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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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Two Victorian Skirt Styles

On Tuesday, I showed you sneak peaks of a skirt I made for my Birthday. My black taffeta skirt is all done, but I’ll share it fully next week. Today, I wanted to share two outfits based on another skirt.

My taffeta skirt was made with the help of our Victorian Skirt Drafting Tutorial. I made mine with only one layer, and without the option to wear it hitched up. I have, however, made a full version of the Victorian Skirt, and it’s one of my favorite styles. The skirt is pretty and versatile, and I feel comfortable in it. It’s one of my go-to -garments that both look and feel like Me.

The Victorian Skirt Drafting Tutorial isn’t a pattern, and does not come with one. Instead, it will help you to draft your own pattern for your own measurements. It also comes with a fully illustrated sewing tutorial.

The skirt looks complicated, and can feel intimidating to make, but trust me,  it’s really super-easy!

Wearing this skirt is also easy. Despite the Victorian vibe that practically cries for a corset, the skirt actually likes casual tops, too.

Wrap-Cut Top with Victorian Vibe

Summer calls for lighter outfits, but it’s difficult to lighten a Gothic style. RomantiGoths have a pretty hard time during the warm season: layers of long hems and blouses and corsets can make us very uncomfortable. Popping on a black sundress and just saying F**k This to image is a perfectly acceptable option (I do it all the time) but sometimes it’s nice to go for a more distinct look. I wanted to create a summer style based on The Victorian Skirt.

I made this skirt with polyester satin, so it’s pretty hot during the summer. Using light cotton will make this skirt cooler to wear on warm days. It will look lovely made with cotton, but comfort-level will increase big time. To show you that the skirt doesn’t need to be worn with a corset, I paired it with the orange version of our Wrap-Cut Top. The asymmetric hem and lace create an interesting opposite to the romantic hems. The sleeveless top makes the outfit cool and comfy.

I added black pearls and bangles to this style. I wanted to concentrate on just two colors, and hesitated introducing a third one as jewelry. A two-toned style is elegant in an easy way.

Summer days are often sunny, and going out like this terrifies me. Getting a tan is not an option! When venturing out, I would add a sun hat (black, of course) or a parasol. And of course loads of sunblock!

The Secretary

Introducing masculine elements to feminine outfits is both popular and fun. I like to call this style the Secretary-look. This look works even better with a pencil skirt. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable in them, but they do look super-cute on everyone else.

The Secretary-look is easily achieved by pairing up a fitted blouse, a black tie, and a waist corset. A neat bun increases the effect of this style even further.

I chose to wear this with The Victorian Skirt because this is one of my signature styles. I love this outfit, and would wear it to a party any day.

But with socks and different shoes! Today was suffocatingly warm, and I could not face wearing socks with this skirt.

The Victorian Skirt Drafting Tutorial will be our VIP-offer for the next two weeks. On Tuesday, I’ll show you what I decided to pair my new skirt with for my B-Day party!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Two Velvet Skirt Looks

On Tuesday, I showed you a long velvet skirt I made based on our Lace Skirt Pattern. In today’s Everyday With an Edge -post, I wanted to share two more outfit ideas with the skirt.

Long skirts aren’t the right choice for a walk through a forest, but they’re wonderfully comfortable in the city. A long hem offers coverage from both the sun and curious eyes, and is an easy way to achieve a polished look. My velvet skirt is the kind of skirt that goes with pretty much anything. Paired with a jersey top, it makes a cute everyday-look. With a bit of lace, it turns into a comfy style for an evening out.

I planned these outfits to be as comfy as possible. They’re both best for a day of shopping, or dinner at home with the family

Velvet Skirt with Lace Cardigan

Crochet lace is one of all-time favourite things. It’s beautiful, bears a vintage vibe, and can make any outfit decadently pretty. For this outfit, I paired the velvet skirt with a basic spaghetti-strap top, an elastic belt, and a crochet cardigan I made just this spring.

 I’ve been binging on Downton Abbey lately, and wanted to create an elegant outfit to incorporate a little bit of the 1920s decadence. During the early 1920s, hems started creeping upward, and waist lines dropped drastically. Materials used in clothing were rich and detailed, especially in evening wear.

This style is very much inspired by Downton Abbey’s wealth. I like the way the cardigan and long skirt create a narrow silhouette, and the way black pearls subtly hint toward the era.

Gypsy Look

Everything off-shoulder was a big thing last summer, and the trend is still going strong. Though off-shoulder styles look lovely, they do come with one or two little issues. They tend to fall off, and when one leans over, they offer a good look at everything.

I planned this outfit to be free of both issues.

I made the off-shoulder top with chiffon sleeves last spring, and am still in the process of turning it into a pattern. For the photos, I wore the top over a basic spaghetti-strap top. I also wore a waist corselet over it. Now if the off-shoulder top slides out of place, I have the spaghetti-strapped one to trust. The corselet serves not only as a pretty detail, but to keep the top securely in place when leaning. With added safety-features, the off-shoulder top can actually be worn outside!

I paired the tops and corselet with my velvet skirt to achieve a modern gypsy-look. The large sleeves remind me of fortune tellers, so I wanted to incorporate some of their style. Instead of the romantic style with flowing hems and scarves, I chose a sleeker style. With less to look at, the outfit draws more attention to subtle details.

I felt really comfortable in this outfit, and almost wore it to my aunt’s birthday party. I decided against this only because the day was sunny and hot, and velvet would have been too warm.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the velvet skirt looks!

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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Yoked Blouse

Blouses come in all shapes and styles. Be it slim-fit or loose, feminine or ultra-strict, a blouse is a smart choice for any occasion. Our Yoked Blouse Sewing Pattern is a version of a classic. With a lace-trimmed yoke and translucent details, this style works best for a romantic look.

yoked blouse sewing pattern features chiffon inserts

The model blouse is made with stripe-patterned cotton, and a slightly elastic chiffon. With the combination of elastic and non-elastic materials, this style is comfortable to wear. The upper part of the sleeve is made with elastic fabric, which makes certain that the garment won’t feel constricting when worn. The elastic chiffon allows movement though the shape of the upper sleeve is quite narrow.

The seams on the sleeves are hidden with satin ribbon, and the cuff is trimmed with the same material. This gives the blouse a polished, fully finished look. The satin embellishment also adds a little shine, bringing a very subtle touch of bling to the style. You can also use lace to hide the seams and to trim the cuffs with.

 yoked-blouse-sleeve-detail

This style has a relatively long hem. It is a little shorter in the front, and curves down in the back. The fit is loose, so that the blouse is comfortable to wear. You can shape the waist by simply adding darts to the back. The style is designed for petite beauties, and comes only in sizes 32-38.

With a chiffon insert at the yoke, the blouse bears a Victorian vibe. The model blouse is made with ordinary buttons, but by choosing a more extravagant design, you can easily add drama to this style. Try wearing a brooch at the collar of this blouse, or add a waist corset to the mix. This classic style also works well with jeans or even mini skirts.

yoked-blouse-collar-detail

I hope you’ll enjoy our Yoked Blouse Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

yoked blouse sewing pattern

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Let’s Make… Add Ruffles to Blouse

Once upon a time, I had a short sleeved blouse. An ordinary blouse made with stretchy fabric. It was comfy, but getting a bit old and having a mid-life crisis. Much like its owner. It was pretty much the right size, all that really needed doing was adjusting darts on the back.
But I wanted to make it less ordinary. So I decided to do the good old “add ruffles to blouse” -trick.
I took a long strip of fabric that tinted quite a lot towards blue, and cut it into four pieces.
I shaped the strips, and did a rolled hem on one of the long sides on each strip.
I pinned the strips to the front of the blouse, rouching them a little as I went a long. I sewed them on, snapped a picture, GIMPed it, and then my computer ate it. Very impolite on its part.
I left a gap between the ruffle and the button list.
… so that I’d have room for another layer. I pinned the second pair of ruffles onto the front, hiding one of the raw edges under the button list.
The other side was made differently, so I hid the edge of the ruffle with satin ribbon.
After sewing the ribbon on, it made a nice little detail.
And that was all it took. The blouse turned from meh to fun, and now I can’t wait to wear it again!
For the pictures, I paired the blouse with pants, but it works well with long skirts and corsets as well.
The ruffles give the blouse a feminine touch, and make it different in a very subtle way.
This trick works for all kinds of blouses. Try adding patterned materials, or making many narrow rows of ruffles with different fabrics!
Until next Wednesday.
Love,
Heather
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Let’s Make… Boring Tee to Cool Top

Once upon a time, there was a T-shirt.
Now I’m not much of a T-shirt -person. There’s something I can’t put my finger on that makes me uncomfortable when wearing one.
Naturally, T-shirts are very common, and many find their way to me.
I see it as my sworn duty to give each one a makeover.
This Tee had a girly skull print. I liked it, and wanted to turn the Tee a bit more feminine. It was an almost perfect fit, so I didn’t need to take it in at the sides.
I started by folding the Tee with side seams facing. I cut off the collar and the sleeves, leaving a deep V-neck and a low rise back.
The easiest way to do this is to first cut off the sleeves, and then open the shoulder seams. After that, it’s much easier to get the Tee to lie flat on a surface. After, take any backless top, fold it accordingly, and use it as a pattern to find the right length for the back piece. The neckline is best shaped while trying the top on. You can cut it super low, or leave it higher for more coverage.
When opening the fold, I got a backless V-neck top.
Which naturally needed something.
I measured the distance from shoulder to back, and covered it with elastic band. I didn’t cut it, but used the same length of elastic to bind the back of the top. I left another bit of elastic to the other shoulder. These would later be used as straps. I used ordinary elastic band, since I’d accidentally ran out of all the nicer kinds. Elastic lace will look pretty as straps, too.
I bound the neckline with narrow elastic lace.
 I added two more straps to each shoulder, so that I had three pairs. I would have added some elastic lace to the straps, but, well, I ran out of that as well.
 I attached the straps to the back piece. As an afterthought, it might have been a good idea to make the straps cross each other… that would have given me a trendy cage-detail.
 The transformation didn’t take long, but did wonders to an ordinary Tee!
The top turned out nice and comfy, and with a subtle skull print, I can wear it without feeling like an exclamation point. Next time I do this, I’ll add an extra pair of straps (or two) and see how much fun can be had with crossing them!
Until next Wednesday.
Love,
Heather
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