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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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Black Skater Dress

This week has been about skater dresses, and the various forms they come in. Our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern is this week’s VIP-offer, and today, I wanted to show you guys a dress I made with the help of the pattern.

Our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern comes with three choices. You can choose from a basic skater dress, a Gothic version of the classic, or a heavily modded version that’s based on a store bought blouse. I made my dress along the last option.

I had a short peasant skirt. I liked the look of it, but it felt uncomfortable. I liked to wear it with blouses, and the waist of the skirt never really co-operated with me. It was always either riding up or sagging even though it was the right size. I was quite upset with the skirt. This week, I decided to Do Something to it.

I had a basic black blouse I kinda didn’t like either. It was a bit on the baggy side, and a bit plain. I took the two, and paired them up.

The Skater Dress Pattern offers more detailed instructions on how to do this.

I cut the top to length, joined the two at the waist, and added a zipper on the side. The result is quite nice. The top lost its bagginess, and the skirt its desire to venture out of place.

Black skater dress mod

A dress like this can work as is. All it really needs are tights and shoes. I wanted to add a little something to it, though.

Skater Dress with Silver Accessories

Two weeks or so ago, I happened upon H&Ms sale online. I’ve kinda been on the lookout for new shoes, so when I found a pair of silver pumps at H&M, I ordered them. I picked them up yesterday, and wanted to incorporate them into an outfit right away. I paired the shoes with my new black skater dress mod, my heart buckle belt, and a lace petticoat. This dress has a wide hem, and though the petticoat is a bit flimsy, it offers coverage during the inevitable Marilyn-moments.

Skater Dress and accessories

I added black pearls to the outfit along with large silver hoops.

This is another outfit that works well for casual dinners or going out for a pint. It’s comfy, cute, and easy to wear. Adding a cropped cardigan on top will offer extra warmth, and a silver purse would give the outfit more bling.

Black skater dress with silver accessories

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Skater Dress mod!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black and White Dress

On Friday, I showed you a skater dress mod I made a while back. The Black and White Dress is made with an elastic bodice and a non-elastic hem. This goes against many sewing laws, but the result is both cute and comfy. The dress is loosely based on our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern.

I had a top that was too short, and a circle skirt that was too long. The top was a basic jersey top made by, as you can see, Link. I kinda liked it, but pairing a crop top with anything is really difficult for me. So I decided to add a hem to the top.

I took the circle skirt, and cut off the excess length at the waist. This made the skirt’s waist large enough for me to easily pass through. Then I ruched the waist, and serged to the hem of the top. The process so far took less than 45 minutes.

After I’d completed the merger, I found that the newly born dress needed something. I had a bit of fabric left from shortening the skirt. I decided to use it for cuffs. My original plan was to just combine the top and the skirt. Adding cuffs was a spontaneous idea I just ran with.

I sewed rectangle pieces to the tops sleeves, and top stitched them to give them a finished look. The waist of the dress is elastic because I used the elastic stitch and gathered the fabric. The cuffs however do not give one bit, so if you do this, keep in mind that pairing elastic and non-elastic materials will eat away the stretch! Measuring is also important: a cuff too tight will make the entire dress feel uncomfortable.

The cuffs looked really nice, and I made another snap-decision to give the dress a bit more colour. I cut a collar out of the remaining bits of fabric, and sewed it to the neckline. To keep the ends of the collar from flapping about, I hand-stitched them down.

The cuffs and collar tie the hem and bodice together, and give the dress a polished look. The waist is a bit loose because the skirt has quite a lot of fabric, but accessories fix that problem. An elastic belt or a corset hide the seam, and give the dress another detail.

For the photos, I paired the black and white dress with our Reversible Waist Corset and black pearls. To give the hem a bit more volume, I wore two petticoats under it. These are needed for other reasons, too, because…

… the dress flies.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Black and White Dress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Velvet Print Corselet

Last time, I promised to show you the corselet featured in Friday’s post on Tuesday. Well, as we all know, life sometimes gets in the way of things. I was running all sorts of errands yesterday, and had to push this week’s first post forward a bit. But as promised, I’m still featuring the velvet print corselet!

This corselet is made with our Embroidered Corselet Pattern. The shape of the pieces is exactly the same, but I did make some modifications to the original pattern. Instead of embroidering the garment, I used a velvet printed fabric for this corselet. The material is elastic, and the print both looks and feels cool. I used the same fabric for binding and bone channels. A contrast colour might have made the end result too busy.

I also added a lace up back to the original style. This is a simple mod: instead of cutting the back piece on fold, cut it in two pieces. Use fusible interfacing to stabilize the edges, sew facings on them, and add eyelets. This makes the corselet look and feel a bit different, and allows it to be altered in size. Elastic garments rarely need to be let out, but it’s still a nice option.

I like to wear these kinds of corsets and corselets with dresses. This style doesn’t have a modesty panel, so it leaves the back partly exposed. It’s difficult to get a skirt waist to remain neatly in place. Dresses are easier in that sense. They offer full coverage, and don’t require tugging or adjusting.

For the photos, I paired my velvet print corselet with our Hooded Dress. The style is made with two layers of light jersey, and can be made with or without a hood. I prefer the hoodless style myself. I have a lot of hair, and it never co-operates with hoods. The basic style of the dress pleases me quite well, though. So much actually that I’ve made another one. I’ll feature that version in an upcoming Everyday With an Edge -post, so do stay tuned!

The Hooded Dress works really well with corset and corselets. It has flowing lines, and the waist sits a bit higher. To give the dress more shape, I wear it with belts and corsets. The reverse puff-sleeve, or bishop’s sleeve, gives the dress a soft, feminine feel. Made with a full length hem, this dress would bear a very Victorian vibe.

