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

Taffeta Skirt

Once upon a time, I had a little piece of left-over taffeta. It was the basic sort of light taffeta you can get anywhere for 5€/meter, tops. I kinda wanted to make a corselet with it, but taffeta, though it is hard, doesn’t handle pressure that well. Taffeta corsets and corselets require a better quality material, so I opted on making a skirt. I had about half a meter of fabric, so my taffeta skirt was bound to be short.

I wanted a very basic skirt that wouldn’t take long to make. A simple skirt easy to mix and match with all kinds of tops, and even bustle skirts. Instead of picking out a “real” pattern, I used the same idea as with The Crinkle Skirt. With just a long strip of fabric, a zip, and a waist band, this style is super-easy to make.

Taffeta Skirt - this was really easy to sew!

As taffeta frays, and leaves long strands of clingy, fuzzy stuff behind, I used my trusty serger to sew the skirt. I finished all the raw edges straight away to keep from getting covered with taffeta fibers. Then, I used my sewing machine to create a very basic, yet tidy, hem.

Taffeta Skirt - a basic rolled hem always looks tidy.

The original Crinkle Skirt is made with a proper waist band. With this mod, I just took a piece of elastic, and pleated the taffeta against it. I don’t plan to wear this skirt with the waist band exposed, so it doesn’t really need to be that pretty. The wide elastic is tidy enough, though, to be seen, so I do have the option to change my mind about hiding it.

As I chose to pleat the fabric to the elastic without stretching it, the waist band is non-elastic.

Taffeta Skirt - pleated waist is so pretty!

The skirt needed closure. I sewed an exposed zipper to it along with a large button. This solution works with casual skirts, but for formal wear, always use a hidden or concealed zipper!

The skirt turned out really nice, and as I planned, it goes with all kinds of tops and cardigans, and looks super-cute with fluffy petticoats. On Friday, I’ll show a few outfits based on this skirt, along with our featured product for the coming week.

Taffeta Skirt - exposed zippers work for casual wear only!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my taffeta skirt.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Ruffle Skirt Looks for Fun

Last week, I got to launch the last of The Pretty Basics. The Ruffle Skirt completes our line of cute, casual skirts, tops, and dresses. Today, I wanted to show you two more ways to wear it. This skirt is designed for viscose jersey, or similar fabrics. As a cute little jersey skirt, it isn’t really fancy. Still, I wanted to see how it would work with parties, so let’s take a look at some fun Ruffle Skirt looks!

Lace and Tie

As you may have noticed, I really like ties. I pair them up with pretty much anything, and of course I had to see if The Ruffle Skirt would like one, too. I paired the skirt with a lace blouse, and added a tie to the mix. Instead of a black tie, I opted for a purple one.

I’m not that into colors, and I felt super-uncomfortable in this outfit. I love the idea, though, it’s just the colors that gave me a hard time. I’d also like this better if I replaced the skirt with a high-waist pencil skirt… or a long black one in any shape.

Getting dressed can be a bit of a challenge, and even I can’t win every time!

Fun Ruffle Skirt Looks - Lace blouse and tie always work together

Tulle on Tulle

The second look is a bit different. You see, I started writing this post, got a little bit discouraged by the first look, and my subconsciousness started working on an alternative. I remembered that I have a corset top that matches with The Ruffle Skirt’s purple tone, a brand new mesh blouse, and a tulle that works for both a petticoat and an outer layer. Combined, these elements make a super-cute outfit. I literally don’t have time to do a photo-shoot today, so I assembled the outfit on a flat surface. I know it’s not the same, but it does give an idea toward how these elements work together.

The blouse is actually my favorite part of this ensemble. I made it from the mid-layer of a circle skirt, and finished it yesterday. It’s really light and a bit on the loose side, and bears subtle lace details. I’m thinking I might turn it into a pattern as it turned out so well.

This look is so cute, and The Ruffle Skirt works wonderfully under a layer of tulle. In a perfect world, the ruffles would match in height, of course, but minor imperfections make life interesting.

Fun Ruffle Skirt Looks - Tulle on tulle looks so pretty

Ruffles on Ruffles

Back in August, I showed you a Ruffle Dress I made. It’s made with the same fabric as The Ruffle Skirt, so my natural instinct was to pair the two up. The dress is made with a ruffle front, and an empire-line, contrast colored hem.

This look is my favorite of the fun ruffle skirt looks. It’s cute, it’s feminine, and it color-coordinates perfectly. It’s also really comfortable, and works for all kinds of outings. I wouldn’t wear this to a wedding, but totally for drinks at the corner pub or a casual dinner. When venturing outside I’d opt for more sensible footwear, but the combo of ruffles really works for me.

