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Blog posts on sewing by Heather Wielding Designs

Pretty Basic Party Dress

On Tuesday, I showed you the dress I wore on my Birthday. It’s based on our brand new sewing pattern called The Pretty Basic Party Dress. Today, I get to share the first post featuring this dress!

I originally made The Pretty Basic Party Dress during the winter. Publishing it took a bit longer than usual due to a surprising amount of technical difficulties. I’m happy to say that it seems like I won’t have to spend so much time with technical details with our site, and can start focusing on creating patterns again. There are a few coming soon, but I’ll tell you more about them later.

Today, we’re focusing on the new dress.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress continues the line of pretty basics. These styles are designed to be easy to sew and comfy to wear. They can also be mixed and matched. The Pretty Basic Party Dress is the latest addition. It goes with The Pretty Basic Cardigan and The Garter Petticoat. I’m currently working on a Pretty Basic Vortex Shawl, and that will also pair up nicely with this dress.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress is made with viscose jersey and mesh. The dress has a seamless yoke and flared sleeves. The yoke and lower sleeves are designed to be made with see-through material. You can naturally choose any kind of fabric for the dress: no part of it needs to be translucent if you don’t like that.

The Pretty Basic Party Dress has an A-lined hem. The dress is fitted at the waist, and widens toward the hem. The model dresses are both quite short, but you can easily lengthen the hem if you so choose.

The dress is designed to be super-easy to make. It’s best made with elastic fabrics, but the techniques used are beginner-friendly. I’d say that the most challenging part is binding the neckline.

I’ve made three versions of the dress now, and will probably make more. The style is really cute, and the dress is unbelievable comfortable. I made the second version with lighter viscose jersey and elastic lace. I made the sleeves in elbow-length simply by leaving out the lower sleeve and lengthening the pattern a bit. I bound the cuffs with strips of fabric to match the neckline.

The Pretty Basic Party dress is on flash sale this week, but only for VIPs. If you wish to gain access to the offer, hurry up and sign up to our mailing list. Newsletters go out at 7:30PM GMT+3, so there’s still a few hours to join!

I hope you’ll enjoy The Pretty Basic Party Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Elastic Corselet

On Tuesday, I showed you a crochet skirt I made while back. The skirt, being quite red, needed another garment to soften the break to black, so I paired it with my Embroidered Corselet. I’ve blogged about it before, but today I wanted to write a fresh post on the soft, elastic corselet.

elastic waist corselet, image one

The Embroidered Corselet is one of our first products. It was published back in 2014, I think. When the product was first launched, I managed to anger a few hardcore corset fans with it. I failed to emphasize enough that this product is not meant to be a real corset. It’s elastic, it’s comfy, and it’s the only similarity it bears to corsets is the shape of the pattern. Made with elastic fabrics and without a lacing, this corselets serves its purpose as a wide belt.

The incident is long gone and forgotten, but it still bugs me sometimes. Steel boned, unyielding corsets are lovely to look at, but often uncomfortable to wear. Choosing what to wear under a corset is serious business: a button or a zipper in the wrong place can leave a painful mark on the skin. I for one love corsets, but sometimes it’s nice to wear something softer.

The Embroidered Corselet was born out of that desire. Made with a corset pattern but with stretchy fabric, it’s comfortable and easy to wear.

Since the original version is quite red, I’ve made another one with the same pattern. I made a minor modification to it, though. To bring in a bit more of the corsetry-feel, I added a lacing to the back of it, and changed to my trade-mark criss-cross buttoning.

The fabric is a thick poly-blend with elastane knit into it. Back in the year I-forget, I got to make my friend a dress from the fabric. She let me have what was left over, and I used the scraps to create an elastic corselet. I thoroughly love the red and orange splatters on the fabric! Since the corselet has many shades of red, it goes with most of my red accessories. I especially like the way it matches with my Tropical Breeze Shawl. For this outfit, I paired the corselet and the shawl with an upcoming dress pattern. I’m hoping to get it published soon so stay tuned! I’m also planning to feature the corselet in Tuesday’s I Made This! -post along with a few outfit ideas based on it. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about The Embroidered Corselet.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Jersey Dress

On Tuesday, I showed you some crochet projects I made just for the fun of it. Both the crochet dress and cardigan were paired with a red dress. Today, I wanted to share more info on the freshly published Pretty Basic Jersey Dress Sewing Pattern.

I like things that are easy to mix and match. Since dresses are my favourite thing to wear, I wanted to create a dress that goes with everything.

