Short Skirt Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you what I did to a pair of H&M booties. Today, I wanted to feature them in a post, and it turned out… well, a bit different from usual. We have legs, we have hair, we have corsets and see-through tops, so here’s today’s short skirt looks!

Not-so-Opaque

See-through tops were all the rage in the nineties. That was also the time of the “too short skirt”. For the first look, I combined the two, and actually kinda liked it.

A couple of years back, I made a tight little velvet skirt out of a dress I didn’t like. The skirt is actually nearly knee-length, but I like to wear it scrunched up. That way, it settles on me nicer, and loses its desire to climb. I paired it up with a printed mesh top I got from a flea market eons ago. The top is grey, which I can live with, has ruffle sleeves I really like, but sports a lacing at the front. A while back, I realized that since the top has raglan sleeves, and is therefore completely symmetrical, I can just wear it backwards. I have no issues with a laced up back, so that’s exactly what I did with this look.

I really like this look, and would gladly wear it out. Also, I’d like to point out what the combination of short skirt and high heels does to one’s legs!

Silvery

We carry a sewing tutorial I haven’t said a single word about. This week, I actually noted that it was only listed on Craftsy! That explains why I’ve managed to completely overlook it, and today, after listing The Tutu Sewing Tutorial, I wanted to feature it in an outfit.

I made my tutu with a metallic mesh, and have not worn it once. This skirt looks a-ma-zing, and is pretty easy to create, too. It is super short, though, so be certain to wear micros with it!

For this look, I paired my silvery tutu with my zip-up corset, micros that match the waist band, and my new sky-high heels.

This over-the-top look is something I really would love to wear, but where to? A costume party, probably, or maybe a New Year’s Do. If you have ideas of an appropriate venue for this look, leave me a comment.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s short skirt looks.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Party Looks

December is the time of parties, both big and small. I personally prefer the small ones, and wanted to dedicate today’s posts for party looks. Both of these styles are pretty casual, so they’re perfect for informal get-togethers with family and friends. They both feature the same petticoat, but are pretty different in other aspects.

Floral

A while back, I introduced you to Daisy’s Dress. This two-toned little number is pretty easy to sew (if you’re not intimidated by elastic velvet) and fun to wear. I made mine with black lycra and flower print velvet. Today, I wanted to use Daisy’s Dress as the base for the first of our party looks. I paired the dress up with a frilly petticoat, and black tights. The dress, being made with two fabrics, has a seam at the waist. To conceal it, I took an elastic belt, and wore it backwards so that its buckle wouldn’t draw attention to itself.

Since it is starting to get a bit chilly, I wore a light cotton scarf with the dress. Long rectangular scarves are really easy to just sort of drape on, and wrap into when needed.

This look turned out quite cute with all of its subtle details, but I still prefer the next one more!

Dark

For today’s second look, I went with my Spaghetti Strap Dress. I made this using a Spaghetti Strap Top and a Jersey Skirt which I chopped at the knee. As a result of morphing these two together, I got a super-comfy dress that’s ridiculously easy to both wear and accessorize. This is the kind of dress that works for any occasion. The design is classic and versatile, and I don’t think there is a dress on this world that takes accessories better.

I wore my Spaghetti Strap Dress over a long-sleeved mesh top and my frilly petticoat. To conceal the seam at the waist, I wore my elastic belt, adjusting the buckle to the side. Off-center, the buckle creates a detail a bit more interesting.

This is the kind of look I really wear. It’s easy, it’s basic, it comes with no window for malfunction. And it’s black.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s party looks.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Short-Sleeved Styles

November is a really dark month here in Finland. It hasn’t yet snowed, and the sun comes up for only seven hours per day. That number will go down every day until Christmas, so I hope you’ll understand why this and next weeks photos are a bit darker than usual! I usually take photos during daylight hours, but in cloudy November, it’s a bit impossible. So today, we’ll take a look at short-sleeved styles with a touch of sepia tones. I actually wanted to use the same top for both outfits just to show you how versatile basic garments can be.

