Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Sewing Vacay

Hi Fashionistas!! Happy FriYAY!

 

Bit of a transparent post. I am burned out. As a momma to a lovely and energetic toddler, and as a wife to a busy husband who travels a good bit for work, I am exhausted, spent, drained.  I was talking to my therapist yesterday and she said “Sounds like you need a mommy vacation”. My eyes lit up- what a wonderful idea!!!

But 1st- check out this beauty I am working on

Work in progress ✂️💗 Friday morning work mode ✂️✂️✂️ #fashionbehindtheseams #sewing #isew

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In a matter of seconds, I decided to go for it- I even had the hotel picked out. The idea of some “me time” to rest and recharge sounded so appealing. Since yesterday I have been in deep thought as to why we wait until our breaking point to act . Why are we (at least me)- not more proactive about avoiding a state of exhaustion. Why am I not more proactive about having a self care routine. One that involves daily, weekly, monthly and yearly practices that re-energise myself? Why are we as a society, and specifically we as a gender (I assume most of my readers are women) conditioned/trained/expected to give give give and burn ourselves out? Why are we so conscious of how to care for our bodies, but not our minds? Why don’t we focus on caring for ourselves before we care for the rest of the world?

I see this burn out as a blessing. It’s really got me thinking that I need to be intentional about creating a self care plan for myself to ensure I don’t get to this point again. Now the EXCITING part:

Hotel is booked, 2 days of no interruptions. I am packing my current sewing project, tools and sewing machine, and checking myself into a lovely hotel.

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It is in an amazing location, walking from everything. I plan on eating good nourishing food, taking long walks and sewing. That’s all I want to do. Sewing re-juvenates me. And the idea of doing it without being pulled in every direction is just glorious. This also got me thinking- how many other women are out there who would love to do something like this- get away for a few days to sew without responsibilities? To rest and re-charge. So I decided to host a sewing retreat in 2017. Imagine 3 days of sewing, a nice relaxed space with sewing machines, dress forms, cutting tables, and a sea of fabric. More on that later, but I am curious to know… where are you located? I am in Charlotte NC, and would love to know if you are close by and if you would be interested in joining me. Just leave me a comment and let me know. You can also comment on my facebook page. If you prefer to send me a private message, use the contact form below.

Here is what I am currently working on: Lots of pattern making and sewing in the last week.. I will wrap this up in vacation mode 🙂

 

 

Friday #workflow 💗💗💗✂️✂️✂️

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I hope to hear from you soon!! I hope that you are having a relaxing holiday. If not, I pray that you would take some time to rest and rejuvenate before doing for others.

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Saturday Night Sewing

Greetings Fashionistas!

I am in my happy place right now. Really- I am writing you from my sewing ma-sheen 🙂 This is where I am the happiest, this is where I feel 18 years young again. As if I don’t have a care in the world. Nothing matters when I am here. Just my music, my fabric, my machine.

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I haven’t been sewing in the past couple weeks (Boo!). Why?!! What’s wrong with me? Have I really been doing dishes and cooking dinner all week?  Actually, I didn’t do much this week. I just slowed down. So I have nothing to show for. And that is OK. I enjoyed my week. I enjoyed my daughter. I enjoyed a guilt-free cheeseburger with fries, a coke and washed it down with a milkshake. That is so unlike me.. but it was the best thing I have “eated” in a while :)))

Do you ever complete a 10-minute project and not only get that hit of dopamine, but also a new addition to your wardrobe? This sweater was a size L Bebe sweater. I am a size S, but I had to have it. So I purchased it knowing that it would sit in my studio for years before I got to it. It was a simple 5-minute alteration.

I tried the sweater on, eyeballed it and decided I need to take in an inch on the sleeves and the side seams. Pretty simple. I have previously explained this in a tutorial HERE. It literally took 5 minutes.

Here is the sweater after…

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Here is the before.

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To take it in, I did one continuous stitch starting at the wrist, all the way up the sleeve, and then down the side seam. I took in about an inch on each side. It’s the same method I explained HERE

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I ended up using Sergio (my serger). I haven’t used him in a while since I’ve started using my industrial for knits. Mainly because I sew with stable knits most of the time.

The fit is not bad. It needs to be belted.. or “brooched” since there is no closure.

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I love this cardi! I plan on wearing her to Church tomorrow.. with a black pencil skirt. I wore something similar to Christmas Ever service 2 years ago. Geez.. where does the time go?!!!

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Anyhooz.. I hope you are guys are well and enjoying December! I’ll post pics soon of the final look!!! Have  a wonderful weekend!

 

XO-Vatsla

 

 

Craftsy Class Review and Pattern Making Book Review

HI Fashionistas!!!

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend.I am not one to shop the early  morning sales on Black Friday but I do appreciate a good deal that can be scored from my laptop on the comfort of my couch. One that doesn’t require an “early bird” special and does not entice you into a brick and mortar store to bombard you with more specials.

Here are some of my favorite sewing related Black Friday sales that I want to share with you. I already own and recommend a lot of these items so I wanted to share them with you in case you are interested:

My absolute favorite are the following sales on all  Craftsy classes on sale for $ 17.99

I studied with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts a while back. She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

I got to visit with Suzy earlier this year and tour the new location of Apparel Arts, which is fabulous .

