Red Party Dress

This week, our theme has been The Pretty Basic Party Dress. I really like the style: it’s easy to sew, super-comfy, and perfect for informal little parties. I’ve made a few variations of the dress, including the dress I wore on my Birthday. Today, I wanted to show you another mod based on the pattern. I call this one The Red Party Dress. Unlike the previous dresses, this one is made with non-elastic materials!

I made this dress a few years back, actually. I needed something special for Mom’s and Dad’s 70th. Something that wasn’t black. Luckily, I had something red(ish) stashed. I also had a bit of lace left over from an order. Combining the two fabrics was an easy choice, and so was the style. A yoked dress with a long hem is classic and pretty, and not too fancy for a small party.

I used a lace fabric with a scallop edge. The lace has a little bit of stretch, but only enough to make it comfortable to wear. I was also running very low on it. I wanted long sleeves, but the limited quantity forced me to quilt a bit. I cut the upper and lower sleeve on the lace, and covered the seam with a strip cut on the scallop edge. This solution gave me a pretty detail, and hid the fact that I had to improvise a little.

I made the yoke with more scraps of lace. I didn’t have a zipper long enough to reach the neck, and since I was very low on time, I made the back with a slit. I used a scalloped lace strip to bind the slit and the neckline.

Lace fabrics with a scallop edge can be a bit intimidating. I’m always tempted to cut pattern pieces from the scalloped edge. Cutting the edge off, and using it to hem garments in another viable option. Playing with lace and adding it to dresses is fun, and makes garment feel special. Lace fabrics are available in almost any fabric store, including amazon. I dug around a bit, and found a lovely lace in many pretty colors. If you purchase fabrics via the links below, I might earn a little extra.
58″ Aqua Scalloped Floral Pattern Lace Fabric by the Yard – 1 Yard
58″ Peach Papaya Scalloped Floral Pattern Lace Fabric by the Yard – 1 Yard
58″ Lilac Scalloped Floral Pattern Lace Fabric by the Yard – 1 Yard
58″ Navy Scalloped Floral Pattern Lace Fabric by the Yard – 1 Yard

Attaching the yoke to the red part was an easy job, but the seam looked very strict. To make it softer, I added another strip of lace. The pretty edge made all the difference, and the seam turned out quite nice.

The bodice and hem are one piece shaped only at the side seams, and the center back seam. Sewing a zipper into a curved seam is a nightmare, but with a lot of basting, it came out fine. Mom was very happy with my choice of attire, but I’ve only worn the dress once after their party!

That one time was my first actual date with Charming. I’d been thinking about taking the dress apart and using it for something else, but now it has sentimental value. I guess I’ll just have to learn to wear red. Accessories can turn a dress around entirely. Making this one more Me shouldn’t be that difficult.

Red Party Dress - Black lace yoke with long red hem

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Red Party Dress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

Escalator Ate My Dress!

I didn’t have the best day yesterday. I slept poorly and woke up too early. I decided to have a knitting day, but I didn’t have anything interesting on the needles. Leafing through Facebook, I noted that Eurokangas was having a flash sale on select items. As I didn’t have anything urgent planned, I deemed myself worthy of retail therapy. I had my coffee while playing Hearthstone, threw on my favorite long jersey dress, and headed out.

I met my spouse, whom I call Charming, in the city center and went to the fabric store while he ran an errand. I couldn’t find anything I liked, and after he came to collect me, we left empty-handed.

On the way out, the most terrifying thing happened. I wore a long dress, and stepped on an escalator like I’d done a hundred times before, without giving it a second thought. As the steps grew smaller and smaller, disappearing into a dark no-man’s-land, I realized, to my horror, that my dress followed!

I thought I screamed, but was later told that I let out the smallest sound, one little word.

help

Had I been alone, I would have just stood there on receding steps, desperately clinging on to my dress without the faintest idea of what else to do. Luckily, Charming was there to hit the emergency-button. That stopped the stairs from moving, but I was caught.

