In my defense, I didn't know what Lolita really was a the time--this was technically part of a Chobit's cosplay, but it was kind of the start of my journey into Lolita, so I figured I'd throw it in here.
Shortly after the "ita" dress, I read a preview of Novala's Kamikaze Girls in Shojo Beat, and bought the book. I looked up the featured brand (BABY, durr) on the internet, and fell in love.
Still took me a little while to get the hang of things, though. The first dress was originally from Bodyline via Cosmates, but I didn't like the original skirt because it was too short, so I made a new one. This was preceded by my first handmade dress, based on an older BABY design.
I was really starting to get into it in 2006. I made several other outfits, and bought my first brand dress. For some reason, I have very few pictures from that time, though, so this is all you get.
2007 saw an increase in better dresses and better coordinates, but I still felt like things were missing. My outfits were all incomplete. I started buying more brand at this point.
In 2008 I was really getting into BABY, and my coordinates were getting a lot better! I know I wore Lolita a lot in 2008, but I couldn't find very many good-quality pictures on this computer.
In 2009 I started wearing Lolita around once a week, and doing frequent photoshoots with my sister. I accumulated more brand, and made more pieces. I've been so pleased with how the quality of my sewing has improved. I've always been a decent seamstress, but learning the techniques to do a great job with specifically Lolita-style clothing has taken time, and I'm very pleased with the result!
I feel that since 2006, I've pretty much had the hang of the general style, but the last four years I have spent refining my style, practicing coordination, and collecting outfits. I've been to meetups, conventions, and met some lovely people! Lolita is such a huge part of my life now, I don't know what I would do without it! I like to think that the improvements I have made in the style are improvements to my life!