Friday, August 31, 2012

Resplendent Nightmare: Fabrics & Materials~

And here we are, the last day of this blog series. I've revealed pretty much all my plans for this collection, with one exception: the fabric and materials!

A few months ago I posted a poll on my FB page asking what fabric you prefer - I originally really wanted to make this collection center around velveteen, but to my dismay that was not the most popular vote. Cotton was preferred by a long shot, so that's what I've decided to go with. The cotton I'm using for this line (read: for the SK, JSK, & OP) is a cotton so soft I can't even describe it. I've never worked with it before, and in doing research over the past few months I discovered it. It's the softest cotton I've come across, and I know it'll be just beautiful once sewn up.

There's another thing about the dresses in this collection — they'll be lined! I typically don't/haven't lined skirts and things in the past, because it seemed unnecessary or the fabric was thick enough by itself. But in doing more research and looking around at Brand garments and other indie labels, I decided I really like the clean appearance of a lined garment, and I think it'll help the dresses drape, flow, and look better.

At this point in the process I can't say whether the printed garments will be dry clean only or not. Since the ink I'm using is a shimmy gold, I'll have to do some experimenting to see whether the ink will lose it's shimmeries through the wash.

As for the blouses, I'm actually planning on using a new fabric as well. I tend to use a cotton with a sheen finish (because I think it looks super pretty), but for this line (and possibly moving forward), I'd like to try something different. The fabric I'm thinking of using is a wrinkle-free, light-weight poly/cotton blend and I think it may do better through the wash with all the ruffles I have planned.

Cutsews will be made of 100% organic cotton knit, of course!

Outerwear/vests/pants/shorts — I'm still searching around for the perfect fabric for these. I have a few in mind, but I haven't settled just yet.

Materials & Details
Most of the materials/details in the garments will be gold in color, to compliment the print.

Lace I'm planning on using throughout this collection will be like this, except in gold of course.
For some seam details (e.g., the coat), I'll be using a gold piping.

Organza, shown here in Amethyst.
The bottom ruffle in my dress sketches will be made out of organza, in a color matching the fabric. I had originally toyed with doing gold organza or tulle, but tulle is scratchy and irritating against the skin (not to mention tends to look gross overtime), and I couldn't find a gold that actually matched in organza (the colors were either too yellow or too orange), so I settled to match the fabric instead.

Buttons! I'm really excited for the button details in this collection. For the waist ties, I found these cute little critters, so they'll be holding the waist ties in place. They'll of course be in gold, instead of the samples shown here in black. Buttons for blouses/functionality will be gold as well — round shank buttons covered with metallic gold fabric.

Metallic gold pearls.
Gold chain and pearls. In the pants sketches I have some removable chain details. I'll probably include some sort of pearl detail in the dresses as well, even though it's not shown in the sketches.

Gold thread! Ruffles and decorative stitching will be finished with this.
As these were my first run, there's some imperfections as in some of these poor things are missing parts of legs D:
Up close they're not as scary as they might seem :P 
And lastly, my most favorite part — spider charms! (Ugh, I just noticed they totally look coppery in these photos, but that's not at all the case — they're metallic-y gold for sure.) Anyways, this part is something I started experimenting with months ago, but kept it a secret until now. I've never done resin casting or anything like that — I tend to not be too crafty (which doesn't entirely make sense, I know), so I've never had the desire to do something like this before. But I wanted something special and tangible to go along with this print. For example, I had the lollipop 2-ways for Lollipop Parade, and there was no way I was making a spider plush 2-way thing, so I opted to take this route. Each spider will be cast in gold (not actual gold of course) and be finished off with a gem in a color matching the fabric. These are the spider charms that will adorn the chains on the pants, and they'll also make an appearance dangling on headbows and hats.

