Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Behind The Seams – My Review of the Bluprint Online Learning Platform

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About a month ago I shared with you that Bluprint was having their “Get Started” event, where they offered you free access to all of their online classes included in their subscription. I heard from so many of you how much you enjoyed binge-watching the classes! I have been binge-watching myself, and I wanted to share with you my experience so far. For those of you who did not take advantage of the free test drive, I am doing a review of Bluprint below.  I also want to let you know that you can still get a 7 Day Free Trial to Bluprint.

Bluprint offers classes on various subjects, from sewing to patternmaking, to baking and woodwork! As you can imagine I am mainly interested in the sewing and pattern- making classes, and since you love to sew too, I will be sharing my experience with the classes so far.  I was also super excited to brush up on my pattern making skills. For those of you who don’t know,  I studied pattern making with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts and she is one of the instructors that teaches on Bluprint. Her classes are my absolute favorite so far! Below is my 1st impression of using this online learning platform. My goal is to learn something new each month and share my sewing projects with you!

Once I logged in, I saw this screen with all the categories of classes they offer.

 

Since I am interested in sewing classes and pattern making classes (which also fall under the sewing category), I clicked on “Sew” to browse the classes.  There were a total of 197 classes available to watch! That is a lot! There is a filter option available to allow you to drill down and find what you are looking for. I found this helpful because looking through almost 200 classes can be time-consuming!

The filter option allowed me to select the subcategories of “clothing” and “pattern making”. This brought me down to a selection of 35 classes, which I was able to quickly browse. Once I knew the ones I was interested in, I clicked the “+” button on the top right of the class and was able to save them to my watch library.

Once you add all the classes you want to watch to your library, you can click on the library link and it shows you all the classes you have saved. Here are a few of mine. As you can see, I am interested in brushing up on my pattern making skills, and also on making my sewing more efficient by learning time-saving tips.  I also want to watch the class on presser feet. I am always blown away by how the right foot can make the job so much easier. For example, I just tried out a wide hem foot and I was impressed by how it can accomplish an even hem so easily, something that would be very hard to do on my own. Now I am curious to see what else is out there that can improve my sewing.

The interface is very easy to browse, and there is a large selection of classes to choose from. I also liked that a lot of the instructors were names that were familiar. For example, Kenneth King, Marcy Hariell, Susan Khalje, Joi Mahone. These are all folks who are well-known in the sewing community and I found that to be a plus. I have studied in person with 3 of the instructors: Suzy Furrer, Sara Alm, and Paul Gala. They are excellent instructors and I will be watching all their classes.

The very 1st class I watched was on designing tops and in it, we went through an exercise to find inspiration to design a collection. The instructor demonstrated how to create a theme board (we called them mood boards in fashion school). It definitely got my creative juices flowing!

But here is one that REALLY excited me.. A class that will show you how to make a CUSTOM dressform at a fraction of a cost. If you have ever struggled with fitting (who hasn’t?!), you have probably considered a custom dressform. And we all know they can run you upwards of a thousand dollars. Well, I am super excited to share with you that I already have a Uniquely You custom dress form foam insert that has been collecting dust in my basement. I bought it last year before I got pregnant, and decided to wait to work on it. Well, guess what?! There is a class for that!!! Yes, my plan is to take my custom dress form foam insert and create a cover for it using a sloper that can be created in the Bodice Sloper Class. I have been wanting to do this for a long time. The dress form actually comes with a cover you can alter, but in my opinion, it is much better to use a bodice sloper as it is truly your “second skin” and you can create a body double! But before I get too excited, I have to say that this is a blog post of its own, maybe even a series of blog posts as I share my progress with you! I am going to wait a little bit longer as I am 8 months postpartum and things are still shifting back in place.. if you know what I mean 🙂

If you have tried Bluprint, let me know what you think of it. While my main focus is going to be on improving my sewing and design skills, I also wouldn’t mind taking a yoga class once in a while, or doing some crafting! The best part for me is that I can watch whenever my schedule allows. Yesterday I watched for an hour while straightening my hair!

I hope you enjoyed seeing an inside look at how the platform works, and if you did not get to test drive it during the last promotion, you can still try a 7 Day Free Trial to Bluprint. Leave me a comment and let me know what you are sewing up these days. I found this amazing boucle two-tone navy and black fabric at Joann’s fabrics a couple of weeks ago. It is so Chanel! I am planning on sewing up my Christmas look with that. In the meantime, I am working on making a wide leg pair of pants and some paci clips for Connor! See you very soon in my next blog post!

