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Would this be thrifty or just trashy?  
3rd-Dec-2012 03:17 pm
This may make some of you cringe at just this thought, but oh well.  I'll keep this very short.

I'm poor.  Yes, a lot of us are poor, but I'm pretty much at "Can't pay bills" poor.  It has been my dream for years to own a proper lolita dress (I am mostly a fan of classic!), but of course, one cannot afford 300 dollars in clothes for a single outfit.  Anyways, I live in a very old house that my Great-Grandmother lived in since she was able to own her own with her husband.  (Built in `32).

 Anyways, she has collected over the years a plethera of moderate-high quality bedsheets (GASP!), and since she no longer lives here and...I want a dress, and I'm not using these sheets, do you think it would be acceptible to turn them into dresses, skirts, etc?  Or is that a crime against fashion?
3rd-Dec-2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
Why would that be trashy ?
3rd-Dec-2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'm paranoid. That's why. XD
3rd-Dec-2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
You shouldn't be : ) You being happy is what matters.
A lot of people make their own clothes from fabric lying around.
8th-Dec-2012 08:53 am (UTC)
^This. Many people sew their own lolita clothes, and bedsheets are fine to use, provided they're in good condition and look like the sort of thing you'd like to have a skirt/dress made out of, fabric wise.

I'd say go for it if you think it's good fabric. :D
3rd-Dec-2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
I think sewing is your better option. Plus, you will have very unique outfits. So why not? ;)
3rd-Dec-2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
As long as she is ok with you cutting up her sheets, the fabric is clean and in good condition, and the fabric is suitable in style for what you want to do, then I don't see why not.

The only time I think it would really be an issue is if you were going to sell the end result; then some people do get a little "eeeeh" about used sheets/curtains/etc being used for their own garments.

If it's just for you, well, no one is really going to know where the fabric from your dress came from unless you tell them...
3rd-Dec-2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
Lots of people (including me) sew their own lolita clothes. There's nothing wrong with it. As long as the bedsheets you're using are in good condition, go for it!
3rd-Dec-2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
If the sheets are in good condition, go for it! I know many girls who made their lolita dress out of old curtain or someting... but noone can tell! If they didn't tell me, I wouldn't guess.
3rd-Dec-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
If they are obviously going to be bedsheets regardless of how it goes (just because of the fabric or look) then it is a good starter thing to do but not something I would make as actual clothes. But it all depends on how the stuff looks.
3rd-Dec-2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Some sheets have the most beautiful patterns! I actually snagged one at a thrift store to make a jsk or skirt out of. As long as you're happy with it and the sheets are thick enough or you wear stuff under it, I think you'll be just fine. :) I'm sure most people wouldn't notice its sheets.
3rd-Dec-2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
naw it's fine. in fact if you wanted to, you could tell people it's ~vintage re-purposed upcycled~ fabric and get mad props for it
8th-Dec-2012 08:53 am (UTC)
XD Seconded.
3rd-Dec-2012 10:35 pm (UTC)

That's awesome, and not trashy at all. People have made outfits with weirder things. Just make sure it follows the aesthetics of lolita, and you're good. I want pictures when you finish... XD
4th-Dec-2012 12:06 am (UTC)
I'll try to remember to take pictures!
3rd-Dec-2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Good cotton is good cotton, period. As long as the sheets are really clean and in good condition, I don't see why you couldn't use them. I'm almost certain that there are girls on sew_loli (the Lolita sewing LJ comm) who have made dresses out of high quality sheets before. The nice thing about sheets is that there's a lot of yardage, and you generally have enough for elaborate designs.
3rd-Dec-2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
Echoing what everyone said, as long as they're in good condition and look nice, you should go for it. Sewing your own clothes is really great, and many sheets have really nice patterns.
3rd-Dec-2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
I am actually a little sad that you thought it would be perceived as trashy! :( I agree with all comments above - good fabric is good fabric, as long as the quality is nice, go for it!
4th-Dec-2012 12:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm kinda sad that I was worried, too. But with certain places around, and everyone boasting brands and "Where you get that?!" stuff, it's pretty intimidating.
4th-Dec-2012 01:51 am (UTC)
All you need to do is say "I made it!" and if it's well made enough people will congratulate you and ask no further.
Just make sure you have ribbons, trims, accents etc to add on top of the sheet for visual interest. You can get those cheap at value village, too!
4th-Dec-2012 03:05 am (UTC)
I'd like to note that lack of ribbons and trims can be made up with plenty of ruffles in the right places. Sometimes, it's even better to have a plain, ruffled skirt of decent quality than a skirt dripping with bad lace! I used to use ruffles for everything simply because I didn't have access to good trims :(
4th-Dec-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
For the most part, ruffles are actually a preference with me. Though I mostly like ribbons on the wrist of a long-sleeved blouse. And as a little flimsy bow around the neck. And on shoes. and... um.. uh.. Hi.
4th-Dec-2012 04:33 am (UTC)
Ribbons on sleeves are a weakness of mine. I'm not particularly fond of peter-pan collar blouses but I have a few simply on the basis of them having pretty ribbon on the sleeves. Neck ribbons feature in a lot of my wardrobe too; I don't have tons of brand lolita blouses (hard to fit my body type) so I tend to dress up loli-able blouses with neck ribbons.

