Month: June 2017

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!

 

DIY Striped dress: Mccalls M6886 Modified

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a sewing project with you that I made for Easter but never blogged about it. Here is the dress I made. The bodice is Mccalls M6886 and the skirt is self drafted. I’ll show you how below:

I wanted to make something with stripes. Stripes are so chic and never go out of style. I chose to make a dress with a scoop neck, fitted bodice, three-quarter sleeve and a pleated skirt. For the bodice, I chose McCalls M6886, mainly because the pattern is something I have in my stash and I use often. I can also cut the size I need straight out of the envelope, and it does not need any alterations. You can use any bodice from your pattern stash! 

At first, I kept the bodice the same length as this top I made previously. It hits at about the low hip and would let me decide the positioning of my waist seam at a later time.

Once I had the bodice sewn up, and moved on to making the skirt, I measured the bodice from the neckline along the center front.

I  typically like my waist seam to fall on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. Then I marked the waist seam and chopped off the bodice excess after marking my 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Next, it was time to move on to the skirt, and do a small amount of math (nothing super technical) to determine the placement and size of the pleats.

While this is not a fixed formula, I want to share my thought process that you can use to create your own version of this dress!

Here is what I did next, I took a flat measurement of the waist on the bodice. This was 14 inches, excluding seam allowances

Then I took my fabric and folded selvage to selvage. Next, I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be. For me, that was 19 inches. To this, I added measurements of 5/8 inch on top for seam allowance and 1  inch on the bottom for hem allowance.  I used this final measurement to cut the fabric to where it looked like this:

Now I took a flat measurement of the folded fabric across the top. This was 32 inches, excluding seam allowance.  I then cut the fabric into 2 pieces by cutting the fold. This gave me a skirt front of 32 inches and a skirt back of 32 inches.

 Now my goal was to create some pleats on the skirt pieces so that 32 inches would match closely to the 14 inches. For this, I did some simple math and I find that easier to demonstrate on paper. The 1st thing you need to do is decide the placement of the inverted box pleats on your bodice. To do this, I took my bodice and pinned the center front, shown in green on the diagram below (point A). I wanted the placement of the inverted box pleats to fall on my princess seam. For me, that is 3 inches from the center front. So I pinned points B and C on my bodice. The measurement of AB and AC are 3 inches each. When the skirt is attached to the bodice, the inverted box pleats will con-inside with points B and C shown on the bodice in the diagram below

Now that you have placed your pins, you can set the bodice aside. You can also make notches at these points if you prefer.

Now let’s move on to the skirt! I will demonstrate the sewing on a small piece of muslin, that mimics the shape of the skirt on a miniature scale. This will make it easy to demonstrate how I marked and constructed the inverted box pleats.

Because the bodice is 14 inches and the skirt is 32 inches, let us take the difference of the two measurements to decide how much excess we need to eat up in the form of inverted box pleats. 32 minus 12 is 18 inches. Since we are adding 2 invested box pleats, placed at each princess seam, we need each invested box pleat to eat up 9 inches each (18 divided by 2). Make sense so far?

This is all the math you will need to do, now we can do some markings on the skirt and then we are ready to baste the pleats in place! I am showing you the markings on paper below, then we will move on to a sample of sewing the inverted box pleats on muslin! Let’s go over the markings on the diagram below. A is the center of the fabric. AB and AC are 3 inches from the center of the fabric. This is done so that the pleats will coincide with the princess seams on the bodice. Now the final marking is going to be 9 inches from points B and C. This is because we decided that the excess each pleat needs to eat up 9 inches. Measurements BE and CD are 9 inches each. This is all you have to mark on the skirt. You would use pins to mark as I did, or you can make notches in your fabric, whatever you prefer.

Now let us move on to the final step in this pictorial, which is the constructions of the inverted box pleats! By definition, an inverted box pleat is two pleats that are facing each other. If you have never sewn inverted box pleat before, I will show you in muslin below.

On the muslin below, I have marked points A,B,C,D and E.

Now for the construction of the 1st inverted box pleat. pick up the fabric at point D, and place it on top of point C. now make a small stitch as shown to secure the pleat down. This stitch is usually 1/2 inch long.

I have highighted the stich in orange below:

Flip the fabric such that the wrong side is facing up. Now we are ready to flatten the area between C and D and create our inverted box pleats. You can now finger press the excess down on the wrong side of the fabric and distribute it evenly on both sides. now press this down into place.

Now pin this down. You have successfully created the 1st inverted box pleat! Now do the same on the other side of the skirt using points E and D. When you are done, Secure the pleats down by using a basting stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. At this point, your skirt front should look like this:

next steps in construction are as follows:

  1. Create pleats on the skirt back using the same method.
  2. Sew up the side seams
  3. Attach the skirt to bodice matching up the center front, center back, side seams and make sure the points B and C on the bodice match the points B and C on the skirt!
  4. Hem the garment

This is it! I inserted pockets in my dress, in which case, you would want to add the pockets before step 2!

Here are some more pictures of my dress.

