More Faerie Looks

This week, we’ve been focusing on The Faerie Dragons. I had some yarn left over from The Faerie Dragon Shawlette, and I wanted to use it for top-down gloves. The idea of working an upside down Indian thumb gusset had been brewing for quite a while, and with this project, I finally worked up the courage to just do it. The thumb gusset worked out wonderfully, and I’m so happy with the way these pretty little gloves turned out! The Faerie Set is our featured product for this week, so today I wanted to show you some more Faerie looks.

Well I was Cold

Summer can be unstable. Cloudy skies and rain showers often follow crazy-warm mornings at least up here in the North (where winter is always coming). The easiest way to prepare for ever-changing weather is to carry an extra layer of clothing. This look is perfect for the days when you want to go shopping, and know there’s a chance of a dramatic drop in temperature.

Mary’s Dress is designed to be worn as is. It has ruffled cuffs and a lace-up bodice, so it doesn’t really need accessories. For this look, I wore Mary’s Dress with The Faerie Dragon Shawlette and Faerie Gloves. The long sleeves pretty much hide the colorful gloves, but they still offer a lot of warmth for chilly hands. The shawlette brings more color to the look, and also serves as a warming layer. The Shawlette may look large, but it fits into a relatively small space. I can easily fit mine into a larger purse, so it’s a good choice for a just-in-case shawl.

Wide Wide Hems

My Handkerchief Dress has quickly become a new favorite. I wear this thing every chance I get, and wanted to incorporate it into these Faerie looks as well.

Spaghetti strap dresses are easy to wear and fun to accessorize. They can also feel a bit cold or too revealing. With this look, I sorted out both problems by adding a shawl. A wildly colored vortex stays put pretty well, and brings both warmth and coverage to any outfit. The Faerie Gloves give this dress a whimsical feel I thoroughly enjoyed.

I like to wear this dress with belts and corsets. It’s really loose at the waist, and though I love the way the fabric moves around me, I do like to enhance the waist a bit. For this look, I wanted a black elastic belt. I didn’t have one, so I turned the one I had backwards. Worn in the front, a silver clasp is an eye-catching detail. It dictates and balances the look, and gives it a certain feel. Flipped to the back, though, it’s less dominating, and can serve as another aspect of whimsy.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Faerie looks!

This is the last blog post before my summer break, but I will schedule at least one post for each week. On Monday, The Pretty Basics go on sale, so don’t forget to take advantage of that!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Fun Looks for Fun Times

This week, we’ve been focusing on Amanda’s Dress. This design is A-lined, and fit for summer parties. It’s best made with two kinds of light fabric, but it can work made with only one layer. I made mine with lace and a matching lining, but Amanda’s Dress would look stunning made with satin alone. Today, I wanted to share a few fun looks based on a modded version of Amanda’s Dress.

Blouse and Skirt

A blouse-skirt -combo is an ever-popular favorite of the fashion world. For this look, I did it a bit differently.

This dress used to be a skirt. I loved the fabric and the wide handkerchief hem, but wasn’t that crazy about the color. The material tints toward shades of grey and dark blue, and as such, it went with none of my tops. After a few years of wondering what to do with the skirt, it suddenly dawned on me to turn it into a dress. I jumped to action, and an hour later, I had a cool new dress! The color remained the same, of course, but now it’s easier to combine with other shades of black colors.

For this look, I paired the dress with a see-through blouse I have yet to properly introduce to you. I made this a while back just for the fun of it. It’s also a bit challenging to pair with, so I wanted to see how these two difficult garments play together. I’m a bit iffy about the results: I like the shape of the collar combined with the dress’s neckline, but the lace details on the sleeves might be a bit much for this look. What do you think? Leave a comment to vote yay or nay!

Laced Up

This dress, just like Amanda’s Dress, is A-lined. This particular cut flatters most body types. I don’t feel all the comfortable in A-lines, so I like to add belts to my dresses. Drawing out the narrowest part of the body does make one appear smaller, and also helps keep loose dresses in place. For this look, I wore my handkerchief dress with our Reversible Waist Corset. I also wore a mesh top under the dress to give it a bit more coverage.

I love everything about this look. It’s comfortable, the details work wonderfully for my personal taste, and it’s warm enough to wear on colder summer nights. Lately, we’ve gotten to enjoy those up here, and I for one could not be happier!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s fun looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

The Difference a Belt Makes

Last week, I showed you two new dresses. Both of these are A-lined, and designed for summer parties. Amanda’s Dress, our brand new sewing pattern, is on sale for all VIPs until next Monday. Since these styles are both loose, I wanted to show you how an A-lined dress with a belt looks. The dress changes entirely, and so easily!