He ran back up, got scissors from a very startled clerk, and cut me loose. There was little else to do, and my dress came out horridly mutilated. I couldn’t believe that an escalator ate my dress! I thought this only happened in nightmares!

escalator ate my dress

A “normal” person would have just tossed the dress, but I’m crafty. I really like this dress, and wanted to save it.

I had a few options, but I decided to cut the hem at knee-length.

The surgery left me with some undamaged fabric which I decided to use to mod the sleeves. The original dress had short sleeves. I’m not that into the “short dress with short sleeves” -concept, so I went ahead to alter the sleeves.

I cut off the original cuffs…

and cut out two A-lined pieces to lengthen the sleeves with. This process would leave me with long trumpet sleeves with seams above the elbow.

The original dress is made with plain viscose jersey. I was working on turning the dress into a pattern, but I hadn’t taken product pictures of it before the accident. I’m thinking I might go ahead with the pattern, and wrap two styles into one, but who knows. I might even order viscose jersey on amazon, and make myself a new dress! I was looking through their selection, and found a lovely medium weight viscose jersey in various colors. This would be perfect for practically all of our Pretty Basics. If you purchase fabric through the links below, I might earn a little extra.
Black Viscose Spandex Fabric, Casual Jersey Knit Fabric
Eggplant Viscose Spandex Fabric, Casual Jersey Knit Fabric
Magenta DK Viscose Spandex Fabric, Casual Jersey Knit Fabric

I had elastic lace stashed for emergencies, and this was nothing short of one. I used the lace to bind the hem and sleeves.

The entire process to save the dress took about an hour, and I’m super-happy that I took the time to do it. The dress turned out cute and comfy, and the lace gives it a lovely detail. I’d completely forgotten how much I love trumpet sleeves!

The new and improved dress really likes the company of Lovelace and Lune, too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this true story about the day when an escalator ate my dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

Lovelace and Purlace

Temperatures have dropped drastically here in Finland. Leaves are starting to turn yellow, and it smells like frost outside. It’s not yet cold enough to switch to winter clothes, but chilly enough to dig out scarves and gloves. This time of year I go for blazers, warm scarves, and fingerless gloves. Today, I wanted to show you some of my favorites, and an upcoming pattern for super-pretty gloves!

I like accessories with little detail. Lace shawls aren’t really my thing, though they are beautiful to look at. Simple things with interesting texture are more to my personal taste. I created Lune last winter, and it quickly became my second favorite scarf. Lune’s easy to wear, stripy, and so basic it goes with almost any outfit. I love the pattern so much I made two!

Lune is a knitting pattern for a crescent shawl

The original Lune is black and green. My second one is made with black and purple stripes with Novita’s Nalle. It’s a Finnish wool blend that is available in any store and in any color and at an affordable price. It would be a really good deal, if the yarn didn’t love my forefinger so much. Two hours of knitting, and it’s dug its way inside no matter how much tape I hide it under. The yarn is warm, though, and somehow makes its way into Christmas presents. Right now I only have one ball stashed, and I’m hoping Nalle hasn’t found out where I live now.

Anyway, I used black and purple Nalle for a Lune last winter. I really like this scarf, and a long soak in fabric softener took away some of the hardness. I’d really like to know how Novita has managed to make it so rough and painful to work…

My black and purple Lune has a crochet shell edge to give it a more feminine vibe. The original version is unisex, but this one fits a lady’s wardrobe better. After casting off, I still had some purple yarn left. I divided to ball in two, and used to work fingerless Lovelace gloves.

The Lovelace pattern came out last spring. I had horrible timing in launching the pattern: Lovelace came out just when everyone wanted to start working on light cotton garments for the summer! The Lovelace pattern will be our featured product through next week along with its sister-pattern, Purlace, and Lune.

I worked the original Lovelace Gloves in an unusual color. I found a ball of yellow mystery yarn (it loved to burrow its way into my finger, so it must have been Nalle), and it wanted really badly to become a pair of intricate lace gloves. The Lovelace pattern took its sweet time to come out, but the gloves are beautiful.

