Monday, December 19, 2011

Bow Shirt Preview

Just a little preview of the bow shirt.   This was a test print we did before John prints the example shirt.  The example crown shirt is also set to be printed!  I'm so so happy with how this came out!

If all goes well we will have them available for order shortly after Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Neptune's Domain Skirt and Vest Release!

It's Official now!  The skirt and vest set is available for order!

The skirt will also be available in a tea length

This is a limited run of 5 Vests and 10 Skirts.  Ordering is on a first come first serve basis.  The Skirts will be custom made to your measurements.

More Information and photos can be found on the website.

The skirt, vest, and accessories are available in several colors

Accompanying the set is an updated version of my Tricorn Hat:

Although the jumperskirts have sold out; the removable sailor collars will be available for order (with a skirt) as they are an extremely versatile piece to coordinate with.  The emblem pins/hairclips are also still available

Addditionally the Couture section has been updated as well with some new pieces.  The Garden of Eden dress from the 2011 Otakon fashion show is now available and I had just enough components left over from our last jewelry line to make some acorn jewelry.

More Information and photos can be found on the website.

If you are having trouble seeing the updates please clear your cache.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Preview: Neptune's Domain Vest and Skirt set.

Weigh anchors all, here comes the next items for offer from the "Neptune's Domain" Line.

Here is a bit of a preview for those in the know before I "officially" release the final pieces to the line in the next few days.

Available in a wonderful selection of jewel tones (as well as black), the vest and skirt "set" is a more mature take on the nautical theme.

Skirt and Vest set is a bit of a misnomer as each item can be ordered separably.  The skirt will of course be offered in a tea length as well as the usual knee length.

Also for order will be an updated version of my familiar tricorn hat.  It's larger now, and festooned with lace, ribbon, cord, and an anchor charm and swishy tassel!   

Also even though the jumperskirts have sold out; the removable sailor collars will be available for order (with a skirt) as they are an extremely versatile piece to coordinate with.

I hope you all are looking forward to the release with as much excitement as I am.  I want to thank you all for your support and patience.  I had high hopes of doing the second release for "Neptune's Domain" a few months earlier, but it had to get pushed back due to the wonderful amount of interest in the jumperskirts!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daily Outfits: Halloween

I have to admit since fall started I have been a bit more lax about updating this blog.  I have been rather busy with "Neptune's Domain" orders and various other projects (more about that in later posts).

I have vowed to post about my Halloween outfits before Thanksgiving! 

But first an update about the Inklings/ Lily of the Valley t-shirt collab:  The two "winning" designs were the bow and crown.  I am in the process of editing them so that we can print the example shirts!

Back to coords!

I wore this for a Halloween party a few days before the actual Hallow's eve.  I decided to be a "Rosebud Fairy" because my "Fairy Formal" dress I made last spring is so very fun to dance in!  I tried to lolita-fy it up a bit with bow shoeclips, rose print socks, a petticoat, and the frilly "peasant" blouse I made for the Otakon fashion show.

I'm also wearing the Lalique necklace I posted about a few posts back.  I decided to suggest wings with some chiffon scarves rather then wear more traditional ones.  I can't poke peoples eyes out with these ones!

With my current line how could I not dress as a pirate for Halloween Day!  I have to admit all day I was giggling about  how the new vest and hat came out!

Yes this is a small preview for the next release from the "Neptune's Domain" line, it will include a skirt, vest, and tricorn hat.  

And ahem... here is another lolita look that I wore in the summer and haven't posted here yet.

I wore this for my birthday dinner with my parents.  Looking at this makes me long a bit for warm warm weather!  

Details of the accessories.  The roses were made of some fabric scraps.  I'll have to post a tutorial for them sometime soon!

I wore this vintage cape for the chilly air conditioning!  It was one of those great thiftstore finds!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Inklings t-shirt collab designs

Here are some more t-shirt designs for the Inklings/Lily of the Valley t-shirt collab!   These are just sketches and the one(s) picked will be inked and digitally edited for the screen printing process.

Basic bow, will be printed slightly off center 

Crown: another typical lolita motif.

