Why I Love to Crochet

Lace is one of my favorite things to wear. It’s feminine and delicate, but often a bit too fancy for everyday clothes.

Crochet garments can be made with all kinds of materials. I like to play with cotton and large hooks. This combo makes lace cardigans and dresses suitable for almost any everyday occasion, from shopping to casual dinners. Using simple lace patterns also serves to enhance the wearability of crochet garments.

Most of the things I crochet are black. Two of my latest crochet projects are a dress and cardigan both made with the same lace. I found the pattern for both on Novita’s website in the year I-forget, must have been 2006ish, but sadly, they’ve since given the site a make-over. That means the patterns can’t be found anywhere. I’ve literally turned the internet upside-down in search of it, but came out empty handed. The lace repeat is lovely, though, and it’s found its place among my favorites. It’s airy, it’s easy, and it totally works for an office-cardie.

I’m hoping to show you the finished items soon!

Crochet lace can look intimidating. For me, it did seem like an impossible thing to master. I was literally afraid of trying for years, but once I did, it dawned on me that most lace is created with basic stitches. Know how to chain, single- and double crochet, and you’re good to go. Even the simplest stitches can make an intricate surface. This is clearly seen with Evan Plevinski’s Elise Shawl. The pattern doesn’t have a difficult stitch in it, and the result is just beautiful.

I’ve made two so far, a red one for Mom, and a purple one for me. Mine turned out really big, though I haven’t gotten around to properly blocking it!

Lace is a versatile texture. It ‘s beautiful and feminine, and easier to create than one imagines. It brings a touch of luxury into everyday life, and that’s the reason why I love crocheting so much.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Stripy Wrist Warmers

In the world of crafting, left-over yarn is a rule. It’s always around, and sometimes, it’s difficult to find a use for little balls and skeins. As I was given an opportunity to write a guest post for Craftic, I chose to create these cute, stripy wrist warmers to share. The wrist warmers require basic skills in both knitting and crocheting. Stitches used are very simple, so I would label this as a beginner level project. 

stripy wrist warmers worked in black and purple

Materials

  • sport weight yarn in two tones. The amount of yarn needed depends on how long you wish to make the wrist warmers. For the black and purple ones, I worked 10 contrast colored stripes and used 50 grams (142 yards) of yarn in total.

  • double-pointed needles size 3,5mm/US 4

  • crochet hook size 3,5mm/US 4 and 4mm/US 6

  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Notes

The wristwarmers come in three sizes, S (M), and L. Size S suits an arm of 20 cm/ 7.8 inches in diameter, size M 22 cm/ 8.6 inches, and size L 24 cm/ 9.45 inches. Gauge (taken from a wristwarmer while it’s worn) is 18 stitches and 24 rows in a 5 cm x 5 cm / 2” x 2” square.

Abbreviations

K – knit

P – purl

DC – double crochet

* * – repeat

Pattern

Cast on 40 (44) 48 stitches on DPNs with black yarn, divide them eavenly, and join to knit in the round. The wristwarmers are worked in *K2, P2* -rib up until the crochet cuff.

Counting in the foundation row, work four rows of rib with black yarn. Switch to purple, and work two rows. Alternating the stripe pattern of *four rows in black, two rows in purple*, work in the round until the wristwarmer is approx 15cm/ 6 inches long. Finish with a black stripe.

Switch to the smaller crochet hook. From the beginning of the first row, pick up two stitches onto your hook. Crochet them together with a slip stitch, and chain four. In between of the two stitches you just crocheted together, double crochet.

DC the next two stitches together, chain two, and DC in between the two stitches crocheted together. Continue like this through the row.

Switch to hook size 4mm/ US 6.

Row 1: Into each arch formed by two chain stitches, DC three times.

