Tag Archives: upcycled

From Sweater to Shrug

Once upon a time, I had a lace sweater. I liked the material, but the shape not so much. The sweater was snug and long. It had a keyhole neck, a high collar which was a bit too tight, and a rib at the hem and cuffs which was also a bit too tight. In order to salvage the sweater, I turned it into a shrug. The transformation paid off: the not-too-nice sweater turned into my favourite lace shrug!

The project was relatively simple. I cut off the excess length and the too tight cuffs. I then opened the sweater down the center front line, and gave the edges a curved shape. I used elastic bias tape to bind the shrug with, and added buttons along with button loops to the collar.

The whole project took me about an hour. I did this a few years ago, and I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of this lace shrug. Turns out a little bit of effort really can save a garment that isn’t all that perfect!

The shrug works really well with dresses and over tops, but I love to pair it with corsets even more. The lace shrug has a perfect shape to be worn over an overbust, and it offers both coverage and warmth. For the photos, I wore the shrug with The DeathRock Bustier and Lace Skirt. The outfit turned out quite dark, and well suited for evenings out.

The Lace Skirt is a mod of our Lace Skirt Pattern (which will be this week’s VIP-offer!). It’s made with non-elastic lace fabric, and it has a purple lining. I love the colour combo, though pinks and purples were strangers to me for a long time. When my hair was red, I used to be jealous of ladies who could rock red hair and pink outfits. When I tried to do the same, I colourblind instead of gorgeous. Returning to black hair opened my mind to the prospect of adding a bit of purple and even the dreaded pink to wardrobe, and I actually kinda like it!

To top off the outfit, I added large hoops and my trusted Demonias. A little bit of silver brinks sparkle to the look, and compliments the way purple lining glimmers through lace. And yes, I once again forgot the correct order of getting dressed. Ouch.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my lace shrug!

Don’t forget to order our newsletter if you haven’t yet done so. This week, we’ll be having The Lace Skirt on sale, but only for VIPs!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Black Skater Dress

This week has been about skater dresses, and the various forms they come in. Our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern is this week’s VIP-offer, and today, I wanted to show you guys a dress I made with the help of the pattern.

Our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern comes with three choices. You can choose from a basic skater dress, a Gothic version of the classic, or a heavily modded version that’s based on a store bought blouse. I made my dress along the last option.

I had a short peasant skirt. I liked the look of it, but it felt uncomfortable. I liked to wear it with blouses, and the waist of the skirt never really co-operated with me. It was always either riding up or sagging even though it was the right size. I was quite upset with the skirt. This week, I decided to Do Something to it.

I had a basic black blouse I kinda didn’t like either. It was a bit on the baggy side, and a bit plain. I took the two, and paired them up.

The Skater Dress Pattern offers more detailed instructions on how to do this.

I cut the top to length, joined the two at the waist, and added a zipper on the side. The result is quite nice. The top lost its bagginess, and the skirt its desire to venture out of place.

Black skater dress mod

A dress like this can work as is. All it really needs are tights and shoes. I wanted to add a little something to it, though.

Skater Dress with Silver Accessories

Two weeks or so ago, I happened upon H&Ms sale online. I’ve kinda been on the lookout for new shoes, so when I found a pair of silver pumps at H&M, I ordered them. I picked them up yesterday, and wanted to incorporate them into an outfit right away. I paired the shoes with my new black skater dress mod, my heart buckle belt, and a lace petticoat. This dress has a wide hem, and though the petticoat is a bit flimsy, it offers coverage during the inevitable Marilyn-moments.

Skater Dress and accessories

I added black pearls to the outfit along with large silver hoops.

This is another outfit that works well for casual dinners or going out for a pint. It’s comfy, cute, and easy to wear. Adding a cropped cardigan on top will offer extra warmth, and a silver purse would give the outfit more bling.

Black skater dress with silver accessories

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Skater Dress mod!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Tropical Breeze

Once upon a time, I decided to need a really big crochet shawl to wear over basic dresses. During the summer, I like to grab a cardigan or shawl when venturing outside just in case the weather acts up. Cotton is my favourite material for shawls. It’s heavy, it’s nice to work with, and it isn’t too warm for the summer.

I had upcycled cotton stashed, so I decided to use it for a shawl. The yarn’s a bit too thick to work as a dress, but pretty perfect for shawls. For the pattern, I went to Drops. I’ve worked this style before, and really it. The pattern repeat is easy so it’s perfect for Flix-binging, and the simple lace works with all kinds of outfits. The pattern is called Tropical Breeze, and it’s available on Drop’s site.

This shawl is worked up from the lowest point. This gives it a nice triangle shape with a wide wingspan. The shawl is finished with a border, which always gives me a headache. This time, I only messed it up a little, and chose to leave the mistakes in. Maybe I’ll remember to concentrate better when reading instructions next time!

I really like the way the shawl turned out. It’s big, it’s heavy, it goes with everything, and the shade of red is just to my liking. I’m hoping this one will get a lot of wear in the warmer months.

My Tropical Breeze Shawl goes well with The Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. The shawl is a perfect cover up for the figure-hugging dress, and gives the black version a lot of colour. I like the combo of black and red, and the feel of the heavy shawl has something very decadent about it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my crochet shawl!

Next time, I’m hoping to show you a few outfit ideas based on the Pretty Basic Jersey Dress. Until then.

Love,

Heather

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SkaterDress

On Tuesday, I showed you a cute little dress I made in less than two hours. I based it loosely on our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, and today, I’d like to write more about the pattern.

The skater dress and its variations are among the most popular dress styles. With a fitted bodice and a flared hem, what’s not to love! The basic skater dress pattern can be modded beyond belief. With our Skater Dress Sewing Pattern, I did just that. Along with the basic style, our skater dress sewing pattern includes a hooded, Gothic-inspired style, and a variation based on a store-bought blouse. I for one like to sew a pattern over and over again if the style pleases me. Adding details and little mods can change up a basic pattern quite a bit. This pattern is designed with the re-sewing option in mind.

The example of our basic style is made with long sleeves, and a smooth hem and bodice. I used viscose jersey for this style, and I really like that choice. A soft fabric makes the dress comfy for everyday wear.

The basic style is super-easy to accessorize. It goes with pretty much anything! Try adding a belt to the mix, wear the dress over a top, or pop a cardigan over it. You can change it up when sewing, too: make the hem longer or shorter, mix jersey with elastic lace, or pick a patterned material. The basic style really loves its variations, so don’t hesitate to go wild with it!

The basic skater dress bends to all sorts of ways. When making this pattern, I wanted to see just how much can be done with it. For the Gothic version of the pattern, I added bell sleeves, a laced up bodice, and a large hood. All of these elements together make the dress a Gothic girls dream. This style can also be taken apart for a more subdued look. Try sewing a basic dress with a hood, or adding the lacing to the basic style. Change the fabric from velvet to jersey, and the dress changes altogether!

This style is a bit more challenging to accessorize due to the amount of detail. The dress likes jewelry and petticoats, and of course cute leg-wear paired with wicked boots.

The last style is my personal favorite. It’s made taking advantage of upcycled materials. For it, you’ll need a fitted blouse, and a hem’s worth of fabric. The model dress has a three-layer hem: tulle, and two kinds of fabric. The top layer is cut into an asymmetric shape to give the voluminous hem a bit more drama.

This style can be paired with corsets and ties which give the dress an androgynous vibe.

The pattern includes a hem, two options for bodice, sleeves that can be made long or short or topped with a circular cuff, and a hood. All of these parts fit together, so you can just take your pick of the elements you’d like to use, and make your dream come true. I’m currently dreaming of a full-length skater dress…

I hope you’ll enjoy The Skater Dress Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

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Cute SkaterDress

As you may have noticed, I really like dresses. I have literally dozens of dresses, and I hardly ever wear anything but dresses. They’re so easy to pull on and accessorize. And the best part is, despite the fact that dresses are ridiculously comfy, wearing one makes you look chic no matter what. Though I have plenty of dresses, I keep making more. Last week, I made a cute skaterdress by just combining a spaghetti-strap top to a hem I quickly sewed up.

The story of the dress goes like this.

I had a top dug up from who-knows-where. It was a bit too short to be worn with a skirt, but I really liked the color and the velvet print. My website was down last week, and to make myself feel better, I decided to treat myself to a new dress. The top would serve as its foundation.

top on its way to becoming a cute skaterdress

I had black viscose jersey stashed up. I used some of it to sew an A-lined, wide hem for the top. Patterning and cutting were done using the proven method of “it’s just jersey, what could possibly go wrong!”

… nothing major, just had to take the waist in a little.

hem waiting to be attached

After sewing up the hem, I attached the pieces at the waist. When doing this, you’ll want to make certain the seam will sit at the narrowest part of the waist, and that it’s a snug fit. Otherwise the seam will bulge.

almost there!

