Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Behind The Seams: Repurpose with a purpose

HI everyone!! I missed you last week!!

I managed to do a quick tutorial but last week was a tough one, so unfortunately, my sewing had to take a backseat. I made a commitment to myself that I would sew every Thursday without fail. So I did go into my studio late Thursday night and gathered up some tulle, but that was about it!

Well I am back on track and ready to get to work this week! So…. the 1st thing I am going to work on this week is a blue peplum top, and I am planning on re-purposing this dress instead of making it from scratch. Do you have an unwanted knit dress in your wardrobe and want to sew-along? Design details below…

IMG_6626 IMG_6627

 

This is a dress I bought sometime last year and never wore. I tried it on once and it was big on me. I meant to take it in, but I just don’t think I am going to wear it. So…  I am going chop this baby up and re-construct it. I am going to preserve the hemming on the neckline and sleeves and I will be using the fabric from the skirt to create the peplum. I want a full peplum and this is the overall look I am going for:

 

finalfbts

 

behindseams2

 

PATTERN: For the base pattern, I will probably use a self drafted pattern I used HERE. I wont touch the neckline as it is beautifully hemmed.

Peplum: I will self draft the peplum using this technique that I documented HERE

SEWING: After I de-construct the top at the sleeves , side seams and waist, I will resize the sleeves and top and then re-attach the sleeves using this easy method I documented HERE

I am truly hopeful that I will also be able to make a pair of skinny jeans or capri pants to go with this peplum. Ambitious for a day of sewing, but a girl can dream, right?

Are you sewing something? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

XOXO

 

Behind The Seams: How to draft a peplum

Hi Everyone!

Looks like Tuesdays might end up being “Tutorial Tuesdays”. A few days ago, a fellow sewist shared this picture and asked how she could draft the peplum for  a blouse.  I have documented step by step instructions below on how to draft a peplum.  Peplums are really easy to draft and you need only one measurement: your waist.

azz56663_cream_default_xl

 

First of all I want you to think of a peplum as a baby version of a circle skirt, because that is essentially what it is. A peplum sits on the waist and looks most flattering when worn on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. The natural waist for most women is slightly above the belly button.

Some more examples of peplums….

43bc2294a28c6cd4b6c33dd83be0b98b

And here is the famous Victoria Beckham Sheath dress that you can buy for $3145… or you can learn this DIY and make your own!

celebrities-victoria-beckham-fall-2009-carmontelle-cashmere-peplum-dress

Peplums are found on blouses, dresses, skirts, jackets and come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen peplums with gathers, box pleats, inverted box pleats and many more variations.

Follow the steps below to draft your very own peplum! I  took this pictures in a rush, so excuse the free hand sketching. It’s not fancy, but if you understand the technique, then that is all the matters!

behindseams2

You will need the following measurements: waist (Measurment A) and desired height of peplum (Measurement B) ,Pattern paper, tape, scissors and drafting pens or pencils.

Step 1: Draw a rectangle using measurement A and measurement B

IMG_6525Then draw lines shown in blue that are somewhat equidistant.

IMG_6526Step 2: Cut along the blue lines almost to the top, but don’t cut all the way. This allows you to spread the pattern.This is called the Splash and Spread Method

IMG_6529

 

Step 3:  Tape down the original pattern at the top. This is still our original waist measurement. On the bottom of the pattern, you will start spreading the pattern as shown below. You could insert one inch in each opening, or 2 inches for a fuller peplum. Tape down the bottom of the pattern after you have spread it.

 

IMG_6530

 

If you want a fuller peplum, you can spread the pattern even more as shown here

IMG_6533

 

Step 4: Next add seam allowance so this can be sewn up properly. Also add a hem on the bottom. I have shown this in red. This is the pattern for the front of the peplum

 

IMG_6531

 

To draft the back, all you have to do is fold the pattern above in half and add a seam allowance along the centre back to accomodate the zipper.

