PR&P Signature Look: My Chibi Gothic Lolita Witch

I'M ALIVE!!!!!!  

Ha!  I know some of you are probably wondering what happened to me!   Ideally it can be summed up into two things: life and Halloween sewing.

Ah, life!  It always catches up with you at the most inopportune times, doesn't it?!  
For me, I had a combination of hitting a motivational wall, illness, new school schedules, a change of jobs for the hubby, a new list of duties at work for myself, a still stellar list of costume to do's and online sew alongs that I had the very best intentions to participate properly in.  Oh, and politics.  Ha!  You know you're a grown up when you worry about politics!  I fully digress on that subject on here because I would hate to bring that into my little blog world...
Oh, and add in a very attached, very active toddler who is constant vying for mommie's attention without a moments rest.  Cute?  Yes.  Productive? Not even a little bit!
One day, one whole day, I got so ill, I couldn't even sit at my sewing machine!  I also had my bout with my body adjusting to the change of weather around here and with my amount of accidents in the past, it proves to completely disarm me.
Alright, enough yappering, let's take a look at some clothes, shall we!?!

If you've followed my blog for a while, you know that I love "Lolita" fashion.  I am not an avid Lolita myself but I go completely weak in the knees over the dresses, ruffles, Victorian feel, cuteness, oh man I can just go on and on and on.  We love watching anime in our house so naturally I was drawn in to the style of the clothes.  I came up with "Sew Chibi" because of my love of making clothes for my own little chibi version of myself: Azriella (and now Sephira too!)  It is by far my love of color and my love of ornate details that I feel truly define who I try to be as a sew-er.  And so this week is the Signature Style Week for PR&P and so I present what I love most:  my little girl in a fancy Lolita style dress.
Initially, when I asked Azy what she wanted to be for Halloween I was completely surprised at the answer:
"Really?  A witch?"
"Yeah, with a shirt and a bigggg hat!"
"Um, a shirt?  No no no no no no, I am not making you a shirt for Halloween. Witches wear dresses"
"Nooo!  A shirt!"
{insert Pinterest session featuring witches}
Pointing to a witch in a corset, Azy exclaimed "See a shirt!"
"OOOOOOOHHHHH, a corset.  Oh yeah, I can totally make you a corset!"

Whew!  Dodged a bullet on that one!  And she suckered me into being one too, but I told her I am not wearing a big hat.  Mommie wants a little one.  And of course a matching dress. 

Yes, Sephira's is done and no I haven't done a photo shoot yet.  She's being Ponyo.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you haven't seen any of Hayao Miyazaki's movies with your kids you are missing out on some truly captivating, stunning, heartwarming movies!  He's like the Disney of Japan.  So for those of you who have seen Ponyo, and know how huge and unruly Sephira's hair is, you know that she is a perfect character for my little girl.  And Dad will of course be Fujimoto, Ponyo's dad.
insert witch cackle.
Okay back to the witch.

Signature Style.  I know what some of you are thinking:  this would have been better suited for the Holiday Look.  I thought about all this beforehand, and I had a realization that this IS my Signature Style:  little Lolita dresses with tons of accessories, ruffles, and surprises!

So I present to you all my chibi gothic Lolita look!  The look consists of 8 pieces. Let's start at the top and work our way down, shall we?

First let it be know that every bit of this ensemble was SELF DRAFTED.  And some were much trickier than others!

The HAT is made of felt, craft fused sparkly satin, and black lace.  I was going for a Harry Potter "sorting hat" look, and to achieve that I used a pipe cleaner zig-zagged into one of the seams and then bent into shape.  The rim is gathered to fit the cone and finished with a dark gray floral ruffle.  To give is a slightly anime look, I wrapped the cone in ribbon and then finished it with one of three "bat bows" that I made.

Would you like a little pattern to make your own bat bows?  Comeon!  You know you do!
 Made with scraps, here's a link to the pattern:

It's a pretty easy tutorial, 
  • Cut out fabric on fold the way it is in the pattern
  • Sew along both short sides and along the points and inverted "v"'s and about 3/4" into the long straight middle from both sides.
  • Leave a hole for turning like in the picture below.
  • Press.  And press under the seam allowance from you turning hole.
  • Topstitch the whole thing, making sure to close you opening at the bottom.
  •  Pinch in the center then accordion the top and bottom and baste in place.
  • Take a small bit of fabric about 1 1/2" X 4" fold it in half and sew along the one long edge.
  • Stitch the short ends together, checking the fit so that it is wide enough to pull your bow through but not so big that it gaps.
  • Hand stitch wherever the hell you want!
 Pretty Halloween-y right?!  
Dress em' up however you like, I did a couple of spiderweb ones for the skirt.