Amanda’s Dress With a Belt

Amanda’s Dress is designed for two layers of light material. I made mine with a grey lace and a cupro lining. Both of these fabrics are light and airy, but they still create a bulky look to my dress. A-lined shapes flatter most body types. Mine, not so much. In Amanda’s Dress, I look five sizes bigger than normal! Luckily, this is easily corrected with a belt.

 

By adding a belt to the dress, I can easily accentuate the narrowest part of my body. This gives the dress a more flattering profile, and makes me look smaller.

This trick works for all kinds of dress shapes, not just A-lined. Empire-lined dresses are the perfect example. By tying a sash directly below the bust, you can give an empire-dress a much needed waist line.

 

 

 

Amanda’s Dress is super-comfy, and I can’t wait to wear it to all kinds of events this summer. For this look, I paired it with very basic elastic belt. The belt is comfy and cute, but a fancier one would make the dress look even nicer. 

Handkerchief Hems

Last Tuesday, I showed you a makeover I gave to a skirt. I pretty much turned a long skirt into a dress, and got a super-loose short dress with loads and loads of hem. I love this dress, but as it is really loose, it requires a belt. I showed you how it looks on me as is in last Tuesday’s post, and today, I styled it up a bit. 

The material on this dress is light and crinkly. I can squeeze the entire volume at the waist into my fist, and I have small hands. That’s why I can wear the dress with a belt without it looking bulky. The crinkly fabric settles beautifully under a belt, follows my shape, and flares out at the hem. This is a perfect example of how an A-lined dress with a belt should behave!

I’ve mentioned before that the hem on this dress has pretty much fabric. To demonstrate, I raised it up at the side, and it made absolutely no difference to the rest of the dress!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post.

Until next time!

Love,

Heather

Amanda’s Dress

On Tuesday, I showed you a dress I made from a skirt. In that post, I promised you a surprise for today, and here it is. A brand new sewing pattern! It’s A-lined just like the dress I showed you on Tuesday, and it’s perfect for summer parties. I named this pattern Amanda’s Dress, and I really hope you’ll like it!

I didn’t intend to make Amanda’s Dress. It was born on a whim. You see, a new shopping mall opened near us in late April. It took me a while to figure out they have a fabric store, and once I learned this marvelous fact, I naturally needed to go. Once there, I found a piece of grey lace. I told Charming I kinda liked it, and he told me to just buy the fabric. I did so, brought it home, and it very loudly announced that it wanted to go play with a grey cupro I’d had for a decade or so, and to become a very loose dress. I said OK, but maybe you’d like a wash first. The lace said no, and I sewed the dress the next day.

Amanda’s Dress is designed for two fabrics. A light lining, and a light lace to go over it. The dress has a loose A-lined shape, a knee-length hem, and a keyhole neck. I made mine with lace and cupro, but other combos can work, too. A basic lining is OK beneath a lace, and a combination of light taffeta and organza would look stunning. I chose matching colors, by accident of course, but contrast colors will work, too. If I made another one, I’d maybe choose an orange lining and cover it with black lace. I would also make the dress long, which is an option for Amanda’s Dress. A short style is cool for informal get-togethers, and a long one would work for events that require a bit fancier dresses.

Amanda’s Dress is, as said, A-lined. It can be worn as is, but do keep in mind that loose shapes can make you appear larger. To avoid this, wear Amanda’s Dress with waist-defining details, such as belts and corsets. Making the dress with really light materials helps, too. Light fabrics fall softly, following the lines of the body. Heavier materials, such as my lace, tend to be stiffer.

Next week, I’m going to show you some outfit ideas for Amanda’s Dress, and the dress I showed you on Tuesday. Until then!

Love,

Heather

Skirt To Dress

A long time ago, in another life if I recall correctly, I found a skirt from a flea market. It had a wide handkerchief hem, and I loved the way it moved as I twirled. Sadly, the skirt went with nothing I owned. It tinted toward grey, and most of my clothes have a brownish undertone, if any. The skirt sat in my closet, sad and forgotten, until I had an epiphany. Instead of wasting time searching for the perfect top, I might just turn the skirt to a dress!

I wasted no time after the initial idea. I literally took the skirt out, said “hey you should be a dress”, walked to my sewing machine, and just did it. Nike would be so proud! The transformation took less than an hour, and I forgot to take phase photos. Sorry!

