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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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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