I'm very proud of this dress, because it's the first successful big sewing project I've done. Also, I drafted my own pattern. I made it for a lolita high tea in Atlanta this past winter where the theme was "Forest Fairy Tales."
I drafted the bodice using these instructions: http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/constructing-the-basic-bodice-block
I think they're very good instructions. I had trouble with the shoulders, but my husband may have measured my shoulder width wrong. That seems like a pretty tricky measurement to take, since it doesn't really have easy endpoints. But re-drafting wasn't too hard.
I did the skirt part from scratch, but honestly, a lolita skirt is very simple. I had a little trouble with the sleeves since most instructions for long sleeves aren't meant for that kind of gathered top. (This blog post has information about making sleeve shapes. http://www.ikatbag.com/2010/08/drafting-part-vii-adapting-basic-sleeve.html
) I made a fabric draft and just pinned it where I thought it should be sewn. It ended up giving it a good sleeve shape, but they ended up a couple inches too short. The straps to gather the sleeves at the wrist took pretty much constant adjustment to stay looking good, so I don't think I'll do them that way again.
The crown, I wasn't terribly happy with it. I ended up finishing it at the hotel the night before, and the points were pretty floppy. It also wouldn't stay on at all. I know how to fix it for the future, though. I wrapped fleece and then fur around an embroidery hoop I had bent into a slight oval and glued icicle Christmas ornaments to it for the spikes.
My ankle collars, or whatever they should be called, were really easy. The curve of the fabric is pretty important, though. Make some mock-ups. I used paper towel so it would have at least a little bit of drape. Maybe I should have lined these properly, but I just used FabriTak glue around the edges to seal it. Since it was a really fluffy fur, that worked fine. (By the way, that's my hands-down favorite fabric glue. It's alcohol based, so it dries really fast. It's pretty flexible, too.) They really dressed up my simple character shoes.
The fabric I used was a pretty good light blue satin with a layer of cheap white sheer curtain fabric on top. I basted each piece of the pattern together before I cut them out. I don't know if you need to do that or not, but it made everything line up really well. I had wanted to do light blue satin with a layer of white chiffon, but chiffon is actually a lot more opaque than I had thought. The curtains ended up being so much cheaper in the end, so it worked out well.
Thanks for viewing! I had a lot of fun making this dress.
(The photos with the black background were taken at the tea party by Megan Maude. I don't know if she owns them or if Frill does.)