I did a basic rolled hem on the dress. It’s a quick, easy finish for a casual dress. It works really well on jersey, since it won’t eat at the elasticity of the fabric, but lives along with the material. For everyday dresses meant for nothing fancier than a dinner at the local pub it’s the perfect choice. If you’re making something more special, try trimming hems with lace.

I really like the way my dress turned out. I wore it last week, and paired it with a mesh top and a tulle petticoat beneath, and a basic elastic belt over the seam.

cute skater dress all done!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my new cute skaterdress!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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HandBag with Pink Lining

Every now and again, I get bored with all of my purses. A normal person would just go to a shop and buy a new one, but I venture in sewing handbags myself. Or at least trying to.

Sometimes, I get to say “oh my that went sooo horribly wrong” and quietly get rid of the evidence, but once and again, I come up with something that’s actually quite cool.

I found some black leather in my stash, and decided to want a bowler purse. I’ve always kinda wanted one, but never gotten around to finding one. As the leather just screamed to be a bag, I thought I’d give sewing handbags a go.

Going through my stash, I found a pink skirt with a black comic print on it. Someone had given it to me a long time ago, and since I didn’t want to wear it, I chose to sacrifice it for a higher purpose.

I cut out the pieces using the good old “I’m just eyeballing it” -method. I’m a true follower of this school of patterning, and use it often when sewing for myself.

I cut out two pockets for the outside of the bag, and two for the inside. I sewed a zipper to one of the inside pockets using the easiest method available. Take a short zip, cut a rectangular piece of fabric for the pocket and a narrow strip to hem the pocket with, sew the zip in between, and just sew the piece on the lining. It’s super-easy, and saves you the headache of doing a welted pocket.

I aligned the pockets with the bottom of the purse, so that they would endure more strain.

I’m always worried about losing my keys. When making this purse, I came up with the cleverest idea I’ve had in, well, all my life.

I took a D-ring, and attached it to the side seam of the lining.

I then took a parrot clasp, and attached it to my key ring.

After finishing the purse, I can just attach the parrot clasp to the D-ring, and never have to worry about accidentally pulling out my keys again!

I’m quite happy about the way the purse turned out. It’s large enough to house all the things I need when stepping out (including various notebooks), and cute enough to take along to a casual party. The zipper closure is practical, and the lining makes it extra-special.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my cool new purse!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Long Scarves

After finishing the Black and Blue Gloves I wrote about last week, I still had plenty of yarn left. I wanted to use it on an accessory that would go with the Pretty Basic Blazer. Shawls and snoods were out of the question along with wrist-warmers and gloves. Scarves, however, seemed quite interesting. They’re easy to wear with pretty much anything, and I didn’t really have a long crochet scarf. As I needed a quick and easy project, I set to creating a long, long crochet scarf.

The yarn is a combination of two strands of acrylic, one black and one petrol blue. Together, they make one yarn thick enough to be worked with a 5mm/US 8 hook. I used a super-simple stitch which creates a nice, airy surface. Both of the yarns I used are upcycled, so getting more was out of the question.

The scarf grew long, and I still had yarn. I really wanted to get rid of it all, so I worked a shell edge around the scarf. It created a nice, feminine border to a pretty basic scarf.

The long crochet scarf was a really nice accessory. So nice, in fact, that I needed another one.

I found some black cotton in my stash, and used it for a black version of the simple scarf. I embellished the black scarf with crochet flowers, attaching them to both sides of the scarf’s long ends. On a style like this, it’s nice to get both sides to look pretty. As the scarf moves, all of it will be visible.

These both styles are based on The Hooded Scarf Crochet Pattern. There are two version of the pattern out there. A free version can be found on Blogger. That one is a recipe-style, and not very detailed. A paid version can be bought here at heatherwielding.com and Ravelry. It’s priced at 1€ here, and a bit higher on Ravelry due to their fees. The paid version is more detailed, and it includes instructions on how to crochet the flowers on the scarf. It also includes recipe-style instructions on how to create the long crochet scarves featured in this post.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my crochet scarves!

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Hitched Hems

Dresses are my favorite things to wear. They’re easy to mix and match, and never out of place. Styles to choose from are endless, and materials used vary from cotton to velvet to leather. Personally, I like dresses that are both versatile and classic. One of my favorite designs in our collection is The Princess and Keyhole Dress. It features puff-sleeves, a keyhole neck, and hitched hems.

princess-seamed dress, one

The Princess and Keyhole Dress is best made with non-elastic materials such as cotton. The dress has princess seams, so it’s shaped at the bodice, and a wide hem. Puff-sleeves make it comfy to wear, but the key element is the hem.