I love ruffles; even for my non-lolita clothes, I tend towards items with ruffles on it. My boyfriend calls my tastes "frill hell".
5th-Dec-2012 12:45 am (UTC)
I was mostly thinking a few stripes of ribbons on the botice, a ribbon along where the ruffles are gathered, accents of similarly colored but differnent textures...
And as a gothic lolita, frankly, if the sheets are just muslin there needs to be a bit of variation, however many ruffles and tucks.

Edited at 2012-12-05 01:06 am (UTC)
4th-Dec-2012 02:37 am (UTC)
I agree with the comment belowabove, you'll get mad props for something that you made yourself! Best of luck!

Edited at 2012-12-04 02:37 am (UTC)
4th-Dec-2012 12:29 am (UTC)
It's still fabric after all. If it suits lolita clothing, why not? Just go ahead~ =D
4th-Dec-2012 12:57 am (UTC)
I think you should ask her first if it was ok to cut off her sheets before you do anything. It might be a collection she's fond of and/or has memories with.

If it's ok with her, then I don't see a problem.
4th-Dec-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't think it would be trashy either. The design and construction is what make a dress not where the fabric happen to come from. I also agree that if they are still your grandmothers sheets you should ask if it is ok with her.
I'm a bit jealous of people who have the skill to sew their own frills.
4th-Dec-2012 01:36 am (UTC)
I've actually seen many others do this online in the past with lovely results :)
They just don't always publicly say they are sheets, and often they are sheets they purchased new because they liked the pattern, but who cares!

If you could make a garment out of them without anyone noticing they were sheets, go for it!
4th-Dec-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
If you're worried about what to tell people who ask "where did you get that dress?" just tell them it is handmade from vintage fabric. Sure, the fabric was once in a curtain or sheet, but that information is none of their business. ^_~
4th-Dec-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
I think it is acceptable to turn them into clothing depending on the pattern and colour of the fabric as everyone else has suggested, but it is possible that when you take photos with it or turn up in meetups, you may find that the fabric compares unfavourably to the other peoples' clothing, and it is obvious on photos that your clothes are made of bedsheet fabric. Even the high quality bedsheets tend to wrinkle/not drape very well when made into clothing. Some of the patterns may turn out to be too busy for lolita.

You'd also need money for appropriate trimmings, lace, fastenings like zippers, pin backings and grommets and fabric for lining. Depending on what other items you own in terms of accessories and shoes, you might also need to shell out for fabric dye. It would be nice to turn some plain white/antique white/cream bedsheets into blouses if they are soft enough.

Do you have any photos of the bedsheets you have available? If so, we can tell you which ones would be appropriate in terms of colour and pattern and which ones not.
4th-Dec-2012 02:31 am (UTC)
It can be okay to use a bedsheet. Make sure it's a high thread count and doesn't have any worn spots or pilling, and that the pattern is dress-appropriate.

These are dresses I made, mostly out of inexpensive fabric when I was a newer lolita. The blue one is made of an unused bedsheet. =)

Good luck!
4th-Dec-2012 03:02 am (UTC)
Scarlett O'Hara used curtains. XD So did Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.

Joking about fiction aside, it wouldn't be unheard of to use different fabric sources for clothes if they're nice and of good quality (as stated by previous commentors). I have a friend who managed to thrift a fabulous set of pink silk (it appears to be) curtains with lace overlay which she's turning into a Civil War ball dress (my fault, I introduced her to Gone with the Wind now she won't shut up about it). She also thrifted pretty pale pink sheets for the petticoat for the ball dress.

One of my cousins had a formal dress (like a prom dress) sewn out of good quality sheets and sheer curtains. The sheets were rose pink with a high thread count and the curtains were good quality polyester chiffon in a light mauve. Her dress was a column-waisted dress (to suit her stick figure form); the sheet fabric consisted the main body of the dress while the curtain chiffon was used as an overlay. This dress probably cost no more than $20 for materials. No one could have guessed.

I state these all as examples of it being totally untrashy and absolutely awesome to make dresses out of unexpected fabric sources. Just make sure the fabric is of good quality and condition.
8th-Dec-2012 08:59 am (UTC)
:o Thank you for sharing that! These are wonderful success stories. :D
4th-Dec-2012 08:57 am (UTC)
I repurposed some green velvet curtains into a JSK many moon ago and wore it to a winter photoshoot. I sort of wish I'd done it when my sewing skills were a bit better, but hey- I bet that outfit looked way fancier and more expensive than it really was. XD

