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Altering Lolita Fashion Items

Having lolita fashion items altered, especially brand items, can be quite a controversial subject within the lolita community.
Some people believe that the clothing should be left the way it is, and if it doesnt fit or suit you, then it should be sold on to someone who does want it the way it is. Others see no problem with altering them to fit or suit you better, after all, they’re your clothes now and you can do what you like with them!
Maybe you think it’s fine to alter less rare items, but hard-to-find pieces should be left the way they are.
Maybe you’d love to have things altered, but just dont know where to begin! After all, it’s quite a scary prospect, trusting someone to cut up an expensive and important item of clothing.

I recently had some lolita items altered into ouji style items, so that they would suit me better. There is a video on the specific items I had altered on my youtube channel.

 

(Violet Fane “Asylum” Print skirt, Altered into shorts)

 

 

The first and most important piece of advice I can give is to find someone who truly understands the fashion to make your alterations.
Ideally, this is someone who wears the fashion themselves. Or knows you well, and has seen you wear it. So they understand how it’s supposed to look. Mainstream fashion tailors may not understand the look of lolita or ouji fashion, and might alter your piece into something completely unsuitable for the fashion.

My friend, Meshya left this story in a comment on my video:
 ” I remember one alteration went so wrong, altho it was easy one: JSK-> skirt. I took my dress to ‘professional seamstress, gave her detailed description on what I want, which part to use where and…few days later, when I saw what she did, I almost cried. It was soooooo bad. She cut jsk into small pieces, sew them randomly, made a belt out of part of border print. HORRIBLE! It looked like piece of trash and it was one of my favourite dresses at that time. ‘Funny’ thing was that she seemed so proud of her work, lol.”

For my alterations, I asked a friend who knows the fashion from De Winter Designs.
Since he knows me, and knows lolita fashion. I could trust him completely to get the style right.


(Alice And The Pirates “Vampire Requiem” Skirt, altered into shorts)

The second most important thing when finding someone to alter your clothing, is to see examples of other things they have made.
I personally learned this the hard way, when I custom-ordered two waistcoats from an indie lolita designer.
After almost a full year of set backs, and disasterous results, she admitted that her items were all factory made and she didnt know how to make what I’d asked.

If you are planning on altering your clothes yourself instead of paying for someone else to do it, then the most improtant thing is to do some practice items first!
Find a cheap skirt or dress to practice on before cutting into your brand clothing.

After he altered my things for me, I asked James’ advice on altering lolita items for this article. He says:
“Use existing patterns for the alterations. 
Make sure to remember to add seam allowance or everything will be too small.
Bigger is better, having more fabric to work with is easier.”

What do you think? Would you ever have your lolita items altered?

Lou Graves
Vampire Ouji from Scotland