Cute cake as requested by Charlotte.  Please excuse the "fading" of the doily on the bottom

"Fawnasol" with removed horns as requested.  I've also shaded in the parts that are likely to be solid.

Art Nouveau mermaid, this one is the least obviously lolita.

The chosen design will be printed in Either white or black on a women's fitted tee.   This is the tee shirt I am looking to use:

The tee comes in many colors like:

  • white
  • black
  • pink
  • bright pink 
  • red
  • royal blue
  • baby blue
  • sky blue
  • green
  • grass green
  • purple
  • lilac
  • navy
  • light brown

We haven't worked out the specifics of the pricing yet, but I'm thinking about $20

So please let me know if you are interested in the t-shirts and which designs you like!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Vintage Treasures

A while ago (quite a while ago) was my birthday, and some of my friends; knowing my love of vintage accessories so fit to generously shower me with some!

They are just so pretty and neat that I can't but share them here!

First is this beautiful blossom demi-parure that my Mom and I found at a Vintage shop in Philly.  I liked it so much that it ended up as an early birthday present!  

When I got home  I decided to check the makers mark and found out that it is a Lisner; a popular costume jewelry company from the 50's.  They are most famous for their "oak leaf" necklaces, but most of the pieces are fairly collectible.  The name sounded familiar so I check my other jewelry and found that the leaf pin I found a while ago is also a Lisner.

What really peaked my interest with the set was that with some careful pinning I could wear the necklace as a tiara of sorts!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the earrings as I don't wear clips then they are a tad large for my tastes.  Either make them into posts or hair pins.

There is also a brooch to the set, so I'll just have to keep my eye out for it!

This crochet collar came to me through a friend from ebay.  It's just so dainty and pretty.  

Vintage collars are such a versatile accessory.  I've already worn it several times already.

This vintage hat is just ridiculously precious and sweet!  I don't have anything to wear it with yet, so I'll just have to make something!  I received this from Kristina of the impeccable taste!

One of the most delightful presents was a small shopping spree at some local antiques mall.  I just love poking around through there and seeing what is to be found!

Another hat!  I had actually seen this hat and tried it on several times before.  It's so cute and a really classic shape.  Since it's probably from the 80's or 90's judging by the tag inside I'm going to exchange the dark dark blue ribbon for a bit more of a brighter hue of navy; while still feeling guilt free!

I think these might have been the find of the trip!  Beautiful white kid gloves with exquisite cut-work embroidery.  That Fit My Hands!  I've wanted some vintage gloves for a while, but I have rather long fingers.  

And finally a little scrap of tatted lace.  Tatted lace is really hard to find any examples of so I was sure to snatch this up!  I'm guessing it's rather old as it's just rings connected with crochet (and embellished with some whitework "bullseyes" in the center).  

Not exactly sure what I'll do with this, it's just so interesting and pretty!

Look for some of these peices in some future coords of course!

Do any of you dear readers have a favorite vintage peice in your wardrobe?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Preview: Inklings t-shirt collaboration

While the first "official" line from Lily of the Valley was "Excerpts from a Victorian Cookbook",  the REAL first line was "Keys to the Kingdom".  Released years ago, it was simple box pleated skirt adorned with castles screen printed by my good friend Melanie.

Melanie has since handed over the screen printing business to her son John, who is also a close friend of mine.  It is now Inklings, home to Baa the adventurous sheep illustrated by Melanie and some amusingly clever and sometimes quite smart ass shirts thought up by John.

John is engaged to the delightful Autumn (who some Philly lolitas are sure to have met!) and they are planning their nuptials for this coming spring!  

As their Maid of Honor I've taken on the task to help them finance the wedding in addition to making the dress (of course!).  

In short, John's company Inklings and my lolita brand are collaborating on one or two t-shirt designs with lolitas in mind!  

I've come up with a few designs but I also would like your help and suggestions.  Here are a few of mine so far!

A basic bow, this is my favorite idea so far.  Cute but also not too busy.  It would be printed a bit off center.

Fawnasol!  Combine two popular lolita motifs  = win?  


Other ideas I've had would be castles, or an art nouveau style mermaid sitting in a shell.

Please let me know what t-shirt designs you would like to see.

Keep in mind that they will be printed in EITHER white or black ink on a "baby tee" style shirt.  The shirt style comes in lots of colors, which is nice.

In other news I've been working on "Neptune's Domain" orders and handsewing an Italian style Renaissance dress in my "off" hours.   The example pieces for the second release are next on my list to make!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lily of the Valley Unveiled

image from
This is a post I have considered making for some time, and have shied away from; the inner workings, so to speak, of my lolita brand: Lily of the Valley.

It simply seemed like it would be too ostentatious, too likely to be seen as showing off, and the idea made me feel rather.... well exposed.

What finally led me to writing it was a lolita secret, posted early August, growling about the prices of my most recent release: the "Neptune's Domain" jumperskirt.

I actually didn't see the secret until over a week after it was posted, I had been vacationing in the wilds of French Canada at my family's' log cabin with no internet to speak of.

At first I groaned and nervously scrolled down, but was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of positive and very reasonable comments in response.

I try to stay away from "drama" as much as I can; figuring that this is a good preventative measure.  And so far it has worked, what little exposure I've had (that I have seen) has ended up positive, or at least a mixed bag.

But because of the reasonableness of the "secret" and the thoughtfulness of the comments, I thought I should respond in kind.

So to start: here is a brief rundown in what goes into making a line, it's not always this linear though:

  • Original Idea: The concept so to speak.  A theme or subject matter will bubble it's way to the surface of my mind.  I'll play around with it, getting a feeling for the colors, fabrics, shapes, ect. that might work. I'll continue to mull it over, editing, sketching, and revising until I get to the next step.   This can take a month or so to a few years; I usually have from 5 to 10 ideas floating about at any time.
  • Research: Gathering up reference images for the fabric print or embroidery design.  I'll also do research into material suppliers and costs.  This is when I start working on designing the coordinating jewelry line.  
  • Art:  Now I'll start working on the art for the fabric print, or embroidery.  If it's going to be printed this means a sketch, lightly transferring the "lines" of the sketch to bristol paper, and then coloring it with markers or hopefully soon: watercolors.  The print is worked in sections, to be later assembled digitally.  If it's for an embroidery design I just need the sketch.  This is one of the "scariest" parts of the process because it's a test to see if I can artistically pull off what I have in my head; I don't consider myself a great artist and I don't get the practice I probably should.
  • Digital Assembly: The art is scanned.  If it's for a fabric print I'll clean up and assemble the various pieces.  I have a very old copy of Jasc "Paint Shop Pro", but I mostly use the freewear program "" and MSPaint.  If it's an embroidery I import it into the freewear program "Threds" and digitize it; shape by shape.
  • Ordering Materials: Pretty strait forward of course, I order the fabrics, trims, findings, ect. that  I need for the example pieces.  I try my best to cut costs.  I purchase the majority of my trims in bulk or from a outlet store; but I can't do this with everything and lolita garments are complicated and intricate.  I purchase my specialty printed fabric from Spoonflower, who I have found to have the best customer service; but it isn't cheap.  
  • Construction: Working out the patterns for and putting together the example garments for the first release of the line (Jumperskirt/skirt/bodice, headpeice, jewelry, additional accessories).   I'll also sketch and ink the "official" flats, and make the coordinate "splash page" art at this point.
  • Photography:  Setting up the backdrops and taking photos of the release's pieces, the fabric, color, and trim choices.  I use a slightly aged point and shoot for this; a new camera is next of the list for equipment purchases.
  • Website Editing: Download and edit the photos, flats, and "splash" art.  Update the website.  Then I'll promote the line through the EGL community and this blog
  • The Next Step: Wait for orders, take orders, and fill orders.  Ship things out  Also I'll start preparing for the second release/next line.
Sometimes to amuse myself I'll list the titles of the jobs I do: designer, artist, pattener, seamstress, photographer, webmistress, secretary, accountant, ect.    

I realize that this situation is proably how most of the indie brands and small companies work.  Mostly I'm somewhat in awe of how the internet makes it possible for one person to do all this and be reasonably successful at it.  

It is complicated and quite a bit of work, but I do love doing it.  For years I made my own lolita clothing and got a great response and wanted to "share" so to speak.  After I while I took commissions; but I never found them to be very satisfying; I was either reproducing a Japanese brand design, or working from a customer's design.  So this is what I do now!

Nothing is quite the same as knowing that someone out there likes the design as much (or more) then you do.  The thrill of coming across a photograph (or seeing them in person) of someone wearing one of my pieces; well I don't think I'll ever get over that!

This became quite long, I hope it was at least somewhat interesting.  Please feel free to ask any questions about the process, brand, or whatnot, I'll make a follow up post with them if there is interest.

I of course want to thank my customers who make this all possible and also the thoughtful commenters on lolita secrets.

To lighten things up a bit I'll end with a photo of the previously mentioned Family cabin for any of you country lolitas or mori-girls out there!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Otakon Lolita Fashion show 2011 Looks

As promised, here are the three looks I showed at the 2011 Otakon Fashion show.  I know the photos aren't the best, I took them the night before I shipped the looks to Carla.  Not the best lighting!

The first look to go out.  If your familiar with my "work" previously to this blog, no your eyes do not deceive you, this isn't a new piece for the show.  It's a dress I made last summer that was just too pretty to not end up on a runway.

I did edit it a bit, shortening the skirt lining and moving the ruffle up.

It's worn with a "peasant" style blouse I've been wanting to make for a while, a rose corsage, glass pearl choker, and a vintage hat that belonged to my great grandmother.

I just love how it all came together on the runway!  I call it my "Peaseblossom" dress after the fairy from "A Midsummer's Night's Dream"

Of course you have all see the "Neptune's Domain" jumperskirt.  Here it is rather simply coordinated.

Since it's being released in late summer I decided to try for more of a fall coordinate with a long sleeved blouse.

The crown emblem pin/hairclip is pinned to a headband and is then pinned onto the skirt of the jsk  since my dummy has no head.  I originally wanted to pin the emblem to a blue beret for the fashion show, but no blue beret was to be found in the middle of summer!

I can't wait to get this dress back and wear it!

The final look was the "Garden of Eden" dress.  Cream lace paired with black velvet and cotton!  Accented with some black gloves (which are kinda funny the way I pinned them here!), cream rose corsage, and another vintage hat from my Great Grandmother.

I have to say this cream lace is one of the most amazing fabrics I have ever bought!  It's hard to show in photos the epicness of it!  Flora and fauna arranged in a very William Morris way.  Unicorns and stags, birds and squirrels, Adam and Eve themselves, and more!

Sadly I purchased it years ago, and not that much of it.  I have enough after this one to make myself a dress.

This dress will be for sale in the couture section of my website as soon as I get it back

For those interested, you can view some photos of the fashion show here:

All in all I think it turned out very well!  I couldn't have done it without my wonderful models and Carla's help!  Thank you so much!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Neptune's Domain Jumperskirt Release

Welcome all to "Neptune's Domain".  I hope you all like what you see!

As you can see, plans changed a bit.  The skirts and vest sets will be the second release and I dropped the mermaid/compass emblem.  It wasn't balanced right.

The jumperskirts and accessories are available in several colors.

And of couse there is a matching jewlery line:

More Information and photos can be found on the website.

Please look forward to photos of the looks from the Otakon Fashion show soon!  

If anyone has any photos of the pieces from the show they are willing to let me use, I would be very grateful!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Otakon Lolita Fashion show: preveiws

If you have been wondering about the sudden quiet in this corner of the nets; wonder no more.  

For the last few weeks I have been working diligently (and sometimes more then diligently) on 3 looks for the Otakon fashion show run by my lovely friend Carla.  

Here are some little teasing snippets of the pieces:

Peasblossom Jumperskirt

Neptune's Domain Jumperskirt

Garden of Eden Dress
As you can see, one of the pieces is from my newest line "Neptune's Domain" and will be the first release from it, hopefully sometime early next week. 

Sadly I myself will not be able to be at the fashion show personally.  I hope all of you who go enjoy it to it's fullest!