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

Pretty Basic Velvet Dress

A few weeks ago, I went to the fabric store in search of a black lycra with a blue floral print on it. I came home with a black velvet with a red floral print on it, so I call this a success. I had planned to use the fabric for a new pattern, but I had enough for two projects. As I needed a not-black party dress, I decided to use some of my new material for a Pretty Basic Velvet Dress.

Basic Velvet Dress - printed fabrics love simple patterns

Velvet, especially printed velvet, is a pain to work with. You have to take both the direction of nap and print into consideration when cutting. I got the nap down perfectly, but the print gave me a harder time. The print has flowers against a night sky in it. A lovely, beautiful sentiment, but along with blooms, the print has moons on it. Large, round moons that serve as efficient eye-catchers. As they are scattered across the fabric, it’s nearly impossible to avoid having a full moon in an awkward place on your dress. I managed to get one smack in the middle on my belly.

I used our Pretty Basic Jersey Dress Pattern for this dress. A printed velvet requires a calm canvas, and a simple shell felt like the best choice for me. I wanted a dress that could work for both informal parties as well as quiet nights out. A basic pattern allows the printed fabric to steal the spotlight, and gives the dress a casual feel.The original pattern has long sleeves. I wanted to make my dress a little lighter. A long-sleeved, printed dress can look too much. Short sleeves take it back just a little.

I used the same binding for both sleeves and hem. This gives my basic velvet dress a uniformed, polished look.

I’m really happy about the way my basic velvet dress turned out. It’s cute, it’s comfortable, and with the right accessories, it works for all kinds of occasions. I’m planning to wear this to a sister-in-laws wedding party later this fall!

Basic Velvet Dress - short sleeves give the dress a casual look

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my basic velvet dress. You might see more of this fabric on Friday, so stay tuned!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Fall Looks with Faerie Dragon

September is almost upon us, and that for me has always meant the beginning of fall. Autumn is the time to knit, to watch the leaves turn yellow, and to prepare for winter. I usually like to go through my dresses during the first weeks of fall, and get rid of the ones I no longer care for. This year, I think I might do some serious purging. But before that, lets take a look at some fall looks. Our featured product this week is The Faerie Set, and I wanted to take this time to remind you that you can get The Faerie Gloves for free simply by ordering our newsletter. This offer expires on Halloween, so there’s still plenty of time to claim a free copy of the pattern!

Long and Elegant

For the first of today’s fall looks, I chose to wear the dress I made for my fortieth Birthday. I used a light viscose jersey, and added a lace yoke and sleeves. The dress turned out lovely, and it’s gotten a lot of wear. It’s super-comfy, and the see-through yoke gives it a unique look. This dress doesn’t deal that well with accessories, but shawls work wonderfully with it. For this look, I chose to throw The Faerie Dragon over my neck. I love the way it drapes over my shoulders at the back, though you can’t really see it in the photos.

Short and Fun

When choosing outfits, I usually go for the skin-tight options. One reason for this is that it’s almost always windy outside Wind catches clothes, makes wide hems fly, and leaves an outfit in complete disarray. I really don’t like it when that happens, and wearing figure-hugging dresses is an easy way to avoid it. For this look, I paired our Pretty Basic Lace Top with a pencil skirt I picked up from a flea market a while back. The skirt is made with a lively material, and I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to wear with it. On photo-day, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and pair it with another lively material. I didn’t expect the combo to work, but it did! The result pleases me well, and I’m pretty certain this outfit gets to go out pretty soon. As a finishing touch, I wore The Faerie Dragon wrapped around my neck. After all, winter is coming, and we need all the warmth we can get.

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Short Dress Looks with Faerie Set

This week, we’ll take a look at some more outfits with The Faerie Set. I love the way this colorful set works with dresses, and today, I wanted to show you two fun short dress looks. Both of these styles are perfect for stepping out, be it drinks or a late dinner.

Pretty Basic

A while back, I showed you a dress I made by combining our Pretty Basic Jersey Skirt and Spaghetti Strap Top. Originally, the dress was long and flowing, but as summer came, I needed a short dress. Long hems are just too much when it’s warm out! I chopped the dress above the knee, and decided I like it better this way. A short dress is cooler to wear during the summer, and can easily be paired with long-sleeved Tees, petticoats, and fun leg wear during the winter.

For this look, I wore my FrankenDress with black tights, buckled heels, and The Faerie Set. I used a simple belt to cover the seam at the waist, and left my hair partly loose to bring a romantic feel to the look. Large earrings give the style another detail.

Lacey

You may have noticed that I really like little black dresses. I have one in almost every material and they’re perfect for creating fun short dress looks! For today’s second outfit, I chose a short spaghetti strap dress made with lace. This dress is actually one my favorite ones. It’s cute, it’s comfy, and it’s a bit on the looser side so I can wear it even when I’m feeling fat.

For this look, I wore the lacey dress over a black slip. Lace as a material is see-through, so this dress can’t be worn on its own. I’m thinking about making a contrast-colored slip, or even a skin-toned one. Just need to pop by the fabric store real quick…

I wore The Faerie Dragon thrown over my neck to give the dress a bit more coverage. Worn like this, a shawl reveals the back which I think looks nice for a change. The Faerie Gloves add more color to the look, and keep hands and wrists warm.

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Faerie Looks for Fall

This week, I wanted to focus on The Faerie Dragon Set. Again. I really like these knitting patterns, and since the gloves are free for all VIPs until Halloween, I figured we might as well do some outfits with the set! So gain access to the free Faerie Gloves Pattern, all you need to do is to order or newsletter. You’ll then receive a download link to the pattern, and a 20% discount code for a pattern of your choosing. We send out one newsletter per week, so every Friday after 7PM, you’ll receive an email with a news cap, and a 10% discount code for each week’s featured pattern. You can unsubscribe at any time, but I do hope our notes keep you entertained. So in today’s Faerie Looks -post, we’ll look at outfits featuring this beautiful, multicolored Faerie Set.

A fun fact about photos for the next three posts: on the night before photo-day, I slept with a sock bun on. I wore the bun for the first photos, let it out into a curly, messy bun for the next ones, and finally let it loose!

Party

Faerie Looks - a sash draws attention to the waist

For the first look, I went with our Pretty Basic Party Dress. This cute little black dress features a see-through yoke, and a short hem. The pattern comes with two options for the sleeves that you can choose from. And if you don’t like either, you can just use the sleeve from our Pretty Basic Jersey Top or Jersey Dress. All of our Pretty Basics sewing pattern pieces fit together, so you can Frankenstein pretty much anything with them!

For this look, I wore The Party Dress with very little accessories. I chose a long chiffon sash to tie around my waist, and wore The Faerie Gloves to give the look a pop of color.

Faerie Looks - colorful gloves add a cute detail

Corseted

Faerie Looks - a button up corselet serves as an eye-catcher

For the second of today’s Faerie Looks, I wore a jersey dress I made a long time ago. When I first started dating Charming, he had to go abroad on business. He was gone for nearly two weeks, and I needed a pick-me-up as well as a distraction. So I spent that time sewing dresses for myself. This is the first dress I made. It was followed by ten more, if memory serves, and set way to a tradition: whenever Charming goes away on a business trip, I make myself a dress or two.

For this look, I paired the dress with a tulle petticoat, and my brand new elastic corselet. I wore The Faerie Dragon Shawlette over the dress to give the look some color and warmth. I love this style, and I’ve actually worn something similar out many, many times.

Faerie Looks - tulle adds volume to hems

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Elastic Corselet

As you may have noticed, I have a thing about super-comfy clothes. I refuse to wear anything that’s constricting or hard on the skin. If I can feel it, I don’t want to wear it. That’s why I go for elastic materials in everything, including corsets. Now I know what most of you are saying right now: you can’t make a corset from elastic fabric!! You’re absolutely right about that. You can’t make an elastic corset, because it defeats the whole purpose of a corset. You can, though, make an elastic corselet that isn’t meant to be anything more than a decoration. An elastic thing can’t be used for waist reduction or body modification. As such, it also can’t cause damage to the body.

I’ve made quite a few corselets and light corsets in my time, and from my own experience, I dare say that elastic waist corselets are the comfiest of them all. I’ve only had one for a long time now, and I desperately needed another. As we entered June, I took a discarded skirt, and cut into it. I used our Reversible Waist Corset Pattern for this one. I cut out the pieces from elastic material, sewed the corselet up, and decorated it a bit. I added pockets to each side, and sewed thick cotton ribbons to the side seams.

I wanted this elastic corselet to be all black. It has black details, black binding and bone channels, and a black button closure. I chose to go with my trademark criss-cross button fastening. I love the way this looks, and buttons are surprisingly comfortable when a garment is worn. A zipper can get caught into clothing, and it can feel cold worn over a light layer. Buttons don’t do either.

For today’s look, I wore the black corselet over my petrol blue dress. I made this dress using our Hooded Dress Sewing Pattern with only minor alterations. This dress doesn’t have a hood, it’s made with only one layer, and it’s a bit shorten from the original pattern. The shape of the bodice and sleeve are the same, though. I wore the dress with black details and jewelry. Black pearls match the buttons on the corselet, and a black rose in my hair gives this look the romantic detail it deserves.

Thanks to all elastic materials, this look is really comfortable. I love everything about this style, and would totally wear it out.

On a brave day when blue doesn’t scare me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Elastic Corselet post!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather