I found it easier, but you'll have a hard time finding those prints if you don't live in Japan. I didn't do sweet lolita stuff, I was more into punk and goth lolita, so it wasn't that difficult to find plaids, stripes, etc and make a lot of my own things.
There are tutorials out there on how to make your own skirt, petticoat, sock toppers, etc if you want to go on a budget.
Costume Con - Kili in a dress
Atomic Lollipop - Come visit me at the Make-Your-Own-Button free craft booth!
Polar Chill - check out my costume DIY panel and workshop
FanExpo - Iron Man Mark VII version 2, Pacific Rim Jaeger pilot?
FanExpo - fem!Iron Man Mark VII - The Iron Man Armor Project
Atomic Lollipop - Vanellope von Schweetz; raver!Sailor Mars