Project 5, part 2 – Restoring Ribbons and Failing at Fabric (Part 1 here)
Welcome back to the Milky-Chan restoration project! I’m grateful yet again that the body of my dress is in such excellent condition because it took way more effort than expected to get this into a finished state. Well, at least on the waist ties. The ribbon pin was the opposite – ridiculously easy! I just pre-treated the stains with my trusty Delicate Wash from the Laundress, then soaked the whole pin in cool water mixed with more Delicate Wash for about 30 minutes. A quick rinse later, and, voila!
Let’s turn now to the odyssey that was replacing the waist ties. Originally, I wanted to match the print of the dress as closely as possible, so I considered photographing the print and using a print-on-demand service to print a yard or so of fabric from the high-res file. There are a few problems with that – copyright infringement, for one, and the fact that any file with enough resolution to capture the print well would also capture the weave of the textile – which would look super weird printed on a different fabric.
My second thought was matching one of the themes in the dress – bows, hearts, presents, jewelry, etc. After looking through 216 pages of “pink heart on white fabric” options from different sites (yes, literally that many), I ordered two swatches of potential heart options from Spoonflower. Regrettably, the fabric I really wanted was exclusive to their $250/year “Pro” service, so I tried their Organic Cotton Sateen after spending a solid half hour touching each of their fabric swatches with one hand and my dress with the other. I couldn’t find a fabric where the hearts were reversed in alternating rows as they are on the dress, but I figured no one would be looking that closely at my waist as long as the shade matched. (And if they were, they would definitely receive a parasol to the head for getting so close!)
I really had a difficult time with the color editing here, so you’ll have to take my word for it that the hearts on the left matched perfectly, and the hearts on the right were more peachy. It doesn’t matter because they’re HUGE. Sigh.
Luckily, I’ve got a husband who is both very artistic and completely willing to offer opinions about lolita fashion. He pointed out that trying to match the original waist ties would only lead to things looking obviously wrong/out of place, and suggested that instead I try to craft something complimentary that would look like an intentional design choice. Since the original ties were white with pink lace trim, I decided to reverse the colors and sew pink ties with white lace trim and ribbons. I already had plenty of pink cotton, so I grabbed the waist ties from Day Dream Carnival (because they’re the same shape – not all waist ties are square at the ends) and measured out enough fabric for four pieces.
After looking at way too many swatches of trim online, I finally decided on some pink and white heart ruffled eyelet lace from Trimplace. The width is a bit shorter than waist tie lace usually is, but the pink heart motif makes it match perfectly:
I hope it’s as cute in person as it is in the images! I only ordered a yard, but considering the waist ties are only about 4.5″ wide at the base I’ll have enough to do a double layer if it doesn’t look good in a single layer. So join me next time when everything (hopefully!) arrives in my mailbox and I begin sewing!