Tag Archives: sewing

Ruffle Dress

Every now and again, I decide I no longer like a dress. Lately, since autumn is drawing closer, my wardrobe seems to be in need of me hitting F5. New trends are rolling in, and instead of going on a mad shopping spree, I like to weed out the dresses that no longer feel just right, and change them. It’s fun, it’s affordable, and the environment likes it, too.

Last week, a dress I made for New Year suddenly had an existential crisis. It was a long spaghetti strap mermaid dress made with black viscose jersey. I don’t think I’ve worn it more than twice, and for that reason, I have no pictures of it.

As I heard the dress wailing, I took it out, and inquired whether it would enjoy drastic surgery.

The reply was “oh god yes”, so I set to work.

I had purple viscose jersey stashed. It’s a bit too purple to work as an entire garment, but paired up with black, it’s perfect. I took some of the purple fabric, and cut out a very short bodice. I wanted the updated dress to have an empire waist, but a fitted one.

I really like simple styles, the kind of dresses you can just pull on, and not have to worry about since. This one seemed to need something extra. A detail, maybe.

Something ruffly.

I have this little bit of an obsession with ruffled button lists. I’ve added this detail to one garment so far, and wanted to make another one. The black and purple dress was the perfect victim.

I took strips of purple jersey and a bit of black lace, and sewed them onto the front piece. The process is actually really easy: pleat or gather strips of fabric, arrange them so that they please your eye, and sew to place.

I cut the black mermaid dress just below the bust, and above the knee. After serging the bodice together, I joined the two at the waistline.

To keep the ruffle dress from going over the top, I bound the neckline and the sleeves in a very basic way. I was kinda thinking about double-binding the neckline with black lace, but that would have maybe been too much.

The ruffle dress turned out really nice. I love the way it looks and feels. It’s super-comfy, and since it has a bit of detail, it doesn’t really need a bunch of accessories. It really is one of those dresses you can just pull on and forget.

And the best part is, the left-over hem of the mermaid dress is long enough to be made into a skirt!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Ruffle Dress.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Basic Styles for Stepping Out

Last week, we launched two new additions to The Pretty Basics. The Pretty Basic Lace Top and Jersey Skirt are this week’s featured products, and on sale for all VIPs until Monday. Today, I wanted to share a few outfit ideas based on the two new patterns.

The Pretty Basics are designed to go with everything. The Basics are easy to make jersey skirts, tops, and dresses that easily pair up with each other. The Basics also like other designs. For today’s post, I created outfits with the two new Basics and our other designs.

Mermaid Skirt with Black Lace

Sometimes, a skirt comes with loads of details. Garments with a lot going on can be challenging to wear. Our Mermaid Skirt is made with D-rings, embellished pockets, and decorative lacings. The skirt has a figure-hugging fit, and it’s best made with elastic materials.

Pairing the skirt up with corsets can work, but I think it likes simple tops better. The Pretty Basic Lace Top goes beautifully with The Mermaid Skirt. The fitted top repeats the snug lines of the skirt without taking away from its intricate look.

I really like this style, and would totally wear it out. The simplistic feel of it appeals to me, and I like it that though the outfit is basically made of two pieces, it still has a lot of details. The lacings and D-rings diminish the need for jewelry, and the lace combined to pinstripes create an interesting mixture of patterns.

Black Tulle Peasant Skirt

Peasant skirts can be made with all kinds of materials. Cotton is the safest, most popular choice. Light, printed cottons make the perfect skirts for summer, but the classic style can work with less conventional fabrics, too.

I made mine with black tulle.

Tulle skirts can’t be worn on their own. Tulle is see-through, and requires a lining or another skirt under it. I made my tulle skirt without a lining. This way, I can pair it with more kids of skirts. I usually wear this with a wide, black cotton skirt to gain a look resembling Scarlett O’Hara’s mourning dresses. The tulle skirt works also with a lighter skirt beneath. For this look, I wore it over The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt. The tulle falls over The Jersey Skirt in soft, delicate folds creating a narrower silhouette. I paired the skirts with a combo of tops. I wore a basic spaghetti strap top over a long sleeved mesh top.

