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Topic: I've never sewn before, good beginner lolita dresses?  (Read 1380 times)
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« on: December 26, 2012 08:23:31 PM »

I have never sewn before (well except for a few handsewn plushies), but I recently bought a sewing machine, and want to make a lolita (a type of J-fashion) dress.

The one I had in mind was this: http://sew-loli.livejournal.com/208428.html But I was told it's not a good idea to start out with something so complicated.

Is there a free (or, if there's really no good free ones, a cheap) pattern or tutorial for making that type of dress? One that's good for beginners, something I can do with no experience but enough patience and persistence? It seems like all of the beginner sewing things I find are stuff like potholders, oven mitts, etc. which I'm really not interested in.

I don't mean just any dress, I mean one sort of fancy/elegant like the one I linked, but it doesn't have to be really complicated.

What about this one? Could someone with no experience do this? Though I would want to change the bodice to be a bit square-ish, and the sleeves to be poofy. Is that do-able?

Sorry for so many questions, I just don't really know anyone who would be able to provide me with advice, except for you guys here. Thanks in advance!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012 06:39:39 AM »

For your first project, stick with something labeled "Easy" or "For Beginners". These patterns usually have fewer pieces and more information in the sewing directions. I also suggest getting a sewing book for beginners, and refer to it often.

The dresses in your link are all variations on a simple raglan sleeve tunic. Look at them closely, some have fitted bodices (the part that covers the chest and torso), some have puffy bodices. Puffy is easier.

The key to understanding a pattern is the black and white line drawings on the back of the envelope. They show you how the garment is made. The lines indicate seams and darts. The same garment can look very different when it's made from two different fabrics, for example the same pattern in soft silky pale satin would look different when made in stiff, heavy, wildly printed denim. But, the line drawing doesn't change.

McCalls 2337 is not labeled "Easy", but the tunic View A is the same sort of garment your link describes, a simple raglan sleeve top/tunic/dress/gown. Adding the wide belt will give you a puffy bodice, snug waist, and gathered skirt. View C shows you how to dress it up with trim at the neck. Note: The skirt will hang longer without the belt, adding the belt will shorten the skirt.

McCalls 6599 has a fitted bodice, flared skirt and set in sleeves and is labeled "Easy". Compare the line drawings on all 3 patterns. Notice how the sleeves in the tutorial on your link and McCalls 2337 are different from the sleeves in McCalls 6599 & the Simplicity pattern.

These two McCalls patterns are just handy samples, so if you look around some more you might find one for beginners that you like better.  
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013 04:57:49 AM »

if youre doing it on the cheap, i suggest taking apart an old dress that fits you on the top and tracing the pattern. then you can just make a skirt as flared as you like and attach it. sleeves can also be copied from the old dress and flare can be added. lace and layers and all sorts can then be added for lolita style.

if you dont have an old dress or cant find one at a thrift store, buy a simple dress pattern probably princess seam dress with flare, as that is the most common type of lolita style. gathers and poof can always be added into the sleeve by chopping the top of the pattern of the sleeve off, then adding slits all the way around and spread out (dont cut all the way off just to the very bottom edge) then sticky tape your piece back onto the main sleeve pattern piece. i suggest toiling your dress in scrap fabric first!! then it can be used over and over after you get the first copy right. xx good luck  Smiley

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

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