Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Behind The Seams: Pleats 101

Hi Fashionistas!!! Hope you are well..

I have received a few questions about how to calculate the yardage need to create pleated skirts.. Before i get into that subject, I wanted to address pleats on a more basic level.. This is a sewing 101 tutorial of sorts, geared towards the beginner sewist, or someone who wants to brush up on their sewing jargon 🙂

I’ll be showing you examples of the following:

  • Pleats (Read below)
  • Box Pleats vs Inverted Box Pleats (Tutorial coming soon)

I’ll start with a definition, then a visual aid. I will also show you how to construct them.

Lets start off by looking at pictures of each.  Here are some pleats I free handed on these sleeves :

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Let’s have a look at some more pleats. This dress below has pleats on the neckline.

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And here is another one with pleats

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To learn more about what a pleat is and how to sew one, read below.

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Simply put, a pleat is fabric folded on itself. That’s it. Let’s have a look.

Here is a muslin sample of a pleat. One single pleatIMG_1446

If the fabric were flat, it would look like this. I have color coded this for you in blue and red, so you can see the parts that disappear in the fold of the fabric once the fabric is folded.

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After being folded, the red portion would be concealed in the fold.

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From the bottom, the pleat would look like this:

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On a pattern, a pleat is usually shown with a combination of a circle, squares or notches and a directional arrow showing you which direction the fabric needs to be folded.I do my pattern making per the industry standards for apparel production, therefore I use the notches for the pleats. You will see my pattern further into this post.

Here is an example of what you might see on a ready made pattern . This used circles, dotted lines and a directional arrow.

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Now that you have the theory down, lets move on to the construction.

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I have a muslin sample here . I have transferred the markings from the paper pattern. We have 2 notches and 1 directional arrow. We shall call these notches A and B. Note that the arrow is pointing in the direction of B. This means that when we construct the pleat, we need to make notch A meet notch B. In other words, the pleat will be facing notch B. You can also think of it this way. Notch B is stationary, and notch A is moving to meet Notch B. Make sense? Now lets see this is action

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Pinch the notch A and make it meet notch B

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Secure the pleat down with a pin, catching all three layers of fabric. Then do a basting stitch close to the edge of the fabric to secure the pleat in place and remove the pin. Voila! You have a pleat!

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While you can make pleats like I showed you above, I am going to show you my preferred method of making pleats, because sometimes the pleats can tend to shift, especially if you are using slippery fabrics. So if you are working with slippery fabrics or want a more tailored look, use the method below. This is the one I recommend, but itrequiress more effort, so I wanted to show you quick method as well.

We will start with the same notches A and B

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Then instead of pinching the notch A, fold the fabric such that notch A overlaps notch B, with the right sides of the fabric together. You are essentially picking up notch A and placing it exactly on top of notch B

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Secure the pleats by placing a pin in the fabric about 1/2 inch away from the notches.

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Then take it to the machine and stitch down 1/2 inch on the notches and also backstitch 1/2 to secure the pleat down. This step will ensure that your pleats stay in place.

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Next, press the folded edge

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Then lift the fabric and fold it away from the notches as shown in pic below.

At this point, your pleat is done!

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You can press the pleat down just a little bit on the top if you want more poofy pleats…

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Or you can press the pleats all the way down if you like..

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Let me know if you want the paper pattern available for download so you can do a practice run. I can scan it and upload is here.

That’s it, folks! I will leave you with this inspiration picture. What can pleats do for you?! 🙂

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In the next tutorial, I will cover box pleats… as seen on this skirt.

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Have a lovely day! Talk to you soon!

XOXO

Vatsla. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Behind The Seams: The Dress that never made the Cut

HI Fashionistas! Happy FriYAY!!!

So excited the weekend is here. I am so ready to unwind, relax and sew! We don’t always love sharing our  failures but here is a t-shirt dress I made that never made the cut. I made this dress last year and it didn’t make it past this picture. Looking back, this dress does not look that bad, but it went straight to the goodwill pile.

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Black and White Wanna Be Peplum

Hi Fashionistas,

Here is the scuba knit peplum top I mentioned a few weeks ago. It’s done. I wore it to church last week.   It is made of a thin scuba knit from the Nicole Miller collection. I found it at Joanns.  It’s really not a true peplum. It’s technically a fit and flare, even though its takes the silhouette of one.

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Behind The Seams – Craftsy Class Review

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are having a good week so far! This morning I woke up to an email from Craftsy and it got me so excited about sewing to Fall and winter. They currently have a few classes on sale for under $20 and I wanted to review one that I took last year that totally changed the game for me.

