The Basics Morphs

The Pretty Basics are my favorite part of our collection. The Basics are designed to go together, and to make getting dressed easier. Our basics designs have a bit more in common than you’d think: these dresses, skirts, and tops are crafted from the same basic elements. That means that pattern pieces fit together, and you can actually Frankenstein these together to create bigger and better basics!

Let’s take The Sleeveless Wrap Dress for an example. Sleeveless dresses are comfy and cool during the summer, and most women love them. I’m one of those who just don’t like the basic sleeveless shape. For obvious reasons, I had a Sleeveless Wrap Dress that just sat in my closet dreaming about sleeves. I didn’t have any fabric left after making it, and a while back, I decided to shorten it, and use the extra bit of hem to sew sleeves. For sewing the sleeves, I used our Pretty Basic Jersey Top Pattern. I took the sleeve pattern from The Jersey Top, shortened it, cuffed it, and sewed it onto the dress. No alterations needed!

Another thing I did with The Basics is my spaghetti strap dresses. Tops and skirts are a perfect combo for the summer, but personally, I prefer dresses. I want clothes to stay put, and dresses behave better. Again, for obvious reasons I had a long skirt and a spaghetti strap top made with the same fabric. I wanted these two to be a dress, so I took off the elastic on the skirt’s waist, cut the top’s hem to length, and sewed. For this, I did need to take the skirt’s waist in a little, but if you’re morphing these two patterns together, the difference in waist width can easily be removed when cutting.

After combining my Spaghetti Strap Top and Jersey Skirt into a dress, I realized I liked it so much I needed another one. I used lace and skin-toned mesh to create a spaghetti strap bodice, and made the hem with black lycra. This dress is super-comfy, and so pretty I want to wear it all the time!

The Pretty Basics are on sale until August 6th, so now is a good time to pick up some patterns and use them to create wicked morphs! If you do, feel free to share your creations on our Facebook page.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Fits Like a Glove

… or a Pretty Basic Jersey Dress.

As you might know, I got married in April. We didn’t have a huge party, but the event still demanded a new dress. I didn’t want anything fancy or over-the-top, just a nice dress I could wear as a party dress in the future.

That wasn’t an order too tall, but it still sent me into a spiral of dress-panic. First there was color to decide, then there was material, and then style. So I did what any nervous bride would: chose my favorite color and my favorite style, and topped it off with with a crazy fabric.

… and then changed my mind a gazillion times, and ended up getting married in something else.

I had a snake-skin lycra stashed, and decided to turn it into The Dress. I wanted over-hand cuffs like in our BombShell Dress, a naked-detail on the back, a long hem, and a hood. Some of those requirements actually made it into the finished garment.

Sewing a dress isn’t always easy. With this one, I had a little accident when cutting. You see, the selvage edges weren’t symmetrical. There was a wide printless bit on one end, and I didn’t notice that until I had already cut my back pieces. At that point, The Dress needed a serious time-out.

At that point, I also noticed that the lycra smelled like PVC, got offended, and used the time-out to create Mary’s Dress.

Upon returning to The Dress, I decided to sew a Pretty Basic Jersey Dress instead of a long number. Everything went beautifully on the second go, and I even got my over-hand cuffs.

I wanted the back to be revealing, and still comfortable. To avoid slipping and sliding, I cut the back into a V-shape, and filled it with a skin-tone mesh. I bound the neckline with a strip of fabric, and saw this was good. I even made a hood for the dress, and decided to make it detachable. Hoods are cool, but it’s nice to have the option of going without one. I haven’t gotten around to sewing snap fasteners to the hood, so you don’t get to see that today.

On the morning of my actual wedding day, I changed my mind for the gazillion-and-first time, and figured I’d just wear this after all. I pulled it on, walked to the kitchen, and noted that my pretty little lycra dress climbs. The registry office was a 10 minute walk away, and I didn’t feel like pulling this down fifteen times on the way over there. So I wore Mary’s Dress.

I did wear this tuned-up Pretty Basic Jersey Dress to a Goth party a while back, and it was perfect for that!

I do love the way this dress turned out, though making it was a bit of an adventure. That just goes to show that even professionals make horrendous mistakes!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Pretty Basic Jersey Dress near-fiasco!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Birthday Dress 2018

It was my Birthday a week ago on Tuesday, and just like every year, I made myself a new dress. My B-Day celebrations consisted of shopping with Mom and Dad and eating loads of cake, so I didn’t get to wear this. I plan to, though, since summers are always full of fun! This year, my birthday dress came together really slowly. I ordered black satin from Minerva Crafts in March maybe, cut into it in April, and spent two months arguing with it. Sometimes, fabrics just refuse to come out the way I want them to. Finally, on the eve of my Birthday actually, I said “fine then”, and gave the dress a pre-birth make-over.

