum's old kenmore sewing machine just crapped out on me again. Is squeaking like a rusty barn gate, so I need to find the machine oil. I really want my own, but that's a whole nother kettle of fish. Smelly fish.

I've often thought of the different careers my life could take on. I usually like helping where I'm needed. Like, having something to contribute to a certain industry. I guess for fashion... I feel like society as a whole are going in the wrong direction, in many different ways.

Clothes are being made with little to no fitting, with cheap materials, and are made to fall apart quickly, yet prices for clothes are staying the same or even getting higher.
I feel this somewhat with certain boutiques. I feel.... if you're going to sell an article of clothing that's several hundred dollars in cost, it should be of high grade materials and stitched by hand, and tailored to measurements. However, that often isn't the case...
I suppose I can create an entry on this. There are many justifications for a high price, such as those I have previously listed. Having a brand name, in and of itself, written on the article of clothing is no reason to price high. I feel some brands don't realize that.

Weird huh?

I feel blasphemous.

I feel like larger lolitas could use some nice fitting clothing of reasonable prices. There's a few online boutiques focused in the US, and then some brands charge an extra fee for custom sizing. However, quite a few of these boutiques don't go past measurements of 40in. I don't see the sense in that, especially if you're charging the person extra. If you are, then just charge them the base price of the fabric. It can't take that much more time to sew an extra few inches. I mean, I"ve sewn different size pieces. It doesn't take that much more time from a 28 in waist to a 48 in waist.
Is it that they don't know how to size for someone larger than 40 in? I refuse that answer. You're a clothing boutique. You should know how to size patterns and tailor them. You're charging for your skill in tailoring and your eye for good design.

Just my opinions.

One of the ideas I've had was to start making and selling lolita clothing. I'm worried about doing direct commissions, because horror stories... and I don't want to screw up peoples' orders or anything. Or have them think I did. I dunno I get nervous.
But I feel... that an article of clothing should be made for as many body types as possible. A dress shouldn't just fit and flatter a girl of size 2. It should also fit and flatter a girl of size 22. If it does not, alter it so that it does and let that be the end of the matter. That is where I disagree with many boutiques only offering one or two sizes; small and smaller. Ladies are ladies at any size, and they all need clothes.
However, larger ladies is an untapped market... definitely create for those ladies first though.

Or I'm just dreaming. I don't know.
My sketchbook is filled with clothing designs and accessories. I just need the fabric. And a non-squeaky sewing machine!
Argh.


-MNR

Friday, May 18, 2012

A portrait of a lolita (wip)

Sorry I haven't been able to post much else. I am really busy still moving and such.

And my website is down. Goodie.

Umm... Got the sudden inspiration to ink an old picture, will color n such. My computer is broken, amongst other things, so I am using a loaner, and I am not used to it. UGH, so many problems.
Anyway, more on this picture later.
Click to make bigger.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hell Week

Sorry I haven't posted.
I have projects due back to back in all of my classes, and I have to study for finals, not to mention figure out what I'm doing this summer and in the fall.

My next post will most likely be a picture post. I've been working on a lot of crochet, and drawing some.

One more essay and final due.

Thanks for understanding.

-MNR

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Past ideas.

Being an artist, I possess a sketchbook. I used to draw all anime when I was younger. Because I limited myself, I got artist block frequently.
Recently, I've learned to let myself draw whatever I want, and it will be what it will be. That is how I got into designing clothing, knitting patterns, and other crafty stuff. I also still design characters.

Here are a few pictures of concepts I wish I could design one day.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slightly meshed tunisian lace stitch

So I've been wanting to create new stitches, mainly in crochet, because there aren't enough of them.
I've been experimenting with Tunisian crochet (or afghan crochet). Its where you use a long hook and keep loops on the hook instead of immediately completing the stitch. The backbone of all of the stitches is the chain stitch. There is a forward pass and a return pass.

If you want to know more, check this out here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisian_crochet.