After casting off Lovelace, I cast on another pair of lace gloves with the same general idea of lace columns continuing from wrist to hand to fingers. I worked these in black Nalle, and decided to wait until fall to launch the pattern. Now’s the time, and Purlace will come out on Friday!

I hope you’ll enjoy our Lovelace and Purlace patterns!

Until Friday!

Love,

Heather

Share

Seed Stitch Shawl

On Friday, I promised you two outfit posts for this week. Still, I wanted to show you guys something I made!

Fall is almost here, and it’s time to dig out shawls and gloves. I took a quick peek around my winter wardrobe, and remembered I haven’t showed you my favorite shawl. I think it may be because the shawl is a very basic triangle, black, and worked in seed stitch. As lovely as it is to wear, it’s not very photogenic.

See?

I made the shawl with Novita’s Rose. It’s worked from side to side, entirely in seed stitch. Knitting this was the most boring task ever, and I watched loads of movies during the process. I’ve grown a liking toward seed stitch, but knitting it is just plain old boring. The surface seed stitch creates is lovely, and seed stitch garments are super elastic. The stitch is versatile, too. I’ve used it in so many things I can’t even count that far.

After casting off, I decided to add a little crochet border to my seed stitch shawl. I like lace, and the shawl seemed to need a little something to make it special. I just did a basic picot edge, but it did add a cute detail to the shawl.

I usually wear this around my neck during the coldest winter, but it is big enough to wear as a shawl. For outfit photos, I wore the shawl with The Bishop Wrap. That dress sure loves its shawls!

This look is cute and comfy, and the shawl adds an extra layer of warmth. I’m quite certain this outfit will get loads of wear in the winter. It’s pretty perfect to wear for our weekly quiz. The pub it’s held at is super-cold, so the seed stitch shawl will sure come in handy.

You might remember that The Bishop Wrap is quite revealing. It has a generous neckline that might not be suitable for every occasion. To tone it down and make it a bit more modest, I wore a Spaghetti Strap Top under it. Blue lace peeks out beautifully from under the dress, and gives it not only a cute detail, but also more coverage.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my seed stitch shawl! Be sure to join us on Friday for another outfit post.

Until then!

Love,

Heather

Share

Dress Make-Over

Once upon a time, I had a dress that had never felt quite right, and a top that just didn’t work. I made the dress a while back, felt displeased, and modded it a bit. It still didn’t feel right, so it got buried in my wardrobe.

The top I got as a souvenir from Mom a long, long time ago. That was back when she still tried to understand what I like. Sadly, she forgot that I’m horrified of spiders.

A few weeks ago, I found both the top and the dress, and asked them whether they’d like to get tossed, or play nice together.

The answer was obvious. Dress make-over!

I liked the shape of the top along with its mesh sleeves. The dress had a nice hem, so I decided to combine them. This way, I’d get to make the best of both item’s good qualities.

I started by taking out my scissors. I got these from my ex-mother-in-law (she didn’t die or anything, I just got divorced) a few years ago. I’m not really into the Moomin-thing, but Fiskars makes the kind of scissors I love. They’re durable, easy to sharpen, and comfortable to use.

The scissors are available on amazon in case you’re into Moomin characters. If you get them through the link below, I might earn a little extra.
Moomin Stainless Steel Moominmamma Scissors

I cut the dress at the waist so that I could use all of the hem. I ended up shortening it a bit, though. I like hems to fall mid-thigh, knee, or all the way to the floor, and this one ended up in the gray area of “below the knee”, commonly known as eww in my world.

I also cut the top at the waist. I like waistlines to sit at the narrowest part of the waist. Through this procedure, I gained a bit of cobweb-print material. I used it cut out basic cuffs to replace the ragged ruffles at the sleeves.

I like those, basically, in this top they were just too small and a bit sad.

I serged the pieces together at the waist, installed cuffs, and voila! Two not-so-happy garments turned into a cute dress!

