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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

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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

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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.

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.

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

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Vectors

As you may remember, it was my Birthday a while back. I wasn’t really expecting presents, but I got something beautiful anyway. I have a few friends who knit. One of them also dyes yarn. She has a small Etsy-shop called Petrichor Yarns, and she brought me a lovely skein of merino-bamboo-blend. The shade is called Witch Hunt, and I thoroughly love it! This particular shade of red goes perfectly with a coat I just made. I already have plans for this yarn, but there’s something else I need to finish first.

You see, I got some more yarn, too. Two skeins of some seriously wild merino silk.

Yarn speaks to me sometimes, and these two announced their desire the moment I saw them. They claimed to want to be together forever, and become a vortex scarf.

I said OK, that’s all well and good, but you’ll have to wait until I finish my cardigan.

The yarns would have none of that, and I had to cast on three days later.

The two skeins have a matching shade of pink. I don’t usually go for crazy color-combos, but I had to make an exception with these two. The colors go together beautifully, though I was a bit hesitant about it.

I’ve been wanting to knit a vortex scarf for quite a while now. I haven’t gotten around to it, since I’ve been working on multiple projects at once, and haven’t found The Perfect Yarn for a vortex scarf. Until I saw these two, that is. As I cast on, I thought I’d get a little neck warmer out of these. There was only 800 meters of yarn with the two skeins combined. I started knitting, and the scarf grew and grew and grew. At one point, I thought I’d never run out of yarn!

Of course I finally found an end to both yarns. By then, the scarf had grown to a shawlette. It has a wing span of over 160 cm, but it is quite narrow. It’s pretty perfect to wear around the neck in this size. Since it’s worked in a vortex-shape, it’s easy to continue knitting until it reaches a full-shawl width.

As a finishing touch, I decided to work a simple crochet edge to the scarf.

I was kind of hoping to show you the fully finished scarf today, but I ran out of time. I’ll write the scarf out as a pattern soon. At this point, I call it The Pretty Basic Vortex Scarf, but the name will hopefully change into something nicer.

After finishing this one, I’ll get to start working on the Witch Hunt, and another shawl pattern!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s I (almost) Made This! -post.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Birthday Dress

On Friday, I promised to finally show you the dress I wore on my Birthday. It wasn’t as festive as the taffeta skirt I planned to wear, but still lovely. The dress was really comfy on the warm day, and made me feel pretty. I made my Birthday dress based on our upcoming pattern called The Pretty Basic Party Dress. It’s a jersey dress with a lace yoke. The dress is cute and comfy, and a very nice choice for summer’s casual parties.

I made my Birthday dress with black viscose jersey and a bit of really light elastic lace. The combo looks cute, falls beautifully, and is super-comfortable to wear.

My Birthday Dress has a lace yoke and lace sleeves. The lace is very light, and as I was sewing it, I thought it might not be the best choice for this. Viscose jersey is heavy, and most of the hem’s weight rests on the yoke. I was afraid  the lace might tear at a very inopportune moment, and spent five whole minutes coming up with a solution to lighten the lace’s load. I fixed the issue by adding straps. I’d just ordered removable bra straps on eBay, and found them a bit too wide. For dresses, though, they’re perfect. I took a pair of straps, and attached them to the dress beneath the lace. The solution is makes the dress feel more reliable, which is super-nice!

I didn’t want a complicated collar for the dress, and decided to go with a basic O-neckline. I bound the neckline with a strip of jersey to give it a more casual feel.

I was running a bit low on fabric. I still wanted cuffs, so I needed to improvise a bit. Instead of cutting both layers of the cuff on jersey, I used left-over lace. This little detail gives the dress a polished feel, and makes it feel extra-special.

I made the dress on impulse. Sewing it took less than two hours, and I’m super-happy with the result. The dress really is cute and comfy, and takes accessories really well. I trust you’ll be seeing more of it in future posts!

I made my Birthday Dress with viscose jersey and elastic lace

As said, this is a mod of our soon-to-come pattern. The Pretty Basic Party Dress will be this week’s VIP-offer, so be sure to join our mailing list to catch the discount code!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black and Blue Dresses

My spouse travels a lot due to his work. Whenever he goes abroad for a longer while, I make myself a new jersey dress. This habit started at the very beginning of our relationship, and, well, I have lots of dresses now. The latest addition is a petrol blue number. It’s a mod of our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern.

Colors are scarce in my wardrobe. I like black, and wear it most of the time. A while back I was, once again, turning the internet upside down in search of a cute fabric. Instead of a skull printed cotton I was actually looking for, my eye caught petrol blue viscose jersey. The concept of wearing a blue jersey dress seemed both foreign and intriguing, so I ordered the fabric along with a bit of black lace.

… and some other little things such as a whole heap of black jersey.

The fabric arrived, and it was soft and nice and Very Blue. Though wearing it seemed daunting, I stuck to my decision, and turned it into a dress.

The Hooded Dress Pattern is a pretty straight-forward style. The original version is made with two layers of light jersey and a hood. I made the blue dress with just one layer, and without a hood. I cut the neckline a bit lower, and double-bound it. A touch of black lace was just what the bright petrol needed!

The original dress has a knee-length, super wide hem. I made the hem a little shorter, and a lot narrower. I also trimmed the hem with black lace. I knew that I’d wear this with black accessories, and wanted to add as much black as possible.

I love the way the dress turned out, but I’ve only worn it out once. It’s so blue I feel like an exclamation point in it! The shape and style, especially the sleeves, please me quite well, so I…

… maybe made another one in black…

The black version of the jersey dress has quickly become my go to -dress. I wear this on almost every “I cannot find the right dress!” -night, and always feel super-comfortable in it. And the best part is that this style takes accessories really well! On Friday’s Everyday With an Edge -post, I’ll show you three styles based on these dresses.

Until then!

Love,

Heather

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Birthday Outfit

Last week’s theme was quite Victorian. We’ll continue in the same direction today as I’ll finally show you my finished taffeta skirt. I made the skirt for my Birthday, and intended to wear it for my party. Weather, as it turned out, had a different opinion about my plans. The day was hot and humid, and after getting dressed and gotten photos taken, I changed into something else. A long jersey dress with lace inserts was a much more comfortable choice, but I still felt super-warm all day.

I made the taffeta skirt with the help of our Victorian Skirt Drafting Tutorial. I altered the original style a bit. My skirt only has one layer, and no ribbon channels for hitching up the hem. The skirt is still pretty, and likes many kinds of tops.

For my Birthday, I paired it up with a lace blouse and a waist corset.

The lace blouse is store-bought. I got it from a flea market with its tags cut off, so I can’t tell you who made it. It’s lovely, though, with wide ruffles at the cuffs and a very high collar. It’s made with elastic lace, so it’s comfy, too.

The corset is hand-made. It’s a prototype of our Reversible Waist Corset, actually. I made the black satin corset with purple lining and bone channels, and a criss-cross button closure at the front. The back has a lacing and a modesty panel, so this one works wonderfully with skirt-blouse -combos. The chains on the corset can be removed: they have clasps, and attach to little loops sewn into the seams.

For some reason, I don’t own a lot of jewelry. I guess I’ve always concentrated more on clothing. These pieces are my favorites, though, and I wear them often. I got the ankh when I was 14 or so, and it bears a lot of sentimental value. The pearls I bought a few years back, and they quickly became my trusted companions.

I like the way they go with this particular blouse. The ankh obscures the button list a bit (when it’s not hiding inside it, next time I’ll remember to check photos more closely!) and the pearls give the blouse a bit more femininity.

I really liked this outfit, and it would have been perfect for the party. I’ve probably mentioned that summer isn’t a very good time to dress Victorian! Let’s hope I’ll get to wear this some other time.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black Taffeta Skirt

It’s my Birthday next Monday and to celebrate, I’ll be hosting a small party on Saturday. These two things combined meant that I needed a new skirt. I had some taffeta stashed, and since this is a pretty big Even Number -thing, it felt OK to sew a skirt with a nicer fabric. I decided to show you only sneak peaks of my black taffeta skirt today. It’s all wrinkly and needs a wash before  it can be worn. I want to wear in on Saturday, so I’ll showcase an outfit based on it next Tuesday.

Taffeta sounds super-fancy, and it can be that. When you think of taffeta, you probably see a starched evening gown that rustles softly on a red carpet. Taffeta is a twisted-woven fabric type which can be made with fibers varying from silk to polyester. A high-quality taffeta is made with natural fibers, and suitable for wedding dresses. My skirt is made with a “yeah, just going to a Goth-gig” -grade polyester. It has a lovely shine to it, but at 4€/meter, I wouldn’t be caught dead going to a proper party in this.

For my “Friends Only and To The Pub Later” -B-Day it’s perfect, though. I’m very likely to get champagne spilled on me, and this won’t mind.

On my Birthdays, I tend to make a point of wearing something that both looks and feels like me. This one doesn’t make an exception to the rule. I chose black taffeta because it is one of my favorite materials due to its shine and toughness. The style is also one of my favs.