Crinkled

Last summer, I think it was, I shared a tutorial on how to make a crinkle skirt. I haven’t worn mine much, but I do love the way it looks. For today’s first look, I paired The Crinkle Skirt up with my frilly petticoat, and a short sleeved blouse I got from a flea market. It’s a quite basic H&M blouse made with elastic material. It doesn’t look like much, but it does go beautifully with all kinds of skirts. I’m actually thinking about getting another one, and modding it by adding a bit of ruffles… Basic tops are, after all, the easiest ones to modify.

This look is really comfy, and pretty simple. As such, it can be worn pretty much anywhere. I’ve worn a similar outfit to a bar, a shopping spree, and for just visiting friends.

Victorian

With short-sleeved styles, one often thinks about summer. You can, though, rock short-sleeved tops during the winter as well. Pair them up with detachable sleeves, cardigans, and long gloves for a warmer look, or just rely on the fact that houses are often pretty warm. For this look, I paired the H&M blouse with our Victorian Skirt, and my BloodStain Corselet. This is the kind of outfit I would gladly wear out anytime. I love this skirt, and the corselet with its velvet print is just divine. This look, despite consisting of layers of long hems and a corset, is surprisingly comfortable, and does look very much like me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s short-sleeved styles.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Lace Dress Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you a dress I made for a special occasion. Today, I wanted to share outfits based on the new dress, and its source of inspiration. I made my Lace Dress with our Hooded Dress Pattern with minor modifications. Instead of two layers, I only used one, and instead of long bishop sleeves, I went with short ones. The dress goes with a contrast colored slip, and I can wear it either with it, or with something else. For today, I styled up my Lace Dress for a darkly inclined party, and our Hooded Dress for Halloween Day. Let’s jump right in with wide hem dress looks!

Lace

For the first look, I wore my Lace Dress with its purple slip. The color doesn’t show in the photos at all, and it’s pretty subdued in real life, too. The combo does look pretty, though, with a hint of purple shining through black lace.

This design is super-simple. It doesn’t have too many seams, or details, and that’s why it can look a little plain worn as is. I wore my black corset over the dress to give it more detail, and draped black pearls around my neck. Too much jewellery is always a great idea, but for this look, I chose to wear only a few bangles. I chose black pearl earrings and a black earcuff , and made an attempt at a more challenging hair-do. Part from the hair, I’m quite pleased with this look. It’s comfy and cute, and totally house-party worthy!

Meow

Last Halloween, I went as a cat. I wore our bodycon Jersey Dress and kitty ears, and even did a cat make-up. The costume was so much fun: it even got me a chance to push things off tables! This year, I have something else planned, but I still wanted to use the ears as part of an outfit. Halloween costumes are fun to come up with and create, but if you’re in a rush and need something super-fast, you can always go simple. Making an effort, even the slightest one, is polite toward hosts if you’re going to a party, and can make a day even more fun. For the second of our wide hem dress looks, I wore our Hooded Dress (the hoodless option) over our Crinkle Skirt. I used an elastic belt to give the simple dress a detail, and wore cat ears to push the look into a feline direction.

This look is also super-comfy, and I would love to wear this out. The Crinkle Skirt has a wide hem, and worn as a petticoat, it makes the dress’s hem look even larger. I totally love that effect!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s wide hem dress looks!

Next week is Halloween week, and I was thinking about doing a “last minute costume” -post for Tuesday. We’re going to have our Halloween party on Saturday, so you’re going to have to wait until next week to see what I wore!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Lace Dress

A while back, nearly five weeks ago, we went to London for the weekend. We went to museums, ate all things tasty, and saw Garbage. I’ve been hoping to see them ever since Only Happy When It Rains came out as a single, so the occasion naturally required a new lace dress. I made one out of black lace and purple lycra, and felt very good about it. I also felt very good about finally getting to see Garbage: it was well worth the 13 year wait!

I chose to sew a separate slip and a lace dress. This way, I could combine the pieces with other elements, too. The materials for this new dress came from our local fabric store. I went in looking for skin toned jersey for a slip, and walked out it purple lycra and black lace. Could have been worse, though. I could have walked out empty handed!

After pre-washing the fabrics, I started to think about patterns. A simple design seemed like the best option. I wanted a narrow, purple slip, and a black lace dress with a wide hem. Choosing a design for the slip was easy: our spaghetti strap top worked perfectly after adding length to the hem. But the lace… well, that gave me a hard time. I wanted to make the dress with as few seams as possible. Patterned fabrics have a tendency to dislike vertical seams in particular. After giving the dilemma an entire hour of thought, I decided to go with our Hooded Dress Pattern.