Row 2-5: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC twice. *DC three times into the middle stitch of the next group.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Row 6: Using slip stitches, move to the middle DC of the first group. Chain two, and DC four times. Single crochet in between groups. *DC five times into the middle stitch of the next group, single crochet in between groups.* Slip stitch to close the round.

Cast off, and weave in ends.

stripy wrist warmers worked in double rib and crochet lace

 I hope you’ll enjoy The Stripy Wrist Warmers Knit/Crochet Pattern!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

SkaterDress

On Tuesday, I showed you a cute little dress I made in less than two hours. I based it loosely on our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, and today, I’d like to write more about the pattern.

The skater dress and its variations are among the most popular dress styles. With a fitted bodice and a flared hem, what’s not to love! The basic skater dress pattern can be modded beyond belief. With our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, I did just that. Along with the basic style, our skater dress sewing pattern includes a hooded, Gothic-inspired style, and a variation based on a store-bought blouse. I for one like to sew a pattern over and over again if the style pleases me. Adding details and little mods can change up a basic pattern quite a bit. This pattern is designed with the re-sewing option in mind.

The example of our basic style is made with long sleeves, and a smooth hem and bodice. I used viscose jersey for this style, and I really like that choice. A soft fabric makes the dress comfy for everyday wear.

The basic style is super-easy to accessorize. It goes with pretty much anything! Try adding a belt to the mix, wear the dress over a top, or pop a cardigan over it. You can change it up when sewing, too: make the hem longer or shorter, mix jersey with elastic lace, or pick a patterned material. The basic style really loves its variations, so don’t hesitate to go wild with it!

The basic skater dress bends to all sorts of ways. When making this pattern, I wanted to see just how much can be done with it. For the Gothic version of the pattern, I added bell sleeves, a laced up bodice, and a large hood. All of these elements together make the dress a Gothic girls dream. This style can also be taken apart for a more subdued look. Try sewing a basic dress with a hood, or adding the lacing to the basic style. Change the fabric from velvet to jersey, and the dress changes altogether!

This style is a bit more challenging to accessorize due to the amount of detail. The dress likes jewelry and petticoats, and of course cute leg-wear paired with wicked boots.

The last style is my personal favorite. It’s made taking advantage of upcycled materials. For it, you’ll need a fitted blouse, and a hem’s worth of fabric. The model dress has a three-layer hem: tulle, and two kinds of fabric. The top layer is cut into an asymmetric shape to give the voluminous hem a bit more drama.

This style can be paired with corsets and ties which give the dress an androgynous vibe.

The pattern includes a hem, two options for bodice, sleeves that can be made long or short or topped with a circular cuff, and a hood. All of these parts fit together, so you can just take your pick of the elements you’d like to use, and make your dream come true. I’m currently dreaming of a full-length skater dress…

I hope you’ll enjoy The Skater Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

Cute SkaterDress

As you may have noticed, I really like dresses. I have literally dozens of dresses, and I hardly ever wear anything but dresses. They’re so easy to pull on and accessorize. And the best part is, despite the fact that dresses are ridiculously comfy, wearing one makes you look chic no matter what. Though I have plenty of dresses, I keep making more. Last week, I made a cute skaterdress by just combining a spaghetti-strap top to a hem I quickly sewed up.

The story of the dress goes like this.

I had a top dug up from who-knows-where. It was a bit too short to be worn with a skirt, but I really liked the color and the velvet print. My website was down last week, and to make myself feel better, I decided to treat myself to a new dress. The top would serve as its foundation.

top on its way to becoming a cute skaterdress

I had black viscose jersey stashed up. I used some of it to sew an A-lined, wide hem for the top. Patterning and cutting were done using the proven method of “it’s just jersey, what could possibly go wrong!”

… nothing major, just had to take the waist in a little.

hem waiting to be attached

After sewing up the hem, I attached the pieces at the waist. When doing this, you’ll want to make certain the seam will sit at the narrowest part of the waist, and that it’s a snug fit. Otherwise the seam will bulge.

almost there!