 

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Florals for Fall – Self Drafted Skirt with Gathers

Hi Fashionistas!

I am into fall sewing for the last couple of months and this months project is building on last months black tie back top. When I picked out this gorgeous 100% Cotton Percale, I knew exactly what I had in mind. I wanted a poofy gathered skirt to complement the top I made last month. But first I styled it with my favorite button-down:

I will probably wear it more with this black top I made last month:

 

This top is so cute and it’s my favorite at the moment. I love wearing black as it goes with just about anything!
Here is the side and back view:

 

 

 

  

This outfit was fairly easy to style. I paired it with black pumps and my owl earrings (still obsessed with these!) Here is a closeup

I ordered 2 yards of the fabric. I cut the fabric in half lengthwise so I still have a good bit leftover. I made my daughter a matching skirt.  Oh and one for her toy “kitty” too.

 

I re-used a pattern for a self-drafted waist band I used often. For the skirt part,  to took the entire 2 yards (cut in half lengthwise) and gathered it using dental floss. That gave me the poofy effect that I was looking for. Prior to that, I tried gathering manually and also using the gathering foot,  but my fabric was not “poofy enough” so I switched to using the dental floss. This was my 1st time using that sewing hack.. and I will definitely be using that again!

 

As the temperature continues to drop, I will be wearing this skirt with leggings.  Have a lovely week and see you soon!

 

XOXO
-Vatsla 🙂

Third Generation Rub Off Top!

Hi Beauties,

Hope you are doing well! I wanted to share with you another black top I made last month. This is a top that was rubbed off from a handmade top that was rubbed off from a ready to wear top I found at Marshalls like a million years ago. So, therefore,  this is a 3rd generation top!

Before we jump into looking at this DIY, let me show you the original and the 1st knockoff:

Here is the original. These pics are in beautiful Paris 🙂

Here is the 1st ruboff. I made this after the 1st one started showing signs of wear. You can read more about this DIY HERE

Then I recently made this one as the 2nd one started showing signs of wear.

I paired it with the same red skirt I previously wore HERE.

I’ll be wearing this top all winter with jeans. I hate being cold, so I had to sew up another one. For a more dramatic effect, I will be lengthening the pattern piece that makes the “cowl drape”.  You could even make is wider at the top for a more dramatic effect. That would actually be really cute on a sweater. Maybe I will make a sweater this year.

Hope you are well and enjoying the change in season. We are hitting the pumpkin patch with the kiddos today and after that, I am going to stay in and rest! Off to the fabric store tomorrow.

I have so much catching up to do on the blog. Seems like I am always sewing faster than I can blog! I have four looks to catch up on, including this one, so be on the lookout for more looks in the next few weeks!

XOXO

Vatsla 🙂

 

DIY Mommy and me outfits in Cobalt Blue :)

Hi Beauties!

This latest blog post has me feeling some kinda way. The last time I sewed up a blue  mommy and me ensemble for us, Jazz was just 2.5 years old! These pictures totally reminded me of that and I will be sharing those pictures with you as well! For now, all I can say is “Where does the time go?!”

This is probably my favorite picture from that day. I am SO in love with this little human. I just can’t believe how big she is!

Anyways.. moving on to this precious mommy and me outfit. First I have to tell you that this peplum top I am wearing, almost did not make it. Confession- this top looks decent worn and styled, but from a construction standpoint, it has it issues. I made this when I was one month postpartum and I was in a complete daze. I am not even sure why I was sewing that soon after baby birth, but deep inside I guess I have this fear that if I stop sewing, I may never start again. I know that won’t happen, but aren’t most of our fears irrational anyways? Anyways… I was going to deconstruct it and turn it into a dress for my daughter, but instead, I ended up making her a dress from scratch, and decided to give this top another chance! I have to say, it has been very fun to wear!

 

I am so proud of the little lady she is becoming. She has such a sweet heart. Kids are such a blessing

Here are a few pics of her solo. She loves her dress. Interesting fact about this fabric. It is a quilted double knit. It was kinda soft and spongy while being stable at the same time (similar to a scuba or neoprene). So what looks like piping (where the bell sleeve attaches to the sleeve, and the two tiers of the skirt attach) is actually a top stitch that makes the fabric look 3D. As you can see on the bottom tier, it is a bit of a patchwork skirt, but I have fabric greed. This is not the 1st time I have patched fabric scraps together to get as much as I can out of the yardage I have.