I had a cap sleeved blouse I got from a flea market. I liked the fabric, but not the sleeves. I took the blouse, ripped the sleeves off, and cut its hem off. Then, I ripped off the bodice of the dress, and Frankensteined the two together. I proceeded to install big puff-sleeves, and cuff them with the black and white remnants of the blouse.

The original plan was to create an all-black dress with a fitted bodice and empire waist. I ran into issues at the waist, though. I needed to sew a lot of darts into the bodice to get it to fit, and that just doesn’t look good on satin. Getting rid of the original bodice, and replacing it with that of a blouse saved me from a lot of trouble! This is definitely not the optimal way to make a dress, but it worked this time. And taught me not to sew darts into satin.

My Birthday Dress features a black and white bodice with an open collar, huge puff-sleeves, and a long empire-lined hem. It’s super-comfy, and I plan to wear it out soon!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Birthday Dress post!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

PS: I’m on vacation right now, which means that The Pretty Basics are on sale. I’ll try to schedule an Everyday With an Edge -post for every Friday through July, but will make no promises. Follow us on IG for (hopefully) more regular updates!

More Faerie Looks

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

Well I was Cold

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

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

Wide Wide Hems

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Amanda’s Dress

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

Heather

Skirt To Dress

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Wrap Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you a few looks based on our wrapped designs.

Our featured products this weeks are all of our wrapped designs, including The Sleeveless Wrap Dress, The Wrap Skirt, Wrap-Cut Tops, Wrap-Cut Dress, The Bishop Wrap, and The Hooded Wrap Top. That’s six patterns, and all of them are on sale for VIPs. You can gain access to these special offers simply by ordering our newsletter.

I’ve tried to include all of these patters in this week’s wrap looks, but some were left out. I’m going to use older photos today to show my favorite looks made with the overlooked dresses!

Light and Bright

Our Wrap-Cut Tops are perfect for the summer. They’re light to wear, and fun to mix and match. The pattern includes two styles. This one has an asymmetric hem and a very revealing neckline. One side of the front is made with a layer of lace, which makes the top extra-special. For this look, I wore the orange top with a light cotton skirt. It’s made with a super-long strip of fabric, and it flies like crazy. Luckily it has a tight layer of jersey under the light cotton!

This looks is fun and cute, and pretty perfect for anything you can think to do on a summer day. Whether you choose to visit museums or flea markets, this style makes the day even more fun.

Spaghetti Wrap

Summer can get really hot, even in Finland. During those “my eyebrows are melting days”, I like to go with easy outfits. A spaghetti strap top paired with a long skirt is a classic summer look. It’s comfy, it’s forgiving, and very easy to wear. For the second stop of today’s wrap looks, I wanted to create a simple summer style. I paired a simple top (this one is from H&M, but we do carry a Spaghetti Strap Top Pattern!) with our Wrap Skirt. I kept jewelry very simple: a choker and earrings is plenty on a hot day.

Though this look is classic and minimalist, I love it. It’s light and airy, and serves as a perfect base for all kinds of cardigans. I actually photographed this look with our upcoming, currently nameless cardigan. It was really very warm and you can see it on my face.

Favorite Wrap Looks

During the Wrapped Up -photoshoot, I left out two dresses. Our Lace-Trimmed Wrap-Cut Dress is one of them. This dress is super-comfy, and I love the flattering lines on it. Last fall, I paired it with a black and white corselet and a huge sun hat. I still love this look, and will most likely wear it out soon!

The Bishop Wrap is the other missing dress. I’ve talked about this dress a lot, and there are many looks to choose from! I mostly wear The Bishop Wrap either as is with loads of jewelry, or with my BloodStain Corselet. This look with my Tropical Breeze Shawl is still my favorite, though.

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Wrap Dress Looks

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

Wrap Dress Styles - Snakeskin

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

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

Bare Minimum

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

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

Laced Up

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

Sleeveless to Short-Sleeved

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

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

sleeveless wrapdress, four

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until then.

Love,

Heather

Mary and Jane Looks

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

Red Mary

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

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

Red Jane

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time.

Love,

Heather