A client of mine wanted me to do a guro lolita (gore lolita) bow for her. I am not that familiar with the substyle but I’ve always seen it done in white with a blood-splattered-all-over look. However, a simple white bow would be just that - simple. So I went on and did some brainstorming. What could make the bow more dynamic, interesting, and creative? It then hit me that Guro Lolita was basically an injured Lolita (poor, poor girl!) Instead of making just a plain white bow, I decided to play around with textures and mimic the effect of layered bandages. All my client needs to do then is splatter blood (or just paint) all over it for a more believable Guro Lolita Bow.
1. Fusible interfacing
2. Muslin cloth
5. Sewing machine or a needle and thread (handstitch)
6. Fabric glue (optional)
1. Cut the interfacing into 3 rectangles. You’re free to use your preferred size but they have to vary in measurements. Make sure you are working with the stick-on side, you could determine this by bringing the sheet to a light source. The stick-on’s side is shiny and looks like it has dried glue all over it. Take the two bigger pieces and fold them in half. These would be your bow parts. Do the same for the smallest rectangle. This would serve as the middle strip that would hold the two bigger pieces together. Sew edges together. Open up the pieces and fold them again, this time positioning the stitched edges on the middle.
2. Prepare your strips of cloth. For this tutorial, I used Muslin since it’s light and frays rather well, makes for a good torn bandages effect. Again, you are free to cut these strips in whatever size you want them. Just make sure that most of them could be wrapped around the entire piece.
3. Take a piece and start “mummifying” it. There are no rules in wrapping, only that the strips or even just parts of it come into contact with the piece, especially if you are layering them. Remember that the strips get attached to the piece by the stick-on side. Be creative and see to it that you achieve your desired effect.
4. Once you have arranged your strips, it is time to iron them down. If you have correctly sewn the pieces earlier, you would find that the strips fuse with the interfacing! Continue ironing until several of the strips stick to the piece. For those that didn’t stick, you could use fabric glue or you could even leave them loose and hanging as this still contributes to the bandage effect.
5. Do the same for the backside of the piece. Since you wrapped the strips all around the piece, you would see that the back is almost done. You could add more layers and iron them down.
6. Continue mummifying and ironing all the pieces.
7. Now this has to be the tricky part. If you have your own way of constructing bows, go ahead and skip this step. If you don’t, here’s how I do it: Position the smaller piece over the bigger piece. This is the bow’s front side. Have them overlap for about 2-3 inches at the top. Make the folds: For single layer folds, I used pink pins. For the double layer, yellow pins. Fold the topmost part of the smaller piece. Pin. Fold another section, this time include the bigger piece (and this why I called it double layer as you are folding a section of the smaller piece and section of the bigger piece all at the same time). Do two of these double layer folds. Pin. Finally, resume to single layer folds. Do two of this using the bottom part of the bigger piece.
8. Once you have folded and pinned these sections, bring them altogether to the middle. Use the smaller rectangle piece as a band to hold the bigger pieces together. Turn your bow to the back side and pin the ends of the band together. Sew.
9. Remove all the pins. You could choose to leave your bow like this, with all the strips loose and hanging.
10. Or you could clean it up a bit, cut the excess and “texturize” the strips. You could do this by cutting the strips with a pair of dull scissors or the tip of your shears. Once done, attach the bow to a clip or headband.
And voila, you’re all done! Now this bow is like a blank canvas. Several other things could be done to improve it.
1. For Guro Lolita, you could use fabric paint to mimic bloodstains.
2. For an antique Victorian doll look, you could use coffee to make your bow look old and worn out.
3. You could also try burning the edge of the strips for an interesting effect.
I’ve given a great deal of time conceptualizing, writing, and publishing my designs/tutorials. So please share, not steal.