I cannot teach you the stitches, but youtube has plenty of videos to demonstrate the stitches.

This stitch pattern uses tss and ch. The return row is the standard return row. Each row assumes that you return pass afterwards.

Slightly Meshed Lace Stitch

Chain an even number. For the example I use 20 stitches.
Row 1: Tss in all 20 stitches.
Row 1.5: Normal return pass through all 20 loops.
Row 2: Tss in first stitch, *sk next st, tss in next stitch* to the end of your row. End the row with one std tss.
Row 2.5: Ch 1, complete first stitch, *ch1, complete next stitch* all the way to the end of the row, complete the last stitch with normal return pass.

Continue these 4 rows for pattern till desired length.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Friday! And clothestalk.

Modcloth is a great site.


I feel, if you don't want to even bother to make something in my size, or its not "properly" in my size, I should be able to replicate  the garment.
Theoretically, they could make every main size range under the rainbow. (sizes 0-32+). But they choose to make sizes 0-12 or 0-10, catering only to a few customers. It is within their legal right, yes, but it is unfair to other potential customers.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A little bit of a regretable absence lately

Sorry I haven't been around. Have lots of homework. I'm just saying I'm here still, I haven't disappeared, I just have bio lab work and some essays to write. D= Still knitting and crocheting. I haven't been sewing because it takes a lot of time. I've drafted some patterns that I will share later on when I actually have time.
Not cool, but what can you do.

I"ve also been working on making stuff in minecraft. Its really working my technological side, what with the logic gates and electrical circuits.

I haven't gotten to wear lolita lately, its just not practical atm as I have sculpture and its messy. I also have biology labs, which are messy. Its also not practical to be climbing up hills and several flights of stairs in cute heels.

 I don't want to mess up my nicely sewn lolita clothing.

I need new lolita stockings for my thicker legs for that matter. I need more socks and such too. Well, this is what weekends are for. Along with homework. =.=

Will come up with new content soon....
I swear...
Maybe I can just photograph the diagrams I have in my sketchbook and make those the tutorial.


-MNR

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Japanese hook sizes - "steel"

I read a lot of japanese crochet patterns. Many of them are thread weight.

There is this beautiful bolero I would like to make into my size, it would be perfect for classic lolita or mori kei or even himegyaru.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/p21-lace-bolero
Its absolutely gorgeous but even in the book itself its very complicated, so I'm thinking about making this pattern instead. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/p23-bolero . Its slightly simpler.

I can read a little japanese: hirigana, katakana, and some kanji. MEEEH why would you use kanji in a pattern?? Then only those who are absolutely up to reading level in japanese can read it. The people who make these patterns are usually good about making diagrams. I plan on learning japanese more, but for now, diagrams will do. I guess.

Oftentimes these patterns are one size fits all. At least they are good about making them in a size that is highly adaptable, somewhere in between bust size 32 and bust size 38, a medium for a lot of people.

Japanese patterns use an "#/0" symbol for the size of their hooks and needles. US and UK use "size #" for their hook sizes in patterns. I keep forgetting the japanese to metric to US conversion for the needles. I think I'm going to make a chart in english. Or at least borrow one from the Rakuten site: http://www.rakuten.co.jp/gosyo/438728/672881/





Japanese steel hooks No.      2/0   3/0       4/0      5/0      6/0       7/0       8/0      10/0      
Size in mm                         2mm 2.3mm 2.5mm 3.0mm 3.5mm 4.0mm 5.0mm 6.0mm      
Japanese bamboo hooks No. 2         3           4          5          6           7          8          10       
Size in mm                         2.7m/m 3.0m/m 3.3m/m 3.6m/m 3.9m/m 4.2m/m 4.5m/m 5.1mm


I think hooks that don't have labels are just listed in mm size in the pattern.

If I got some info wrong, do comment and I will try to fix it.


-MNR

Monday, March 19, 2012

Crochet bow patterns

These are currently a work in progress. Check back.

