DIY Leopard Print Pencil Skirt and a Mini Announcement!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no see! I hope you enjoyed National Sewing Month last month and did a whole bunch of sewing. I did a decent amount of sewing, although I took a break from blogging.

I wanted to share one of my recent most projects with you. It is high waisted pencil skirt made in a thin scuba knit fabric I found at Joann’s Fabric last simmer. I remember falling in love with the fabric and purchasing the entire bolt.

This was made without a pattern because it really is that simple of a garment. This was a 20-minute project but has been so useful. I have worn this skirt at least 4 times in the last month.

I paired the skirt with this ruffled tank I made last year

Here is the fabric:

I did not use a pattern but I traced around this skirt I already own and LOVE.

The skirt was so easy to sew.  I have only side seams which I serged up in no time. The bottom hem was serged then stitched.

Here is the back view.

And now for my mini announcement:

 

There’s a little munchkin in this belly! I’m going to be a mamma again!

These pics were taken about a month ago! I am just now getting the energy to blog about it!

I have so many garments I made that I have not shared on the blog yet. Some are from the summer, and some from just last month. I’ll try to play catch up here soon now that I am feeling better. Know that I have missed you, my sewing friends. I have recently cleared off my drafting table and starting downsizing my studio. I am trying to give away fabric and notions I don’t use to my students and keep on hand just what I need for the next few projects.  At least that is my hope.

I’m currently teaching sewing with knits at school and it has been such a fun class to teach! I’ll share some student projects with you over the quarter!

Take care and I’ll see you with my next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Yellow Seersucker Cold Shoulder (CopyCat) Top

Hi, Fashionistas!

I was so excited to sew with a beautiful yellow seersucker I found at Fabric Mart recently.  Here is the top I made:

You see, I have been the slowest to catch on to the cold shoulder trend. I know, it’s been around for a while and is continuing into fall fashions.  I was meeting my hubby for pizza one night and had some time to kill. So I decided to do some window shopping when I saw and tried on this RTW top.. and loved it. 

So.. I made a pattern… and found the perfect fabric.

And made my own version! I really do love the tent shape of this top. It is very different than the usual type of garments I make and wear, which typically tend to be more fitted.

 

 

Yes, that’s a pen in m hair 🙂  My kid has two most frequently asked questions lately..”Mommy, why do you have a pen in your hair?” and “Mommy, are you talking to yourself again”? #momlife

 

I drafted a facing and modified the sleeves a bit by removing the band at the bottom and hemming them instead

I also made the straps a fixed length as opposed to adjustable.

Overall I am pretty happy with the way the top turned out.  I topstitched all around the neckline to ensure the facing was sitting down. 

 

I actually started making another version in a white cotton, but that one is still a work in progress. I may or may not get to wear that one this year!

I hope you enjoyed this make!  I am going to work on some maxi dresses next! Fall is coming!! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am!

See you soon

XOXO- Vatsla

Tailored Denim Shorts- Simplicity 8391 Review

HI, Fashionistas!

Happy end of summer! Hope you had a lovely summer and are enjoying cooler temps! My kid started pre school this week and I am REALLY enjoying the structure that comes with drop offs and pick-ups and planning my day around it.

So I am hoping to catch up on sharing some summer sewing projects with you. One of my favorite makes this summer was this pair of tailored shorts. They are so simple yet so chic. Sometimes easy projects can be so rewarding to make.

I have always wanted tailored shorts made in denim, a dressy pair of shorts if you will. So here is what I came up with based on my inspiration picture 🙂 I am recommending some pressing tools towards the end of the post if you want to go for a more tailored look on your garments. 

How do you plan your sewing projects? Do you browse patterns on sale, and get inspired based on what you see in the pattern catalogs, or do you look for a pattern to match your inspiration picture or your sketch? I typically tend to find my inspiration from people watching or Pinterest, and then go hunting for the perfect pattern that can either be sewn out of the envelope or modified to match my inspiration picture.

Here is my inspiration picture

It was not too hard to find a pattern for these shorts, I needed to look for a pattern that has a slant pocket so that I could add the gold shank buttons like my inspiration picture. I found Simplicity 8391 view D.

I wanted my shorts to have slightly more wearing ease than the inspiration picture. I also wanted them to be slightly longer.  I did make a muslin to get the fit perfected, but other than that, I did not need to make any pattern alterations. I cut the size 6, which was larger on the hips.  After I made the muslin and tried them on, I ended up removing ½ inch from the side seams.

For the fabric, I chose a denim that had 1% spandex in it. Personally, I like to work with wovens that have a small amount of stretch. In my opinion, it makes the fitting easier because you have some flexibility when the fabric has some stretch.  My happy place is 1% to 2 % of spandex in the fiber content of the fabric.

Here are some more pictures of the shorts

Loving the slant pockets.

Here is the back and side view:

And a view from the side 🙂

 

Sewing Tips

Here are some sewing tips I would like to offer when making a tailored pair of shorts:

  • Use pressing tools to get that crisp look on seams, edges, and hems. I like to use a tailors clapper and press cloth to get defined, crisp seams. I have described both the tools below:
  • Tailors Clapper: I like to use a tailor’s clapper .When pressing my seams. A clapper is made of wood and it helps to seal in the heat and the steam from the iron and gives you that impeccably tailored look!
  • Press Cloth: While pressing, I like to use a press cloth and give the seams a good amount of heat and steam while pressing. A press cloth will help eliminate shine and protect your fabric. I like to use a sheer press cloth so I can see what I am pressing, but a scrap piece of muslin will do too!
  • Gravity Feed Iron: I am going to list this one as “optional” only because while you don’t need to invest in a gravity feed iron, it a gravity feed iron is definitely a professional tailors iron. A good domestic iron with steam when combined with a clapper and press cloth will also elevate your sewing, but put if you can add this to your sewing room, I HIGHLY recommend it. They are very sturdy and can last you 5 to 10 years!
  • Sewing Shank buttons: When sewing on shank buttons, you can stabilize them by sewing a small two hole or four hole button on the back. You would loop your thread through both the buttons. This will prevent the shank buttons from drooping. I used shank buttons with a 3/4 inch diameter on the front and four hole buttons with a 1/2 inch diameter in the back.

Simplicity 8391 Pattern Review and Suggestions

This pattern is easy and simple to use.  The instructions were pretty clear and straightforward. I noticed that the shorts instructions did not include applying the waistband, so you will need to refer to the skirt instructions (view B) on applying the waistband.

While making the muslin I also realized that it was best for me to replace the pocket facing fabric with a thinner cotton in a similar color as the fashion fabric. Once I had attached the pocket and pocket facing to the shorts front, that was 3 layers of fabric. Once the short front was attached to the shorts back, that was 4 layers of fabric and was noticeably bulky. So when I cut the actual fabric, I cut the pocket facing in a dark blue cotton sateen as opposed to the fashion fabric. I am glad I did that!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with this pattern, and now that I have the fit perfected, I will probably trace this pattern onto thicker pattern paper and hang it up on a garment rack for re-use!

I hope that you found this pattern review helpful and enjoyed reading this post! What has been your favorite summer make and what are you planning for the fall? I am planning on doing a lot of cardi’s and lose coats for the fall/ winter. I have pretty much decided that my uniform for fall is going to be black and denim and I plan to sew more outerwear.. but more on that later.. 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to Draft an all in one facing

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a recent sewing project with you and show you how to draft all in once facings for patterns that don’t have one included. Drafting small pattern like these are a great way to get familiar with pattern making!

Here is the dress I made. I drafted the all in one facing using the steps outlined in this tutorial.

You may have noticed that most times commercial patterns have separate neck facings and separate arm facings. I prefer all in one facing because they allow you to clean finish your neckline and armholes on a sleeveless garment in one go. They look professional as well.

Before we get started drafting, let’s have a look at the front of the all in one facing. Here is what my front facing looks like after I cut it out:

Here is an example of what my back facings looked like. The center back seams on this picture are overlapping, however, there is a center back opening on this pattern that allows for a back zipper:

Now that we have had a look at the garment and the facing that lies underneath, let’s jump into the tutorial! I will be showing you this method using a miniature pattern. I’ll demonstrate with the front bodice pattern

Step 1: Cut out your bodice pattern. If you have a dart that falls on the shoulder seam or a french dart that falls close to the armhole, shut it close using tape.

Step 2: Keeping the original pattern as flat as possible, trace around the side seam, armhole, shoulder, and neckline and center front. In order to keep your original pattern flat, you can place weights or pin the pattern down on top of pattern paper.  Your traced pattern should look something like this.

Step 3: Next we need to freehand the shape of the bottom of the facing. In order to do this. measure down 3 inches on the center front, and about 2 inches on the side seam, and connect the two using a shape as shown below.If you have a french curve, you can use that to draw such shapes, but free handing works as well!

Step 4 : Copy all the markings from your original pattern to your facing pattern. For example, here I have shown the grain line, fold, CF  for center front. I have also added the name of the pattern piece, which is “front facing” and indicated how many pieces to cut, which is my case is “Cut 1 on fold”

If you were to lay your newly drafted facing pattern on top of the original pattern, it should match

The steps to draft the back facing are exactly the same. Here is what the back facing looks like:

Step 5: Make sure the side seams on the front facing and back facing match up and you will be sewing these up. This step is called “Truing”

<Insert pic here>

A few things to note about facings. Facings do not contain darts, or princess seams. If your pattern has darts, tape them shut as shown above in the pictorial. If your pattern has princess seams, you would tape the princess seams together overlapping the seam allowance.

I hope that you found this tutorial helpful and that you will try your hand at some pattern making!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

How are you?

Hi Fashionistas!

How are you doing? Are you sewing much over the summer of taking a break? I made a few things but have not had a chance to blog about them yet. I’ll be sharing them over the next couple of months.

I made this shift dress and documented a tutorial on how to draft an all in one facing, something I will be sharing on the blog soon.

Here are a couple other garments I made: denim shorts, this fabric is from Joanns.

Tent dress, scuba knit from Fabric mart

I wanted to drop in and say Hi! because I miss you! Let me know what you are working on over the summer. Did you hear that Craftsy is moving to a subscription model in 2018? Any thoughts on that? I know many of us take classes on that platform.. wondering what your thoughts are?

Talk soon!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

Self Drafted Dolman Top for Summer

Hi, Fashionistas!

Summer is in full effect and we have had some really hot days.

I sewed up a couple quick summer tops. I wanted something basic but cute, to wear with shorts, skirts, or jeans. So I decided on two summer tops. The first one is in a gray jersey knit. This fabric is so soft and comfortable. I ordered one yard and that was enough and I have a little bit leftover fabric.

This is seriously the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

I self-drafted this top. The drafting took about 30 minutes. The sleeves are dolman, which means there is no setting in the sleeve, which also makes the sewing very quick. I have previously published a tutorial on drafting a dolman top and I will link that below.

Also, I  love the clean cover stitch on here.  I used my Brother Coverstitch machine, which I absolutely love and have been using for over two years

I drafted cuffs for the sleeves and a band for the waist.

Here is the back view. I made the neckline on the front and back exactly the same, and gave it a boat neck shape, which is one of my favorite.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest make. Next, I am working on creating a custom dress form cover for myself. A custom dress form is something I have wanted for a very long time. I’ll be sewing up my custom shell using this online class on Craftsy, but instead of using a commercial pattern, I plan on creating my shell from my custom sloper, which can be drafted using this Bodice Sloper Class

So lots of sewing and fitting for me in the near future, but a custom dress form has been a life long dream 🙂 I’ll share my progress with you once that is done.

Here is the tutorial on how to create a dolman top pattern from any tee that has set in sleeves. Hope you enjoy!

See you in July!
XOXO
-Vatsla

I made it in the Top 100 Dressmaking Blogs

6Hi Fashionistas!

I am so happy to share with you that Fashion Behind The Seams was named one of the Top 100 Dressmaking Blogs Winners over the weekend.

It is so nice to be recognized alongside other bloggers I follow and admire.

The Top 100 List can be found HERE.

I just want to say THANK YOU so much for your support, because my blog wouldn’t be what is it without my wonderful readers, so THANK YOU.

Love,

Vatsla.

ps. I am sending out my Fabric Selection 101 Newsletter soon. If you have not signed up yet, do so using the pink sign up below!

 

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