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How to DIY a Leopard Print Dress, Gyaru Style!

What’s this??? Lizzie, DIYing? Haha no, I really suck at DIY but my friend and fellow gyarusa member Dani is an absolute goddess at it. Being able to DIY your own gyaru clothes is a HUGE help for when you’re on a budget, so today we’re going to learn how Dani has created this beautiful agejo dress!

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started…

Hello! My name is Danielle and I DIY a lot of my own gyaru wardrobe! Finding brand dresses (especially for older styles) on a budget can be hard, and especially if you’re plus size or tall it can be a struggle finding things that fit – so I decided to try DIY-ing my own dresses, and here’s how I do it! Small disclaimer – I’m not a professional by any means, and I actually failed sewing classes at school…so my apologies if I’m not doing anything the right way! This is just the way it works for me.

01. Find your inspiration and your base dress

Since leopard print is so in fashion at the moment, I really wanted a leopard print dress! I decided to go for a more agejo style and searched for dresses I really liked. Unfortunately I can’t find the original source for the left dress, but I loved the design and it really inspired me. I found my base dress on for under £10 – the cut and design is a bit different, but I try not to copy other people’s designs exactly, and use what I can find and what flatters me to come up with my own design!

02. Get your DIY tools and materials together

These are some of the things you’ll need for any DIY project, and most can be found very cheaply online or on the high street, even in super markets! You may even have most of the things you need at home already. I use: scissors, needle, matching thread for the project, pins, usually a lace trim, and assorted additions such as bows, pearls, buttons, ribbon etc. It really depends on what you’re making! Most of these items can be found in art or DIY shops, although I get most of mine on eBay, for less than £5!

03. Try on your dress and start pinning!

There’s no point wasting time in making adjustments if the base dress doesn’t fit, so check that first, and then go wild! Start pinning on your trims where need be to make your design a reality. You don’t have to do this whilst wearing the dress, but I like to, so I can see the finished item – it might look good lying flat, but if it doesn’t look good on, you might have to change it again. For example the bow I wanted to use on this dress didn’t look right where I first wanted it, so I changed it up. Also, with stretchy fabric, it’s better to pin and sew additions on when it is stretched i.e when you’re wearing it. This can be difficult on your own so if you have someone on hand to help that’s great! I pinned a lace trim around the neckline and the hem of the dress, and pinned on bows down the centre of the dress.

04. Start sewing

As a general rule, I will tack my trims on by hand and then go over them with my sewing machine, but if you haven’t got a sewing machine, you can simply hand-sew. I like to tack everything on and try it on before permanently stitching. I normally use a backstitch or running stitch. You can find some great tutorials here! Put on a movie or a tv show and keep going (it does get boring).

05. Show off your finished dress!

There’s so much you can do with DIY, there’s really no limit! I changed this dress a bit from the original with the addition of the bows, and I think it looks super cute. So much is trial-and-error, so don’t be discouraged, and keep trying. I’ve made hime, tsuyome and now agejo style dresses through this method and it’s expanded my wardrobe a lot!

I wish you the best of luck with customising your own dresses and I can’t wait to see everyone’s results! – Danielle xxx

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