While my Chantilly ensemble is my first actual Lolita outfit, I do not want to forget my Lolita Harley outfit. Yes, it is a character costume, and no, I will never be able to wear it to a regular Lolita event, but I took care to make the costume fit basic Lolita rules. So far, this is the best picture I have of my Lolita Harley, but I am still watching or a few to surface (if you see any, please let me know).
First, the bad. In retrospect, I wish I had at least one more petticoat. I bought a bell shaped one from Classical Puppets, but the fabric weighs it down so much. My shoes are not really Lolita, but I Harley typically wears similar boots, so it was sort of a crossover detail. I would have liked to have more delicate gloves as well (those are leather), but it is a pain trying to find red gloves. I may end up dying some white ones or attempting to make some. I may also buy some opera length gloves and altering them.
Now, the good.
High collared, button up blouse: check! I am very proud of this blouse, it was the first time I had ever made button holes on my machine, and since they featured diamond buttons in them, I knew they had to look good. The sleeves ended up with the pleats the opposite direction than what I wanted, but they still worked. The lace was a last minute addition, but I will get to the lace later. They only thing I would have done differently is give the collar a Peter Pan cut, I would not have added lace to the front because I try not to play up my chest area since I have broad shoulders and decent sized breasts. Next time I wear this, I am probably going to tie a bow with white ribbon in front of the collar.
Skirt size/shape: check! It took me forever to actually cut out the skirt because I had a hard time finding out what the bottom circumference should be (250cm if you are looking like I was). Then I was nervous about the length, but by the time I cut that, I had the petticoat to measure. The scallop was a pain in the butt, but I am so happy with how it turned out. I really thought it was going to end up being crooked, and I actually had to re-measure after it came out wrong the first time. I added the diamonds Friday night/Saturday morning AT the convention, and I may eventually add some red ones to the back of the black side, and maybe some to the back of the blouse.
Bloomers: check! I was so excited when I found these. My only issue with my bloomers is that they are a spandex/polyester material, but they were so perfect.
Hairpiece: check! Yes, it is only ribbons, but it is still hair accessories. If I ever find a hat or something that works, I will likely add on, but for now, the ribbons are cute.
Good quality lace: check! When I went to purchase the lace, I knew I had read about various qualities and how bad lace can ruin a Lolita outfit, but I forgot the specifics. So, I let my renaissance training kick in, and I looked for lace that I thought looked like it had been made by hand. Imagine my surprise when I found the exact lace I bought listed on one site as the “Holy Grail” (http://venturecosplay.com/video/a-short-guide-to-lace-trim-for-sewing-lolita-clothes-costumes-and-everything/ – mine is the bottom one in the picture of “Fancy embroidered lace, including venetian lace”). So yes, I am proud of my lace choice.
Overall, I think I did a very good job keeping the Lolita outfit standards, but still making it Harley Quinn. Even as I was describing the costume to the girls at the tea party on Sunday, one said “So you made it a REAL Lolita version.” That in itself was all I had wanted to hear.