The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress is just that. It works with all kinds of cardigans and shrugs, can be paired with a belt of a corset, likes to hide under longer circle skirts and pose as a top, can even be made in mini-length and worn with leggings. With this dress, anything goes. And what’s best of all, it doesn’t really need to be accessorized. The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress is the kind of garment you can just pull on when you’re late for work, and still feel cute all day.

This style is designed to be made with viscose or cotton jersey. I chose solid colours for my two dresses. Black and red are the colours I wear most often, but this style works with other tones, too. Try a light beige to wear under lace garments. This will create a striking nude-look. Create the dress with a wild print for a fashion statement, or pick a light pastel to celebrate summer days in. Whatever your choice, this dress will love it.

The pattern is available in five sizes, from petite 32 to 40. It’s designed to be figure-hugging in a comfy way. The pattern comes with two neckline choices, and you can easily modify the hem and sleeves in length.

I hope you’ll enjoy The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

PS. This dress, being freshly launched, will be the VIP special offer for two weeks in a row! If you haven’t already, be sure to join our mailing list to gain access for VIP-coupon codes.

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SkaterDress

On Tuesday, I showed you a cute little dress I made in less than two hours. I based it loosely on our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, and today, I’d like to write more about the pattern.

The skater dress and its variations are among the most popular dress styles. With a fitted bodice and a flared hem, what’s not to love! The basic skater dress pattern can be modded beyond belief. With our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, I did just that. Along with the basic style, our skater dress sewing pattern includes a hooded, Gothic-inspired style, and a variation based on a store-bought blouse. I for one like to sew a pattern over and over again if the style pleases me. Adding details and little mods can change up a basic pattern quite a bit. This pattern is designed with the re-sewing option in mind.

The example of our basic style is made with long sleeves, and a smooth hem and bodice. I used viscose jersey for this style, and I really like that choice. A soft fabric makes the dress comfy for everyday wear.

The basic style is super-easy to accessorize. It goes with pretty much anything! Try adding a belt to the mix, wear the dress over a top, or pop a cardigan over it. You can change it up when sewing, too: make the hem longer or shorter, mix jersey with elastic lace, or pick a patterned material. The basic style really loves its variations, so don’t hesitate to go wild with it!

The basic skater dress bends to all sorts of ways. When making this pattern, I wanted to see just how much can be done with it. For the Gothic version of the pattern, I added bell sleeves, a laced up bodice, and a large hood. All of these elements together make the dress a Gothic girls dream. This style can also be taken apart for a more subdued look. Try sewing a basic dress with a hood, or adding the lacing to the basic style. Change the fabric from velvet to jersey, and the dress changes altogether!

This style is a bit more challenging to accessorize due to the amount of detail. The dress likes jewelry and petticoats, and of course cute leg-wear paired with wicked boots.

The last style is my personal favorite. It’s made taking advantage of upcycled materials. For it, you’ll need a fitted blouse, and a hem’s worth of fabric. The model dress has a three-layer hem: tulle, and two kinds of fabric. The top layer is cut into an asymmetric shape to give the voluminous hem a bit more drama.

This style can be paired with corsets and ties which give the dress an androgynous vibe.

The pattern includes a hem, two options for bodice, sleeves that can be made long or short or topped with a circular cuff, and a hood. All of these parts fit together, so you can just take your pick of the elements you’d like to use, and make your dream come true. I’m currently dreaming of a full-length skater dress…

I hope you’ll enjoy The Skater Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

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DeathRock Bustier Sewing Pattern

Corset patterns are abundant in the internet. A bit of googling will reveal an endless source of corset sewing patterns from Victorian to modern. Despite the fact that corset patterns are pretty much everywhere, I couldn’t find one that would suite me. I wanted a light overbust with little detail, a modesty panel, and a shape that would allow it to close almost entirely. Even after turning the internet upside-down I came up empty.

So I had to make the pattern myself.

The DeathRock Bustier is one of my favorite corset sewing patterns in our growing collection. It’s easy to make, comfy to wear, and it can be paired with almost anything. I like to wear mine with long skirts, but the DeathRock Bustier works wonders with short hems as well.

I’m currently in the process of making a new one with steel boning and a front zipper.

As I was cutting the corset, I couldn’t decide between two pretty fabrics. To give both of them a chance to shine, I chose to make the corset reversible. I used the exact same techniques as with the Reversible Waist Corset. With both sides pretty and tidy, the garment can actually be flipped inside out even in the middle of a night out.