With that, I suppose I'm finished revealing all things Resplendent Nightmare to you. Tomorrow I'll be opening up pre-orders (for printed garments), which will be found HERE. Pre-orders will include free shipping as well as a special gift. The print and the rest of the collection will be available in about 2 months, on Halloween. And of course I'll be updating here and on my FB page until then~ Thanks so much for reading/keeping up with me all week!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Resplendent Nightmare: Tights, Cutsews, & Accessories~

Pretty much all of my plans for Resplendent Nightmare are out in the wild now, except for these stragglers...
^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
The first thing in my shop that I won't be sewing/putting together... tights! Something I've wanted to do for such a long time. Now that I'm personally doing all the printing, this has at last becoming an achievable possibility! Honestly, there's not really a front or back to this design - I couldn't make up my mind about it, so it's up to you whether you want the spiders on the front or back of your legs. The colors shown here are not totally accurate - the supplier I'm going with carries a slightly lighter red and blue than what's pictured here, but they'll still work out just lovely. These will be available in both regular and plus-size, so no one's left out! In addition to tights, I'll also have nylon knee-highs, which I think will look great with a nicely coordinated kodona/ouji outfit. I don't have a sketch to show you, as they'll look identical to these except y'know, stop at/just below the knee.

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
I suppose this isn't really a "detail" per se, as it is an actual garment - but here you go, the cutsew: screen-printed! I think cutsews are just lovely for casual/daily Lolita wear, so of course I couldn't leave them out. But since they're not quite as elegant as a blouse, I chose to present them today instead of yesterday. I'm not totally set on the colors - I will at least have black and white, but I'm having difficulty finding fabric in the right colors (yes I realize I could dye the fabric as I tend to do - but dyeing such dark colors consistently is a pain, and I don't want to have to deal with that on top of printing). This cutsew will be available in both half and long-sleeved versions - I recently realized I'd never done the latter before so I had to tackle it. And well, long-sleeves are just nice in the fall/early winter. The print design isn't exactly set in stone - it may be tweaked just a bit. Oh, and of course, the neck ties will be detachable. 

I also have a slew of other accessories planned, including spats (in both high & low styles), mini top hats and tricorns, headbows (duh), smallish bonnets, and wrist cuffs. I don't have any sketches of these, as I'm awful at drawing hats and tiny details (and I sorta "design" as I make them), but I'll most definitely have a bunch of these to show off over the next month as I complete samples.

Tune in tomorrow for the last entry of Resplendent Nightmare: Blog Revelations!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Resplendent Nightmare: Blouses, Pants, & Outerwear Designs~

Yesterday was all about the garments that will incorporate the print. Today is all about the rest of the collection that will help bring it together.

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
First up are the blouse designs. Since this is coming out in the late fall/early winter, I opted for all long-sleeve designs. They will all be available in cotton, except for the one on the right, which will be a mix of both cotton & chiffon (e.g. chiffon sleeves, with a cotton bodice). All the ruffles will be finished in a gold thread (however, they can also be made with a fabric-matching thread), with gold buttons. Oh, and despite how the sketches are drawn, all of these designs will be available for both women and men! I don't have all the colors for the blouses set yet, but I do know they will be available in at least black and white. Depending on which fabric I end up going with, more colors may be available. And please note that the neckwear featured on these sketches isn't entirely set in stone.
^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
Next are the bottoms! First we start with some puffy shorts with a ruffled back. They feature functional pockets, and the legs will have a button closure. In the middle are the prince pants, which fall right under the knee - these too will have a botton closure around the leg. Both these and the shorts are finished with gold accents: lace, as well as gold thread finishing the ruffles, and the very small pin tuck down the front & back. Lastly, we have the very wide-leg "mana" type pants. I absolutely love this style of pant (I can't help but admit that I was the proud owner of several pairs of JNCO pants in high school :p), however these will be much more elegant. They feature a small pin tuck going up the front, as well as a removable chain, complete with spider charm. These bottoms will be available in either black or white; just like the blouses, these will also be available for both men and women.