They are for crochet.

Net Bow

Base:
With a g hook and worsted weight yarn, chain 21.
Sc into 2nd chain from hook and across the chains. (20 sc)
Ch 4, turn.*Skip one sc, dc in next stitch, ch 1*
Ch 4, turn.Skip 1 ch, dc in next dc, continue from *.
Continue previous row for 30 rows.
Row 31: Ch 1, sc in each dc and space. Fasten off.

Tie:
Ch 8.
Sc into 2nd chain from hook and across the chains. (7sc)
Ch 1, sc in each sc across.
Continue previous row for 2 more rows.
Do not fasten off.

Fold the bow in such a way that it fluffs up. Wrap the tie around the bow and secure both ends of the tie with slip stitches along the ends.



Bobble Bow

Bobble stitch: insert hook into stitch, yo, draw up loop, pull through two loops. Do this 3x more, then yo and draw through all loops. Do not chain one.

Base:
With a g hook and worsted weight yarn, ch 25.
Sc into 2nd chain from hook and across the chains. (25 sc)
Sc in first two stitches, bobble,

Spring break, the casino, and sewing machine

Well, spring break is over tonight. It kinda sucks that it is over.
I had fun, though most of the days I was just lounging about and sleeping and knitting.
I did get a chance to drive home and stay there for 3 days, 90 miles is the farthest I've driven.

My friends and I went to Mohegan Sun casino and resort yesterday for St. Patrick's day. It was intense. Lots of partying people, we saw the parade, I lost $40 (my friend provided the money) and at the roulette table he won back all of our losses. So it wasn't awful. I actually like the roulette and black jack tables much better than the slots. More strategy involved than pushing a button and getting random wins.
In general, I learned I don't like gambling. I lost a lot, and the wins I did get weren't worth much. If I were to go again, I would go to see the shows and watch people at the tables. I feel.... I need some tangible return for putting money into the endeavor. A lot of celebrities come and do shows at the casino. I didn't realize.

I totally wish they had Pokemon slots like in the gameboy games. That would be awesome, I would totally play! For that matter, the Pokemon games need things like blackjack and roulette or Pokemon poker.

By the end of all that, my feet hurt so much. The place is fairly huge and there are massive amounts of crowds and the only place to sit is at the slots. =P Very strategic there.
There was a scandalously dancing man that handed out necklaces with "lightly dressed" females handing out beer reward cards. I got both, but  I didn't use the beer card. I don't like beer. I am more of a wine or cocktail person. Also I don't drink often.

The mainly awful part was driving there. There were so many terrifying moments of getting lost, and the gps was trying to screw us over constantly. Oh, mother gave me her tom tom 2 recently, and I am borrowing her sewing machine.

I didn't dress the way I wanted to. I really wanted to sew the coffee date dress from burdastyle and wear it to the casino so I could look like some arm candy and find James Bond at one of the poker tables and be his good luck charm. But... mohegan sun is... more of a family oriented casino. And the vast majority of the people that went there weren't dressed up. After I was done gambling, For the last couple hours I people watched. That was the most disappointing part about people watching. There were very few people in suits and cocktail dresses.
However, when you do go to the place where the sit-down restaurants are, more people are dressed up, in pumps and short dresses. A  younger, more hip crowd, mostly to go to the nightclub there.

I just wore casual outerwear. I was somewhat upset about that, that I didn't really dress up. I tried, but soo many clothes, and nothing matching! Argle!

About the sewing machine though: I was there at 11 pm, in the dorm, cutting up the printed pattern, taping pieces together. Then my sewing machine started to make loud squeaking noises.
and then the squeaking noises started to intensify slowly, and would appear and disappear.
I'm very upset, because I oiled every part of the machine. I searched online, it may be that the engine needs oil. I had better look at the manual, or call mummah.... but she got it tuned up last year, so the motor's brushes shouldn't be eroded.

