Lolita and Babydoll Style Dressmaking

Lolita fashion is said to have started in the 1970s although some say the 1980s. One thing we can all agree on is that it started in Japan. The original style was Rococo and Victorian based with knee-length dresses that were as cute as cupcakes.

Warning!!! Not all of these dresses are exact “Lolita Fashion”, some are shorter than others and not all of them have ruffles. I would hate to out rage the hard-core Lolita community with garments not to their specifications. I’m not a perfectionist, that’s my mother;  some dresses are cute so I put them in this post.

Today there are many subcultures of the style as it’s gained popularity around the world.  I love Japanese culture, plus add cute and this look has my name all over it.

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

The true meaning of the name Lolita is still unclear. Some saying the name was ripped from “Lolita” a novel by Nabokov. I don’t really know much about that. Some say the name simply refers to the childlike nature of the clothing and others disagree that is has anything to do with dressing like children. It is more about being cute and elegant. I think we can all agree it is fun to wear  cute things!

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

My first time seeing the style was in 2002 I worked at Wright Memorial Library and I came across what is now one of my favorite fashion books  “Fruits”  It’s a book with 45 street fashion portrait photos of people in Japan. My favorite things were that they had the freedom to wear what ever they wanted, most of them made all of their looks and they were all so colorful. Fruits was established in 1994 by a photographer named Shoichi Aoki.

Fruits book Tracy McElfresh Lolita fashion

Here are some cute dresses that I have sewn.

This was one I made for Clash Dayton‘s dress shop in the Oregon District. The owner Mary bought my dress and that is her on the left wearing it at one of her fashion shows. That photo was taken by Bruce Soifer.

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

This is one of my favorites (above), this is Leslie Ruby Randall and the photo was taken by Sharon Elaine Photography.

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

This one I used a Colette Pattern’s, Rooibos to create. I fully piped all of the seams. I still wear this dress. Modeling is Amanda Rea and Shanna Ramsey took this photo.

These are just a few more.

That is me in a few I have made for myself. That is me before I cut off all of my dyed hair.

These were in the Brim hat stores Derby Day fashion show.

Photo by Karen Van Roekan

Photo by Kara VanRoekel

This one was the first dress I ever did the math myself for all of the pleats and I learned some knots of which I added a few sailors knots to the design. It was a lot of fun and I miss this dress.

Photo by Shanna Ramsey

Photo by Shanna Ramsey

This one I refashioned from a Japanese robe. Doesn’t Leslie Ruby Randall look so cute in it.

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

I adore cute things!

This week I’m stitching one more Lolita fashion dress at the request of my husband Jeffrey. It has 27 pieces and lots of markings. It will be my 6th solids challenge. Last week I took a break from my 2016 solids challenge to make a secret dress for the Dig project hosted my Kelsey Projects. I have lots of pictures and hope to share them with you soon.

Lolita Fashion Tracy McElfresh

Thank you for reading.

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh

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