She loved to show everyone how she can twirl. I get it. I would do the same.

Her dress is completely self drafted. I played with the sleeves for a slight bell flare, and I must be in denial about how big she is getting because I eyeballed the pattern and it was too short, so I added the 2nd tier.

When I was younger, in my 20’s, I always thought I wanted to marry a “serious” guy. One who preferred silence over talking and was a thinker. Well then I met my now husband, who is funny and silly.. and my kid is pretty much like him.. and I am SO glad because life would be so boring if everyone was serious all the time. I love laughter, but  I can be a bit too serious at times, so my silly family balances me out. This pretty much sums up my daughter’s personality. Hehe

Connor was supposed to be napping, but he made an appearance too! He is 8 months now and has a huge appetite! I feel like all I do is make his baby food and feed him! He is sitting up, eating grown-up food and almost ready to crawl!

My peplum was freehanded.. let’s just say i winged it. I was so tired and sleep deprived.. but it worked out. Its a high low, higher on the sides.

I do love the fullness of her skirt. The top tier is a cull circle skirt, the bottom one was cut with scraps.. so I cut strips in moon shapes, then pieced them together..

I REALLY enjoyed writing about this project and sharing the details with you. The fabric was from fabric mart, I have previously used it HERE, so technically I have 2 mommy and me tops to go with her dress.  Oh I miss my long hair. Never cutting it short again. Lol

And before I let you.. please tell me, how is my little one so grown. See this mommy and me in a blue I did last time? She as such a baby!

So much has changed since then, yet so much remains the same. Ok- before I get too emotional, let me go sew!

I’ll be catching up with you soon as I have a few more looks to share with you!

Take care and see you soon!

Vatsla 🙂

The Skirt That Should Have Been Pants! Simplicity 8655

Hi Fashionistas!

So, here I am sharing with you a project that did not go as planned.. but I could hear Tim Gunn say the entire time “Make it work”.. so I did!

I was so excited to be making a pair of pants since I have not made one in a while. I had high hopes for the perfect pant. I had the most amazing fabric and such a cute pattern picked out. But alas.. it just did not go as planned.

So long story short, after I sewed up the pants, I did my first fitting before applying a facing.. and I knew right then and there that the pants would not work for me. I did not even want to attempt the numerous alterations I knew it would take.. so my sewing adventure took a plot twist. I turned the pants into a skirt.

Here is the back view:

We all have projects that don’t go as planned.
Sometimes I feel these projects are good because they challenge our creativity. I am happy with the skirt, the only thing I don’t like is the center front seam. If I were to draft this skirt from scratch, I would have only two front darts.

I styled this skirt with a black tee and snakeskin pumps and tassel earrings. My daughter picked these earrings out for me last weekend. Aren’t they so happy?

For the ruffle, I took wide strips of fabric cut on the cross grain. I did some freehand pleating along the selvage edge of the fabric because it would not fray. I then topstitched it to the skirt. I also cut the ruffle along the cross grain instead of the straight grain.

So now let’s talk about this project. I started out making a pair of pants. I was convinced these would be the cutest pair of pants and that the fit would be amazing? Why?!! Because the pattern envelope told me so. Maybe it was overconfidence or my optimism (that’s what I chose to believe – I’m just always thinking positive haha ). I seriously expected to sew up these pants, do one alteration and end up with a fabulous fit. Boy, was I wrong. If you have had the same experience with this pattern, do share.  The pants seemed extremely high waisted, and also very long. (I am 5 feet 4 inches) This was the longest crotch ever. I knew right away that this could end up being that projects that got very frustrating very quickly. I heard my inner critic say “You should have made a muslin”.  Anyways, the reality was, that I did not make a muslin. I was still so in love with the fabric, I wanted to salvage the project. The only thing that fit me on the pant was the waist, so I decided to turn the pants into a skirt. I had to take in the side seams, back seam, and front seam in order to get a better fit. I do love these pants so much.  I am going to attempt them again, but next time I am going to make a sloper. The fit is amazing on Mimi G.

Here are the Simplicity Pants I started out with.

 

 

Have you sewn this pattern? Or have you had to hack something up like I did? I would love to hear about it!

I am already info fall sewing as you might have noticed in my recent blog posts. What are you working on?