I have a Kenmore model 385.something, I can't quite remember the whole model number off the top of my head. I downloaded a free copy of the manual a few months ago, so I shall try to troubleshoot myself. I just got access to a sewing machine. I don't want to have to take it home because if I take it home it will stay there for months, not getting tuned up as it needs.

Before it crapped out I did manage to finish my green dress. So its not that awful...
I need to learn how to insert zippers and make button holes tho. I can hand sew anything else I guess.

Well, back to class tomorrow. When I have time, I guess.

-MNR

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sewing and Hair

Sewing

I can never find information on hand sewing. There's plenty of information on machine sewing.
I wasn't able to get my mother's sewing machine from home. So frustrating. I know I have schoolwork to do but I want to relax by sewing. I desperately need to grow my lolita wardrobe. I do have a garment from winter break, where I sewed the bodice to the skirt. I drafted the pattern myself, and it fits pretty well.

It is extremely hard to find information on hand sewing garments. What I've found so far is basting stitches in preparation for machine sewing. Blech.

So, I will soon go on a quest for antique sewing magazines. They oftentimes show you how to handsew in the back, as machines weren't as prevalent.

I will take a pic of my dress for later on, as a WIP. I might have mentioned this previously, but I want to hand embroider the top, and make lace for the edging by hand. I've found several pretty lace patterns, and I have already begun one in a minty green.

Its great, the fitted sheet  for my bed here at college has lost its elasticity. I don't really want to repair it. I want to turn it into another lolita dress!
I'm silly, silly. I have two other pairs of sheets, I don't need  three! Its ok.
I needs lots and lots of green dresses I do! hah.
well, spring IS coming. I haven't gotten a chance to wear lolita s much as I wanted to this winter. I don't have the proper attire to do so is the problem. I really want knit tights and lolita boots. But of course, the fashion is expensive...
Once I get a paying job in the games industry, I'll dress it all the time squee!

Anyway, I will post the pattern as I drafted it, and a tutorial will follow.
----------



These are some of the tutorials I am using. Sorry, this time these are all videos.


http://youtu.be/CJUuxOTkbRE - this woman has pretty decent tutorials in general.
http://youtu.be/gtCVpi99o8A - A lolita shirt reconstruction
http://youtu.be/ZmSbiHakoyg - bloomers

Hair
I have the hair of an african american. It is frizzy, fluffy, dense, and strong willed. It is not a good idea to break the will of hair, because you will break your hair.
It is, however, shoulder length. I choose not to straighten it with chemicals, use a flat iron, or wear extensions to make it look straight. For the most part I tolerate and like my hair, but I want wigs so that I can change up my hairstyle more often. I want a green wig!

The only thing is to work around your hair. I don't think it is unfortunate that I don't have straight long hair. I find it unfortunate that there's a lack of diversity in the magazines such as the G&LB. The point is to look victorian and cutesy. But I'm pretty sure there are alternatives to the one look that is presented in these books and others like it.

I do believe that lolita generally requires shoulder length or longer hair in order to attempt certain styles. One could have closely cropped boyish hair or tiny curls though, it will just require accessories for it to look lolita-ish. Cute hats, beanies, berets, hair ornaments and clips, and definitely bows.
It just matters that you take care of your hair.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knit Lolita Cardigan, 1 Peggy Sue

I love the lolita cardigan, its a great accessory. I just don't want to pay 100USD+ for the stuff in the stores, for various reasons. I have been brainstorming cardigan ideas using cardis in stores and in the lolita bibles.

 I am still not done knitting up the lolita cutsew I had been brainstorming earlier. It is coming along nicely, unfortunately it is at home so I can't show examples.

I don't have a lot of fine yarn, like dk, sport, or fingering, to create a lolita cardigan. I also don't have the patience. Therefore, I like taking patterns from ravelry and adapting them to be lolita.

This cardigan is perfect for lolita, especially casual. I draw inspiration from this blogger here. http://lindas-hemligheter.blogspot.com/2012/01/back-to-50s.html . She made an amazing pink cardi that looks very vintage with her 1950's dress. The 1950's aesthetic is very close to lolita, and in fact is cited often as one of the founding styles of lolita.

Nevermind all the theory. It is a very cute cardigan, and I happen to have dk weight yarn from a failed crochet pullover. I forget if it is Caron Spa or Caron Country. I've lost the labels for the yarn. The problem is, Caron Spa is 158 yards, and Country is 231 yards. That's a big difference as I usually purchase cheaper yarn. I don't have that much money.

The cardigan is called Peggy Sue. If you have a Ravelry, check it out here. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/peggy-sue. I just wish I could get my hair in the 1950's style. Maybe there are antique photos of african american ladies of that period, might give me clues.

I have these great vintage buttons from the thrift store that I really want to use for something like this. Other people have used pearl shank buttons. So cute! There aren't pearl buttons in the button tin I purchased though.


I am almost done with the March Cardigan by Berrocco. Great, because winter is getting close to over. Booooo... I just need to seam, wash and block it. Not even sure how to do that, but... eh.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Dress Commentary

New BBTSSB dresses in online-store!
Stands for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, a japanese lolita brand. They have a store in San Francisco that I really want to go to and browse in.

Its very cute and classic, even though I'm not a Shiro lolita, or a sweet lolita. I might have said before that I'm a classic lolita. It looks like a toned down sweet lolita dress. They also have off white, pink, navy, black and white, and pure black.



http://www.babyssb.co.jp/shopping/baby/jumper/136206.html


Yes, its a nice dress, but the reason I posted about this is that the sizing is reasonable! This dress could be a lower sized plus size dress, as the size is:

Length:90cm(35.43inch)
Bust:85~104cm(33.46~40.94inch)
Waist:81~100cm(31.88~39.37inch)

The dress looks a little short. Its wider around than it is long. I have a problem with that. I wish lolita brands in general would have more "long" or "tall" sizes. Over 40" in length, because not everyone is 5' even. So 36 inches is 1 yard, which is 3 feet. So 2 feet (24 inches) of you isn't being covered if you're 5'. That might be ok, might come up to your knees or slightly above. If you're 5'8", for example, you're 68". 68 - 35 = 32". Almost 3 feet of you isn't being covered. That means mid thigh is uncovered.


Love Ring Present Box
http://www.babyssb.co.jp/shopping/baby/jumper/135263.html
Ugh, the name is a little rough. =.= I dislike how lolita clothes and other items have Japanese-english names that don't quite make sense in translation. It feels tacky, it sounds tacky and broken english-japanese-ish. Kinda like they're trying to be  'kawaii-otaku'. ITAIII! T_T

The sizing here isn't exactly plus size.
Length:92cm(36.22inch)
Bust:88~99cm(34.64~38.97inch)
Waist:68~80cm(26.77~31.49inch)

People wonder why others make replicas of dresses. Much of the world isn't one size fits all. The dresses and clothing that comes in stores is. Incidently, you cannot copyright an idea in US copyright law. http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/unprotected.html . The US government holds that a piece of clothing cannot be copyrighted. If a design is copyrighted, because it has a specific use, the article of clothing can be modified significantly to create a different article of clothing. The popular myth amongst lolitas that one can copyright a dress is preposterous.
If dresses were copyrighted, there wouldn't be derivatives of the wrap dress. Or, designers would be paying royalties to the original wrap dress creator.

I don't know Japanese copyright law. I might look into it.

Another question is does a dress from a brand have a specific utility? Utility as in the difference between a generic shoe and those shoes where each of your toes is hugged, and supposedly you're able to run better.

I have lots of ideas about lolita fashion. I need to organize my thoughts about it into a researched discourse.
For one, I would expand the sizing.
I believe also that there are many different patterns and styles that can be experimented with.
I want to see more patterns being created and given out, and in multiple sizes. I think that companies won't do that, because they know that they are in a cultural niche, and they want to control the style and flow of money in the community.
There is a great deal of lolita dependence on brand clothing.