Fun Ruffle Skirt Looks - The skirt plays an undercover agent here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our collection of fun Ruffle Skirt looks!

Handbag Mod

Once upon a time, I decided I needed a new handbag. I turned the internet upside down in search of the perfect purse, and came out empty-handed. I even ventured outside into the real world in search of one! As I am a little bit picky, and didn’t want to spend a fortune on an accessory, I went on eBay. That’s what I usually do when I “need” something I’m likely to grow bored with in less than a year. Going in, I had no idea what kind of a bag I actually wanted, and finally settled on a slouchy one. The decision is based entirely on material: I figured if the purse was a total bust, I could just rip it apart, and use the fake leather for a new one!

The bag arrived in due time, quite quickly actually, and it was fine. A bit larger than expected, and lacking a sturdy bottom, but OK in quality. I could have used it as it was, but I really wanted to add a reinforcement, and minor details.

This bag is soft, and frameless. It’s sewn with light fake leather, and fully lined. The design is very basic, and it’s large enough to house a notebook and other essentials, such as wallet, phone, make-up kit, hairties, knitting, and a bottle of wine along with a change of clothes. Seriously, this thing is huge. As it is “just” sewn, I felt confident to go under the lining.

I pulled the lining out, and carefully ripped open the bottom seam. Then, I proceeded to cut out a piece of sturdy cardboard in the shape of the bag’s bottom, and an extra pocket. I also took a D-ring.

As I was inside the lining, attaching the patch pocket was a piece of cake. Securing the D-ring to the lining was also easy. And now you ask why on Earth do I need a D-ring attached to the inside of a purse. Well, the answer is simple. I have a snap hook on my key ring. Clipped onto a D-ring inside a purse, it saves me from losing my keys inside my bag. I always know where they are, and never have to stand in the middle of a sidewalk digging around my bag. Literally the best idea I’ve ever had.

After the pocket and the D-ring were in place, I proceeded to anchor the cardboard to the bag. I cut out a piece of lining silk to match its shape, and sewed it onto the sole. The fabric keeps the reinforcement from moving around.

The entire process took about an hour and a half, and cost pennies. It didn’t alter the bag’s look, but made it sturdier, and easier to handle. I’m so glad I took the time to do it! This humongous yet still sleek carry-all is now my new favorite. It goes with any outfit, and is so easy to carry around. With the make-over, it can even stand on its own!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my little purse make-over.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Ruffle Skirt Looks for Free Time

As you may have guessed, this week’s featured product is The Ruffle Skirt. This cute little jersey skirt sewing pattern was launched on Tuesday. The skirt completes our Pretty Basic Collection, and it’s so easy to sew you won’t believe it! Today, I wanted to show you a few outfits based on The Ruffle Skirt. Since the skirt is made with jersey, it doesn’t feel fancy. It’s perfect for everyday outings, such as trips to the craft store, and just hanging around the house. That’s why these ruffle skirt looks are super-casual and comfy.

Flowers

The Ruffle Skirt loves all kinds of tops. For the first look, I paired it with a mesh top and our Spaghetti Strap Top. Tights and chunky heels complete the outfit, but winter calls for something extra. It’s cold outside and in, and I for one don’t much care for freezing to death. To stay just a bit warmer, I added a long crochet scarf and our Fishnet Gloves to the mix.

Small pieces of cotton aren’t really that warm, but they do add to the coziness-factor in any outfit. Fingerless gloves add length to light sleeves, and keeps wrists and hands protected against draft. A scarf brings texture to the look, and keeps cold air away from the neck.

The flower embellishments on the scarf are cute and feminine. Both sides of the scarf bear them, adding both detail and weight to the scarf. This is actually a mod of our Hooded Scarf Crochet Pattern, which is available as a free recipe, and a more detailed download.

So Warm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Pretty Basics all go together. The Jersey Top, Spaghetti Strap Top and Crochet Blazer are perfect for this skirt! For the second look, I held on to the top combo, and wore our Crochet Blazer over them. I also wore a tight, black skirt under the purple one to give it more warmth.

I made the lower skirt a while back to go under short jersey dresses that have a wider hem. I used our Garter Petticoat Pattern for this one, only I made mine longer, and without garters.

This look is really comfy, and I’m definitely going to make it a part of my everyday style. I work from home, so I get to stay comfortable, but I still like to look nice. This outfit is cute, fun, and, best of all, comfy.

Hooded

For the last look, I wanted to try something a bit different. Lately, the not-so-basic designs in our collection have gone with little attention, and I try to change that when I can. For this look, I chose our long-neglected Hooded Wrap Top.

This top is made with a three-layer front and wrap cut. Instead of wearing the hem straight, I tied it to the back to create a cropped look. The hood worked perfectly in saving me from having to figure out a hair-do, and delicate heels balance out the androgynous top.

I really like the way the top looks wrapped down, but I’d probably wear it with a long spaghetti strap dress instead of a short skirt. The hem of the top rides, and that makes me all fidgety. A dress would feel more comfortable for me personally.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Ruffle Skirt Looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Pretty Basic Ruffle Skirt

Basics are the foundation of any wardrobe. Our Pretty Basic Collection is just about complete. I will create one more knit item for it, but sewing-wise, we’re done. Today, we’re launching the last sewn item to the line! The Pretty Basic Ruffle Skirt comes in five sizes, and is so quick and easy to sew you won’t believe it. Making the model skirt took me around two hours! That includes all the breaks I took to consider how I’d like to write a tutorial for it.

Our Pretty Basic Ruffle Skirt is best made with medium-weight jersey. I used a viscose jersey in a really nice shade of purple. I was tempted to make this in black, but maybe a wild color will be fun for a change!

Pretty Basic Ruffle Skirt - I made this with medium weight viscose jersey

The Pretty Basic Ruffle Skirt is figure-hugging and short-ish. It features an elastic waist, and ruffled hem. This skirt is made with the simplest techniques, so it’s a cool project for beginners, too! Sewing this skirt is really super-easy, and you’ll only need a serger to make one.

I really like the shape of this skirt. It’s cute, feminine, and really comfortable. The Ruffle Skirt loves most kinds of tops, and works as a petticoat just as well as an outer layer. Since this skirt is made with a material that can turn translucent when worn, I do recommend petticoats or thicker leggings with this one. Layering The Ruffle Skirt up makes it warmer, and even fit for winter wear. Our Garter Petticoat will work wonderfully with this one, just like all the Pretty Basic tops! For extra-warmth, add a Crochet Blazer or a Chunky Shrug to the mix!

I hope you’ll have fun with The Ruffle Skirt. On Friday, I’m going to show you a few outfits made with it!

Until then.

Love,

Heather

Yoked Blouse Looks, pt. 2

This week’s featured product is The Yoked Blouse. As stated in the first part of Yoked Blouse Looks, this is my all time favorite blouse. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and it suits my style perfectly. That’s actually why styling up this blouse gave me a bit of a hard time. This blouse loves all kinds of skirts, but creating an outfit simply by pairing a top to a skirt does get boring pretty fast. The blouse’s tendency to hide accessories with its long, long sleeves did not help one bit. I actually got a bit desperate, and tried to pair this with pants! It looked nice, I’ll admit that, but I was so uncomfortable and out of my element I wanted to scream. So today we shall, once more, wear hems.

Ruffles

Ruffled cuffs are the very essence of romantic Victorian style. Sometimes I wish I’d given The Yoked Blouse ruffled cuffs, and even more often I’ve thought about modding them. Changing the sleeves would change the entire look of the blouse, so I’ve decided against it. Luckily, there are non-permanent solutions! For the first look, I gathered the sleeves with – yes, you guessed it – hair ties.

I know it sounds a bit silly to use a hair  tie to alter sleeves, but it does work. A narrow, elastic hair tie hides beneath the folds of the sleeve, and keeps the cuff pretty securely in place. I was a bit skeptical about it myself, but the trick does turn a cuff around.

I paired the altered blouse with a long cotton skirt and our Reversible Corset. This look is again something I really do wear. The combination of ruffled hems and a waist corset is just delightful for me, and makes me feel pretty.

Puffed

The Yoked Blouse is designed with a Victorian feel. That doesn’t keep it from turning way cute, though! For the last stop of your yoked blouse looks, I paired it up with our PuffBall Skirt.

This version of our PuffBall Skirt sports silver buttons and a lively material. For some reason, I’ve made this with an elastic waist, which I no longer care for that much. The elastic waistband isn’t that pretty, and I feel obligated to hide it. I’m thinking about replacing it with a fitted one so that this pretty skirt will get more wear!

This look is really cute, and would work perfectly for a casual party with friends. Simple outfits gain a lot from jewelry and accessories. For this style, I chose buckled heels and snowflake earrings.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the second part of our Yoked Blouse Looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather