Mixing Knit and Crochet

Last week was a bit difficult for me. Not only did my website experience a technical difficulty (these things happen, and this was just a hickup with necessary updates), but I also fell victim to a severe case of a stiff neck. I noted it on Thursday, mentioned it to Charming, and received strict orders not to knit and crochet. Which, imho, was quite harsh. I mean, how could continuing to do what caused the condition in the first place possibly make it worse!

… well, obviously I’ve sat with my hands on my lap through the weekend. Not knitting. I’m getting better, and I sincerely hope Charming will let me pick up the needles before too long.

Since I’ve been a bit achey, I haven’t been able to take outfit photos. Pulling on a robe was a task and a half all through the weekend, and I figured it might be best to just wait until I’m all better before struggling with corsets and such. So today, I wanted to talk a bit about a knitting related thing. The way I like to mix knit and crochet, that is.

This week’s featured product is still The Faux Cable Shrug. I’m extending its time in the spotlight for another week due to the website-issue. I hope to do an outfit post with it for Friday, but today, I wanted to shed more light on its crochet embellishment.

I love crochet details on knitted garments. A crochet edge can make all the difference to a knit item. The Faux Cable Shrug features a shell edge worked onto cast off edges. It doesn’t require much work or extensive knowledge of crocheting, but it does make a lovely detail, don’t you think?

Crochet edges are more often seen on shawls. A crochet cast off is a quick, easy way of achieving an edge that’s both tidy and elastic. Continuing to crochet a delicate border from there is irresistably easy. A crocheted edge can make a stockinette scarf appear more romantic…

… or it can give a subtle touch of femininity to an everyday shawl.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed adding crochet details to knit items ever since I first learned both skills. I’m actually working on a cardigan that features crochet flowers sewn onto a knit surface. It will be published later in the spring, hopefully mid-March!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the way I mix knit and crochet.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Mesh Insert Dress

On Friday, I used my Mesh Insert Dress in an outfit post for the second time, and I still haven’t properly introduced it to you. I figured now’s as good a time as any!

The Mesh Insert Dress is actually modded. I got a sleeveless bodycon dress in size way-too-big from a flea market, and decided to use it to create another Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. The only thing that fit in the original dress was the hem. The width was perfect in that one spot alone, so I chose to start working from the hem up. I cut the dress along the original Jersey Dress pattern. There wasn’t quite enough fabric for long sleeves, so I had to improvise.

I had skin tone power mesh stashed. There wasn’t much, but enough to cut half a sleeve. It took a bit on pondering to decide whether I wanted to do the upper or lower sleeve in mesh. The upper sleeve seemed like a better choice so I went for it.

When comparing the materials, I noted that they had a different amount of ease. To compensate, I cut the mesh piece a bit narrower. Which is why the sleeve looks a little funny when no-one’s in it.

 The original Jersey Dress comes with two options for cuffing the sleeve. Instead of the wide one, I chose to do a very basic binding. This option matches the neckline, and gives the dress a very unified look.

Most of my dresses have a round neckline. With my Mesh Insert Dress, I wanted to do something different.

Not too different, though, as I still wanted to stay true to the original pattern. So instead of cutting a round collar, I went for a subtle V-shaped line. I used a strip of fabric to bind the neckline, and top-stitched using a narrow zigzag to preserve the elasticity of jersey.

The finished dress is figure-hugging, and still really comfortable. The mesh inserts make the dress looks sleeveless with separate arm warmers, and I kinda like the effect. You could use contrast colored material for the upper sleeve, too, or sew it with elastic lace.

As my Mesh Insert Dress has a snug fit, it’s comfy under knits. The Faux Cable Shrug seems to love it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Mesh Insert Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Cute Shrug Looks

Shrugs and cardigans are probably the easiest way to add warmth to winter outfits. Today, I wanted to share a couple of cute shrug looks, all featuring our Faux Cable Shrug. The Shrug Knitting Pattern is our featured product for this week and next. That means it’s on sale, but for VIPs only! Be sure to order our newsletter to gain access to special offers.

I love shrugs of all kinds, and this one has proven to be both warm and comfy. It’s made with a mohair-blend, and the natural fiber makes it soft and squishy. If it weren’t green, I’d wear it all the time!

Sleek and Casual

The Faux Cable Shrug is designed to be snug. That means it’s best worn with slim-fit tops. For the first look, I paired the shrug with it’s best friend ever, The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. These two figure-hugging garments look stunning together, and create a look that’s classic, chic, and so comfy you cannot believe it.

The Faux Cable Shrug has a wide border worked with mock cables, cables running down the sleeves, and smooth back. The shrug is finished with crochet edges. I love the feminine style of the shrug, and like to pair it with dresses. Though the shrug looks small, it’s surprisingly warm even during the harshest winter.