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Here are the classes I am currently registered for. I highly recommend all of them. Suzy is an excellent teacher and also very responsive.

We studied pattern making at Apparel Arts in this order. Now you can benefit from her classes at home! If you want to learn pattern making, these would be the classes to take in order to build a good foundation.

Skirt Sloper : Click HERE

Here are a couple skirts I made for my final collection while studying with her:

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Bodice Sloper : Click HERE

From a bodice sloper, you can draft dresses , tops. jackets. Here is a dress and jacket I self-drafted using my bodice sloper:

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Dart Manipulation/Seam Lines : Click HERE

This class focusses on taking the basic slopers drafted for the body and then manipulating them into different style elements. For example, here you will learn how to change a basic darts on your sloper into princess seams, gathers, pleats, tucks etc.

Here is a good example of manipulating a bodice sloper into a sweetheart strappless neckline and also manipulating the darts into princess seams. (ps- that isnt alkee-hol, i just posed for my final collection :))

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Another example fo a self-drafted garment is this one.  You also learn about adding excess ease and then removing it in the form of pleats (which are dart equivalents)

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Creative Necklines : Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves : Click HERE

You know sleeves are big this fall. Dramatic sleeves are in. You can learn how to make bishop sleeves, bell sleeves etc. Here is a bell sleeve I drafted this summer.

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Pants : Click HERE

Here is a pair of pants I drafted in school. Not the best fabric choice,which caused the wrinkles. But being a novice, I can see why I selected this fabric. These pants in a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

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Her latest classes are based on wardrobe building. I have registered for one of these, but have not watched it yet. You can view those HERE

I also highly recommend her textbook, which is the Bible of Pattern Making. You can find it HERE

In fact, I just purchased a second copy because I misplaced my original one

All classes are $17.99 for the black Friday sale which I think is an excellent deal. I have been purchasing craftsy classes for years and on average I pay $30 to $35 for each class.

I have also taken and reviewed the following classes in the past. They are both for tailoring a coat:

The first one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape and the second one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Construction

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You can read my review of these classes HERE and see the final garment HERE

I hope this post helps you see how these classes can help someone who wants to be a self-taught fashion designer. Gone are the days where you needed to take out crazy student loans and go to fashion school. regardless of whether you want to be creative and design for yourself, or be a self-taught designer and turn into a career option, the sky is the limit. With online learning, it IS possible!

Let me know if you like online learning. Just last night I was watching a video on drafting cowl pants. There is so much to learn, it never gets old!

I am heading down to the studio in a bit to work on my cowl pants and purchase  few more classes ! Hope you are well and I will see you soon with my next sewing post.

Happy Black Friday!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Sewing Quick Tip: The Gathering Foot

HI Fashionistas!

Every girl has her favorite shoes, and believe me, I have more shoes than I need. But today I wanted to share with you, one of my top 3 sewing feet and why I love it so much.

When it comes to garment construction, the right sewing tools can make all the difference. While you don’t need a fancy sewing machine (a basic machine with a straight stitch and zig zag is just fine), using the right sewing feet can make all the difference. They take your sewing to the next level!

Here is my first favorite: The gathering foot

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This is a small sewing machine accessory but can make gathering a breeze!

 

I have gotten such good use out of this one. You can use this with knits, with wovens, with tulle (YAY) and also with chiffon, organza, netting.. the possibilities are endless.

I used it here to make the ruffles on this DIY top I made last year.

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This little foot  makes beautiful ruffles when paired with the right fabric and the right amount of tension on the machine.

You can control the “tightness” of the ruffles by changing the tension. See my video on this

I also use this foot to gather tulle, which makes gathering a breeze. Here are a couple tulle skirts I made using this technique HERE

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Most people who work with tulle mention how beautiful tulle is, but what a pain it is to gather. Not with this foot! Check out how I gather tulle easily at the rate of 2 yards per minute!

 

What about you?

  • Do you have a favorite foot?
  • Have you used the gathering foot?
  • Do you recommend a foot to make my sewing more fun/efficient?

I hope this review helped. I’ll be sharing my other favorite two sewing accessories with you soon!

 

Oh! I also made this tulle dress with the gathering foot..

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XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

ps. I’ll be posting the progress of my projects on my FB page as always

Women Who Inspire: Erica Bunker of Erica Bunker DIY Style

Hi Fashionistas:

This is part two of the five-part series: Behind The Seams: Women Who Inspire Me

In 2008, I was introduced to Erica Bunker’s sewing blog. This is when I was spending my days in my gray nerdy cubicle dreaming of colorful fabrics! Pretty much every afternoon around 3 pm after my afternoon chai, I would get so creative and start sketching at my desk.. or browsing the web (on my non- smoking breaks) 🙂 This is when I found Erica. I subscribed to her blog and dreamed about garments I wanted to make, all the while writing useless code for a boring corporation.

Erica has such wonderful taste,  and her construction skills are impeccable. While she follows trends and keeps an eye on the what’s coming down the runway, she also has so many handmade pieces that are timeless and classic. Here are some of my favorite looks:

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