Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you are well. I just finished this top two nights ago. This was a long-term UFO (unfinished object) sitting in my studio for months.

Now I am wondering why I didn’t finish it sooner because I am completely and totally in love with it.


Honestly, I could wear all black all fall/ winter, but it is nice to have a pop of color, or in this case, a pop of rawwwrrrrr!!!!

If I had to sum up this outfit in one word, I would call it “fierce”. It felt good to wear it.. and I feel that is what clothes should do for us.

Let’s talk about the crop top: I am typically not into crop tops, matter of fact this is the only one I own. When I saw the pattern, I loved the full sleeves. This is something I don’t see often in commercial patterns. I also loved how it was styled on the pattern envelope, with all black. I just wanted to recreate the look. I like how this top looks like a stylish tucked in top without adding bulk .


Ok- So here is the reason why this has been a UFO since May.. 2 reasons:

  • I hate applying neckband to knits. I hate it. Why? Because neckbands are more unpredictable than a toddler’s mood. You could do everything right, cut precisely, cut on the bias, follow the pattern, sew carefully, follow the 80/20 rule and you STILL end up with gaping. After ALL that work, the gaping neckband just stares back at you and laughs. And all you want to do is grab your seam ripper and pull all your hair out. Has this ever happened to you? And what’s the solution? To seam rip the neckband out and re-apply? Ouch. By now your neck has stretched like crazy, you are the brink of giving up sewing, and the integrity of the fabric has been compromised. Sigh
  • This amazing woman whose name is Char Steward shared this neckband technique that looked AMAZING and almost too good to be true. I don’t know that it has a name, but she demonstrated it on periscope months ago. I immediately thought about how this would become my go-to technique for neckbands. So, I was procrastinating because learning a new technique can always be intimidating.. but I finally tried it. And I have some good news. It is way easier and better and professional looking than the traditional neckband you see in commercial patterns and in RTW.img_5188

I posted this video on IG and Facebook in excitement and I got so many requests to document this technique. I will be recording a step by step tutorial over the weekend. Stay stuned!


I created several looks with this top, which I will share with you later.. This is such a good addition to my wardrobe. Most of my skirts pants are high-waisted, so it doesn’t really show much belly. Which is a good thing because ever since my pregnancy, I have 2 belly buttons. One that I was born with and one that was a belly button piercing that expanded like crazy when I was pregnant and never really went back to its original size 🙂 Hehe


I paired the top with these black skinny jeans I got a month or so ago. I haven’t had black skinnies in my wardrobe in forever. But lately I have been thinking about owning fewer items that can be re-used over and over again, so I invested in these jeans and these gorgeous d’Orsay pumps. I still have a hard time believing that up until a month ago, I didn’t own a nude pump and a black pump. Luckily the shopping Gods were happy with me because I found both in the same weekend (I hate shopping!)

I love how this outfit can be an almost all black outfit from the side or the back. I could wear all black all winter. I think it is just so chic.



To get the deets on how to make this top, see below!


PATTERN: I used simplicity 1077. I totally love this jacket and plan on making it at some point.


FABRIC:  I picked this up at Joanns Fabric. Its a collection called Famous Maker. The fabric is a thin scuba knit. It is stable and sews up really well.


SEWING: Easy, breezy, beautiful.  I used this easy sleeve insertion technique: Tutorial HERE. This was quick and easy to sew. The only reason it sat on my sewing table for months is because I wanted to try the new neckband technique I mentioned above. That tutorial is coming soon! I cover stitched to do the hemming. In the absence of a cover stitch machine, using a twin needle to hem knits is the next best thing. See my tutorial on that HERE

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Are you moving on to fall sewing or still holding on to summer?


-Vatsla 🙂

16 Comments on Saying Hello to Fall with Black and Animal Print

  1. Love this entire look! You absolutely rock it. I am very interested to see your neckband tutorial: I can make them work for me but the way I’ve done it is so fiddly and annoying! Can’t wait to see what you did differently–it’s always good to learn something new. =)

  2. Very chic! I can’t wait for your neckband tutorial. I, too, hate attaching knit bindings. I have this pattern in my stash but haven’t attempted it yet. I’m ready for fall sewing.

  3. I really like your crop top!! And what you said about neckbands…YES!!! I can totally relate! I look forward to hearing about this new technique, your shirt looks really good. And I don’t remember ever seeing S1070….that jacket is awesome!

  4. okay girly, I thought I was alone with the neckband drama, whew!!!! I’m looking forward to your tutorial. I’ve been sitting on this pattern, now that’s I’ve seen you rock it, I’ll make it. Thanks and gurl you look fabulous!!!

  5. Looking forward to the tutorial. I have a few knit tops I’m working on and dreading that part. You always look so chic. And I think you look fabulous in prints.

  6. Great article about a perfect outfit! Your description about the reason why you were not on speaking terms with the top is hilarious but soooo true. Can’t wait to read about the technique! Thanks already for sharing!

  7. I too procrastinate with neckbands for the same reasons you mentioned. Really enjoyed this post and can hardly wait for the neckband tutorial. I don’t have this pattern in my stash, but will soon.

Leave a Reply