Pleated

For the second look, I wanted to incorporate a pleated skirt. I started by picking out a tartan mini with a red base, and green and yellow accents. I paired it with the tops you see, was pretty pleased with myself, pulled on the shrug, and shrieked in terror. There were way too many colors for me!

After changing into a black, pleated skirt, I felt much better.

Winter can be really cold. Warm outfits are a must even indoors. Houses can get drafty, and draft causes neck and shoulder pains for many. Shrugs are a great way to keep cold air away. The Faux Cable Shrug rises to cover the neck, and brings warmth especially to shoulders and arms. For this look, I wore it over a long-sleeved mesh Tee and a spaghetti strap top. This style works without the shrug, too, so if I get too warm, I can just take the shrug off and still look good.

Romantic

Shrugs go with not only dresses, but with corsets, too. Corset looks often leave arms and shoulders bare, and that means it can get really cold. A shrug covers arms and back, but leaves the beautiful corset fully visible. That’s why shrugs enjoy the unconditional love of Gothic girls everywhere. This one goes beautifully with my zip-up overbust. For this look, I paired the shrug with my mesh Tee, a long peasant skirt, and my favorite corset.

This is maybe the most Me of this bunch of cute shrug looks. With a Victorian feel, this look is closest to my personal fashion sense.

And yes, there was something interesting outside the window on photo day!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our cute shrug looks today!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Spaghetti Strap Dress Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you two dresses I made with our Spaghetti Strap Top Pattern. One of them was a mod combining a top and a dress, and the other a short, lace-embellished dress. Today, I wanted to show you how the dresses look on me, plus a few spaghetti strap dress looks!

Pretty Basic

My long dress combines our Jersey Skirt and Spaghetti Strap Top. I hardly ever wore those two, and when I did, I wished they were a dress. It was only natural to combine them into one. As a long dress, the top and skirt are comfortable, practical, and easier for me to style. We each have our personal preferences as to what kind of clothes we’re most at home in. For me, it’s dresses.

The long Spaghetti Strap Dress has a seam at the waist. I’m not a huge fan of those, so I like to cover seams up with belts. For this look, I wore the dress with my most trusted mesh top and an elastic belt. With just three elements, this looks is very minimal and a bit harsh. Jewelry and maybe a soft cardigan would give this style more details, but I might actually wear this as is.

spaghetti strap dress looks - minimal styles are perfect for shopping

Light Layers

As I first made The Jersey Skirt, I planned to wear it with tulle skirt I made a long time ago. I happily tried on the combo, and found it uncomfortable. With two skirts waists and various tops getting in the way, the looks I found turned out difficult to wear. I don’t like it when I need to be constantly tugging at a hem or a waist. In that regard, the dress-solution was perfect!

This look has loads of elements and layers, and still it’s perfectly comfortable. I wore the dress over a mesh top again, and added my tulle skirt and zip-up corset. A variety of bangles (yes, they make noise, and yes, I wear them all the time) brings a welcome detail to the look.

I love this outfit, and though I’m not that crazy about straps showing, they can always be covered with a shrug. With this style, the hems are the main focus.

spaghetti strap dress looks - a dress worn under a skirt eliminates the need to tug

Short and Sweet

The second dress is short, and made by modding The Spaghetti Strap Top Pattern. I lengthened the hem and cut it into a wide A-lined shape to achieve a short dress with a looser hem. This dress is so comfy I seriously cannot believe it. Thanks to the lace finish, it’s cute, too!

I made this dress with thicker cotton jersey. Cotton isn’t that warm during the winter, but it’s perfect for spring and summer. I can see a lot of wear for this dress when the dreaded daystar returns!

spaghetti strap dress looks - LBDs never go out of style

Orange!

This week’s featured product is The Cropped Raglan Top Knitting Pattern, so I “had” to include it in this outfit post. That wasn’t too difficult, since the sweater loves most dresses! For the last of our Spaghetti Dress Looks, I paired the sweater with my short dress.

These two look really good together. The short hems compliment each other, and the black dress makes the orange sweater look even brighter. For a warmer look, try wearing thick tights, and our Garter Petticoat with over knee socks.

spaghetti strap dress looks - two short elements make an outfit super cute

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Spaghetti Strap Dress Looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Spaghetti Strap Dresses

As I’ve mentioned many, many times before, basics are a really important part of any wardrobe. Mine consists mainly of dresses and accessories, so it’s only natural that I require a multitude of basic dresses. I hardly ever wear skirts and tops, let alone pants. In that light, it may be easy to understand why my Basic Jersey Skirt and Spaghetti Strap Tops sat in the closet untouched. I don’t like seeing clothes out of circulation, so I turned the skirt and one of the tops into a dress! Spaghetti strap dresses get way more wear in my world than skirts and tops, and I already have loads of outfits planned for this one.

