Pink Lolita Dress – Part 1

Hey guys!

This is a reckless, crazy project that I really didn’t think through before starting it. Honestly, looking at it on my dressform right now, I still can’t decide if my love for its ridiculousness has turned into loathing yet. But I had a sketch and some fabric and a lot of new patterns and I wanted to put them all together. So I am.

pink lolita dress sketch

(I did decide to get rid of the wide waistband because of the back-cutout I decided to add, by the way.)

Now, for everyone who had a visceral reaction to the name “Lolita” here’s my disclaimer: it’s not about the effing book. It’s a loose style of Japanese clothing, mainly characterized by frilly bodices, pooffy sleeves, and huge skirts. I’m not necessarily a devoted fan, but it pops up on my Pinterest feed every once and a while, and, well, I made a sketch.

Plus, pooffy sleeves and huge skirts are fun and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make a new petticoat.

I started out with McCall’s 6887, with view B’s sleeves and the back cutout from view A (I’m making my own skirt, like always).


Because I wanted poofy sleeves, I slashed the sleeve pattern piece in three places, spread it apart a total of 6 inches, and redrew a (much) larger sleeve. I’d seen the technique on pinterest and thought I’d give it a go. I’m not entirely happy with their shape, but it’s pretty good. I gathered the bottom edge into a 1/2″ band.

sleeve alterations | lolita dress

sleeve alterations | lolita dress

the original compared to the new one
the original compared to the new one

I cut the lining of the sleeve with the original pattern piece, so it would act as a base and help the sleeve hold its shape. To help with that even more, I stuffed the sleeves with tulle. (Yeah, I really don’t know …)

between those two layers goes a huge mass of tulle
between those two layers goes a huge mass of tulle before they get sewn together

To make the pin-tucks in the front (which are turning into such a pain), I added 3.5″ to each side at the center front. I marked out four 1/2″ pin-tucks on each side, radiating outward.

pin-tucks planning | lolita dress

I transferred the markings to the back of the cut fabric, pressed the tucks, and top-stitched over them in black thread.

pin-tucks | lolita dress

And then I put the bodice together.

bodice | lolita dress

Like I said, I’m still not sure how I feel about this dress. It’s obviously not a school/anywhere appropriate project, but it is kinda fun. It’s a nice break from hand-sewing the finishing touches on my 18th century stays.

bodice and sleeves | lolita dress

It’s so pink though. So freaking pink.

bodice and sleeves

Basically, it’s not my usual style, but it’s fun, and I need all the fun I can get.

The fit is pretty tight on me, which is causing some problems with the pin-tucks (bleh), but, since it’s such a low-key project, I’m not worrying about it. It’s so too late to fix the fit issues anyway (and I’m not good enough with sleeves to fix it, what with living somewhere where sleeves are optional quite a lot of the time) 😦

Now it gets a really freaking huge skirt. I have 2 yards of twice the width I need for the skirt (that means four yards of gathers!). I’m sooo excited!

So what do you think of my spur-of-the-moment project? Is it too pink for you? Or do you just love huge sleeves and random black lace? Have you ever made anything like this? Or shamelessly stuffed sleeves with tulle?

I hope you like it 🙂 thanks for reading

Samantha 🙂


15 thoughts on “Pink Lolita Dress – Part 1

  1. Wow, this looks so cool! I really love Lolita fashion and usually try to incorporate elements of it in my daily style but it’s also much fun to go for the real thing 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing the finished dress!


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