A two layer hem paired with a corselet offers a chance to drape the hem. For the photos, I tucked the top layer of the front hem under the corselet’s waist. This creates a draped detail to the hem, and alters the look of the dress in a subtle way. In a fully black dress this trick isn’t too noticeable. Making the dress in two colours and draping the hem creates a more striking effect.

Don’t forget that The Embroidered Corselet is this week’s VIP-offer! Join our mailing list to gain access to special offers.

Next time, we’ll continue with the velvet print corselet. In Friday’s post I’ll also be revealing our theme for the next two weeks!

Until then.

Love,

Heather

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Reversible Corset

A while back, I mentioned a project I was working on. Finishing it took a bit longer than expected, but now I get to show you my Reversible Corset. It’s based on both The DeathRock Bustier, and The Reversible Waist Corset. I used the bustier pattern, and techniques from the waist corset.

I like to make clothes that can be paired with everything in my closet, and worn in many ways. This corset is a perfect example of both. It goes with all of my skirts and most of my dresses, and can actually be worn inside-out. It’s made with satin finished cotton and jacquard-print poly-blend. It has a zipper at the front, and lacing on the back which makes it easy to put on.

Since the corset is designed to be fully reversible, it doesn’t have a modesty panel. The lacing leaves my back partially exposed, so this style is best worn over a top or a dress. The DeathRock Bustier Pattern comes complete with a modesty flap, but working one into this mod of the original pattern was just too much for my spatial awareness.

This corset, along with The Reversible Waist Corset, is boned with spiral steel. I use it for most my corsets. It’s light and flexible, and makes corsets comfy to wear. I don’t go for tight-lacing, so light boning works well.

Getting the bone channels to look nice on both sides is surprisingly easy. All one needs is a bit of patience and accuracy.

I chose to create this corset with two black materials. Though the fabrics are close to each other in colour, they do bear a subtle difference in pattern. With two black options rolled into one, I get the most wear out of this corset.

For the photos, I paired the corset with a Victorian-inspired satin skirt made with two layers. The top layer of the skirt can be hitched up, which gives the style the versatility I love so much. The Victorian Skirt is available as a drafting tutorial.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my Reversible Corset!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Modding a Green Coat

A long time ago, I made a coat with green wool fabric. I used a Burda pattern for the first time, and found it a really nice fit. The finished coat was a bit green for my taste. After I found it neglected in my closet, I decided to add a bit of black to it. 

Deciding how to start the embellished coat took some time. I pondered between lace, ribbons, and applique, I wanted the details to be thick and to really stand out. After rummaging around in my stash, I found black yarn left over from my black Elise shawl. The shawl is thick and warm, a perfect winter accessory, and I wanted to bring some of its warmth to my green coat.

I also found a really big crochet flower, which pretty much determined what I wanted to do with the yarn.

I took the flower, and sewed it onto the coat’s right pocket. Then, I took the yarn and crocheted smaller flowers into a string of chain stitches.

I ended up with a yard and a half of flowers…

I arranged the chain of flowers onto the coat, deciding to do the decorations on one side only. I then sewed them on by hand.

Had I known it would take forever, I might have chosen a different approach!

The result is lovely, though, and I’m happy with my choice. The flowers take away some of the coat’s greenness, and since the details are quite thick, they give the coat a bit of play with light and shadow.

The coat’s sleeves were a bit on the short side. I have long arms, and patterns often let me down in sleeve length. To give the sleeves a bit more length, I added a filet crochet cuff inside them. Though it’s not that long, it gives the coat more warmth, and serves as a pretty eye-catcher. Worn with long gloves, the coat is now nice to wear before the coldest winter days and as they start to pass.

Though I like the coat now with the black embellishments, I might add a bit more to it. The left sleeve is still quite green, and I’m thinking another string of flowers would look nice around it. The front hem of the coat might like some singular flowers, and maybe there could be a little detail on the neck…

Some projects are difficult to finish only because working on them is so much fun, and this coat is one of them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Green Coat Mod!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Cute SkaterDress

As you may have noticed, I really like dresses. I have literally dozens of dresses, and I hardly ever wear anything but dresses. They’re so easy to pull on and accessorize. And the best part is, despite the fact that dresses are ridiculously comfy, wearing one makes you look chic no matter what. Though I have plenty of dresses, I keep making more. Last week, I made a cute skaterdress by just combining a spaghetti-strap top to a hem I quickly sewed up.

The story of the dress goes like this.

I had a top dug up from who-knows-where. It was a bit too short to be worn with a skirt, but I really liked the color and the velvet print. My website was down last week, and to make myself feel better, I decided to treat myself to a new dress. The top would serve as its foundation.

top on its way to becoming a cute skaterdress

I had black viscose jersey stashed up. I used some of it to sew an A-lined, wide hem for the top. Patterning and cutting were done using the proven method of “it’s just jersey, what could possibly go wrong!”

… nothing major, just had to take the waist in a little.

hem waiting to be attached

After sewing up the hem, I attached the pieces at the waist. When doing this, you’ll want to make certain the seam will sit at the narrowest part of the waist, and that it’s a snug fit. Otherwise the seam will bulge.

almost there!

I did a basic rolled hem on the dress. It’s a quick, easy finish for a casual dress. It works really well on jersey, since it won’t eat at the elasticity of the fabric, but lives along with the material. For everyday dresses meant for nothing fancier than a dinner at the local pub it’s the perfect choice. If you’re making something more special, try trimming hems with lace.

I really like the way my dress turned out. I wore it last week, and paired it with a mesh top and a tulle petticoat beneath, and a basic elastic belt over the seam.

cute skater dress all done!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my new cute skaterdress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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