Combining a top and a skirt into a dress is a super-easy project. You simply take a top, cut it at the waist, and sew the skirt onto it. It takes literally twenty minutes, and leaves you with a new, cute dress.

As many people, I’m not a huge fan of vertical seams at the waist, but that can be hidden with a belt, scarf, or corset. I really like this transformed top/skirt-combo. It’s versatile and comfortable, and I trust this will become one of my go-to dresses. Especially after the horrific accident with my favorite maxi dress… 

After putting together the long dress, I decided to need more spaghetti strap dresses. Going through my closet, I noted that most of my short dresses are tight and body conscious. A looser one was in order! I took a piece of thicker cotton jersey, a bit of lace, a pair of wider straps, and our Spaghetti Strap Top Pattern. By lengthening the hem and widening it as much as I could, I gained a short dress with a flowing hem.

Even though I wanted the dress to be a bit less body con, I made the bodice snug. That way, a dress fits comfortably, and stays securely put. I cut the hem to an A-lined shape starting from above the waist to give it more room. A bit of lace turned the dress pretty and feminine.

I used lace to hem the dress instead of going for a rolled hem. This particular fabric likes to roll up if left unguarded, and lace forces it to remain straight.

I love the way this dress turned out. It’s so cute and comfy, and loves cardigans and sweaters!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my cool new spaghetti strap dresses. On Friday, I’ll show you how these two like our Cropped Raglan Top, so stay tuned!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Taffeta Skirt Looks

As promised on Tuesday, today I’ll show you some outfits based on the Taffeta Skirt I just made. The skirt was featured in Tuesday’s post. It’s a super-simple thing, and I made it with our Crinkle Skirt Tutorial. My Taffeta Skirt is really short, and goes nicely with all kinds of tops and cardigans. There’s an advantage there, though: a short skirt makes even the tiniest girl look leggy!

Going Out

My Taffeta Skirt is quite casual in style, but it’s not exactly something on might want to wear to work. The fabric is too fancy for the office, and the hem is too short and too wide to fit dress codes. For evenings out, though, this thing is perfect. It’s cute, it’s comfy, and it’s super easy to mix and match.

For this look, I paired the skirt with a polkadot mesh top (check out those wild colors, black on black, wow!), a spaghetti strap top I picked up from H&M eons ago, and a tulle petticoat. I wanted a touch of bling for this fun look, and chose to accent the outfit with an elastic belt and silver heels. Long, flashy earrings bring a touch of luxury to the look.

I like the way this look turned out. It’s fun and flirty, but the combination of different textures still keeps it casual. This style would work wonderfully for Valentine’s dinner, even though it is a bit on the dark side!

Staying Warm

For the second stop of our Taffeta Skirt looks, I held onto the tulle petticoat. It’s my favorite one, and I’ve grown attached to it. I like the way it works with this skirt, so I allowed myself to be a bit lazy. I also allowed a “failed” photo into the mix. I take my own photos nowadays with a remote. Sometimes, it takes one photo, sometimes it takes three, and sometimes it has a mind of its own. I don’t know what happened here, other than that I heard a noise and rose to investigate, but I most certainly did not plan to photograph it! The pic was kinda cute, though, so I wanted to include it.

This look features both the Taffeta Skirt, and our featured product for this week and next. The orange sweater is a pretty simple ribbed raglan top with a few little twists. It has a high collar that can be worn open or sewn closed, and the front hem is shorter than the back. This sweater is my all-time favorite. It’s warm and squishy, and the shape is just fun. The Cropped Raglan Sweater works best with dresses. When worn with skirts, it loves waist corsets. For this look, I paired it with my BloodStain Corselet only to realize I’ve featured a very similar look before! I do love this style, though, and hope to wear it our some day.

So Comfy!

The last of our Taffeta Skirt looks doesn’t include the taffeta skirt. Instead, I wanted to show you how The Raglan Sweater works with a dress. For this look, I chose a Pretty Basic Jersey Dress I made a while back. Remember the one with mesh inserts? This is the one!

This look is my absolute favorite of this bunch. It’s so comfortable and so warm. I’d wear this to a shopping spree anytime!

I wanted to keep this look clean and simple. Cute little earrings brighten up the outfit (you can’t see it here, but I’m wearing little tortoises on my ears), and wedge heels are comfy to walk in. These shoes are actually modded: I had a pair of knee high boots I didn’t much care for. I took my scissors, cut off the leg, and bound the mouth of the shoe with satin bias tape. I then added bows and little skulls as embellishments. These turned out really cute, and I should wear them more!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Taffeta Skirt looks, some of which actually included said skirt.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather