Tag Archives: dresses

Crochet Dress and Cardigan

A while back, I mentioned a little crochet project I was working on. Cotton and lace is a combo I really like, so one thing led to another. Instead of one lace garment, I now have two!

I found a basic pattern for a lace dress on Novita’s site many, many years ago. I loved it, but didn’t dare try it. After gathering more experience and courage in crocheting, I went back looking for the crochet dress pattern. Novita had taken it down, but I managed to dig up a chart for the lace repeat. I memorized it, tried to make a dress, and failed miserably.

This spring, I tried again.

The lace repeat is relatively simple, but still lovely to look at. It’s airy and light, and reminds me of spiderwebs.

I used two hook sizes with the dress, 3mm and 3,5m. Upping the hook size at the hip gave the hem of the dress a bit more room and saved me from adding more stitches. This style is started at the empire line, and worked both up and down from there. The sleeves are worked separately, and the dress has a zipper in the back.

The dress turned out really pretty. I can’t remember how long I’ve wanted to make one, and now that I have, I want another one!

Crochet Dress worked with black cotton

After finishing the crochet dress, I sill had some yarn left. As spring was coming along, I figured I needed more lace. I didn’t have a cute, comfy cardigan to wear out, so I decided to need one.

I cast on another lace project, and before I knew it, I had my cute cardie.

Like the dress, this one is worked both up and down from the empire line. I added a triple crochet row there just in case I wanted to slip a contrast coloured satin ribbon in.

I left the cardie pretty short, and only used a 3mm hook.

I plan to wear this cardigan with dresses only, so I felt comfortable leaving the hem open. The cardigan closes only at the bust, which makes it perfect to wear even with waist corsets. Bright colours push through the lace, and make the cardigan super-cute over red and blue dresses.

The red dress will soon be published as a pattern. I’m planning to add more items to the Pretty Basics, and the figure-hugging dress will be the first in line. I’m also planning to start posting outfit photos on IG, so be sure to follow me there, too!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my crochet dress and cardigan!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Why I Love to Crochet

Lace is one of my favorite things to wear. It’s feminine and delicate, but often a bit too fancy for everyday clothes.

Crochet garments can be made with all kinds of materials. I like to play with cotton and large hooks. This combo makes lace cardigans and dresses suitable for almost any everyday occasion, from shopping to casual dinners. Using simple lace patterns also serves to enhance the wearability of crochet garments.

Most of the things I crochet are black. Two of my latest crochet projects are a dress and cardigan both made with the same lace. I found the pattern for both on Novita’s website in the year I-forget, must have been 2006ish, but sadly, they’ve since given the site a make-over. That means the patterns can’t be found anywhere. I’ve literally turned the internet upside-down in search of it, but came out empty handed. The lace repeat is lovely, though, and it’s found its place among my favorites. It’s airy, it’s easy, and it totally works for an office-cardie.

I’m hoping to show you the finished items soon!

Crochet lace can look intimidating. For me, it did seem like an impossible thing to master. I was literally afraid of trying for years, but once I did, it dawned on me that most lace is created with basic stitches. Know how to chain, single- and double crochet, and you’re good to go. Even the simplest stitches can make an intricate surface. This is clearly seen with Evan Plevinski’s Elise Shawl. The pattern doesn’t have a difficult stitch in it, and the result is just beautiful.

I’ve made two so far, a red one for Mom, and a purple one for me. Mine turned out really big, though I haven’t gotten around to properly blocking it!

Lace is a versatile texture. It ‘s beautiful and feminine, and easier to create than one imagines. It brings a touch of luxury into everyday life, and that’s the reason why I love crocheting so much.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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

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

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

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

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

Sleeveless Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses are comfortable, versatile, and fun to mix and match. Our Sleeveless Wrap Dress Sewing Pattern is designed with a loose fit and knee-length hem.

sleeveless wrap dress sewing pattern, two

Wrap dresses can be made with many kinds of materials. Our version is designed for elastic materials. Thicker jerseys work wonderfully for this style. The model dress is made with cotton jersey, but viscose jerseys or even poly-blends work with our Sleeveless Wrap Dress Sewing Pattern. The dress is made with a low-cut, lace-trimmed neckline and long belts. Try using contrast colours for the trim and belts for a funky look, or choose a printed fabric to bring a splash of colour to any workday. This style is a comfy choice for casual office environment, but it can work for family get-togethers or dates as well.

Made with nicer fabric, such as velvet or elastic satin, our Sleeveless Wrap Dress Sewing Pattern can go from casual to fancy. Try using two layers of fabric: pick an elastic satin, and top it with elastic lace. Match the belts and the lace-trim to the satin, or bind the neckline with bias tape. This way, you can make the dress look super-stunning for non-formal parties.

This sleeveless style is perfect for summer days. During the warm days of summer, this dress is cool and breezy. Thanks to the versatility of the style, it can work during the winter as well. Pop a long sleeved top and a jersey skirt under it, and you have an extra layer of warmth. You can even wear this style over another dress like a long, sleeveless blazer. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding cap sleeves or even full sleeves to the dress. Though sleeve options aren’t included in the pattern, feel free to use your skills! And if you already purchased our Pretty Basic Jersey Top Pattern, you have a sleeve that fits the dress.

We hope you’ll enjoy our Sleeveless Wrap Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

sleeveless wrapdress, four

Lace-Trimmed Wrap-Cut Dress

Jersey dresses, both in long and short styles, are comfortable, easy to pair, and fit for many occasions. Ultra-comfy jersey dresses are perfect for shopping, day-time dates, and even the office. Our Lace-Trimmed Wrap Cut Dress Sewing Pattern is designed to be smoking hot. With a low-cut neckline and flattering, fitted empire waist, it is sexy in a relaxed way.

lace-trimmed wrap-cut dress sewing pattern, image one

This style is best made with light jerseys. Cotton and viscose jersey work wonderfully for this dress, but lycra and poly-blends also nice choices. The model dress is made all in black for a classic dark look. Don’t hesitate to pick any colour, though! This wrap-cut dress will look stunning in shades of red, and absolutely cute in pastel tones. Patterned fabrics will flatter this style as well. With a simple cut, the design won’t obscure printed materials.

The Wrap-Cut Dress Sewing Pattern is available in sizes 32-38. This doesn’t mean larger ladies shouldn’t go for the same style. Included in the pattern, you’ll find a drafting tutorial on how to use a basic top pattern to create the pattern for this dress in your exact size. Be sure to use a top pattern that fits like a glove for a perfect fit!

This style features a revealing neckline, a fitted empire waist, and long, loose sleeves. The neckline and cuffs are bound with elastic lace to add to the delicacy of the design. Accessorizing this style is easy and fun. Add necklaces for a sensual look and a waist corset to emphasize the feminine shape. Try adding a light, fitted top beneath the dress for coverage, and a long underskirt for extra warmth. You can also wear a cardigan, be it loose or short and snug, over the dress on cold days. Whicever way you choose, this dress is up for it. Simple and sweet, it will be a wardrobe go-to.

I hope you’ll enjoy our Lace Trimmed Wrap-Cut Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

wrap-cut jdress sewing pattern, image two

Too Cute Velvet Dress

Crushed velvet in two tones turned into a super-cute dress designed especially for petite beauties. Our Too Cute Velvet Dress Sewing Pattern bears elements that allows pocket-sized ladies rock their youthful appearance.

too cute velvet dress sewing pattern velvet dress, image two

The model dress is made with cruched velvet in two tones. A contrast-coloured, lined yoke with a bit of ruching is designed to enhance the bust. Together with puff sleeves, these elements add volume to the upper body. The fitted bodice draws attention to a slender figure, and the full, ruffled hem creates an illusion of innocence. Combined, these elements make the cutest dress.

This style works best when made with elastic fabrics. Non-elastics are far too constricting for a dress with no zipper, so be sure to pick a stretchy material. Elastic velvets and satins work wonders when creating a dress to wear to parties. For everyday wear, pick a cotton or viscose jersey. Both are comfortable and easy to work with.

This dress pairs beautifully with a waist corset if you wish to create a darker look. Try adding a tulle petticoat if you’d like a hem with more volume, or sewing tulle beneath the hem’s ruffle. Wide hems draw from the delicate world of Lolita-inspired fashion, and bring a touch of fairytale into our everyday lives.

The model dress is made with two colours. Feel free to use only one tone, or pick a patterned fabric. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose a light jersey, and add a layer of elastic lace in contrast colour over it. This choice would create a dress fit for cocktail parties. You could also lenghten the hem, and sew it without a ruffle. With a long, straight hem and made with glamorous material, you could even rock this style as a prom dress. With a bit of imagination, the options are endless.

We hope you’ll enjoy our Too Cute Velvet Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

too cute velvet dress sewing pattern velvet dress, image one