Next the NECKLACE is made of a cabochon and frame set that I bought and put together and laced with a ribbon. I am so stinking proud of this necklace even though I didn't actually make the cabochon.  I do think that is going to be something I shall dabble in because my eyes got as wide as dinner plates when I saw the kinds of things you can make!

The VEST is fully lined with sparkly fabric and the back of both shell and lining are shirred and tacked so as to not peek through.  I have such a hard time keeping it pressed, but you can only see the wrinkles when it is not being worn.  The corset front has a hidden shirred bit and gold painted eyelets.  It is laced with black ribbon and is finished with a ruffle and custom piping.

The BLOUSE.  The drafting for this was tr-icky!  I'd never done a button placket-ed shirt without a pattern before!  Those tuxedo pleats were a little intimidating but I managed to wrangle them!  Next time, I will stitch them as tucks.  Just a word to the wise about that.  The button plackets are made with cotton fabric, eyelet fabric, and is made complete with black woven interfacing  (I love me some woven fusible interfacing.  And I literally shrieked out loud when I saw there was black!).  The collar is made the same way the placket is and is finished with a shirred ruffle around the neckline.
  Along the button placket is a double bias ruffle.  The sleeves are puffed, gathered at the biceps, flared at the bottom and finished with ribbon and lace.  The blouse hem is swooped to mimic a traditional button down blouse and has a bias hem.

The TIGHTS are made of black four way stretch lace knit fabric and have an elastic waist and are a full stocking look.  You know it!  I had to make stockings!

Bat Bow
The SKIRT.  I had quite the vision in mind.  Secretly, if anyone wants to know where I got some of my inspiration, go to my pinterest button at the top (the one that has a "P" on Ponyo's belly).  I have a whole board dedicated to Lolita and Steampunk fashion.
The waistband is elastic and made adjustable with long ties.  The main body of the skirt is a muted dark plum gray black color with amethyst flowers and vines and of that I made a 5 tiered skirt:  the top is double gathered, the second is pintucked, the third is double gathered, the fourth is pintucked and the bottom is ruffled.  

The middle panel is a dark lavender and plum damask and has the two remaining "bat bows" at the bottom, stitched on an angle (cuz witches are crooked ;-) and topstitched to look like a spiderweb. 

goes all the way through, but has a sunken part as well.

The top of the middle panel holds a secret... literally!  It has a hidden muff with deep pocket for hoarding candy (you know I love my pockets).  
Nice and deep.  Creating a hidden muff with sunken pocket was NOT an easy feat.  I made it work, but I gotta believe that I did it in a bit of an unorthodox manner.

Underneath this fun top layer, true to lolita form, is a plum built-in pettiskirt.

Next, black eyelet and sparkly satin SPATS/BOOT COVERS with elastic fittings, ruffled tops, and buttons speckled with gold paint to give a patina look. 

And last but not least, since it gets chilly here in Portland, a CAPE with ribbon trim, long ties, and a plum micro-fleece lining.

I'm thinking of doing a matching umbrella, but haven't decided if it's totally necessary. 

Consequently, this is what I was working on the entire week of Elsie Marley's Kids Sewing Week Challenge.  I plan on doing a belated week of different clothing attire after Halloween!

Well, I would love to hear what you think!  I plan on doing a little 7 day mini tutorial session on some of the elements that made the dress so look forward to 6 more ways to get into this most beloved autumn season!

Hugs & Stitches,

29 awesome sauce comments:

  1. LOVE it!!!! The textures of the tucks and double gathers and ruffles and lace are probably my favorite. Fantastic work creating the patterns! Can't wait to see your outfit too. :) Glad she meant "corset" instead of just a shirt. ha. And I'm excited about your tutorials. I really want a skirt like that for myself, though I should probably stick with a little size as I'm sure it would take me forever. You post such fabulous things and I keep wondering how you'll top yourself and then you do. :) PS hope you're feeling completely better! I managed to get food poisoning twice in the last month. So not fun.

  2. Forgot to say I love the cape- especially with the microfleece! That stuff is so much nicer than the other fleece.

  3. You have two very lucky little girls! That is an amazing outfit and I can't wait to see the next! :)

  4. OMIGOSH Kat, I can't even begin to take this all in! I'm's incredible. And look how proud Azy is of her beautiful witch costume!! Fantastic - a feast for the eyes. :)

  5. Found you from Project Run and Play flickr group. Wow! This is amazing! My favorite is the hat. I can't wait for your tutorials.

  6. JUST AWSOME! And She is the best Little Witch ever!;DD

  7. Honey. This is incredible! The attention to detail you put into every piece. How hard you've worked on it. It is so damn amazing! YOU ARE AMAZING <3

  8. As a mom who has done all her 3 children's costumes for the last 20 years. Yes, 20 lol. This is the best and most adorable little witch ever! Bravo!