IMG_6534

 

Hi-Lo Variation:If you are going for a hi-lo peplum in the back, you can simply extend the centre back by your desired measurement (green line) as shown below before adding the seam allowance (shown in red)

IMG_6535

It was fun making it and trying out a different kind of peplum, but I think I will go back to my favorite style, which is this white one and this blue one, that I left drafted using this tutorial. If you want your peplum to have a stiff hem like my white peplum below, consider sewing in some horse hair braid to the hem. I used a one inch HHB you can find HERE

 

IMG_8471

 

IMG_6658

Want to learn more about pattern making in a way that makes sense? Check out Suzy’s pattern making classes HERE. Suzy is brilliant. I learned everything I know about pattern making from her.

I hope this helped! If you have any questions, leave a comment and sign up for more sewing tips and tricks below!

-Vatsla 🙂

Pinterest Inspired Hi-lo Dress using Mccalls M6886

Hello Fashionistas!

Today is my sewing day, but I have to admit, I woke up with no idea of what to make. Usually I wait for Thursdays with anticipation. I plan my project in my head, make a sketch or two, start working on my pattern and cutting around the middle of the week. Not this week. As a mom of a naughty toddler, I find myself growing more and more tired each day. Seems like terrible twos have come early in my home. But I made a commitment to myself that I would sew every week. So today I am looking for a quick project that will take me no more than 2 to 4 hours to complete.

I want to make a reversible hi-low dress with grey on one side and black on the other. If I can get two dresses out of one, why not? 🙂

I am feeling inspired by this dress I saw on pinterest. It’s a t-shirt dress, so has a casual element to it, but the hi-low hem makes it interesting.

98de7c8c589a3d212e75e706b083db80

I am debating between sleeveless and short sleeves. I really like the ribbing around the neckline. It makes the dress a bit more casual, which will be appropriate for the fabric I am using. I plan on using this jersey knit below

IMG_5544

I also like this hi-low dress, but mine would have a longer hemline in the front. I would like for the hem to hit right above the knee. I don’t care for the long sleeves though, because warm weather is finally here! Yay!

7bffad3ad89e02578e00125f4ebcfb8b

 

 

Since time if of the essence, I will be using the McCall M668 as a base instead of drafting my own pattern. Don’t let the ugly print on the envelope fool you. I have seen some amazing dresses made with this pattern. I will be using View D if I go for sleeveless, or view C if I go for sleeves. The only pattern alteration I will be doing is lengthening the hem on the centre back and shortening the hem on the centre front, and of course blending the hem at the side seams.

71MiUpn656L._SY355_

As always, I am going into this project with a plan in my head, but I could end up with something completely different. I better go grab my scissors and get to cutting while baby naps.

See you soon in my next post. Until then, Happy Sewing!

XOXO

How to hem knits using a twin needle

HI Folks,

Last week I did a tutorial on how to attach a sleeve and a lot of people found that helpful.  I received a request from a fellow sewist to do a tutorial on hemming knits using a twin needle, which you can see below.

This is what a twin needle looks like. It has two needles as the name suggests and it allows you to create a cover-stitch without using a cover stitch machine.  You can find this needle at fabric stores or online. For knits, make sure you are using a stretch twin needle for best results

For the purpose of this demo,  I am using a red thread on the left needle, green thread on the right needle, and yellow thread on the bobbin.

Step 1: Replace your regular needle with a twin needle.

Step 2: Adjust the needle position to make sure it does not hit the metal on the presser foot. Lower the needles manually using the handwheel to make sure the needle wont break once you start sewing.

Step 3: Threading the needles: This is a very important step. If this is not done correctly, the threads can get tangled up and cause a lot of frustration.

The left spool will be placed exactly where you place the spool when you are sewing with a single needle. The right spool will be placed where you normally place the bobbin before winding the bobbin. You will need to place an extra spool holder on top of the bobbin winder. See illustration below

Be sure to thread the left needle before you thread the right needle. If you thread them together and treat both threads as one, you will have tangling. The left needle will be threaded EXACTLY the same way you thread a single needle, so go ahead thread as normal. For the right needle, thread it exactly the same as the left needle EXCEPT the very last step. The last step of threading a needle is passing the thread through the needle bar guide before inserting the thread into the needle. You will skip this step for the right needle. Please note that your needle bar guide might look different than mine, so refer to your user manual in case yours doesnt resemble mine.