Adding front closure to a light corset is really quite easy. Cut the front in two pieces instead of on fold leaving a bit of allowance, pop in a zipper, and sew bone channels on both sides. The solution makes any bustier easier to put on, and adds an extra detail.

My old DeathRock Bustier is pretty well worn. It’s boned with acrylic, and bears the marks of a lot of wear. It’s not beyond the point of salvation, and I’m thinking about changing it’s bones to spiral steel. The operation shouldn’t be too difficult, it just involves a lot of unpicking…

I hope you’ll enjoy the DeathRock Bustier Sewing Pattern, and have fun with modding it to your own taste!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Heather lying on forestfloor

PS. If you haven’t already, do take advantage of our special offers reserved only for VIPs. Join our mailing list to gain access to discounted prices on select products!

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Our Favorite Hooded Patterns

Hooded sewing patterns come in many shapes and styles. My favorites are big ones, the kind you can really hide under. Three of our patterns include the large hood- feature.

One of our first sewing patterns was The Hooded Shrug. It’s made with thick jersey, and trimmed with lace. It has a flattering shape that’s easy to mix and match, and long sleeves with a trumpet shape. The shrug is closed with one button at the neck, and the large hood brings a touch of fairytale to the design. The Hooded Shrug is one of my all-time favorite designs, and I’m thinking of making a new one for the summer.

lace trimmed shrug with large hood, image one

Jersey is my absolute favorite material to both work with and wear. It’s easy to handle once you master it, comfy to wear, and very forgiving when worked with. I used super-light, almost see-through viscose jersey for our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern. The dress has a wide hem and reverse puff sleeves along with a large hood. The dress is made with two layers of light jersey, which makes it warm during the winter.

You can mod the pattern by sewing the dress with one layer only, and even make the dress hoodless. Personally, though, I think that the hood kinda makes the dress.

The latest of our hooded designs is an asymmetrical wrap top. It’s made with light jersey, and has a layer of mesh under the wrap-cut front pieces. The top has a large hood made with two layers of fabric. This gives the hood a tidy inside so you can easily wear it down.

I adore this design, and I’m happy that it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback!

 

If you haven’t yet joined our mailing list, now’s a good time to do so. You’ll receive a 20% discount code as a welcome present, plus exclusive offers on select products. This weekend, these three hooded designs are on sale for all our VIPs!

I hope you’ll enjoy our Hooded Designs.

Until next time!

Love,

Heather

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Hitched Hems

Dresses are my favorite things to wear. They’re easy to mix and match, and never out of place. Styles to choose from are endless, and materials used vary from cotton to velvet to leather. Personally, I like dresses that are both versatile and classic. One of my favorite designs in our collection is The Princess and Keyhole Dress. It features puff-sleeves, a keyhole neck, and hitched hems.

princess-seamed dress, one

The Princess and Keyhole Dress is best made with non-elastic materials such as cotton. The dress has princess seams, so it’s shaped at the bodice, and a wide hem. Puff-sleeves make it comfy to wear, but the key element is the hem.

The dress is made with channels on the hem’s seams. With ribbons slid into the channels, the hem can be modified in both length and shape. The dress can be worn long, pulled up at the front, or gathered into a short version. I like to use the ribbons to shorten the hem at the front to show off a colorful peticoat.

The shape of the dress finds its origin in the Victorian era, when hems were wide, ruffled, and often gathered. I’ve used the element of hitched hems in an earlier design as well.

princess-seamed dress, four

The Victorian Skirt is made with two layers. The botton layer features a wide ruffle, and the upper layer can be hitched up with ribbons. The Victorian Skirt is made with a very simple pattern, so it’s available as a drafting tutorial only. This allows everyone to create a skirt with their own, unique measurements.
Hitched hems are an easy way to create a versatile dress. The Victorian Skirt can be worn with both layers smooth and long, pulled up evenly, gathered at the front, or even arranged into a bustle-like shape. I like to wear mine gathered evenly, and I’ve even made a version with ribbon channels on both layers of the skirt.

black satin skirt, Victorian style

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Hitched Hems -sewing patterns.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Hooded Dress

Super light jerseys can be too thin to be worn on their own. I solved the problem by creating a two-layer dress. Styled with a large hood, our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern is designed to make everyday wonderful.

Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern comes with a large hood

Our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern has a wide hem, a fitted bodice, and reverse puff sleeves. Made with two layers of fabric, it can be made monochrome, or with contrasting colors. Using a single tone makes the dress modest and easy to pair with different kinds of accessories. Choosing two colors turns it up a notch, bringing a bit of flare to the simple design.

