Month: October 2015

Tutorial: How to Hem a Circle Skirt or Circular Hem

There are more than one way to hem a circle skirt, but here is my go to method. I use this method on all my circular hems and end up with a nice and crisp hem free of wrinkles.

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I also used the same hemming technique on the black circle skirt above and the silk dress below I made for Easter earlier this year

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Tutorial below…

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I am using a miniature pattern for the sake of this demo.  You will be hemming in the round, since you will close up all your seams before hemming. I am using a small sample, but you get the point..

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Step 1:  Serge all around your hem. This will give you a guideline to press the serged part of the hem under and also give some weight to your hem.

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Step 2: Finger press the serged portion of the hem towards wrong side of the fabric  and top stitch it down around the circumference of the hemIMG_9292

Give your hem an overall good press. The hem will look like this on the correct side of the garment. At this point you see only one row of stitching as shown below. IMG_9294

Step 3: Repeat Step 2! In this final step,  finger press the hem over one more time to conceal the serged portion. This will give you a nice and clean finish on the outside AND on the inside of the garment. IMG_9297

Give the hem a good press. I use heat, steam and my tailors clapper at this point. I always use a press cloth. Here is what the inside of the garment will look like. You will see two visible rows of stitching on the incorrect side. IMG_9299

On the correct side of the garment, you will see only one row of stitching.

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As you can see, the hem is nice and crisp, and has no wrinkles!IMG_9304

Here is an example of the issue you have probably run into when trying to hem a circle skirt…IMG_9305

If you don’t have a serger, you can replace step 1 with the following: Mark the distance you want to turn under (I would do 3/8 inch, same as the width of my serged portion) and press, proceed to step 2. It is going to be easier to work with if you use a serger in step 1.

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The basic concept behind why this method works is simple. If you look at the diagram below, the dark blue line is the raw edge of the garment. The turquoise color line represents the final hemline after the garment has been hemmed. The pink shaded area in between is what is called the Hem allowance.

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The dark blue line is a larger circle (circumference measurement C) than the turquoise line (circumference measurement A). So if you try to turn the hem allowance under in one go, you will never get a perfect hem because C will always be larger than A. However, by doing this in multiple steps, we reduce the discrepancy between C and A in iterations. The stitching also helps. If you eliminate the stitching in step 2, you are likely to see wrinkling.

I hope this helped you! If you liked this tutorial, then check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

Let me know what you think of this technique, and do you have another go to sewing technique for hems? Leave me a comment and let me know!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Winter Cape Completed: Falling in Love with Wool

Hello Fashionistas!!

Sewing with wool has been on my bucket list forever. To be specific, a wool cape, a winter coat and a french jacket.

Earlier this year when I launched my blog I thought about all the sewing projects I would like to make. It was a reasonable list… twenty-one items in all.. and number six on the list was a wool cape, which has now been crossed off my list 🙂 Design details at the end of the post if you want to sew up your own version of this!

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It’s finally DONE!!!!  I am so in love with the final product. I have been working on this for the past three days while my kid naps 🙂

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I wanted something unique so I chose a vintage pattern. I wanted a superior fabric and I wanted to work with 100% wool. I picked a camel/taupe brushed wool that was such a pleasure to work with.

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On my version I only used two buttons as opposed to four. I also eliminated the waist tie and styled the cape with a leather belt instead. This is a big cape, so to create a good proportion, I used a wide belt. 

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Here is side view and back view. The fabric drapes beautifully!

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Check out my signature accent.. on the back of the collar… It’s all in the details!

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The cape looks different when worn without a belt and I like that look too!

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I am simply in love with the sleeves and they make me feel like a butterfly! I chose a floral lining. Isn’t it adorable?

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As I was wrapping up pictures, my kid decided to join the party. I had some leftover fabric and cut a small cape for her as well, but have not sewn it up yet. That’s next on my list…

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I learned a good bit about working with wool.  I had it pre-shrinked by sending it to the cleaners. I learned that is takes special care to avoid overpressing and shine. I also mastered the art of perfect top stitching! What a joy..This project required more work, but the end result was so worth it.. This cape will be in my wardrobe for a long time..

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PATTERN: Vintage Simplicty 9669, view 2. It’s a fully lined cape. I cut the size Medium which is for a bust size 34 to 36. The only pattern alteration I had to do was to remove about 3/4 of an inch from the Centre back. I also eliminated the centre back seam and instead cut my back pattern piece on the fold of the fabric. I like to simplify sewing where I can. Eliminating the centre back seam saved me about 5 minutes of pinning and sewing and bout 10 minutes of pressing the seam…

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I did make a muslin and did a fit analysis on my dress form an myself. This is a outerwear garment so I left a good amount of ease on the pattern to accommodate a shirt and possibly a sweater underneath. Initially I had considered shortening the cape by a couple of inches but once I made the muslin, I decided against it.

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SEWING : I learned a lot about sewing with wool by making this cape. This was my first time working with a wool and it was truly a pleasure to sew up. I quickly realised that pressing wool can be tricky. I am used to working with muslin and cottons and by habit, I used a hot iron, a good amount of steam and pressure.. AND my tailors clapper and that resulted in shine and over pressing. As you can see below.. The seam allowance was causing the impression and lightening of the wool color. I always like to sew up samples with some scrap fabric and press them before I take the iron to my garment. I will be writing a detailed article on what I learned about pressing wool without damaging it. That is coming to the blog soon!