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
And finally, we reach vests and outerwear! Shown in white here, is an under-bust vest. It will feature gold accents, including a removable chain complete with spider charm, as well as coat tails and pockets (still undecided on whether or not these will be functional). Underneath that is a men's halter style vest. It also features a removable gold chain with spider charm, functional front pockets, and a ribbon lace-up (via gold grommets) in the back. Outerwear! Just like most everything else, the coat will too have gold accents (be sure and click on the picture for a bigger look at some of the details), a faux vest panel in the front, and functioning side pockets. The length in the sketch is a bit unclear, as I'm not sure quite how long it'll be as of yet - I'm thinking about knee length, but I may make it available in a shorter length as well. And lastly, the cape! Well it's more of a gilet as it has no sleeves, and will have armholes under the upper cape. (Plus one for functionality!) This may or may not have pockets (still undecided atm) and includes a single gold accent - a gold chain tethered to either side in the front via spider charms. All these pieces will be available in black or white; the coat and gilet will be available for both men and women.

I have a few more garment designs to unveil tomorrow (think... legwear!), before talking about some other final details.

Stay tuned for more Resplendent Nightmare: Blog Revelations all week long!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Resplendent Nightmare: The JSK, OP, and SK designs~

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for! Maybe? Well, it's only Tuesday so I have a lot more to share, but I wanted to break out the dress designs now because I simply cannot wait (hopefully it's clear in the sketches, but starting from the left the views are back, front, back, front, back):

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
The skirt is high waisted, similar to this style that I've done previously. The hem will be finished with either a tulle or organza ruffle (leaning more towards organza since tulle is quite scratchy against the skin) in a color matching the fabric. The front will feature a functional satin ribbon lace-up (that matches the fabric - for example, diamond will have a white ribbon, even though it's shown in black here ^_^;), the back will be shirred for a comfortable fit, and include detachable waist ties, which will also be finished with a ruffle, same as the hem.

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
The JSK features a lot of the same things as the skirt, so I won't repeat myself. However, the back does feature a 3-tiered ruffle-y panel. I think ruffles like these are absolutely gorgeous, and I was very excited to incorporate them into this collection. The ruffles will be finished with gold thread ♡ 

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!
And lastly, the OP! It too, shares a lot of the same features at both the JSK and SK, so I won't go over them again (it will have functional ribbon laces up the front of the bodice, even though it's hard to see in the black & white color-ways). However, this one does feature long sleeves. At first I was going to make them removable but then I decided against it, opting instead to make the sleeves from chiffon so it won't be as hot. I'm still debating on whether or not to make the whole sleeve in chiffon, or to do the upper part of the sleeve in cotton and the rest in chiffon. The end of the sleeve will likely also be finished with gold thread (even though it's not shown in the sketch). I also included neck ties (one of my favorite design elements in Lolita fashion ♡), which of course will be removable.

I plan on doing a more detailed post about the fabric & materials I'll be using, so I won't go into that just yet. I also have lots of other designs to reveal - blouses, kodona, aristrocrat, etc. so be sure and check back throughout the rest of the week to see!

Stay tuned for more Resplendent Nightmare: Blog Revelations all week long!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Resplendent Nightmare: A Look at the Finished Print Design~

Not long ago I introduced my new print, Resplendent Nightmare. After mentioning in that post that I'll probably go back and tweak it a bit... well I couldn't help myself and did exactly that. As soon as I finished that post, I went straight back into Illustrator and began tweaking it. A few minutes quickly turned into a few hours, and I finally feel confident enough to share the finished (for realz, this time!) design:

^^Click for a bigger & more detailed view!

As previously mentioned, it is going to be printed in gold. The gold shown above isn't necessarily accurate - it'll have shimmer in it and be more, well... resplendent than shown here. (Once I'm ready to print, I'll for sure put up photos of actual fabric samples to show the shimmeries in all their glory.) It'll be available in 5 color-ways - ruby (red), diamond (white), amethyst (purple), onyx (black), and sapphire (blue). I'd also wanted to include a dark green/emerald-y color but the fabric I'm using doesn't have a green that's suitable to my taste. The darkest green available is more of a Link green, and that simply won't cut it. Dyeing dark colors consistently is quite the task, and since I'm already printing the fabric, I'd rather not have to dye it as well. Oh, and did I mention the fabric I'm using? It's... like heaven - so scrumptious. I could (and plan to) go on and on about it, but I'll save that for another post.