I did a basic rolled hem on the dress. It’s a quick, easy finish for a casual dress. It works really well on jersey, since it won’t eat at the elasticity of the fabric, but lives along with the material. For everyday dresses meant for nothing fancier than a dinner at the local pub it’s the perfect choice. If you’re making something more special, try trimming hems with lace.

I really like the way my dress turned out. I wore it last week, and paired it with a mesh top and a tulle petticoat beneath, and a basic elastic belt over the seam.

cute skater dress all done!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my new cute skaterdress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

DeathRock Bustier Sewing Pattern

Corset patterns are abundant in the internet. A bit of googling will reveal an endless source of corset sewing patterns from Victorian to modern. Despite the fact that corset patterns are pretty much everywhere, I couldn’t find one that would suite me. I wanted a light overbust with little detail, a modesty panel, and a shape that would allow it to close almost entirely. Even after turning the internet upside-down I came up empty.

So I had to make the pattern myself.

The DeathRock Bustier is one of my favorite corset sewing patterns in our growing collection. It’s easy to make, comfy to wear, and it can be paired with almost anything. I like to wear mine with long skirts, but the DeathRock Bustier works wonders with short hems as well.

I’m currently in the process of making a new one with steel boning and a front zipper.

As I was cutting the corset, I couldn’t decide between two pretty fabrics. To give both of them a chance to shine, I chose to make the corset reversible. I used the exact same techniques as with the Reversible Waist Corset. With both sides pretty and tidy, the garment can actually be flipped inside out even in the middle of a night out.

Adding front closure to a light corset is really quite easy. Cut the front in two pieces instead of on fold leaving a bit of allowance, pop in a zipper, and sew bone channels on both sides. The solution makes any bustier easier to put on, and adds an extra detail.

My old DeathRock Bustier is pretty well worn. It’s boned with acrylic, and bears the marks of a lot of wear. It’s not beyond the point of salvation, and I’m thinking about changing it’s bones to spiral steel. The operation shouldn’t be too difficult, it just involves a lot of unpicking…

I hope you’ll enjoy the DeathRock Bustier Sewing Pattern, and have fun with modding it to your own taste!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Heather lying on forestfloor

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Loki Corset

Once upon a time three years ago, I got a bit carried away right before Halloween. I got a grand idea to go as Loki, and made a corset out of black fake leather and green cotton. I got sidetracked half-way through, and the corset was forgotten. I found my Loki Corset again a month or so ago, and decided to feature it in the I Made This! -section today.

I actually meant to do this yesterday, but I had the misfortune of coming down with a flu. I was literally too sick form a comprehensible sentence, but today I’m feeling much better. Not very pretty, though.

The Loki Corset is loosely based on the DeathRock Bustier Sewing Pattern. I used the pattern as a basic shape, and modified it with a heavy hand. I added a lot of details, steel boning, and front closure.

The criss-cross button closure is a thing I like to use when making light corsets that aren’t meant for tight-lacing. It has a unique look, and makes the garment comfy to wear. I most often use spiral steel boning which is flexible and forgiving, so this style of closure only works when you don’t want a very tight corset.

All the details of my Loki Corset are sewn on. I embellished each pair of pieces separately without a plan. I used a lot of piping for this too add as much green as I could. I wanted to avoid vertical lines, though, and decided to use black twill for bone channels. This solution gives more space to the diagonal embellishments.

The back of the corset has a very basic lacing. I like to use long satin ribbons with this one. They add a feminine detail to the style. The corset is complete with a modesty panel, naturally with my initials sewn into it.

I meant to wear my Loki Corset out on Friday, but a late dinner made me change my mind. This little mistake paired with the flu I got means you’ll have to settle for a headless shot of the corset being worn…

Though this piece hasn’t gotten much actual wear, I love it to bits. It’s comfy, unique, and pretty. I hope you enjoyed reading about it!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather