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Dress Styles with Red Details

This week, we’ve been concentrating on dresses with puff sleeves. The Princess and Keyhole Dress is our featured product until Monday, so today, I wanted to share two more looks for it. I really like this dress, and wear it a lot. Today’s looks both feature red as an accent color. Dress styles with red details have always been my go-to choices, and this dress looks particularly nice paired with darker tones.

Bloodstains

Some of you might remember my favorite corselet. I made this a long time ago. I used an elastic material with a velvet print. At first, I was pretty certain this thing wouldn’t last very long, but after years of wear, it’s still as good as new.

Well, it could use fresh boning, but it’s fine for now. I’m actually thinking I might give this steel boning sometime soon. That way, it would be even comfier to wear. I’m also thinking about making another corselet just like this one, but in black. I already have materials for it, so all that’s lacking is time and inspiration!

Both the corselet and the dress get a lot of wear. I love the way they look with each other, and often wear them together. This first look is the way I rock The Princess and Keyhole Dress. Paired with my Bloodstain Corselet, it’s the perfect interpretation of my personal style. For this look, I added a red petticoat. It’s still pretty cold outside, and layered hems make dresses much warmer.

I try to keep accessories to a minimum with this dress. It has a lot going on, especially with the hem gathered, and too many details can work against one another. One piece of jewelry can be plenty for this dress! I chose my bangles for this look along with The Fishnet Gloves. I like the way they work together with the sleeves, and bring both bling and a bit of warmth to the look.

Lace

For the second stop of dress styles with red details, I wanted to create something more romantic. This dress does come with the option to wear the hem hitched up, and that reminds of the Victorian era. I wore the dress with the hem gathered to reveal the red petticoat. Something about this look reminded me of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire, so I chose a child-like detail for it.

The red petticoat matches the long red belt I made for our Lace Skirt. I tied the belt above my waist to create an empire-line for the dress. I hid the ends of the belt under it to gain a smooth, unbroken line. With jewelry down to a bare minimum, this look is simple and still unique.

I really like this look with its red details. There’s something very romantic about this style. I kinda regret not wearing it on Valentine’s Day!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s dress styles with red details.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Purple Dress

Once upon a time, I found a piece of jacquard-patterned fabric from a flea market. It was a nice enough quality, so I figured I’d find a use for it. A few years later I found it in my stash, apologized to it for my lack of attention, and obeyed its wish to become a purple dress with puff sleeves. Since our featured product this week is also puff sleeved, I figured this would be as good a time as any to show you this pretty purple dress.

 I wanted the dress cute and pretty, so I could wear it to family gatherings. Mom tends to frown when I show up to Birthdays wearing all black. Biting the bullet and wearing something “colorful” is a small price to pay for her happiness. That was even more reason to make the dress both cute and comfortable. I chose to sew the dress a bit looser at the waist, and to give it lace details. I started with the neckline, which I cut quite low, and bound with satin bias tape with some lace. 

I used lace to hem the dress. Though the fabric is quite dark, it’s still quite purple, and I wanted to tone it down a bit. A strip of narrow lace doesn’t change the color much, but it does make it easier to add black accessories. Lace also gives the dress an even more feminine feel.

My Elna had some serious issues with this material. I don’t know whether it was the slippery surface or overall texture, but getting it to top stitch without pushing the fabric out of place was impossible. I have a roller foot which should help Elna deal with challenging materials such as everything, but no deal. I ended up top stitching the zipper by hand. Ripping it out three times due to bulging and pulling was too much for my limited patience. It may not be perfect, but at least it’s straight!

The dress turned out pretty much just the way I wanted it. It’s cute, it’s quite far from black, and it’s super-comfortable. I actually wore this to my aunt’s Birthday party last summer, and could eat all the cake I wanted. As an added bonus, no-one looked at my clothes funny.

I really like this dress, but because it is purple, I only wear it those “and would you be a dear and wear something pretty” -events. To show you just how cute it is, and what my uncomfortable smiles look like with it, I styled it up a bit, too.