I really like giving sad clothes make-overs, and this trick is among my favorites. Combining a top with a hem to gain a dress is quick, easy, and rewarding. This dress make-over resulted in a comfy and cute dress with just a bit of edge. I might show this to Mom someday to see whether she remembers the top she gave me, or just serve me the good old “dear lord, what on earth are you wearing”-shriek.

With a seam at the waist, this dress needs a belt to ease out the contrast created by two different kinds of fabric. I like to wear this with an elastic belt, a tight petticoat (the hem flies a bit and it makes me uncomfortable), and small, sparkly bits of jewelry. This dress is basic enough to wear for running errands, and still cute enough to style up for a Friday-night outing.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my dress make-over!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

How To Make a Crinkle Skirt

A few weeks ago, Mom brought me a pile of fabrics. She needed a new top or two, and naturally turned to me. In addition to the materials she wanted me to use for the tops, she brought me a present. Crinckle fabric. The material wanted to be a skirt, and so I decided to show you how to make a crinkle skirt.

Now I haven’t seen this material since the crinckle skirt was a big hit back in the year I-forget. I didn’t expect to run into it again, but there it was, demanding attention. This fabric is making a comeback, so I wanted to make a tutorial on how to turn it into a skirt. You can make blouses and jackets and all sorts of thing with this material, but I would stick to simple designs. This stuff is difficult to cut, and the pleats can throw off a fitted garment’s shape. We’re going to keep it simple, and make a skirt with two straight pieces.

How To Make a Crinkle Skirt

A skirt made with just two rectangular pieces is the simplest skirt design known to man. It requires a certain kind of material to look its best. Pleated and crinckled fabrics work best for this style.

You will need

 -Two lengths + 6″ of 50″ wide crinkle fabric if the crinkle is vertical.

I dug around, and found a fabric very similar to the one I used. It’s available in glittery black and a lovely dusky pink. Both of these fabrics are sold by Tia Knight’s fabric store in UK. I’ve ordered fabrics from them both on their actual site and eBay on several occasions, and totally recommend them.

– 2″ wide elastic band

– 8″ long zipper

– sewing machine (serger optional)

– notions you like to use when sewing

how to make a crinkle skirt - material

Start by measuring the desired length of your skirt. I chose to make a knee-length skirt that sits on my waist, so I measured the distance between waist and knee. That came to 55 cm, allowance included.

We’ll want the crinkle pattern to be vertical.

Cut two straight pieces to the desired length.

how to make a crinkle skirt - cutting

With right sides facing, sew one side seam. Serge through raw edges.

I used my serger for sewing, but a sewing machine will be just as good.

how to make a crinkle skirt - sewing

Install a zipper to the other side seam. This tutorial will help you along!

how to make a crinkle skirt - installing zipper

We’ll want the waist to be both tight and elastic. The finished skirt will be heavy, and it needs to sit securely at the waist.

Cut a strip of fabric a bit longer than your waist and wide enough to house your elastic band. Don’t forget to add allowance!

Pin the waistband to the inside of the skirt with right side facing the wrong side of the skirt’s waist. Gather all of the fabric to the waist band. The crinkle of the material will come to aid with this step. Though there seems to be an abundance of material, it will all fit onto the waistband.

Sew the waistband to place.

how to make a crinkle skirt - installing waistband

Take your elastic band, and place it in between the waistband and the seam. Secure both ends to the waistband, fold the waistband over the elastic, and tuck in the raw edge. Top stitch to place while carefully stretching the elastic to length. Top stitch the upper edge of the waist band to keep the elastic from turning inside.

how to make a crinkle skirt - finished waistband

Hem the crinkle skirt, and you’re all done!

how to make a crinkle skirt - hemming

I really love the way the skirt turned out. It’s cute, it’s wide, and despite the huge amount of fabric piled onto the waist, it has quite a narrow silhouette. The material is nice and lively, and the simple style goes with almost anything.

How To Make A Crinkle Skirt - All Done!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial on how to make a crinkle skirt! On Friday, I’ll show you a few ways to style this cute crinkle skirt.

Until then.

