Category Archives: Simplicity 2525 Harajuku Dress


The last part of Taylor’s costume is complete – the choker. This super simple accessory was so easy to make, I think Taylor could have whipped it up herself. The downside, it’s scratchy and is a bit loose (even on me). Odds are, however, she won’t even wear it – she wasn’t keen on how it looked on the pattern envelope, but I had plenty of lace left over to make it and thought I would give it a whirl.

Put Together

With all the pieces of Taylor’s costume (relatively) complete, we decided to see how it all looked put together and how well it fits. Here’s the result:

I realized that I still need to make the ‘choker’ to this costume, but from the looks of the instructions it should be pretty easy to put together. Although, I’m not sure if Taylor will wear it – I’m thinking she’ll say it’s scratchy (it’s the flat lace gathered together and embellished). Hopefully, I’ll find the time to add the trim to the coat, make the choker, and take some nice photos in time to enter it in Pattern Review’s costume contest! How’s everyone else’s costume coming together?

Lacy Dress

With just a week to spare, I’m happy to report that Taylor’s costume is finished (well, I still have that trim to add trim to the jacket collar)! The dress is the last part to complete and for whatever reason, I thought would be the hardest part to put together – it turned out, it was the easiest. The only change I made to this part of the pattern is that the dress is fully lined. Taylor wanted the entire dress to be made of lace, so this was definitely a ‘must have’. We decided to use a lining that would match the panne for the jacket exterior and found a Joann’s ‘Casa Collection’ satin that worked perfectly – the downside? I purchased entirely too much fabric to line it!
Taylor has off of school today (and the rest of this week) so we’re going to see how everything looks together – more photos to come tomorrow!

Harajuku Jacket, Part 2

Well, after much wrangling of fabric, I finally finished the jacket to Taylor’s costume! There’s quite a bit of fabric involved (4 layers of fabric plus interfacings) and they way the sleeve is inserted is a bit different than what I would have done (they have you basting the sleeve and the lining separately then bast together, then gather). Consequently, it is a bit bulky to work with – I can’t imagine what it would be like if I would have used the canvas like they recommended! Taylor has decided not to add buttons to this jacket (which is nice because it take around 10), but would like the same trim around the collar as what I used for the vest neckline – now that’s a lot of handstitching to do!
The good: The fit is good and it looks nice on, but we possibly could have gone up one size and it might be a bit better.
The bad: Taylor hates the sleeve ruffles, they are enormously long and cover up much of her hand. I might have to agree on this one, but I really don’t want to have to go back and re-work this part.

Harajuku Jacket, Part 1

Since things are slowly returning to normal around the house, I’ve been able to spend some time working on Taylor’s Halloween costume. So far, this is the state of the jacket – it’s looking a bit more ‘goth’ than ‘gothic Lolita’, but I think that’s mostly due to the Alexander Henry Bandanna Skull fabric for the lining (although I think it still looks very cool). Today I hope to add the sleeves and call this part of the project finished!
In the mean time, the last part of her costume came in – a set of over the knee (which will probably be more like thigh high) socks from Sock Dreams. I had scouted out stores all over town to find a set that might match her costume’s colors but didn’t have any luck, so I turned to my favorite internet sock store (yes, I have one, I secretly love fun socks). Of course, I had to pick up a little something for myself…. what can I say, I was feeling the holiday spirit.

Harajuku Vest

Sometimes what seems to be the easiest part of a project turns out to need the most ‘tweaking’. Apparently, with Taylor’s costume, it’s the vest.

After sewing the front and side pieces together, it was evident that the bust was designed for someone who, well, wasn’t 12. Fortunately the only alteration I needed to make was to take in the seam a hair more (approximately 1/4″ on each side) – if I would have thought about it, I would have taken pictures so you could see the before and after shots. Let’s just say that the after is very form fitting and much flattering – even Taylor commented on how much better it looked.
After construction came the embellishing. I didn’t really follow the directions in this area – I machine gathered the lace and stitched it to the vest by machine (I figured the braid would cover up the stitches anyway). Instead of gluing down the braid, I hand stitched. Yes, I know, as much as I hate hand stitching I didn’t see any other way around it – glue is messy, would leak through the braid, and would take hours to dry, but the results – fantastic!

Afterward, I stared adding the buttons. Originally, I had decided to use some stashed military style buttons, but after laying them on the vest, I thought it looked horrible. I tried several other styles and colors and finally decided on a satin covered, light blackalmost gray. It makes the whole vest very dark, but I think I like the overall result. Let’s hope that the jacket looks better with the military buttons – I’d hate to have to go out and buy some!

Lots of Lace

How do you know you’ve purchased a lot of trim for a project? The store offers to wind your notions back onto the spool it came on:

The one thing about Taylor’s Halloween costume is that it’s a ‘trim hog’ – lots of flat and gathered lace as well as scroll braids, etc. This pattern has a lot of mixing and matching going on (with various widths and sizes) that neither of us liked, so we just combined all the styles so that everything looked cohesive. Consequently, we have yards and yards and yards of lace – lets hope I use most of what I purchased!
So how is the costume coming? Most of the costume is in various stages of construction – Taylor needs to try parts of it on so I can see how it’s fitting, adjust elastic, set the straps, etc. before I can say something is completely ‘finished’. My goal is to have at least the dress completed today.
Anyone else working on costumes? What are you making and how’s it coming along – I’d love to hear what everyone else is up to!

All Night Long

What does Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” and sewing have in common? Because I was cutting fabric all evening. Taylor’s costume, while it doesn’t have that many pieces, involves lots of cutting – main fabric, lining, interfacing, etc…. who knew?

The pattern called for using canvas for the interlining of the coat. Canvas? Seriously? I just can’t imagine how stiff, uncomfortable, and heavy this jacket would be so I decided to skip it and use a heavyweight interfacing instead. Now all the pieces need to be fused – my next order of business. Now that everything is cut, it is very apparent that I got way too much fabric.
I also picked up a few fabrics at the grand opening of Sew Much yesterday. In her store, she had a gorgeous dress made from McCall 5878 (the finished dress is so much better than the ones on the pattern envelope) and these fabrics:

In fact, I liked it so much, I had to get fabric for me to make a similar version. I’m thinking holiday dress – which is perfect since I won’t be able to get to this project for awhile, anyway!

Harajuku Halloween

Taylor is getting to the age where trick-or-treating isn’t so ‘cool’ anymore (alright, they all like the candy). However, with Halloween being on a Saturday this year, I was pretty sure that they would all be getting together to do something – so while patterns were on sale, I picked up one that I thought she would like, Simplicity 2525. Since then, there’s been talk of parties, etc. so I went ahead and took Taylor fabric shopping for this one. I was in a hurry to pick all my material up at once and consequently, was disappointed at the cost – very little of what I got was on sale (I’ve been spoiled by sales and lots of coupons), but I do think we came up with a very cool look.

The jacket will be made with the mauve panne with the Alexander Henry Bandanna Skull print as the lining (it just peeks out around the collar and for the coat tails) while the dress will be made from the matching lining (I’ll need to get more as only the bodice is lined) and lace. The vest is a black brocade swirl – we really had no other idea of what might look good otherwise. I can’t wait to see how it all looks pulled together!