  9. HI I am not trying to be rude but I think you should know what the term "Lolita" means before you use it to describe your daughter's fashion. The definition for lolita is a sexually precocious young girl. Although this is a fashion trend it still derives from the same meaning. I think since you like ruffles and cute dresses you might want to use the term victorian or steampunk. I was a little perturbed when I first read your description and I just don't want you to give people the wrong impression.

  10. Actually Shanna not to be "rude" back but Lolita fashion in the sense that I am talking about is the Japanese revival of the Victorian era and has ABSOLUTELY NO sexuality related to it. In fact, it is considered NOT Lolita to show any BIT of sexuality. Look up any reputable and reliable Lolita dedicated website and you can find that out. You are confusing Nabokov's "Lolita" image with the modern "goth" image that can, I guess, be combined, but are definitely not true Japanese Lolita by any means. It is a little presumptuous to assume that I do not know what I am talking about, since I frequently read Lolita blogs about the culture and clothing style.

    If you, even as an adult, attempt to dress Lolita and try to make it "sexy" in any way, it is HIGHLY considered a faux pas and "Ita" (someone who messes up Lolita).

    This is a quote about what Lolita is from the lolita handbook: "♥What is Lolita?♥
    Lolita is a very hard style to define, but in my opinion what really defines it is it's childlike innocence and old-fashioned elegance. It's distinctive style is most obviously from the Victorian and Rococo eras, but you will see a lot of influence from the Edwardian period and even some 40s and 50s American clothing styles - any time period in which fashion was elegant and beautiful. The bell-shaped skirt provides the typical silhouette, but it is neither what makes something lolita nor is it required of all lolitas. There is no one item of clothing or a color or trim that embodies all that is lolita - it is a unique aesthetic that's hard to perfect. To some there's a lifestyle attached - not only wearing the clothes as often as possible but also taking part in lolita activities and following a certain code of etiquette - but to others it is merely a clothing style. Lolita can be an escape from the mundane, or an attempt to return to a more innocent time in life. It's something a little bit different to everyone, but what lolitas have in common is a shared desire to wear really awesome clothes."

    References you should read: (there's about 20+ Lolita blogs here)

    Really, there is nothing about their lifestyle (yes there is a lifestyle and it is all about being cute, sweet, mannerly, and everything ladylike) that is REMOTELY RELATED TO SEX. Period. Sorry to be a little heated but this is really upsetting me because you are planting the seed in other people's mind that I am being careless with my daughter's image and that is absolutely NOT COOL with me.

  11. WAUW! What a fantastic costume!!!
    Somehow I need to go away from the computer now, and sew... :)
    What skills you have!! :D

  12. That looks AMAZING! Will you be doing a blouse/corset vest tutorial as well? I would love to have a blouse like that (maybe with a lighter fabric?) just for casual wear. ;) Keep up the great work!

  13. I was randomly skimming around Craftgawker when I saw this and though "Wow! I would totally wear that!" and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was an AWESOME lolita witch costume for a kid :D I love all the details to this! Your sewing is phenomenal!

  14. Kat, this is awesome!! I especially love the blouse- that pattern would make an amazing dress even on its own. Good luck with the PRP open audition!!

  15. This is absolutely exquisite! You should definitely be on PR&P, i'll be excited to see more !

  16. This is AMAZING!! You should definitely get on!

    Im definitely following you now!

    Bettina @

  17. wow amazing! I also just entered and outfit for run and play.... yours is amazing!!!

  18. oh my goodness.....this is insane! the detail you used is just stunning. I love it! I'm really hoping you get onto PRP, because I can't wait to see what you would make next!! Normally I really like the looks on PRP that are clean and modern, but you have a totally different style and it would be neat to see it featured.

  19. Kat, your sewing skills and attention to detail are absolutely amazing!I'm in awe that you self-drafted the entire ensemble. Fantastic!

  20. wow Kat, this look is SUPER impressive and so cool. I vote KAT! FOR WORLD DOMINATION!

  21. this is my first visit to your blog(well, actually I've come back to it like 5 times just this morning) thanks to project run & play. . this post blew me away and I've been thinking about the passion it takes to make something like this for your child. Most of the blogs I read are of people making really cute, but simple clothing. They give tutorials on how to make a simple piece of clothing look store bought. You have taken this to a whole new level for me with just this one post. I am so glad you exist. I am glad I have stumbled upon your blog- you have an amazing talent and I do envy it LOL. bravo!!! please never stop!!!

  22. Holy smokes this is amazing! The amount of details is unbelievable - WOW!!! Respect!!!!!!

  23. Wow ... wow .... wow .... this is AMAZING!! Wow ... did I say WOW?


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