Love,

Heather

Share

Spaghetti Straps

I don’t know about you, but my wardrobe is in constant lack of basics. After making my Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt, I realized I didn’t have enough tops to go with it.

That’s what you get for relying on dresses…

Luckily, getting out off that pickle was easy. I had a bit of lycra left, and my Monday called for a bit of sewing related therapy. I decided to use the left-over fabric for two new spaghetti strap tops. I made these with our upcoming pattern!

Spaghetti strap tops can be worn in various ways. The garment is cute, comfy, and versatile. I wanted these new ones to go with everything I have. I didn’t quite succeed with the second one, though…

Narrow straps can be a pain to turn over. I like to take a strip of fabric, serge the long edges together, and then use a safety pin to easily turn the tube. This trick really works wonders when you need to make skinny straps!

I wanted my first top to have a romantic feel. I trimmed the neckline with a piece of lingerie elastic. I use elastics like this one quite a lot on necklines. They keep their elasticity better than lace, and often last longer.

A basic top can look plain without any embellishments. I added a simple detail to the front just to give the top a bit more character. A piece of left-over lace serves as an eye-catcher. A cute detail also adds to the romantic vibe I wanted to achieve.

The first top is all black, so it goes with everything I have. With the second one, I wanted to play around a little. Colors are a bit foreign to me, but a splash of something bright is always welcome. I had a bit of blue lace stashed, left-overs from a top I made someone. The lace has been rolling around my stash for, like, years, and now I finally found the perfect use for it. I used it to bind the neckline of the second top, and to add a bit of color to it.

I really like both of these tops, and I know they’ll get plenty of wear. On Friday, I’m going to both publish the pattern for The Pretty Basic Spaghetti Strap Top, and to do an outfit post with these two tops and one more!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new spaghetti strap tops.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

Ruffle Dress

Every now and again, I decide I no longer like a dress. Lately, since autumn is drawing closer, my wardrobe seems to be in need of me hitting F5. New trends are rolling in, and instead of going on a mad shopping spree, I like to weed out the dresses that no longer feel just right, and change them. It’s fun, it’s affordable, and the environment likes it, too.

Last week, a dress I made for New Year suddenly had an existential crisis. It was a long spaghetti strap mermaid dress made with black viscose jersey. I don’t think I’ve worn it more than twice, and for that reason, I have no pictures of it.

As I heard the dress wailing, I took it out, and inquired whether it would enjoy drastic surgery.

The reply was “oh god yes”, so I set to work.

I had purple viscose jersey stashed. It’s a bit too purple to work as an entire garment, but paired up with black, it’s perfect. I took some of the purple fabric, and cut out a very short bodice. I wanted the updated dress to have an empire waist, but a fitted one.

I really like simple styles, the kind of dresses you can just pull on, and not have to worry about since. This one seemed to need something extra. A detail, maybe.

Something ruffly.

I have this little bit of an obsession with ruffled button lists. I’ve added this detail to one garment so far, and wanted to make another one. The black and purple dress was the perfect victim.

I took strips of purple jersey and a bit of black lace, and sewed them onto the front piece. The process is actually really easy: pleat or gather strips of fabric, arrange them so that they please your eye, and sew to place.

I cut the black mermaid dress just below the bust, and above the knee. After serging the bodice together, I joined the two at the waistline.

To keep the ruffle dress from going over the top, I bound the neckline and the sleeves in a very basic way. I was kinda thinking about double-binding the neckline with black lace, but that would have maybe been too much.

The ruffle dress turned out really nice. I love the way it looks and feels. It’s super-comfy, and since it has a bit of detail, it doesn’t really need a bunch of accessories. It really is one of those dresses you can just pull on and forget.

And the best part is, the left-over hem of the mermaid dress is long enough to be made into a skirt!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Ruffle Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

Red Cotton Cardigan

Knitting has always been my way of relaxing. I hardly ever go without having at least two UFOs close by, and never watch TV without knitting. Right now, though, I am at a very strange place with knitting: I have nothing on the needles. The last project I finished was my “I’ll just work on this while I think about what to make next” -project, and… well, I cast off two nights ago. Today, I wanted to show you what I made!