Cutting the dress was fun. I’d chosen, at random, a nice and sturdy cotton based lace. It had a little bit of elasticity to it, and that promised a dress both cute and comfy. To make it easier to actually get into the dress, I installed a zipper into the center back seam. I used most of the fabric into the dress’s bodice and hem. This meant that I had to settle for short sleeves. Long ones would have of course been nice, especially with winter coming, but short ones are sometimes OK, too. I went with a basic cuffed sleeve, and sewed pleats onto the shoulder for an added detail.

The finished dress was even more comfortable than I imagined! I was so happy to pull it on, and notice that it, even combined with the slip, required no tugging or pulling. The dress even takes accessories well, and I’ll show you an outfit based on it on Friday. I’ll also style up my hoodless version of our Hooded Dress, so stay tuned!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Blanket Coat

This week, we should be focusing on knitting patterns. Instead, I wanted to give you a quick tutorial on how to make a blanket coat! As fall is coming, we all need something easy to sew, something that will both lift our spirits, and make us feel pretty. A blanket coat fits that bill perfectly. This project is super easy, takes about two hours, and grants you a flowy coat to wear on cold, grey days.

How to sew a Blanket Coat

You will need light wool fabric, and satin lining. You can use other lining materials, too, but satin is preferred since it looks pretty, and drapes beautifully. Drape is the most important thing to look at when choosing materials for this coat: there will be a lot of fabric around you, and if it doesn’t fall soft and pretty, the coat might look bulky. Pick light and soft fabrics!

You’ll need about 80″ of 60″ wide fabric, both lining and wool.

How to sew a Blanket Coat

Fold your fabric lengthwise. You can make this coat as long as you like, naturally, but a knee-length version is the most practical to wear. It keeps you warm enough while flowing around you, but won’t weigh too much, and most definitely won’t drag through mud. How to sew a Blanket Coat

Next, determine the center of your material. You can do this by folding the fabric widthwise, or by measuring. The latter is more accurate, of course. Cut one layer of the fabric open along the center line. Shape the upper part of the opening to a V-shape. At this point, round the corners. This is entirely optional: this coat will look just as nice with crisp corners as it does with a rounded hem.

Repeat with your lining.

Sew the wool and lining together with right sides facing leaving a gap at the back hem. Turn, and close the gap.

There are loads of tutorials on how to make a blanket coat on the internet. Most of them end here, leaving you to tie the coat on with a belt, crunching up all the fabric at the sides and leaving your arms to freeze.

We’ll take this one step further.

How to sew a Blanket Coat

Determine the distance from shoulder to waist, and mark it on both sides. Measure out your waist, half it, and transfer the measurement to the coat. Then, sew buttonholes through both the front and back of the coat. This will attach the front to the back.

Open the buttonholes and push a belt through.

Sew another buttonhole to the top of the center front opening, and add a button to the other side for easy fastening.

You can also embellish the coat if you happen to feel like it. Add patch pockets before sewing the lining to the wool, or add lace applique to the thing. Or you can do what I did: take a Queen Anne’s Lace Scarf you never wear, and sew it to the neckline as an afterthought to create a warmer collar!

How to sew a Blanket Coat

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tutorial on how to make a blanket coat. Oh, and I did incorporate this week’s featured product into the photos!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Lee’s Dress

Last weekend, I went to London to see Garbage play at Brixton Academy. The trip exhausted me a bit, so instead of pushing out a proper blog post for Tuesday, I updated this one in order to make it appear a bit more like a proper tutorial. Now I don’t know how well I did, but I do hope it’ll offer aid in transforming dresses. And speaking of dresses, I made a new one for London. It’s inspired by traditional Japanese fashion, made with faux silk (or real one if you so choose), and launched today! Here’s Lee’s Dress, a kimono dress that’s ridiculously easy to sew!