I chose to wear a tulle petticoat for this look. The dress is quite short, so I like to wear another layer under it. To emphasize the waist a little, I tied a long chiffon belt around me. The dress is girly and cute, so I tied it into a bow. High heels are a must, and I chose these ones to fight back the dress’s cuteness just a bit. I left my hair loose because… well, family-things are the only place where I can leave it loose and not have a bunch of people ask me where I got my extensions.

I really like this look, but it does feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. The photos show it too: in most of them I was smiling a very tight, awkward “let me out” -smile I associate with Mom handing me someone’s baby to hold or pulling me to meet great-aunt what’s-her-name. Pretty, but could I have my black dress back, please?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my purple dress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Princess and Keyhole Dress Styles

On Tuesday, I showed you a purse I just made with no hints as to what this week’s featured product will be. That was because I hadn’t fully decided it yet. I was pondering between a couple of patterns, and finally settled on The Princess and Keyhole Dress. After deciding it, I realized I haven’t said anything about this pretty dress since the day the pattern was launched! It’s about time I did some long dress styles with it, don’t you think?

So you all know the drill. This pattern is on sale until March 19th, but only for VIPs. To gain access to the offer, sign up for our newsletter.

Today and next Friday, I’ll post outfits based on The Princess and Keyhole Dress. Of which I should share more info right about now.

This dress is a princess-seamed long dress with a wide ruffle on the hem. It has really big puff sleeves, a keyhole neck, and ribbons sewn into the hem so that you can hitch it up. The dress is best made with non-elastic materials. I made mine with basic cotton, but nearly any kind of dress fabric will work for this design. I’d steer clear from really thin satin, though. Working curved seams into slippery satin can be a pain, and the hem looks better gathered when it has a bit more body.

Pinstripes

 This dress has a looser fit. It has a bit more room around the waist, which makes it comfy to wear. I like to accentuate the narrowest part of the body, though, and often wear this dress with belts or corsets.

This dress has a hitch-up hem, but it can be worn down, too. I don’t often gather it, though I do like the look. A straight, ordinary hem is often easier to handle, and less noticeable. For this look, I chose to keep accessories to a bare minimum. I wore a pinstripe belt which you can almost see, and a big, black rose as a corsage.

Long Dress Styles - minimalism FTW

I wear this dress a lot. This is literally the dress I go to when everything else feels somehow wrong. Despite being long, it isn’t too warm even during the summer, and it takes accessories really well. This look is something I would gladly wear out. I might go for a different hairstyle, but the accessories please me well.

Blue Layers

When wearing the hem up, The Princess and Keyhole Dress requires, in my opinion, a petticoat. For the second look, I paired it up with blue hems.

A long time ago, quite far from where I live now, I made a long peasant skirt with light petrol blue fabric. The skirt is really thin and nearly translucent, so I like to wear it under long dresses only. The color throws me off a bit. I like blue, but I’d rather look at a blue sky than wear blue. Worn as an accent, though, it sometimes works.

As it is still winter, I wanted to add a layer to the dress. A long sleeved mesh top doesn’t look very warm, but it does offer some protection from cold weather, especially indoors. The blue top matches the blue hem, and together they bring a touch of color to the very dark dress.

This look is also very minimal when it comes to accessories. The dress with its hem gathered can be a bit of a showstopper, so I chose to tone it down by skipping jewelry. Though this style comes with a built-in wow-factor, it is surprisingly comfortable. I’d actually like to wear this out someday, just to see how I feel about wearing this much blue in public!

Long Dress Styles - a light layer brings a surprising amount of warmth

I hope you’ve enjoyed our long dress styles today!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Snap Frame Purse

As you may recall, I have a thing about handbags. I need to have many, but I’m still quite picky. Being crafty means that if I can’t find what I love, I will make it myself. During Christmas I decided to need a snap frame purse. I wanted it small with lots of pockets, and I wanted it made of leather. Of course I couldn’t find one straight away. Metal bag frames, though, were plentiful along with PVC fat quarters. And so I said, once more, how hard can it be?

Turns out, not very hard.

I’ve made handbags before. Some are pretty perfect, some have failed miserably, but all of them have taught me something. First lesson I’ve learned is that my sewing machine has issues with PVC. Top-stitching is a no-no for Elna 5100. For this reason, I top-stitch by hand.