The skirt is snug at the waist, and wide at the hem. I made it with a visible zipper in the center back seam, and a narrow waist band. One of the reasons I like poly taffeta so much, is how it gives seams a very crisp finish. If you concentrate just a little bit, achieving a professional result is really quite easy.

I worked the skirt using French seams. This technique gives the inside of a garment a tidy finish. I use it often with light fabrics and/or wide hems.

You’ve probably already guessed which pattern I used.

This black taffeta skirt is a mod based on our Victorian Skirt Drafting Tutorial. The skirt is exactly the same as in the pattern, only I made with just one layer and without the option to wear it hitched up.

The hem of the skirt has a wide ruffle. I used a strip of fabric to hide the seam, and sewed a narrow rolled hem to the skirt. This is the first garment in a long time I made using only my sewing machine!

I don’t yet know what I’m going to pair my black taffeta skirt with on Saturday, but I promise an outfit post for next week so stay tuned!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Velvet Skirt

On Friday, I shared with you two outfits based on our Lace Skirt. I also mentioned a mod I made on the pattern. Today, as promised, I’m featuring the mod, which is a long velvet skirt.

I had a bit of crushed velvet stashed. I kinda like it, but it can be a bit tricky. Made into a snug little dress it looks cheap, and made into a long, flowing garment it gathers up static electricity like a *****. I sorted out the dilemma by turning the velvet into a long but narrow skirt. I used The Lace Skirt Pattern as a guideline. The shape of the velvet skirt is exactly the same, only I made the hem longer.

Lengthening the hem of an A-lined skirt pattern is quite easy, and there’s loads of tutorials on how to do this. I actually just eyeballed the process, and the skirt turned out really nice.

My velvet skirt has a basic elastic waist, which is a little different from the original pattern. This kind of waist is comfy, but looks better hidden.

To add a bit of coverage to the flimsy velvet, I sewed a knee-length lining to the skirt.

For the photos, I created an outfit I actually wear quite a lot. I like to be comfortable and look presentable when working from home, so I wear long skirts and cute tops often. For this look, I chose the pink version of our Wrap-Cut Tops Pattern.

The pink top is made by upcycling a T-shirt with a funky print. I used the entire Tee for the front pieces, and cut the back piece from black cotton jersey. I really like the way the top turned out, and though pink isn’t my all-time-favourite, it’s ok in this piece.

Since the summer’s been pretty cold so far, I added sleeves to the outfit. I get cold easily, and sleeves keep me at least a little bit warmer.

I really like the way the skirt turned out. It’s comfy to wear, and it can even be worn out! I think I’m going to make another one to wear around the house, and save this one for partying ^^

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my velvet skirt! I’m going to feature two more outfits based on it on Friday, so stay tuned!

Until then.

Love,

Heather

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From Sweater to Shrug

Once upon a time, I had a lace sweater. I liked the material, but the shape not so much. The sweater was snug and long. It had a keyhole neck, a high collar which was a bit too tight, and a rib at the hem and cuffs which was also a bit too tight. In order to salvage the sweater, I turned it into a shrug. The transformation paid off: the not-too-nice sweater turned into my favourite lace shrug!

The project was relatively simple. I cut off the excess length and the too tight cuffs. I then opened the sweater down the center front line, and gave the edges a curved shape. I used elastic bias tape to bind the shrug with, and added buttons along with button loops to the collar.

The whole project took me about an hour. I did this a few years ago, and I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of this lace shrug. Turns out a little bit of effort really can save a garment that isn’t all that perfect!

The shrug works really well with dresses and over tops, but I love to pair it with corsets even more. The lace shrug has a perfect shape to be worn over an overbust, and it offers both coverage and warmth. For the photos, I wore the shrug with The DeathRock Bustier and Lace Skirt. The outfit turned out quite dark, and well suited for evenings out.

The Lace Skirt is a mod of our Lace Skirt Pattern (which will be this week’s VIP-offer!). It’s made with non-elastic lace fabric, and it has a purple lining. I love the colour combo, though pinks and purples were strangers to me for a long time. When my hair was red, I used to be jealous of ladies who could rock red hair and pink outfits. When I tried to do the same, I colourblind instead of gorgeous. Returning to black hair opened my mind to the prospect of adding a bit of purple and even the dreaded pink to wardrobe, and I actually kinda like it!

To top off the outfit, I added large hoops and my trusted Demonias. A little bit of silver brinks sparkle to the look, and compliments the way purple lining glimmers through lace. And yes, I once again forgot the correct order of getting dressed. Ouch.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my lace shrug!

Don’t forget to order our newsletter if you haven’t yet done so. This week, we’ll be having The Lace Skirt on sale, but only for VIPs!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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