I styled my dress with a black belt and black open toe pumps. This ensemble is perfect for summer!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and this encouraged you to try some free handing of your own! While I like using patterns, I also like being independent of them. Many times I run into accidental inventions and those are the best!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

How I save tons of money on sewing patterns: Free printable

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I either draft my own patterns or use store-bought patterns and tweak them in some way to put my own spin on them.

A lot of times I will start with an inspiration picture I find online. And then I go on the hunt for a sewing pattern that I can use as a base. Then I start the process of changing the pattern or mixing it with patterns that are self-drafted.  Regardless, I never pay full price for patterns, EVER. I’ll be giving you a free printable that I use to save money. Keep reading!

I don’t know about you, but it hurts my soul to pay retail price for patterns. This little voice inside myself is always saying to me “Imagine how much fabric you could buy instead”.

Here is a perfect example of what I do. I found my inspiration pic shown below, Then went out and found a pattern for the bodice that I could use as a base. Then I mixed it with a self-drafted pencil skirt and VOILA! I had the dress of my dreams!

Left to right below: My inspiration pic found on Pinterest. Middle: a look at how to found a pattern with similar style lines and made a muslin to tweak it. On the right: My final garment with the Butterick pattern and self-drafted skirt. This is what I love to see. Bringing a garment to life. I will be teaching this process in an online course where I teach how to you can start with an inspiration picture or a sketch and then create a garment from it!

Anyways.. back to how I save tons of money on sewing patterns and how you can do the same. I have a pattern stash, one that is WAY bigger than my fabric stash. When the inspirations strikes, I almost always have a pattern on hand that can be used as a base pattern.  I do this by keeping a running list of all the patterns that catch my eye as I see people post about them on Facebook groups, Instagram etc. And If I like the pattern design, I quickly jot the pattern number down on a pattern sale tracker that I always carry with me. You can see what it looks like in the picture below. Know that almost all fabric stores (in the US) have pattern sales that are cyclical. When the sale hits the fabric stores, I get all my patterns at once.  This way I never ever pay retail for a pattern. I usually get all my simplicity patterns for 99 cents, Mccalls for $1.99, and vogue for $4.99. Ps. Do you know Vogue is on sale right now for $4.99?

The printable has 3 shopping lists and I usually use one list per pattern company per store. Example, I might use one list for Simplicity for Joann’s and one for Simplicity for Hobby Lobby.  You can also use the lists as you are browsing the catalogs! That way you can check off all the patterns you were able to get and carry over the ones you did not get for next time! Let’s face it, patterns are in high demand when the prices drop, which is why I go straight to the pattern drawers!!!

I would love to share this printable with you for FREE so you too can stay organized with your shopping lists and save money!

To download your very own copy and print as many times as you like, Click HERE

I hope you find this helpful, and if you do, please share this post with your sewing family and friends too!

See you soon!

XO-

Vatsla.

 

 

 

Pattern Fitting Class is $12 Today only

HI Fashionistas!!

Public Service Announcement to all my sewing buddies!

Craftsy has one of its biggest class sales ever. This fitting class is on sale for just $12. One of the biggest issues I hear from home sewists is how to get pattern fit.

This is a one day only deal! You also get a vogue pattern, so the price is a great bargain.

I’ve had my eye on this class for a while.. but y’all know I love my discounts! I just bought the class and have been watching it this morning. Here are some screenshots of what is inside the class. You will definitely get a good understanding of how to tweak the pattern to fit you without having to make multiple muslins. Isn’t fitting one of our biggest sewing woes?! To get this amazing deal for just $12, click HERE

I have been watching this class at a coffee shop this morning 🙂 I am including some screen shots of what’s inside

Check out the fit on that gorgrous cocktail dress .. and that looks like a silk taffeta!

I like that she is using a copy of the pattern to explain all the concepts. This is typically more spare than the commercial pattern, and in my opinion easier to follow as it is less overwhelming. You might have noticed that in my tutorials, I also use traced copies of the patterns to make it easy to follow.

I also love that there is an entire chunk of the class dedicated to fitting the garment on a real human being. This is so practical and offers how to address real fit issues.

I also like to read reviews.  Here is one that had me sold!

Perfect for altering patterns without a hassle

I have watched several classes both here on Craftsy and on You Tube concerning pattern alterations. I have probably watched about 6 or 7 in all….but this is by far my favorite. She could write a book titled GEOMETRY FOR DUMMIES and this is what I needed. I can’t wait until I attack all of my patterns. This lady has a gift for teaching (coming from a retired teacher) and is very good at making everything visual. She does comparisons at the end as to what happens when you use her methods, the patterns methods, and eyeballing it. What a difference. That alone made me want to try her methods. I highly recommend this class….not just for beginners….but for anyone with even advanced experience. I am intermediate by definition and learned a lot.

Alright, I am back to watching the class before I have to pick up my kid. Let me know if you end up getting this. I typically do a muslin, and while I don’t do multiple muslins, I almost always to one muslin and then about 2 alterations to the muslin. I am excited about stepping away from as many iterations! HERE is the link again, if you decide to check it out.

 

On Thursday I am sharing with you how I save TONS of money on sewing patterns, and also my process of taking an inspiration picture and turning into a wearable garment! So see you on Thursday!

 

XOXO

 

-Vatsla.

 

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