I wanted patch pockets for this bag. I cut out two square pieces, one for each side, sewed a bit of lace on, and attached them by hand. My stitching isn’t as straight and even as a machine’s but it does keep the leather from pulling and bending.

I wanted this bag to have soft handles. I cut out strips of PVC, sewed them into a tube, and then turned them. Elna can manage sewing from the wrong side of fabric, and I like to take advantage of that. It makes life a bit easier for me, after all.

After getting the handles turned right side out, I closed one end of each, and used batting to stuff them lightly. This made the handles soft and a bit more substantial to grip. I used buttons to secure the handles in place, since Elna protests to a) sticky surfaces and 2) thick materials. That thing is most likely designed by a man who thinks women only sew light little curtains.

I used basic lining fabric for the interior of the bag. As it is flimsy and light, I stabilized it with soft, fusible interface. Then, I proceeded to sew patch pockets onto the lining as well.

I had a zip-closure inside divider stashed from a bag I took apart many years ago (it broke and I wanted to salvage what I could), and I sewed it into the bag as well. I also attached a D-ring into the lining, so I can hook my keys into it.

The snap frame purse turned out OK. It’s small enough to be easy to carry, but big enough to house essentials. It comes complete with a stunned look that matches my general expression quite well.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new snap frame purse.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

More Shrug Looks

Last week, I missed both Friday’s post and newsletter due to a minor mishap with our website. Because of that, I decided to prolong The Faux Cable Shrug‘s life as our featured pattern. I really like this shrug, and creating another outfit post with it was too fun a thing to pass! So today, I wanted to show you two more shrug looks.

Staying In

I work from home, and that makes me one of the lucky ones. I get to wear whatever I like to work. Some of us who stay at home all day like to wear jammies, some like to dress up. I’m somewhat of an in-betweener, and go for dresses. For the first look, I wanted to show you what I really wear around the house.

Minus the make-up and heels, this is pretty much what I look like. Comfy dress, tights, messy braid, shrug if I get cold. After the neck pain I experienced just last week (all better now), I’m constantly reminding myself to keep warm. Even in a warm flat, I get cold easily, and this little shrug is a perfect way to cozy up. It’s both comfy and cute, and targets the neck and upper back. As I do enjoy low cut dresses, shrug looks are an easy way to make winter warmer.

Jewelry is another thing I thoroughly enjoy. When working with fabrics, bracelets and rings can get in the way. I shy from them in everyday life, but this ring goes on more often than not. I’ve always had a soft spot for black stones, and with a dark base, this one appeals to my sense of beauty. It goes with everything, too, and compliments the feminine details of this shrug.

When taking photos, I usually snap a test shot just to see if the light’s OK and if I fit in the frame. Often they’re useless, but this one was kinda cute. Not only does it display the puff hem beautifully, but it also shows a natural stance for me when spying on passersby looking out the window.

Going Out

I like to dress up when going out. Quite often I choose a look based on venue and music, while still staying true to myself. Lately, I’ve worn more and more LBDs just because they’re so easy to pull on in a hurry (I’m always in a rush when getting dressed to go out – Friday nights are for relaxing and I relax by playing video games, and, well, I immerse and forget what time it is).

This look is something I could wear pretty much anywhere. I love this skirt, this corset is my second home, and the combo of lace and satin is just lovely. This style features our Victorian Skirt, Pretty Basic Lace Top, Reversible Corset, and Faux Cable Shrug.

I’ve always been a sucker for satin. The shiny, silky surface is just so pretty, and satin takes gathering really well. The Victorian Skirt is actually best made with soft satin. As this is a gathered garment, fabric should fall and drape like a dream. Satin and very light taffeta do it best.

I don’t usually do selfies for outfit posts, but for this look, I wanted to show you a close up of my earrings. These black spiderweb earrings are literally my favorite ones. Despite being really long, they’re light and easy to wear. I actually feel the ear cuff more than the webs!

Even though this look is intricate and quite Victorian, I feel comfortable in it. As every piece of this outfit is made to measure, it fits without requiring constant re-adjustment. The only thing that sometimes needs tugging is the skirt: satin gathers static electricity when the air is super dry!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this super-long shrug looks post!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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