The dress is made with channels on the hem’s seams. With ribbons slid into the channels, the hem can be modified in both length and shape. The dress can be worn long, pulled up at the front, or gathered into a short version. I like to use the ribbons to shorten the hem at the front to show off a colorful peticoat.

The shape of the dress finds its origin in the Victorian era, when hems were wide, ruffled, and often gathered. I’ve used the element of hitched hems in an earlier design as well.

princess-seamed dress, four

The Victorian Skirt is made with two layers. The botton layer features a wide ruffle, and the upper layer can be hitched up with ribbons. The Victorian Skirt is made with a very simple pattern, so it’s available as a drafting tutorial only. This allows everyone to create a skirt with their own, unique measurements.
Hitched hems are an easy way to create a versatile dress. The Victorian Skirt can be worn with both layers smooth and long, pulled up evenly, gathered at the front, or even arranged into a bustle-like shape. I like to wear mine gathered evenly, and I’ve even made a version with ribbon channels on both layers of the skirt.

black satin skirt, Victorian style

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our Hitched Hems -sewing patterns.

Until next time.

Love,

Heather

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Fishnet Top

Red, upcycled cotton wanted desperately to be a sweater, something light, airy, and darkly inclined. After a few moments of contemplation, I turned it into a mesh top. Naturally, the process resulted in the Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern.

Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern can be made with any yarn as long as the gauge matches

Following along the lines of our previously published Fishnet Gloves Knitting Pattern, this pattern is androgynous and completely beginner-friendly. In my opinion, the world lacks in basic knitting patterns suitable for those just starting with the wonderful craft. I like to offer simple patterns as well to help those still increasing their knitting skills. This pattern is worked in straight lines, in the round, and is made with easy, repetitive stitch patterns.

The Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern includes sizes XS-L along with an option for a version made with ribbed neckline, hem, and cuffs. The sweater has a low, scooped neckline which makes it both trendy and comfortable to wear. The hem can be knit to any length: it can be made long, or left at a cropped line. The sleeve length is also entirely optional. The model sweater is made with long sleeves, but a short sleeved version works as well.

The model sweater is knit with upcycled cotton. This yarn choice makes the style cool for the summer. The Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern can be worked with any yarn as long as the gauge matches. It can be made with cotton, wool blend, or even acrylic. Try self-striping or self-patterning yarns for an even funkier look!

Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern is worked without increases

Since the fishnet sweater is simple, it can be worn with many kinds of outfits which makes it quite versatile. I paired it with a pleated mini, but the sweater also works with jeans and long skirts. It can also be worn over a dress to bring extra warmth to cold nights.

I hope you’ll enjoy our Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern!

Until next Wednesday.

Love,

Heather

Fishnet Top Knitting Pattern suits both him and her

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Reversible Waist Corset

Once upon a time, I had two cool fabrics that both wanted to be a corset. One was a black cotton-blend with a soft satin finish, and the other a skull-print cotton scarf. After a while of pondering, I decided to take full advantage of both fabrics. The process turned into our Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern, which was published on Craftsy last week.

Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern - skulls on the outside

This reverible corset features a front zipper, and a laced-up back. The zipper makes it easy to put on, which mean you can flip it in the middle of a night out if you so choose. The lacing gives the garment a bit of wiggle-room, making it easy to modify the size a bit. Made with light-weight fabrics, this corset is designed for decorational purposes only. Using thicker materials and flat steel boning makes it possible, though, to wear this style as a tighter laced corset.

Lacing

As this style is reversible, it comes without a modesty panel. Sewing one into a garment meant to be worn inside-out on occation is virtually impossible. This means our reversible corset is best worn with dresses. This way, the garment seen through the lacing is seamless and smooth. When pairing this style with skirts and tops, be sure to make certain the back looks pretty!

SkullCorset

This reversible waist corset sewing pattern comes with a zipper at the front. Attaching it in a tidy way is surprisingly easy. This style does have a bit of hand-stitching involved, though. The binding is best sewn by hand so that both sides of the garment remain pleasing to the eye.

The bone channels are sewn into the seams. They’re visible on one side only, and nearly hidden on the other side. This technique guarantees a tidy finish with quick, easy steps which are fully explained in our illustrated sewing tutorial that you will receive with the pattern.

I hope you’ll enjoy our Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern!

Until next Wedneday.

Love,

Heather

Reversible Waist Corset Sewing Pattern - black satin on the inside

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