I found the fabric for Lee’s Dress around Christmas. It refused to tell me what it wanted to be when it grew up, so I planned to sew it into a wrap skirt, a wrap dress, a sleeveless dress with a waterfall neckline, a circle top, and even loose pants. The fabric refused all my ideas, and then, all of a sudden, it announced its desire to become a kimono dress. I said good heavens, that certainly took you long enough, and set to work.

The idea of creating a kimono-inspired dress has been bugging me for a while now. I love the shape of a kimono-collar and the loose, square sleeves but using those elements in a modern design was a bit scary. Luckily, a quick trip around the internet proved that kimono-inspired dresses have been around for quite a while without really offending anyone. Lee’s Dress was born pretty quickly after that. I wanted the dress to have a perfect fit, and spent two days measuring and re-measuring and over-thinking it. Finally, I’d gathered up enough courage to cut the dress and to sew it. And lo and behold, it turned out perfect! The only thing I altered was adding darts the back of the bodice. Other than that, everything fit exactly as planned, and I wore Lee’s Dress out to dinner on Friday night.

In London.

Lee’s Dress is designed with a kimono collar, and empire waist, an A-lined hem sewn with panels, and a short zipper in the center back seam. Long, loose sleeves can be gathered with ribbons, and worn either short or long. This dress is best made with non-elastic materials, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that a slightly stretchy fabric would work, too. An elastic satin, for example, would be a good choice for Lee’s Dress. Jerseys, on the other hand, are too floppy for this dress. Choosing a high quality non-elastic material will make Lee’s Dress look classy and smart and, let’s face it, more expensive.

Lee’s Dress will be on sale for all VIPs through next week, so if you haven’t already, now’s a good time to join our mailing list to gain access to all sorts of special offers.

I hope you’ll enjoy our brand new kimono dress sewing pattern!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Daisy’s Dress Looks

Last Friday, I launched a brand new sewing pattern. It’s for a high waist dress made with two kinds of fabrics. For mine, I used solid lycra and a printed velvet, and today, I wanted to show you two velvet dress looks made with it. I call this style Daisy’s Dress, and it’s on sale for all VIPs until Monday 17th. This velvet dress is designed with informal parties in mind, and made to be as comfy as possible. It’s pretty easy to sew, too, if you aren’t intimidated by velvet and elastic materials!

Puffed

I like dresses that come with an element of versatility. Daisy’s Dress is pretty straightforward in design, but it does have a fun feature. If you so choose, you can insert a ribbon into the hem, and turn the dress from A-lined to puff-ball! For the first of today’s velvet dress looks, I wore the dress with a gathered hem. As Daisy’s Dress is made with a printed velvet, it doesn’t require a lot of accessories. Hairdo and make-up can do a lot for this dress, and change the way it looks drastically.

For the first look, I accessorized very lightly. I wore my chiffon sash to hide the seam at the waist. I tied the sash into a bow to gain a small detail at the waist, and chose black and red bangles as jewelry. This easy and elegant look can work for any kind of family get-together, from GranDad’s birthday to second cousins graduation.

Warmer

As fall draws closer, cardigans creep back into our everyday lives. I wanted to incorporate one into the second of our velvet dress looks. As Daisy’s Dress has a lot of red in it, I chose to pair it up with my red cardigan. I knit this one last fall, I think, and it features stockinette and seed stitch. This one is pretty simple, and I like it best paired with basic dresses. It does work for a party look, too, though it does tone Daisy’s Dress down to that “just having dinner with boo” -level.

I really like this look. It’s cute, comfy, and warm. Though it is a bit on the colorful side, I ‘d totally wear this out!

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Blue Dress MakeOver

Each fall, I go through my wardrobe, and pick out dresses I haven’t worn in a long time. Instead of getting rid of them, I like to give them make-overs. Today, I wanted to show you one victim. You might remember the petrol blue dress I made a while back? The one I kinda like but never wear out because it’s so bleeding blue? Yeah, that’s the one. Yesterday, I took the dress, and asked it whether it would like some black inserts. The dress said OK, so I proceeded on with my dress make-over.Dress Make-Over - this is where we'll start from

The original dress had a short hem that widened just a little bit. I wanted to keep the shape, and enhance it to create a wider A-lined hem.

I started by opening the side seams and center back seam all the way to the waist. Instead of cutting, I carefully picked out the stitches. The dress had shrunk in the wash a bit (it is a well known fact that ladies never put on weight, their clothes just shrink and require adjusting) so I wanted to add width to the hem. That’s one of the reasons I picked the seams open instead of using scissors: this way, I got to work with the original seam and not have to waist fabric on creating a new one.

Dress Make-Over - carefully open side and back seam to the waist

I took a black viscose jersey that almost matched the original fabric in quality. Then, I proceeded to cut out wedges out of it. The original hem was a little bit longer at the back, so the wedges needed to match that. I cut a wedge for each side, and a longer one to the back by measuring the slanted edge to fit the open edge of the hem.

I serged the wedges into place one side at a time, taking advantage of the original seam.

Dress Make-Over - sew in wedges

I hemmed the wedges by doing a basic rolled hem. The original dress was hemmed with lace, but, sadly, I had none left. As the wedges create a big contrast to the original color, I figured a contrasting hem detail wouldn’t go amiss.

Dress Make-Over - hem wedges, try using contrasting methods!

I had some fabric left, and the blue dress was a bit revealing. I don’t have issues with wearing low cut things, but it is starting to get cold outside. A fall dress is more comfy if it offers a bit more coverage.

After deciding what to do with the neckline, I proceeded to cut a yoke out of the black fabric. I took the pattern I’d used for the dress, and drafted out the shape of the original neckline onto fabric. By continuing the shoulder lines and drawing out a new neckline, I gained a yoke, which I then just sewed together.

My original plan was to sew it with a real button list, but as I was pressed for time, I went with a fake one. After sewing the yoke, I stitched it to place by hand to avoid ripping the neckline binding off.

Dress Make-Over - an after-thought yoke makes any dress warmer

At this point, the dress make-over was starting to look really good, but I wanted one more detail.

I took the remainders of fabric, and cut out two wide strips. I sewed them together, turned the tube right side out, and attached it to the back of the dress to create a sort of a half-belt onto the back. There must be a proper word for it, but right now, it eludes me. The result, though, pleased me quite well. The black bit at the waist creates an interesting detail, and hides the starting point of the wedges. Though I did plan to leave them revealed, and sewed them in neatly enough, a distracting detail is always welcome.

Dress Make-Over - add details!

The finished dress is a lot wider at the hem, which, interestingly, makes it appear a bit longer as well. I love the two-toned hem, and the added yoke makes the dress much warmer and comfier. After surgery, my blue dress feels a lot more like me!

Dress Make-Over - and this is how it turned out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my dress make-over!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Daisy’s Dress

On Tuesday, I showed you a Pretty Basic Jersey Dress I made from a printed, elastic velvet. Today, we’ll continue with the same fabric. Originally, I got it for a pattern I wanted to make. Tuesday’s dress was a by-product, and today, I’m happy to announce the launch of Daisy’s Dress, an empire-lined velvet dress fit for informal parties!

Daisy’s Dress is easy to sew. It’s actually border lining a Pretty Basic! Since it is designed for challenging materials, I decided it deserved a place among the more difficult styles. Daisy’s Dress is made with two fabrics, one of them being printed velvet. There are many things you have to take into consideration when working with prints, and velvet raises the bar even higher. Elasticity adds yet another bar to the difficulty, so though the pattern itself is quite simple, this dress can prove tricky to make.

Daisy’s Dress features a high waist line, a shaped hem, and short sleeves. These design elements make the dress feminine and flattering. I wanted to make this velvet dress as easy to wear and accessorize as possible. Making this can prove challenging, so wearing it should definitely not be that!

This dress comes with an option to sew a double-bound neckline, and a puff-ball hem. You can also use a variety of materials for this design. Try using a solid velvet, or even a thick, elastic satin. Choosing to sew the dress in two layers gives you an option to use a light satin lining and elastic lace. And if the need to install a zipper arises, pop it into the side seam.

Daisy’s Dress Sewing Pattern is our featured product for this week and next, which means that it’s on sale for all VIPs. To gain access to this offer and others like it, just order our newsletter. We send out a weekly note with a recap of past week’s blog posts, and a discount code for featured products.

I hope you’ll have fun sewing up Daisy’s Dresses! Next week, I’ll show you a few looks created with this velvet dress.

Until then.

Love,

Heather