Both skirts have a basic elastic waist. To give the outfit a polished look, I covered the waistbands with a wide belt. A few necklaces tie the look together.

Puffs and Pearls and Lace, oh my

Sometimes, a new top reminds you of a skirt you’ve completely forgotten. That happened to me when I finished The Lace Top. I went over my collection of skirts in my mind, and suddenly remembered my Puff-Ball Skirt.

I was pretty small in the eighties, but I still remember when puffball skirts came back into fashion. I had one, and I loved it to bits. They went out of style pretty soon. After growing up and deciding I get to wear whatever I want, I made a few more. I still love puff-balls, and I’m super-happy for re-discovering this one.

I made the skirt with a light poly-blend, and gathered the hem to shape with buttons. The skirt is made with out Puff-Ball Skirt Sewing Pattern. The only difference is that I made this version with an elastic waist.

For this look, I paired The Puff-Ball Skirt with The Lace Top, and used an elastic belt to cover the not-so-pretty waist.

I really like the silhouette of The Puff-Ball Skirt, and can’t wait to wear it out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my outfit ideas for Pretty Basics.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you sneak peaks of two new patterns. The Pretty Basic Lace Top and Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt Patterns were launched earlier today. For today’s post I wanted to share a few looks based on the fresh patterns.

Skin Tight

The Pretty Basic Lace Top is designed to be a part of an everyday wardrobe. Lace is often seen as “too much” to wear on a daily basis, but I like the effect it gives. Lace is elegant and sexy at the same time, and I really enjoy that. For the first look, I paired The Lace Top with a pencil skirt I just made. I’m thinking about featuring it in next week’s I Made This! -post, but we’ll see. I will show the skirt at some point. It’s made from a pair of pants, and I really want to share the process!

Pencil skirts are a safe choice for any occasion. They work wonderfully as office attire, they’re excellent for dates, and you can even wear one to informal parties. This look is based entirely around The Lace Top. I wanted to really show off the top, and chose against accessorizing further.

I wore my hair down for this look. I don’t usually do this, since hair covers outfits’ details. I’m thinking about chopping it, so I kinda wanted to immortalize it.

I really like this outfit. It’s cute and comfy (although the skirt is quite narrow and forces me to take short steps) and I’m hoping I’ll get to wear it somewhere soon.

Wrapped Up

Lace is elegant, but it can turn the other way, too. For the second look, I wanted to bring a touch of Punk.

Our Wrap Skirt is a unisex pattern. It has a very androgynous feel, and is designed to fit both him and her. I’ve added buttons to one side of my skirt. They serve a decorational purpose only. The lining of my wrap skirt is brown, and I wanted to bring some of that to the outside of the skirt as well. The Lace Top brings a bit of femininity to the look along with my favorite – and most comfortable -heels.

The choker is brand new. I got it off eBay, so it’s not very high in quality. It’s made with cut-out velvet, so it’s soft and comfy. I chose to wear it for this look to bring in more punk-inspired elements. I didn’t want to overdo it, though, so I left the outfit pretty simple.

I wore my hair on a loose braid for this look. A more ambitious hairdo would have been too much.

This style is actually my favorite of this bunch. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and I felt at home in it. I can totally see wearing this for a shopping spree!

All Basic

Our Pretty Basics are designed to love each other. The styles are simple and elegant which makes them easy to mix and match. The pieces of the collection all like accessories, and are easy to use as a basis of outfits. The Basics work alone as well. Pairing up The Jersey Skirt and Jersey Top makes a comfy outfit for hanging around the house. This is in fact the kind of outfit I wear when I’m at home working. It’s super-comfortable but still nice enough to step out in. It’s simple with nothing that can get caught in sewing machines or knitting needles, and it’s cute enough to make me feel pretty.

Feeling pretty is important for me. Creating beautiful things is a big part of my job. It’s much easier to do that when I beautiful. The Pretty Basics do just that. They’re casual, practical, and still lovely.

Warm and Snuggly

Summer’s still warm, but nights will soon start to turn cold. Coats are too much, so I like to turn to cardigans. For the last look, I paired The Jersey Skirt with a Pretty Basic Spaghetti Strap Top (yes, the pattern’s coming out soon!)  which you can’t really see in the photos. The Basics create a dark canvas for a snuggly cardigan that’s perfect for cooler summer nights. The Seed Stitch Shrug is knit with chunky yarn and large needles. It’s a quick, easy knit despite its size, and the pattern is beginner-friendly.

I haven’t worn my Seed Stitch Shrug much. I’m pretty used to just throwing on my Granny Square Cardigan, but this one is warmer and softer. It also goes really well with all The Basics. I do believe I should make this shrug a part of The Basics when I get a chance to rearrange the store!

 I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s outfit post, and will add The Lace Top and Jersey Skirt to your own wardrobes.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Pretty Basic Sneak Peaks

As you may remember, I came down with a bug last week. I thought I’d be over it by now, but nope. This thing must really like me! So instead of an I Made This! -post, I’m giving you a sneak peak on two patterns which will be published on Friday. Both patterns are pretty much done, and will be on sale for all VIPs starting launch day.

I really like The Pretty Basics. They’re comfy to wear, and easy to mix and match. The materials are soft and flowing, and the styles femine and cute. These are the kind of clothes that make getting dressed easy. They pretty much eliminate the whole “omg I have to be somewhere and I have nothing to wear” -problem. There’s no need to stress when you can just pull out a Pretty Basic Dress and have fun with it.

The newest addition to collection is The Pretty Basic Lace Top. It’s made with super-elastic lace and a bit of viscose jersey.

I really like lace. Working with it can be difficult, though. Hemming lace fabric is a pain. I decided to make things easier by adding cuffs to The Lace Top. This detail gives the top a polished look, and make the sleeves comfy to wear.

The Lace Top is very low cut. I wanted to keep it from looking, well, too cheap, and decided to remove some of the lace’s see-through effect.

The front piece is lined with skin toned mesh. This makes the top translucent, but not in a noticeable way.

The Lace Top goes perfectly with another soon-to-come pattern.

Most Pretty Basics are born when I look into my closet and think “now why don’t I have a X?” The thing I miss is always something very basic that can be paired with anything. In the latest case, the thing I was missing was – and I kid you not – a long jersey skirt.

I know I had a few at some point, but now – no. So I made a new one, and added the pattern to The Pretty Basic Collection.

As said, both patterns will come out this Friday, so stay tuned for The Pretty Basic Lace Top and The Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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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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Over and Under – Three ways to rock a dress

Our featured pattern for this week is The Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern. The dress is made with two layers of light viscose jersey, and topped with a large hood. The pattern comes with a hoodless variation as well, and you can make the dress with only one layer of fabric if you so choose. I’ve made two mods of this pattern. I showcased both dresses last week, and the last few posts have featured different dress styles based on the black and blue twins.

I thought I’d make one Everyday With an Edge -post with these dresses before bringing our next week’s featured product. It’s going to be a flash-offer on a brand new pattern, so be prepared for next week!

In Tuesday’s post, I built two outfits with the same key elements. The first look continues along those lines, and features this summer’s hit product, the fishnet tights.

GrannySquare over Blue Dress

Being cold is one of my least favorite things. I don’t go out without a cardigan unless it’s super-warm! I created the first outfit keeping that in mind.

I used to live in a really cold house. During that time, I crocheted a huge square with sleeves. I wore it nearly daily, and after moving out, the cardigan was forgotten for a while. I dug it out again last spring, and found it to be both comfy and warm on cooler summer days. The GrannySquare Gardigan is available as a free crochet pattern.