Stay tuned for more Resplendent Nightmare: Blog Revealations all week long!


Matsuricon... not~

If you've seen my latest vlog, I talked excitedly about all the upcoming cons and things I'll be participating at. This past weekend was Matsuricon, a small local con that I always seem to forget about. This year I was asked to participate in the J-Fashion show by a friend who was helping put it on. I gladly agreed, but didn't get a whole lot of information, so I was a little wary about the whole thing. However, I ended up coming down with a random stomach bug and was down for the count Saturday night, and all of Sunday (I literally spent my entire Sunday slumped on the couch playing video games - something I haven't done in quite a while, tbh). So no, I did not participate in or even attend Matsuricon at all this year. Since it was sorta at the last minute that I was asked, and hadn't previously planned on going (because, like I said - it's a con I always seem to forget about), it's not like I lost money spent on pre-regging or anything. Nope. The only thing I lost was an opportunity and spending all weekend Loli'd up.

Stay tuned for daily blog posts (another one will be coming today!) detailing my new print/line all this week~


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meet 'Resplendent Nightmare'~

Earlier this week I posted a bit of a teaser on my FB page for the new print I've been working super hard on. And I suppose it's about time you see the rest of it.
Well here it is: 

It's entitled 'Resplendent Nightmare', and will be printed in gold on a variety of dark colors including black, navy, dark red, emerald, and plum. There will probably be a few minor alterations before I put this baby to print, but this is mostly it. As simple as it looks, it took quite a while to get together - the spiders were hand drawn by myself, and being a huge arachnophobic... it really was not the easiest of tasks. Perhaps I'll make a vlog later explaining why I chose to create a print on one of my biggest fears~


Friday, August 10, 2012

March Hare Commission~

It's been a while since I've actually blogged about a commission - I did that a lot more when I first started doing custom pieces, and I've just done so many that I found it a little overwhelming and a bit irrelevant to blog about every single custom blouse or skirt I make. This most recent commission not only consisted of an entire outfit, but was probably the most fun/creative freedom I've had working on a custom piece in a while.

When I first got her email and super cute sketch, I was more than nervous taking it on. The bustle and vest with super long coat tails was enough to make me almost second guess this request. I've never had the opportunity to make a bustle skirt before (although I've done plenty of research on how they're put together in the past), and for just one second I had the thought of changing it to be more of a "ruffle skirt" instead. I'm so glad I didn't do that. I'm so happy with how the entire outfit came together, and I'm glad I took a stab at something I had less than no experience with. I was also super lucky to be working with a client who has more confidence in my work than I do, and was entirely laid back and easy-going throughout the whole process.

^ Most of the outfit (minus the shorts)! The vest is made of corduroy and fully lined. The cream center front placket piece thing is fully detachable - the buttons down the sides are fully functional.

^ The bustle skirt ties around the waist via ribbon, and is made of a few layers of cotton fabric. This was way easier to make than I originally feared, and will consider adding things like this to designs in the future.

^ Bustle bow is removable, pearls are not - they are sewn on.

^Because of the way my mannequin is designed, I can't fit shorts onto it. So sadly I have no photos of the entire outfit together, with the shorts.

^Spats! Just like the ones in my shop, minus the bows & stripes.

^I've become way more confident in my mini-hat-making skills, and made this one and the ears out of wool felt ♡ The ears are posable (my first time adding wire to anything!), and everything's attached to a headband.

I love this coord design so much, I'll probably have this entire set available in my shop in the future. About half of these pieces can be found in my shop already though: Blouse, Puffy Shorts, Spats. I do realize the puffy shorts are plaid, and the spats have the stripes, but since everything's customizable in my shop, all you need to do is fill out the "Custom Pieces" form~