I have seen people repurpose bedsheets into "character" lolita outfits for conventions. (Like using pokemon or sailor moon bed sheets etc for crazy OTT decora looks) but I imagine that the fabric you'll be using for this will be much nicer/classical. Yes. Do it.
5th-Dec-2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
hahaha that's so very Gone With the Wind of you ;)
4th-Dec-2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
A lot of people sew with sheets. As long as you choose the right fabrics for whatever patterns you're using, it shouldn't matter.
5th-Dec-2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
Go for it, if the materials are nice :) I actually make aprons out of bedsheets because I was given a huge pile of them years ago, and I practice embroidery on them. Most of the aprons aren't lolita, but one is:

I think it looks legit!
8th-Dec-2012 09:00 am (UTC)
That's incredible! Your apron (along with the rest of the outfit!) looks beautiful, especially with the embroidery. :o
5th-Dec-2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
Do it :)

As a person who is also bones of her butt poor i can't see anything wrong with using what you have. Make sure to get a good pattern (check out sew loli for example to see what other people have tried and tested!) and then sew away. Oh and if you want to change the color of your sheets then check out as their dyes are cheap and really good.
6th-Dec-2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
I think you will like it more if you make it yourself! It's a lot more satisfying and made with loads of love : D. what can beat that!? go for it :>
6th-Dec-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
It's hardly trashy. If anything, the fact that you made it is a credit to you as a lolita. I've heard that making your own dresses used to be much more common, and bedsheets are a great way to go, if you know what you're looking for.

I do this REALLY often. :3 More than 2/3rds of my dresses are made from old bedsheets, and from lace, trim, and ribbon harvested from estate sales and old pillows. If you know your materials well and have a good sense of what's high quality and what isn't, a thrift store or goodwill can become your favorite place to shop. I've made whole dresses from 5 dollars worth of materials. I adore working with old sheets. They're sturdy, soft, cut well, dye really easily (depending on the fabric, of course), and you can toss them into the washing machine without fear of damaging them! Even if you mess up, the materials were extremely cheap to begin with, and can be replaced without a lot of out-of-pocket expense. 300 dollars? NAH. I made this for 10!

I will warn you, you have to check every single inch of the material for stains, as well as put it through a couple of checks.

- Make sure the colors aren't faded. This is really common in older, thinner bed-sheets. You want something that still has a pop of color, and a little stiffness to it.

- Check to make sure that there's enough material. A twin-sized sheet isn't usually enough to make a JSK, and may not be enough to make a skirt. Go for queen size at the very least if you can. It's always to have more material to work with than less. A thrift store won't have bolts of fabric sitting around, so if you run out of material, you're SOL.

- Wash everything you get to check for running colors, and to sterilize/deodorizer it. Your grandmother's bedsheets shouldn't be a problem, but in the future, you don't want to take any chances with your materials carrying over nasty smells or, god forbid, bedbugs.

- Check the tag, if it has one, for the material it's made of. Solid cotton sheets dye the best, after all. :3

- Check the thickness of the material. Your petticoat's color might peek if you don't get something high-quality, and it'll be easier to work with. An easy way is to wear a dark color when going shopping. That way, just sticking your arm under it and laying the fabric over your sweater/sleeve. If you can't see the sleeve through it, or the color, you're set to go. If you want to make doubly-sure that nothing will show, grabbing a white bed-sheet for a buck or two and lining it will ensure that nothing will show. It also has the added benefit of making the dress heavier and more durable.

- Pillow cases make GREAT accent fabric for things like head bows, accent belts, and trim, if you can find one that matches nicely and passes the 'sleeve test'. I've also used thick white ones for cotton lining in bodices.

Sorry for the wall of text!
6th-Dec-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
So many of us do this, I can't even...

Guuurl, you wanna talk trashy? I go pick up the discounted $2 and $1 bedsheet sets at Ross and Goodwill to use for fabric. You can buy a lot of sheets still in their packaging! And they're just usually cotton broadcoth, which is a perfectly acceptable fabric for lolita clothign. Most of our lighter dresses are made of cottons or chiffons.

The only word of warning from me is to pay attention to what you want the fabric to do. The cut of the dress and it hanging well over your pettis depends entirely on the weight of the fabric. Light fabrics are good for lots of frills, gathers and ruffles, but do badly in large flat swaths. The opposite goes for heavy fabrics. Hard to gather and scrunch, but does well in princess-seamed/darted fits.
7th-Dec-2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
This one time I was at a thrift store and I saw this BEAUTIFUL fabric. It was thick and cotton and had tonal stripe. Turns out it was a fitted sheet. I inspected it and it was like new and stain free, so I bought it thinking it would be for my bed. Next thing I knew I had cut it up and made it into a dress. Here is that dress:

So no, it's not trashy. I know a few girls who have vintage super hero bedsheet dresses for rockabilly style.
8th-Dec-2012 02:15 am (UTC)
ALL of my Lolita skirts/JSKs (save for three) were made from bed sheets or duvet covers that I bought. If they've got no stains on them and they're good quality fabric (like all Cotton) I see no problem with it. It's not like anyone will be able to tell (for the most part unless it's a REALLY OBVIOUS bed-sheet sort of pattern)
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