The skirt was long, down to my toes, so I had to shorten it a little. I wanted a dress that fell to my knees, not past them. Instead of chopping the hem, I took out the extra length from the top as I shaped it. I pretty much just ripped out the zipper, cut off the waist, closed center back seam all the way, shaped back and front necklines, shaped arm scythes, bound the whole thing while sewing down pleats to get rid of excess width, and popped straps on. I was half-way expecting the dress to fly down the garbage chute, but it surprised me by turning out super-awesome!

 

It was early spring when I turned this skirt to a dress, and I feared summer to be close. I gave the dress straps so it would be cool if the weather got warm, and easy to layer for colder nights. I got these straps on eBay for pennies, and was surprised by the quality. Though meant to be replacement straps for lingerie, I’ve used them for dresses. They’re sturdy, pretty, and comfortable.

The handkerchief hem was the thing that drew my attention when I first saw the skirt. It has an unbelievable amount of fabric! I love the way the material moves with a slow grace, kind of drifting behind me. Though the material isn’t particularly heavy, the volume makes it slow.

Instead of shaping the dress and giving it a defined waist, I allowed it a wide A-line. Most of my dresses are on the skimpy side, and I wanted one that would hide everything. This one most certainly does! The best part about this thing is that I can wear it as is, or shape it with a belt. There’s a lot of fabric, yes, but the crinkles make it easy to scrunch up. I’m going to show you a few looks with this dress next week!

… why not Friday, says the eager crowd. Well, because I have a surprise planned for you on Friday, so stay tuned!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Wrap Dress Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you a dress I modded. I’ve always had issues with wearing sleeveless dresses. Spaghetti straps and corsets are fine, but sleeveless… nope, not for me. It’s obviously not a body-issue, just a basic dislike toward a certain shape. Our Sleeveless Wrap Dress has that exact shape I just can’t make work. I’ve tried wearing this dress with blouses and jersey tops and even dresses under it, but no. None of the wrap dress looks I come up with feels right.

Wrap Dress Styles - Snakeskin

I know many people love this design, but I wanted to mod my wrap dress. It seemed a shame to just let it hang in the closet alone and abandoned. So I took it out, cut 6” off the hem, and used the extra piece of fabric to create short sleeves. I was looking out for the worst case scenario where I’d ruined a perfectly good dress, but it turned out fine. In fact, the dress is now perfect!

I promised you outfit pics for today, so here we go!

Bare Minimum

Some say that a dress alone is not an outfit. I’m not entirely certain I agree with that: dresses are often designed so that you don’t need to add anything to them. Accessorizing is fun, though, and a great way to change the way a dress looks. For the first of today’s wrap dress looks I wanted to wear the dress as is just to show you how it turned out. I was afraid the dress would end up being way too short, but it actually has a pretty good summer length. I made the dress with a medium-weight cotton jersey, so it’s super-comfy. The fabric has so much weight that it doesn’t get caught up in the wind too easily. Wearing wraps is of course a bit risqué, but this one behaves rather well.

I really, really love the dress now that it has sleeves. It works so much better with my personal style now. And the best part is that I can still pair it with blouses and tops and dresses!

Laced Up

Wrap dresses come with a relatively open hem. Though most are designed to be safe to wear, gusts of wind can cause uncomfortable moments. Sewing a snap fastener into the lower layer of the hem helps keep it closed, but that sort of ruins the idea of a wrap dress. To bring more coverage to mine, I wore a lace petticoat under it. I designed this petticoat to be worn under dresses that feel a bit too short. The lace offers extra coverage, and also serves as a cute detail.

For this look, I tied the belts of the dress to the front, and secured them with a brooch. I used a pretty heavy fabric for this dress, and that made the belts thick. Tying them leaves a big knot, and I wanted a lighter one for this outfit. A brooch helps secure the belts, and also creates another detail to the look. Black jewelry completes this style in a non-flashy way.

I love this look, and I’m totally wearing it out first chance I get!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s wrap dress looks. As you may have guessed, this week’s featured products are All Things Wrapped. Order our newsletter now to get a secret coupon code for 15% off on all of our wrap styles!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Sleeveless to Short-Sleeved

Summer usually starts slowly here in Finland. It gets gradually warmer until mid-summer, when temperatures reach a high of 20 C. It’s rainy most of the time, and after mid-summer, the weather starts to cool down. Well, this year, we got a surprising heatwave on May 1st, and there is no end in sight. I’m not a big fan of summer, so the weather right now is killing me a bit. A photo session was out of the question yesterday, so I decided to show you guys something I altered yesterday.