In Summary:

Left Needle: Thread this as normal, passing the thread through the needle bar guide

Right Needle:  Thread this as normal, but do not pass the thread through the needle bar guide before inserting the thread into the needle. In the illustration below I am using red arrows to show you how to thread the left needle and green arrows to show you how to thread the right needle.

Picture3

 

While this step is pretty universal, refer to the user manual of your machine as well.

Step 4:  Place the fabric under the presser foot with the hem folded under. Lower the needle manually once to secure the fabric. Then grab the two top threads and tuck them underneath the presser foot to avoid tangling.

twin

 

To start hemming, back-stitch twice to lock the stitch and then forward stitch. When you get to the end of your stitch, back-stitch again. This is what the hem will look like on the correct side of the garment:

This is what the hem will look like on the backside of the garment. Of course you will use the same color thread. I used different colors for the sake of the demo.

This finish can be used on necklines, armholes, sleeves, hems at the bottom of shirts, dresses, skirts etc. In this case, you will be sewing in the round. I recommend backstitching at the start and end regardless of what you are hemming. Always try the hem on scrap fabric before hemming your garment because all fabrics are different and you might need to adjust your tension accordingly.

I used this technique to hem the neckline, sleeves and bottom of this top:

IMG_5568 - Copy

To see some garments I have hemmed using this technique, click HERE or HERE. To see other sewing tutorials, click HERE. You can find a stretch twin needle HERE.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful.  The twin needle is also used on woven fabrics as a decorative stitch. The same steps above would apply to a woven using a non stretch needle. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I will be doing more tutorials in the near future, so please subscribe to my blog if you are interested. Also, please let me know what other topics/ tutorials you would find helpful.

See you soon!! Happy Sewing!

XOXO

How to attach a sleeve (The easy way)

Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday!

I am currently working on my project for the week and wanted to share a trick that makes attaching sleeves a lot easier. If you are new to sewing, you might find the traditional method of “setting in a sleeve” a bit intimidating. The method below is the easiest way to attach a sleeve since it does not require you to sew the sleeve at the underarm seam and then sew the sleeve into the armhole. Please note that this technique only works on knit fabrics

Step 1: Pin and sew the shoulder seams, with the correct side of the fabric facing each other

vasiiiiiii

 

Step 2: Pin and sew the sleeve cap to the armhole from side seam to side seam.

five

 

Step 3: Placing the fabric right sides together, pin the entire underarm seam and the side seam as shown below:

two

Step 4: Make one continuous stitch along the underarm seam and the side seam. And VOILA! You are done!

three

 

Another reason I like using this technique is that it makes alterations a breeze. Lets say you made something using a new fabric that you have not worked with before. If it ends up being too big, you can easily take in the sleeve and the side seam in one go, instead of picking up the dreaded seam ripper and removing the sleeve and then re-attaching it. If you are using a serger instead of a sewing machine, using a seam ripper is no fun!

For hemming knits, I prefer a twin needle instead of a zig zag stitch.

You can see my tutorial on how to use a twin needle HERE

UPDATE: Since writing this tutorial, I invested in a cover stitch machine and love this baby!

UPDATE: The finished leopard print tee can be seen HERE

 

See you next time and until then, I’ll be hiding behind the seams 🙂

-Vatsla

Behind The Seams: Overcoming my fear of (animal) print

Hello Ladies and Gents!

I have been a bit unsure about what my next sewing project should be. I know that leopard print is not currently en vogue, but something has been telling me to sew with this beautiful leopard print that I have been hoarding for three years.  Typically I shy away from all prints. I only wear solids. I have only sewn with prints twice. But… this RTW Fast is all about challenging myself, so I am going to attempt to sew with a print.

Here is the fabric I am working with:

il_570xN.521537925_tna3

It’s a polyester double knit at 58 inches wide. I have four yards of this, so the possibilites are endless 🙂 I like leopard print, and have worn it as an accent (purses, shoes, belts), but never as a garment. I always thinkg that it would be too loud. Since I dont have my imaginary personal stylist on speed dial, I decided to go to pinterest for inspiration.

A maxi skirt, worn with black….

5b9e1b317b4552799ac132466d1863d0

I love the idea of doing a fitted top instead, something like this with 3/4 length sleeves, but if I go for this look, then I have to make that skirt too 🙂 Love the look below.

35a1428b2b5024af3952dc37b492c7b6

 

 

Here is the gorgeous Mrs Beckam in a calf length pencil skirt, once again with black. This is so elegant.

1411999771918_wps_7_Victoria_Beckham_seen_arr Here is another pencil skirt look I like, with white and denim, I would probably extend the length by a few inches on my version. This is so cute with nude pumps and denim.

93c93c44ab303682c041c3e981c9a33e

As I was browsing through all these images, I was still unsure of whether I should sew with leopard print, and then I saw THIS…..

f71696eaf101161a9b5ed603f2ce4128

 

I think the print above is a jaguar print, but you get the point. How cute is this outfit? That would look SO cute on my daughter.. so this picture has me sold. I am still not sure what I am going to make for myself, but  I am making this adorable peplum dress for my toddler. It is just so stinkin cute. Well. I will have my first “Mommy and Me” post coming up soon.

I hope that everyone is getting ready to have a wonderful relaxing. I plan on being in my studio sewing for myself and my mini me. I’ll see you soon with my finished projects.

Happy Friday!!!

XOXO

Behind The Seams: Catching up on UFO’s

Happy Thursday peeps!

Thursday is my sewing day, I sew every Thursday without fail. This week I am tackling a couple UFO’s (Unfinished Objects).

I decided to focus on these two, mainly because it freezing out and also because I can wear them together.

IMG_5972

I started working on this full sleeve top a while back. It’s a copy of a top I loved, but over time, it took too much wear and began to look hobo chic 🙂 So I decided to copy it. I created a pattern for it using my own version of the rub off technique. I am not a big fan of sewing with knits, so needless to say the project never got finished. I never finished the hem and it has been sitting in my sewing studio ever since. Since, I have conquered my fear of the twin needle and learned how to hem knits without the use of a coverstitch machine.

Here is the original top that I loved. Rest in peace my beloved. I cut this baby up to be able to replicate the pattern. I felt so horrible doing it, but it was the easiest way to clone her!

10153187_10151971729855770_81196668_n

I love the cowl neck on this top. Cute and functional. Cowl necks never really go out of style.  My paparazzi hubby took this pic while I was shopping for groceries. He is so sneaky, but this shows the cowl neck so well. I just love the way it drapes.

 

DSC_0702

 

Here is the unfinished version:

IMG_5965

For the pants, I chose to finish up this Pair of pants I started either earlier this year or late last year. The fabric I chose is a gabardine. Personally I don’t like using commercial patterns, mainly because in the time it takes to alter the pattern, I could draft up my own. Not to mention, the muslin making is added time. I often omit muslin making when I am using self drafted patterns.

I am working with Burda 7122 View D: High Waisted Pants.  I already made a muslin, did the fit analysis, altered the pattern and sewed up the shell. I have to admit, these pants are super long, so I need to chop off a good amount of length. I am 5′ 4″ and even with a decent sized heel, these pants are way too long. I am pretty much done with these pants, except the hem and re-applying the zipper.

85a10a62e68f2c0baaf49e4526eb72b3_1

 

I’ll be busy sewing today. Also a dear friend asked me to be part of a photoshoot for her business and asked that I wear a tulle skirt. I do have a tulle skirt that I recently made but I am not crazy about the way it turned out. I got inspired to make a pink poofy tulle skirt for tomorrows photo shoot.. I actually already have the tulle gathered…but still need to make the skirt.. So off to the fabric store I go! I’ll be sewing late into the night.

Do you have any UFO’s in your closet? If you sew, I know you do!

I’ll be back soon with the finished products. Untill then, happy sewing!

XOXO

%d bloggers like this: