R.R.Memorandum's DIY July: Otome Sewing Bee Cutsew Workshop

Posted by Lucy May on

Disclaimer: Please excuse the potato quality of most of the photos in this article: they were taken on a phone that was not coping well with the heat of these super hot days we are having here in the UK right now!

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Image description: A finished cutsew fashioned before the workshop, and an unaltered t-shirt featuring the artwork of Ai Yazawa.

This month's Bay Area Kei Bibliotheca theme was DIY July, and we knew we'd have something to say about this one! We've been excited for weeks about hosting an Otome Sewing Bee workshop this month on upcycling basic t-shirts into cutsews! As a sustainable fashion brand, R.R.Memorandum believes it is of paramount importance that we are able to do our bit to educate our supporters about ways in which it is possible to be sustainable with fashion consumption. In that vein, we were extremely delighted to host such a workshop!

Oversized t-shirt at the ready (with Ai Yazawa's Nana featured on it), and a cutsew example she'd made earlier, our designer Katherine set to work, perhaps a dozen or more participants following along with her instruction over zoom. 

Imagine descriptions: Katherine preparing the main shape of the cutsew pre-sewing.

Firstly preparing the cutsew for sewing, Katherine drew a rough outline of the garment shape she wanted to achieve on the unaltered t-shirt, and then cut around this with a bit of sewing-allowance. 

Next, using the overlocker and hemming stitches, Katherine created the ribbing around the neckline of the garment. These gave the final piece the notion of being created to be worn as a casual lolita garment: which is, after all, the entire aim of the workshop! Katherine also created a puff sleeve effect using gathering and elastic. 

Image descriptions: Katherine using the overlocking machine to make some ribbed hems
After the overlocker and sleeves, Katherine used the sewing machine to bring the whole garment together! 
Image description: basic outline of the final cutsew being presented by Katherine before finishing.
Throughout the workshop, Katherine keenly reminded everyone participating that cutsews are exactly as their name describes: quick sewing projects that need not be complex. Yet it is a great skill to learn in order to be able to give new life to garments you may not necessarily feel are your style anymore!
The Otome Sewing Bee is also a great way to connect with lolita fashion fanciers and Otome sewing enthusiasts around the world. It is free to sign up to the Facebook group, and once a member, you can attend online workshops just like this one, every Sunday at 4pm British time. Why no give it a try?


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