Wrap dresses are a big thing right now. I can’t recall the last time they were this popular! I love this turn of events, since wrap dresses are cute, comfy, and fun to sew. This week and next, our featured products will be All Things Wrapped, aka all of our wrap styles. These include The Bishop Wrap, our Wrap-Cut Tops, and The Sleeveless Wrap Dress. Which is the thing I altered on Monday.

sleeveless wrapdress, four

I’ve mentioned many, many times that I have minor issues with sleeveless dresses. Short sleeves are fine, but sleeveless styles leave me somehow uncomfortable. This has resulted in a difficult relationship with The Sleeveless Wrap Dress. I love the fabric I chose for the dress, and the shape is super-comfy. But the sleevelessness bums me out big time. I’d love to wear it during the summer, but for my style, it needs to be paired with blouses, and that makes it too warm.

I went through my wardrobe on Sunday, and tossed out things I don’t enjoy that much. This dress was on the verge of the charity bin when Something Dawned on me. The dress would be perfect if it only had sleeves. It’s also a bit on the long side.

I literally facepalmed as I finally realized I could just shorten the dress by 6”, and use the strip of fabric to sew sleeves. I feel stupid at least thrice a day, but this was a major derp-moment.

So yesterday, I took my scissors, cut the hem, turned to my newly-serviced serger, and spent 30 minutes perfecting the dress. I seriously cannot believe I hadn’t thought to do this before!

As I only had 6” of fabric, I sewed short sleeves for the dress. The piece I cut off was long, and I used the rest to create wide cuffs. I really like cuffed sleeves on jersey dresses. They tie the garment together, and give it a polished look with a minimal amount of fuzz. I used our Pretty Basic Jersey Top Pattern for the sleeves. They’re designed to fit this dress just in case!

I was a bit apprehensive about shortening the dress. 6” sounds like a lot, but the original hem fell below the knee by an inch or two. Cutting the hem didn’t make as big a difference as I thought: the dress still has a decent length!

I’m going to defy the weather on Thursday for fresh outfit posts to share on Friday and next week. I’ll include The Sleeveless (now Sleeved) Wrap Dress I altered today so you’ll get to see the difference!

Until then.

Love,

Heather

Mary’s Dress Looks

Spring has really sprung, and it’s getting warmer by the day. I wanted to incorporate some knits into today’s long dress looks, and boy was I warm on photo day! I hope it doesn’t shine through from the pics, though.

Our featured products have been Mary’s and Jane’s Dresses for a while now. This is the last post focusing on them for now, and next week we’ll have a new featured product. Which will most likely be an older product since I’ve been lazy.

Draped

Mary’s Dress is designed to wear as is. It has a laced up bodice and ruffled cuffs, and adding more detail to it might turn the dress a bit busy. For the first look, I wanted to do something else with the dress, though. This design loves jewelry, so I added long necklaces and silver bangles. As I felt that wasn’t quite enough, I draped the hem just a little, and secured it with a brooch. This trick can easily change the shape of any dress’s hem, and I’ve used it a lot in past outfits.

I’m not entirely certain if I like the draped hem with this dress. I love the shape it creates, and thoroughly enjoy the way it rises the hem just a little bit, but it might be too much for Mary. What do you think?

Violets

Mary’s Dress loves cardigans. For the second of today’s long dress looks, I wanted to show you the dress worn with a cute cardie. As the dress has an empire waist, I paired it up with our super-short cardigan, Violets on Stripes. This design is really short, almost a shrug, and as such, I love the way it looks with dresses. It works surprisingly well with Mary’s Dress: the cardigan covers the lacing detail, but leaves the ruffled cuffs out in a delightful way.

Violets on Stripes is embellished with crochet flowers. This detail, or rather a swarm of detail, makes it feminine and cute. Paired with a long dress, it makes a lovely outfit. And a very warm one, I might say. After shooting this look, I’m dreading taking pictures for an upcoming cardigan pattern…!

Faerie

As the weather gets warmer, it’s nice to trade jackets and blazers for shawls. I love to wear large shawls instead of coats during the summer. They’re just as warm, lovely to snuggle up in, and offer more variety. For the last stop of today’s long dress looks, I wanted to pair up Mary’s Dress with a shawl. I was thinking about flaunting my Virus Meets Granny again, but remembered poor forgotten Faerie Dragon in time.