I wear the cardigan quite often when stepping out. I love the ragged, flowing edges of it, and the way it allows colorful dresses to shine through it. The blue dress looks especially cute under it.

I completed the outfit with black fishnets and strappy sandals. I also added a lace choker. I made the choker a few days ago since they are starting to be IN again. I took a piece of elastic lace, and sewed a snap fastener to its ends. The project is super-fast and simple, and results in a cute accessory with a vintage vibe.

Party Look

I won’t deny the fact that we go out a lot. Life would be horridly dull without partying, so I wanted to turn the long-sleeved dress into something a bit more nightclub-appropriate.

Clubs are often crowded. I didn’t want to add a whole bunch of accessories that can get caught or fall off. Instead, I pushed the cuffs of the sleeves up to my elbows. This simple trick both shortens the sleeves, and enhances their shape. The over-all look of the dress changes a bit, to a more playful direction. I added a narrow belt, and tied its free end around itself. The belt sits a bit lower on the hips, and the looped end pulls it to an asymmetrical shape.

The silver pumps repeat the studs on the belt, and large silver hoops tie the details together.

I really like this easy, simple look. It’s quick to create, comfy to wear, and even cool on a sweaty dance floor. Dress styles such as this are my go to choices on Friday nights.

Flying Velvet

I have a lot of clothes with a high wardrobe malfunction risk. One of these “be very careful in this” -garments is a long wrap skirt made with velvet. I picked it up from a flea market, and though it is one of my favorite skirts, I never feel entirely comfortable in it.

I wanted to find a solution to my little dilemma, and decided to pair the skirt with the dress!

Tied over a knee-length dress, the wrap skirt will still fly open at an opportune gust of wind, but now it won’t matter. The dress beneath adds a safety feature, and serves as a cute top.

A accessorized this look only with a silver necklace and silver pumps.

The outfit is really nice, I like this look, but… thanks to a dress and a long layer of velvet, it’s warm. I’d feel uncomfortable wearing this to a club, though it does look pretty. My eyebrows would melt and I don’t even paint them on.

I hope you’ve had fun reading about these dress styles. Next week, I get to show you brand new dresses, including the one I actually wore for my Birthday party!

Until then.

Love,

Heather

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Black and Blue Dresses

My spouse travels a lot due to his work. Whenever he goes abroad for a longer while, I make myself a new jersey dress. This habit started at the very beginning of our relationship, and, well, I have lots of dresses now. The latest addition is a petrol blue number. It’s a mod of our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern.

Colors are scarce in my wardrobe. I like black, and wear it most of the time. A while back I was, once again, turning the internet upside down in search of a cute fabric. Instead of a skull printed cotton I was actually looking for, my eye caught petrol blue viscose jersey. The concept of wearing a blue jersey dress seemed both foreign and intriguing, so I ordered the fabric along with a bit of black lace.

… and some other little things such as a whole heap of black jersey.

The fabric arrived, and it was soft and nice and Very Blue. Though wearing it seemed daunting, I stuck to my decision, and turned it into a dress.

The Hooded Dress Pattern is a pretty straight-forward style. The original version is made with two layers of light jersey and a hood. I made the blue dress with just one layer, and without a hood. I cut the neckline a bit lower, and double-bound it. A touch of black lace was just what the bright petrol needed!

The original dress has a knee-length, super wide hem. I made the hem a little shorter, and a lot narrower. I also trimmed the hem with black lace. I knew that I’d wear this with black accessories, and wanted to add as much black as possible.

I love the way the dress turned out, but I’ve only worn it out once. It’s so blue I feel like an exclamation point in it! The shape and style, especially the sleeves, please me quite well, so I…

… maybe made another one in black…

The black version of the jersey dress has quickly become my go to -dress. I wear this on almost every “I cannot find the right dress!” -night, and always feel super-comfortable in it. And the best part is that this style takes accessories really well! On Friday’s Everyday With an Edge -post, I’ll show you three styles based on these dresses.

Until then!

Love,

Heather

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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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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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