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This project was a labor of love. It was time-consuming. Not only because it included some trial and error as I was working with something new, but also because I was broadcasting live some of the tips and techniques of sewing as I was discovering easy ways to work with wool and having those “Aha” moments…I really enjoyed connecting with other sewists while working on this project.

I also experimented till I discovered an easy and practical way to master top stitching. That is coming to the blog soon, so stay tuned! Since there are so many little details about this project I want to share with you, I will be doing a “Behind The Seams” blog post about it soon.

FABRIC: I used a soft 100% brushed wool. It has texture, so I had to take extra precaution while pressing. The fabric is indeed luxurious. Since I knew that this garment would be an investment piece, I wanted to use the best fabric I could find in my budget. Local fabric stores like Joanns and Hancock only had wool blends with a low percentage of wool, but I found an array of pure wool fabric on Fabric Mart Fabrics at very good prices. And if you want a super yummy 100% wool, check out the selection of wools HERE

That’s all for now.. I am taking a one day break before jumping into my biggest project of the year… a Melton wool winter coat….with hair canvas, shoulder pads, sleeve heads… and all that jazz!

 Hope you enjoyed reading this! Leave me a comment and let me know what you are working on… And if you like this vintage cape.. add it to your bucket list!

Until next time.. 

 XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

Easy One Hour Dolman Top

I copied my favorite Dolman Top. It is getting chilly here and I wanted something warm and comfy. I am so in love with this sweater knit dolman top I purchased sometimes last year. I decided to create a replica using a double-knit I had in my fabric stash.

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The double-knit is a thick material. It feels like sweatshirt material. Its warm and comfy. This HAS to be the most casual piece I have ever made. I usually stick to tops that are more on the fitted side. but I also like my sweatshirts!

Here is a close up of the original:IMG_9259

I did not even create a pattern for this one, since it is so easy to recreate. I simply folded my fabric and placed my original top on it. I cut around the outline eyeballing the seam allowance. I have a 3/8 inch seam allowance all over and a 5/8 inch hem allowance on the sleeves, neckline and bottom hem.

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One of the main reasons this is such a simple top is that there is no separate sleeve to sew.  As you can see below, the bodice and sleeve are one,

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I like how to the stripes on the side create a chevron pattern…

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PATTERN: This is what the pattern would look like if you used a commercial pattern

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I simply traced my original tee as described above in the post. If you want to do it the way I did, but dont have a dolman top in your wardrobe, you can take any t shirt you own and do it this way: I have shown the original tee in blue and how you will trace around it in red to create your pattern. My front and back bodice are exactly the same with the exception of the neckline, which is lower on the back .

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FABRIC:I used a double knit from girl Charlee, but I used the wrong side on the outside of the top, as I loved the texture and I also liked the color better as compared to the correct side of the fabric.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There are only 4 seams to sew: 2 side seams and 2 shoulder seams. I completed the hemming with a coverstitch. You could also hem using a twin needle.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.Let me know what you think of this easy project.

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Cozy and Comfy : DIY Cowl Neck Top


It finally began to feel like fall at the beginning of October, and I pulled out one of my favorite black cowl neck tops. I made this a while back, so it’s not a product of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast. However, its been getting a lot of wear lately.

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What I LOVE about this top: It’s so easy to wear. It’s casual, yet stylish and the fabric is super soft. I also love the full sleeve length. The sleeves are actually longer than my arms and I love that because I can pull them over my hands on those chilly evenings..

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I cannot remember exactly when I made this top but it might have been in 2014 or even 2013. Although.. I was pregnant in 2013.. so it was probably made sometime last year

I copied the pattern for this top from a RTW top I owned previously. I loved it SO much that I wore it all the time. To the point where it was falling apart, so I created a pattern and copied my old beloved top . Here is the original. This picture is old! October 2012 in Paris!!!

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Love the drape of the neck.. and here is how it looked from the front:

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Because I couldn’t let go of it, I created a pattern from it.. and sewed up my own version. It’s an easy top to sew. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made.

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My fabric is a bit slinky with a 4-way stretch, so it drapes slightly differently… but overall I am ver happy with it…


I also paired this top with a dressy pair of pants I made last winter. I LOVE an all black look for winter…The pants I made are Burda 7122

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I also wore it with a DIY tulle skirt I made last winter.. I cannot believe I agreed to do a photoshoot in this skirt while we had snow on the ground. Brrrrr…..

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So as you can see, this top is pretty versatile, it can be dressed up or dressed down. This is going to be one of my wardrobe staples for fall and winter…


Design details below if you would like to make your own!

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PATTERN: I used a self drafted pattern , but I have seen many commercial patterns that can be used.

FABRIC:I used a lightweight black knit from Joanns Fabrics.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made. I actually left the sleeves and hem raw because this knit does not fray at all.. and I am happy with it the way it is. There are also no sleeves to set, because raglan sleeve with a cowl neck.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far. I have reserved the month of October for learning all I can about the art of tailoring. I will be making my first tailored coat ever. Its a lot of new information, so I have been reading and researching like crazy! What are you up to? Any fun sewing projects? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

 

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