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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