I had a bit of yarn left after I finished my Tropical Breeze Shawl. I was quite uncertain as to what to do with it. There didn’t seem to be that much left, but a knitter’s instinct claimed it was enough for a cropped cotton cardigan. Bravely, I cast on. I chose a simple V-neck raglan style. I needed a basic cardigan that goes with everything.

I worked the collar, button lists and hem in seed stitch, and the rest of the cardigan in stockinette. I hadn’t made one with this particular technique before, and knitting felt like an adventure. I wondered whether it would fit, or whether it would look nice, or feel like me.

The cardigan turned out really nice. I had enough yarn for ¾ sleeves, and a cropped hem. It’s actually the exact shape I was aiming for! My red cotton cardigan has a really nice fit and the perfect length for my taste. I’m used to sleeves being overly long, so this ¾ length is strange to me. It feels nice and practical, so I’m guessing I’ll get used to it pretty soon.

For the photos, I wanted to create an outfit I actually plan on wearing. This will be perfect for going to our weekly pub quiz next winter. The pub is really chilly, and even though I don’t usually stay beyond an hour, I get frozen to the core. The cotton cardigan is light enough to wear under a coat, and will keep me warm inside.

I wore the cardigan over a mesh top and a basic spaghetti strap top, and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. I added an elastic belt to the mix. The belt gives the outfit a more polished look, and serves as an eye-catcher. It’s always a smart idea to enhance the narrowest part of the body, especially when wearing long hems. The belt does just that, while hiding the basic elastic waist of the skirt.


The hems on the cardigan are of equal length, I just managed to pull it on wrong!

This outfit is also nice for stepping out on a cooler summer day. Lighter socks make the outfit less wintery, and the cotton cardigan is easy to remove if the weather grows warmer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new cotton cardigan.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share

Pretty Basic Sneak Peaks

As you may remember, I came down with a bug last week. I thought I’d be over it by now, but nope. This thing must really like me! So instead of an I Made This! -post, I’m giving you a sneak peak on two patterns which will be published on Friday. Both patterns are pretty much done, and will be on sale for all VIPs starting launch day.

I really like The Pretty Basics. They’re comfy to wear, and easy to mix and match. The materials are soft and flowing, and the styles femine and cute. These are the kind of clothes that make getting dressed easy. They pretty much eliminate the whole “omg I have to be somewhere and I have nothing to wear” -problem. There’s no need to stress when you can just pull out a Pretty Basic Dress and have fun with it.

The newest addition to collection is The Pretty Basic Lace Top. It’s made with super-elastic lace and a bit of viscose jersey.

I really like lace. Working with it can be difficult, though. Hemming lace fabric is a pain. I decided to make things easier by adding cuffs to The Lace Top. This detail gives the top a polished look, and make the sleeves comfy to wear.

The Lace Top is very low cut. I wanted to keep it from looking, well, too cheap, and decided to remove some of the lace’s see-through effect.

The front piece is lined with skin toned mesh. This makes the top translucent, but not in a noticeable way.

I used nude power mesh for The Lace Top. The fabrics are available on amazon. If you get them through the links below, I might make a little extra.
58″ Nude Nylon Power Mesh Fabric by the Yard – 1 Yard
Black Flower With Leaf Stretch Lace Fabric 4 Way Stretch Nylon Spandex 4 Oz 56-58″

The Lace Top goes perfectly with another soon-to-come pattern.

Most Pretty Basics are born when I look into my closet and think “now why don’t I have a X?” The thing I miss is always something very basic that can be paired with anything. In the latest case, the thing I was missing was – and I kid you not – a long jersey skirt.

I know I had a few at some point, but now – no. So I made a new one, and added the pattern to The Pretty Basic Collection. I used a lycra for this skirt. It’s also available on amazon.
Discount Fabric Lycra/Spandex 4 way stretch Solid Black LY400 by Payless Fabric

As said, both patterns will come out this Friday, so stay tuned for The Pretty Basic Lace Top and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Share