XOXO
-Vatsla

DIY Ankara Skirts and Free BluPrint Learning All Week !!!

HI Fashionistas!

I am SO excited to share a couple things with you! 1st, my DIY mommy and me skirts that I made on Saturday night and wore on Sunday morning! And 2nd… BluPrint is hosting a Get Started event where you can watch ALL classes and shows for FREE now through 10/12! No credit card needed, its Free 99! Yay. You know I will be watching all week.  You can learn anything from sewing, to pattern making, to drawing! To get access, click HERE

If you missed the Get Started Event, don’t worry, you can still get a 7 day Free Trial of BluPrint.

Here is my latest DIY- Sunday was so rushed,  I did not get a chance to take any pictures for the blog, but I wanted to share my skirt with you. A lot of folks asked me how I got a full circle skirt with a 45 inch fabric and I will be sharing the details on that soon!

 

I’ll be in touch with a step by step tutorial on the pattern making and cutting for this skirt. As soon as I get it photographed! Happy Friday you guys and have a lovely weekend. Don’t forget to binge watch BluPrint 🙂 Remember if missed the event, then you can still get a 7 day Free Trial to BluPrint

Love,

Vatsla 🙂

Red, Black and Rawwrrr :)

Hi Beauties!

I hope that you are doing well and that you stayed dry in case you were in the path of hurricane Flo!

I am in Charlotte (North Carolina). We got a good amount of rain, although my neighborhood was not impacted very much. My rose bushes were destroyed but we were lucky to not get any serious damage! I spent the weekend sewing with a beautiful black ITY knit and made two black tops for fall.

The 1st one is my favorite as it has this gorgeous tie back detail on the neckline!

I made the top to be long sleeves, even though I will probably pull the sleeves up to a three-quarter length most of the time. The element that takes this top from basic to stylish is definitely the scoop neck on the back and the back tie. I paired the outfit with my favorite animal print pumps.


When I sewed up the top, the neckline on the front and back were the same because the front and back are both cut from the same paper pattern. Then I ended up free handing the back neck to be a deep scoop neck.

I added ties using my scrap fabric.

The top has a raglan sleeve and I created the pattern by copying a RTW top I had. I basically copied the pattern from a short sleeve tee and extended the sleeves, then changed up the neckline.

Here is the front and side:

Love the little details in the ensemble


I made another black top for fall, which is perfect for layering, but I will talk about that later in a separate blog post! That one is perfect for winter and fall, and for layering.



I am working on a gathered poofy skirt to go with top #1 next. So excited to pair the two and have a head to toe me made look!

I will see you soon and let me know if you have ever copied your favorite RTW tops? The pattern making was so quick and easy. I made both patterns in under 30 minutes!


XOXO-  Vatsla 🙂




Black Summer Maxi Dress

HI Fashionistas!

The kids are back in school and I am finally getting a chance to catch up on blogging.  I have a few things I made over the summer that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks.  This is one of those summer maxi dresses I made in a lightweight knit.

I made the dress without a pattern. It was made in under two hours. To cut the bodice of the dress, I used a tank top as a guideline, and to make the skirt, I simply made very small pleats on my sewing machine (freehanded) to mimic the look of gathers. The bodice is self-lined, as the fabric is thin. The skirt is not lined. Its light and airy. I wore this dress to fathers day dinner. Matter of fact, I am wearing it now with a floral scarf for a pop of color.
 

What I love about this dress is that it’s so easy to wear.  You really don’t have to worry about styling a dress like this. It will go with whatever shoes you are wearing and whatever purse you are wearing!

 

I am pretty obsessed with these owl earrings lately. Since I don’t have a lot of time to spend on myself right now, these statement earrings so a long way.  Connor is four months now and this dress is also nursing friendly.
Here is a back and side view:

I left the bottom hem raw for two reasons: The hem on maxi dresses always gets so worn, so I can simply trim it by 1/2 inch when that happens and continue using the dress. I also plan on attaching a ruffle on the hem for a different look when I chop some of the hem off- to add back some length,  Then I would wear it with some shoes that have a slight heel. For now, I needed something that I can wear with flat shoes. The fabric does not fray, so skipping the hem worked for me.

I have already started sewing some fall pieces.. I will be sharing those with you starting next week!

 

Hope you all are dong well.

 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

DIY Lace Overlay Skirt in White

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you had a lovely 4th of July Holiday and sewed and celebrated! My latest sewing project for the month of July is this beautiful white lace skirt that I made by combining a white cotton corduroy with a white lace fabric overlay.

 

I used this fabric as the base. And then on top, I overlayed the fabric with this beautiful stretch lace to create a brand new fabric!

It is always is fascinating to see how the personality of a fabric changes when you combine it with another.  To see what I mean, you have to see the final fabric up close. Here is a picture. By themselves, both fabrics are good, but together, they are exquisite!

To do this, I cut each pattern piece in the base fabric as well as the lace fabric. Example, if the pattern tells me to cut two of the skirt back, I cut two in lace and two in corduroy.

Then I use a 1/4 inch seam allowance and baste the lace on the base fabric all around the perimeter. Then I treat the two as one fabric and proceed with my construction.  I married the two fabric together.

This works well if both fabrics have no stretch,  but in my case, both fabrics had some stretch. The lace fabric was lighter and had a higher stretch percentage. I did a lot of pinning to prevent slipping. And my lace fabric did stretch a bit as you can see on the picture above. I chopped off the excess after basting them together.

 To style this skirt, I went with a chambray button down, nude pumps. and a bold clutch! This look was totally Pinterest inspired. I just happened to have everything in my closet.

Here is a view from the side. It is a bit high-waisted, but not by much.

Here is the back view. Confession… this is my 1st time sewing a slit the right way. When I self-draft, I usually just do a “faux” slit and press the seam allowance under, which you can see on this red dress I made a while back.

    

I used this Simplicity pattern, and I lengthened view D a bit to hit below the knee. By the way, view F is totally on my wishlist!

8

My darling Connor came out to take some pics too! Here he is, now 5 months old! Hard to believe he will be 6 months soon! He’s a chunkster munkster!

    

 I am still so obsessed with these owl earrings I previously wore here and here

I hope you all are having a lovely summer.  My next project consists of a beautiful pair of white high waisted pants using a simplicity pattern. I already have the fabric selected.  I cannot wait to share that with you soon.

Happy summer and happy sewing, friends! See you soon

XOXO-

Vatsla

Birthday Skirt in Red!

HI Fashionistas!

The month of May is a month of celebration for me and my family. We celebrated my birthday and Mothers Day this past weekend, and my husband and I will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary this week.

So for the month of May, I sewed up a voluminous pleated circle skirt in a beautiful red shirting fabric. Here it is:

Initially, I had planned on creating a high low dramatic hemline, and that is what I was planning on wearing until mid of last week. But after trying it on, it felt very heavy and was not too flattering on me, so I chopped it off to an even hemline about 19 inches from the bottom of the waistband to get this look.

The skirt is completely self-drafted and I will talk about that more in this post.  Here is the back view:

A bit obsessed with these owl earrings lately..

I drafted the waistband for the skirt 1first. It is basically a rectangle. For the length, I used my waist measurement, plus 1/2 inch ease, plus an extra 1 inch for seam allowance (since I stitch using 1/2 inch seam allowance to attach the zip on the back). For the hight of the waistband, I wanted a finished measurement of 2.5 inches so the pattern height is 6 inches (double of 2.5 plus 1-inch seam allowance total) 

The breeze brings out the best in this skirt lol 🙂

To get this type of volume, I measured from my side seam to side seam on my body (let’s call this measurement W) and then drafted a half circle skirt pattern on muslin using a waist measurement of W. I then cut 3 from that pattern and paneled them together. Once that was done, the waist of the 3 panel skirt was larger than my waist circumference. So then I added some pleats to the skirt to make the measurement of the skirt match the measurement of the waistband. Since the waistband was drafted to my waist, all I had to do was freehand some pleats to make the two fit. And Voila! Extra volume!

So you know I had to twirl in this skirt!

I wore it for my 39th Birthday last month!

I also wanted to share a picture of Connor. He is 3 months in this picture. He has started smiling a bit, although he is stingy with his smiles. He is such a serious lil’ dude! 

 

And I also ended up wearing it for Mothers Day with a DIY top. It’s a fun skirt to wear! (not the best lighting)

I hope you are having a lovely may. It is getting toasty here, we have had temps in the 90’s this past week. The summer is going to be super hot, and I plan on staying home a lot and hosting a lot of playdates to keep myself and my kiddo busy.

I’ll see you soon with my next make, a summer maxi dress!

XOXO-

Vatsla

 

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