This vortex shawl is made with two contrast-colored skeins of yarn, and features a lazy curve and lace rows. I made mine with a crazy combo of purple and green. I don’t think I never would have picked up this combination on my own. The yarns were a Birthday present, and I really do love the unusual pair. The Faerie Dragon Shawl goes beautifully with Mary’s Dress, creating an elegant look with loads of color in an easy-to-wear format.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s long dress looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Jane’s Dress Looks

Mary’s and Jane’s Dresses were launched recently. This week, I wanted to do some outfits with both dresses. These long dress looks are easy to create and fun to wear. With the weather creeping toward warmer temperatures again, I wanted to add light layers to these looks. With a bit of added warmth, you can switch to spring jackets sooner!

Blue Layers

Bringing color to outfits isn’t really my strong suit. I wear black, full stop, and to me, a colorful look is one that features a pair of pink gloves. I do know, though, that almost everybody else loves to dress in colors, so I try. With the first of today’s long dress looks, I went with a safe style I’ve actually done before. This petrol blue mesh top was an impulse buy, and I still haven’t worn it out. I do like to use it in outfit posts, especially paired with a long blue petticoat. I resort to these elements often partly to remind you that outfits can be recycled. Changing one thing can change an entire look!

For this style, I wore Jane’s Dress with a blue layer beneath it. Black jewelry brings detail to the look, and a loose ponytail keeps it simple. Long hems can be challenging to wear on an everyday basis, but this cute and comfy look is casual enough for shopping trips and late lunches.

Red Hood

For the second look, I wanted to add a red detail. Jane’s Dress is made with a detachable hood with a contrast-colored lining. I lined mine with red satin, as I happened to have some lying around. I’m not a big fan of hoods when it comes to personal style: hair gets in the way big time! I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make it work with hoods, but so far, I’ve come up with a side-braid, and nothing else. It’s an easy hairstyle, though, and I chose to do that with this look.

To bring color to this style, I tied a long red belt around my waist, and secured it with a brooch. This creates an obi-like detail, and brings a girly vibe to the look. I really like this style, although the reds have a slightly different shade, and see myself venturing out in it.

Without the hood.

80s

Jane’s Dress has a detail that reminds me of the Eighties.

Puff-sleeves.

Together with crushed velvet, they do give this dress a certain feel. With the last of today’s long dress looks, I wanted to take full advantage of it.

I wore Jane’s Dress over a polkadot mesh top. A long sleeved, even light, top offers protection against the sun, and I for one wear long sleeves throughout the summer. This look is something I would gladly wear out during the sunniest days of summer!

To add more 80s into this look, I added a selection of bangles (I wear these all the time, and you cannot believe the noise they make) and my bowler hat. This look is totally me, and I can’t wait to wear it out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our long dress looks!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Mary and Jane Looks

During the past weeks, we’ve launched two new sewing patterns. These patterns, Mary’s and Jane’s Dresses, are sister patterns, and share a few qualities. Both are long, feature a fitted empire waist, and are best made with elastic materials. The similarities end there, for these two pattern have completely different personalities. Mary’s Dress is elegant and composed, and Jane’s Dress loves accessories and crazy colors. Today, I wanted to share a few maxi dress looks based on these full-length dresses.

Red Mary

Mary’s Dress comes with a lace up bodice. This detail makes it a bit difficult to accessorize. Mary’s Dress loves shawls and cardigans, so I chose to d a very basic look with it. I paired the dress with my Summer Breeze Shawl, and a heart-patterned choker. Together with large earrings these items bring more detail to the dress. A large shawl also adds warmth and coverage to a dress.

Mary’s Dress is designed so that it can be worn on its own, without complimenting accessories. Picking out little things to complete a dress can be a nightmare sometimes, and with Mary’s Dress, I wanted to give you the option of just pulling it on, and walking out. It does love shawls, though, and jewellery can give a lot to it.

Red Jane

Jane’s Dress is much easier to spruce up, and that makes it more fun. This dress has quickly become my go-to dress, and I love styling it up. With this look, I took the easy way, though. I used red satin to line the hood with. As I wanted to show you how easy it is to pull the hood off, I “had” to go with red accessories.

I chose to wear the dress with a red petticoat and my Bloodstain Corselet. I love these two together: the reds match beautifully, and together, they bring a lot of color to an outfit. They also add warmth. As summer is sneaking closer and closer, long dresses paired with long petticoats can be a bit much.

This look, especially with the hood, is quite warm. It’s a good thing the hood can, literally, be ripped off!

You might have guessed that the hood attaches to the dress with snap fasteners. They’re a really easy and undervalued way of attaching, detaching, and reattaching pieces of clothing together. Sew them on making certain they remain invisible, and you’re free to pull off pieces of a dress in mid-evening if you so choose.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these maxi dress looks. Remember, that Mary’s and Jane’s Dresses are on sale for all VIPs until May 14th!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather