Turning “normie” blouse into a lolita blouse

Around this time last year, I rewatched Beetlejuice and decided I needed a black and white striped blouse for Halloween lolita coords. Lacemarket failed me, but then I saw this Wet Seal blouse on Depop for $5 plus shipping. The funky lace cross (and it’s inexpensive price tag) really appealed to me. I told myself I’d do something about the collar. Now, one year later, I am! Here’s how I turned this normie “office” blouse into a lolita blouse.

This tutorial is largely based on a series of stories that Lily of the Valley Designs shared on Instagram. You find the original tutorial pinned on her page.

  1. Use a seam ripper to remove the pointed portion of the collar from the main blouse. On a chiffon blouse like the one I’m working with, be careful not to rip your fabric or put too much stress on the stitches. This will cause your fabric to rip or unravel.
  2. Open the collar so you have one long piece of fabric. My fabric had a nice seam down the middle, which I used for my standing collar.
  3. Fold your collar in half horizontally and sew closed. Depending on your fabric, it may be best to put wrong sides together and sew across rather than right sides together and turn inside out. The raw edges will be enclosed by the neck seam anyway. My fabric unraveled a lot in the course of this project. I should have serged the edges. We live and learn!
  4. Sew the ends of your collar closed. If you pinned right sides together, turn and press.
  5. Begin pinning your new collar to the old new seam. I chose to pleat my collar, but you might also gather it to create ruffles, like LOTV Designs did in her tutorial.
  6. Sew along the very edge of your neck seam to secure your pleats.
  7. Replace boring buttons with some more interesting ones. My stash didn’t have 8 matching buttons, so I replaced the button at the neck and at the sleeves.

While this collar isn’t as nice or as interesting a one from a Japanese brand might be, for $8 and an evening’s work, it will work well in Halloween coordinates. Plus, because it’s from a Western brand, I know it’ll fit in the bust and sleeves. I can’t wait to incorpoate this blouse into coordinates this October.

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