This style works best when made with light cotton or viscose jerseys, but poly-blends can work as well. Try using a thicker fabric for the shell, and topping it with a see-through chiffon or even lace. Keep in mind, though, that this dress needs to be sewn with elastic fabrics in order to make it as comfy as possible!

Our Hooded Dress has a wide hem, and made with light fabrics, it can have a tendency of flying. It’s a smart idea to pair the dress with a tight petticoat to avoid showing too much. Our Garter Petticoat works wonders with this style, and helps keep overknee-socks up during the winter.

Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern allows you to create a two-layer dress

For this dress, I wanted to take advantage of my favorite sleeve shape. The reverse puff sleeve enjoyed popularity in the sixties, and pops up every now and again. In my opinion, it’s one of the most flattering sleeves. It’s easy to pair with 3/4 cardigans, and works wonderfully with shawls of all shapes. In a feminine dress, it emphasizes the female form.

Our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern was originally designed to be hooded, but to give it more versatility, we’ve added an alternate neckline to the style so the dress can be made hoodless as well. Don’t forget, with two layers of fabric, you can play with the shape of the hem as much as you like!

I hope you’ll enjoy our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern.

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern also has a hoodless option

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Reversible Waist Corset

Once upon a time, I had two cool fabrics that both wanted to be a corset. One was a black cotton-blend with a soft satin finish, and the other a skull-print cotton scarf. After a while of pondering, I decided to take full advantage of both fabrics. The process turned into our Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern, which was published on Craftsy last week.

Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern - skulls on the outside

This reverible corset features a front zipper, and a laced-up back. The zipper makes it easy to put on, which mean you can flip it in the middle of a night out if you so choose. The lacing gives the garment a bit of wiggle-room, making it easy to modify the size a bit. Made with light-weight fabrics, this corset is designed for decorational purposes only. Using thicker materials and flat steel boning makes it possible, though, to wear this style as a tighter laced corset.

Lacing

As this style is reversible, it comes without a modesty panel. Sewing one into a garment meant to be worn inside-out on occation is virtually impossible. This means our reversible corset is best worn with dresses. This way, the garment seen through the lacing is seamless and smooth. When pairing this style with skirts and tops, be sure to make certain the back looks pretty!

SkullCorset

This reversible waist corset sewing pattern comes with a zipper at the front. Attaching it in a tidy way is surprisingly easy. This style does have a bit of hand-stitching involved, though. The binding is best sewn by hand so that both sides of the garment remain pleasing to the eye.

The bone channels are sewn into the seams. They’re visible on one side only, and nearly hidden on the other side. This technique guarantees a tidy finish with quick, easy steps which are fully explained in our illustrated sewing tutorial that you will receive with the pattern.

I hope you’ll enjoy our Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wedneday.

Love,

Heather

Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern - black satin on the inside

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Yoked Blouse

Blouses come in all shapes and styles. Be it slim-fit or loose, feminine or ultra-strict, a blouse is a smart choice for any occasion. Our Yoked Blouse Sewing Pattern is a version of a classic. With a lace-trimmed yoke and translucent details, this style works best for a romantic look.

yoked blouse sewing pattern features chiffon inserts

The model blouse is made with stripe-patterned cotton, and a slightly elastic chiffon. With the combination of elastic and non-elastic materials, this style is comfortable to wear. The upper part of the sleeve is made with elastic fabric, which makes certain that the garment won’t feel constricting when worn. The elastic chiffon allows movement though the shape of the upper sleeve is quite narrow.

The seams on the sleeves are hidden with satin ribbon, and the cuff is trimmed with the same material. This gives the blouse a polished, fully finished look. The satin embellishment also adds a little shine, bringing a very subtle touch of bling to the style. You can also use lace to hide the seams and to trim the cuffs with.

 yoked-blouse-sleeve-detail

This style has a relatively long hem. It is a little shorter in the front, and curves down in the back. The fit is loose, so that the blouse is comfortable to wear. You can shape the waist by simply adding darts to the back. The style is designed for petite beauties, and comes only in sizes 32-38.

With a chiffon insert at the yoke, the blouse bears a Victorian vibe. The model blouse is made with ordinary buttons, but by choosing a more extravagant design, you can easily add drama to this style. Try wearing a brooch at the collar of this blouse, or add a waist corset to the mix. This classic style also works well with jeans or even mini skirts.

yoked-blouse-collar-detail

I hope you’ll enjoy our Yoked Blouse Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

yoked blouse sewing pattern

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