I feel like I want to write a book about this, nonfiction. That would require research, however.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cosplaying

I've never cosplayed before but I've always wanted to.

Cosplaying is about emulating a character you love, and being them for a brief amount of time.
I just had the great idea of cosplaying a Kyoshi warrior from Avatar the last airbender.

I feel as long as you're a good cosplayer and not a creepy person, you're never too old to cosplay. 

Here's a list of characters I want to eventually cosplay in my life.

Ryoko - Tenchi Muyo
Motoko Kusanagi (the major) - Ghost in the Shell
Shiva - Final Fantasy 8
Yuna - Final Fantasy 10
Dr Girlfriend - The Venture Brothers

So far, that's the list. I will keep adding to it as time goes on.

This will require much sewing and knitting! Horray!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Simple Charity Adult Mitten pattern

Simple Charity Adult Mitten pattern

Because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted without customizing heavily, I decided to make my own worsted weight mitten pattern. I've searched Ravelry for simple charity mittens in a basic style. I like the thumb gusset  coming out of the side of the mitten, but couldn't find mittens for my exact specifications. Thus, these mittens were created.


Red heart worsted/aran weight yarn, size 7 dpns, sewing needle, stitch markers. Scrap yarn or stitch holder.
optional: size 5 dpns, or circular needles.

For adult woman size L or adult man's size S/M

CO 36 stitches. Distribute your stitches how you want, they are easily rearranged later. I usually do 12/12/12.  If you want a design for the top you can do 20/8/8 or some variation.
Do a 2x2 rib with either size 7 needles or size 5 needles. Or, do a 1x1 rib. Do this for 2 inches or till desired length for cuff. For me, beginning of round is shown by the tail of the yarn.

Knit one row plain.
Increase for  wrist by doing so: *K6, m1* till end of row. 6 stitches increased.

Knit plain for 2 inches. You may start designs here.

At beginning of round, m1, m1, place marker. You have 4 stitches for the start of your thumb gusset. Knit one round plain.
Repeat these last two rows until you have 13 stitches between your beginning of round and that marker. Place those 13 stitches on a stitch holder or scrap yarn, and continue knitting in the round. Pull yarn tight to close up the hole when you come to the thumb gusset in subsequent rounds. The hole should close on its own.

If you haven't placed designs and you want to, now is a good time to place designs.
My design was 2 red stripes, separated by black. How I did it: my colors were black (mc) and red (cc). I continued in black for  3 more rows. Then I did 3 rows red. Then another 3 rows black. Then another 3 rows red. Then I cut red and went back to black. There will be a bit of 'stripe jogging', so I placed the jogging stripes at the beginning of round, where my thumb hole resides. It is not quite noticeable.

Continue knitting for 4 more inches. This is usually where the pinky finger ends.

Begin decreases to close the mitten.
*K8, k2tog* till the end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*K7, k2tog* till end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*K6, k2tog* till end of row.
Knit one round plain.

Continue in this manner, until you finish row *k2, k2tog*.
After that row, just k2tog. You should  be left with 6 stitches. Cut yarn and leave a tail 12 inches or longer. Weave through remaining stitches and tie off.

Thumb:
Pick up the stitches left earlier. You should have 13. Pick one up where the hole is, and then you should have a total of 14 stitches.
Knit in the round, tightening  where the hole is. Knit for 2.5 inches. Begin decreases.
*k1, k2tog* till the end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*k2tog* till the end of row.
Leave a tail of 8 inches, draw through remaining stitches and tie off.

At this point, I crocheted around the cuff with my contrasting color. I crocheted 32 stitches evenly around the opening, to tighten the cuff. This is optional.


Make second mitten in this manner, reversing the top hand pattern, by distributing stitches like so: 8/8/20, where 20 is where you put the design.