Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lolita Hobbies: Sewing & Quilting

Let's face it, dressing in elaborate Lolita clothing can be really expensive, especially if you are just starting out. It might have crossed your mind that you can learn to make your own clothing. Well, making your own clothing now won't really be that much cheaper, but it can be an excellent way to personalize your fashion and discover your own sense of style.

If you want to learn how to sew, it doesn't mean that you have to spend a small fortune on a sewing machine. You can also sew by hand if you want to and hand sewing something small like a headband, a bow, or a little bag might give you the push you need to decide that you would like sewing in the first place and might want to save up for a sewing machine.

There are some positives and negatives to making your own clothes. On the positive end, instead of trying to fit into what is available, you can make your clothes to fit you exactly. If you have a bigger bust then you can fit your tops to fit your chest. If you are taller then you can make skirts longer. On the negative is that it might take you longer to get the clothes you want and you might have to spend some money on classes to really understand how to sew if you don't have anybody close to teach you.

You can also make what is not available on the market. Have any of you Gothic Lolitas ever wanted a Cthulhu inspired dress? Maybe some of you Sweet Lolitas might have been wanting some different food themed dresses? Coffee or bacon anyone? Or some of you Classic Lolitas may have discovered that you can indeed make yourself a polka-dot dress that is still classic but doesn't border on the sweet side too much. Cat lovers could make their own cat inspired dresses. You can find fabric for your favorite sports teams. The ideas go on and on.

While we are talking about sewing, I thought that quilting deserves a good mention too. If you can't tell by now, I love learning crafts that can help keep me warm or decorate a space to match my personality and interests. Quilting does both.

I decided to add quilting in with sewing because the act of quilting is a form of sewing itself when you strip it down to the simplest definition. What you do is that you take one fabric square and put that on top of another fabric square and you have some form of batting in the middle to help it become warmer. Then you sew the layers together and you have a quilt. Or if the square is to thick, then you take pieces of yarn and tie the layer together. When you are done, you have a fully functional thick and cozy blanket that we call a quilt.

Sometime back in the layers of history, some ladies must have gotten together and realized that they can save their precious bits of material from worn out clothing and combine them to make patterns. They also realized that they can use the different colors to create designs and patterns too. Then they probably realized that it was pretty as well as functional. And for some strange reasons, humans are attracted to beauty so it caught on really quickly.

This eventually led to the pieced tops that we see today that are constructed from lots of different types of fabric. Choosing the fabric, cutting the fabric out, and sewing the shapes together is part of the fun of making a quilt top. There are even some quilters out there that choose to have a pieced back to their quilt as well instead of having it be all one solid color.

I toss quilting into the group of being a good Lolita hobby because it looks dainty and delicate while you are doing it (especially if you are doing it by hand) and it just lets you create beautiful works of art that can coordinate with your sense of style.

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