Last winter I knew nothing about coat making (except that I wanted to make one!) So I signed up for shape and structure  and was able to turn my inspiration picture into reality.

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Here is my coat. I also took tailoring class.  If you are considering making your first coat, or improving your coatmaking skills, I HIGHLY recommend these two classes.

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The instructor Alison Smith is an excellent teacher, I loved her method of delivery and she is prompt and thorough with her responses. I truly enjoyed studying with her.

I got this email this morning and it reminded me I promised to review this class a while back. Seriously.. where does the time . l’ll need to go back and watch the class to refresh my memory. That is another thing I love about these classes …you have lifelong access to them.

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Since this was my 1st time making a coat, I had to learn about suitable fabrics, setting in a sleeve, creating custom shoulder pads, using hair canvas, pad stitching etc.. These 2 classes taught me all that and more.. and upped my confidence.. I mean once you make a coat, you can make anything!

Here are some “Behind The Seams” pics of the coat…what goes inside a coat is just fascinating to me! What do you think?

 

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You can see all the details of the coat and two ways to wear it HERE

I also made this jacket.. the jacket could use improvements. They say that a picture tells a thousand words.. In my opinion, a picture hides a thousand flaws.. While a garment can look amazing in pictures, its only upon close inspection that you can find the flaws.. for example, the lapel on this one was sitting away from the body. I would like to make a blazer this year again.. and to improve on last year I am thinking of signing up for Modern Jacket Techniques to attempt another jacket to blazer this winter.

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You can see all the details of this jacket and how I styled it two ways HERE

I hope this review helped. Is anyone up for making a coat and jacket this year? Let me know.. I’ll be making mine and would love to hear about yours.

 

XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

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

 

Behind The Seams: What I am working on

HI Fashionistas!
I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far! It’s only Tuesday but it feels like end of the week for me 🙂

We usually tend to stay home during the 1st half of the week just catching up on mundane chores like laundry and cleaning . But this week has been pleasantly cool and cloudy.. So my kid and I left the house each morning this week for breakfast and errands..

Here are some of the things I am currently working on:

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Finishing up UFO’s: I never shared these pants with you, but I made these in January while on vacation. I did not have my serger then, so I seam ripped them when I got home, in hoped of re-constructing it after serging all the raw edges. Well fast forward EIGHT months, I finally got to it… At least I did not wait until 2017 🙂 The pic has a lot of wrinkles between the waist and the hips. That is because the back zipper broke right before I was getting ready to do pictures… So Ya.. a few safety pins are holding these pants together on the centre back seam… thus all the wrinkles.. I proceeded with pics anyways!

I also finished a matchy matchy dress I sewed up for my daughter in February.. I don’t even know that this will fit her anymore..

These are made with a beautiful denim sateen.. Just love this fabric.  Pattern self drafted..

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Also- I am SO sick of misplacing my tools, so I designed a work belt/ tool apron that I can have all my most frequently used tools in. I plan on sewing this up today. The pattern is already done. I want all the tools to pack put of their pockets/ slots for easy access. There will be a designated slot for all the items in the picture.. These are most things I use while sewing.. some over lap into pattern making.. This way I can remove my tool belt from my hip every night.. and hang it up.. and the next day I know where everything is.. Less time looking for stuff = more time sewing stuff 🙂

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Also- do you remember this fabric I found at Joanns?  I sewed up a full sleeve crop top from that. It’s a UFO at the moment.. but coming soon.. I need to try a new neckline technique on it (New tutorial coming soon as well).. But it is ALMOST done.. don’t you just love adding things to your UFO stash..

 

Besides that… just trying to catch up on blogging. OH I totally forgot.. I made this GORGEOUS peplum top… how could I forget.. I’ll try to post it to the blog this week

#peplum in progress ✂️✂️💗💗. Loving this scuba knit from @joann_stores #diy #fashionblogger #fashionbehindtheseams #sewing #mommyandme

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Cut today, wear tomorrow 💗✂️ #fashionbehindtheseams #peplum #isew #scubaknit

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I was thinking of photographing this top today… but hey.. I would rather be sewing..

Enjoy the rest of your week.. Any fun sewing projects you have on the agenda for this week or the weekend?

XOXO-

Vatsla.

 

Date Night Tank Top

HI Fashionistas!!

I have been sewing up a storm. The last week was probably the busiest sewing week of the year for me. I was working on multiple projects for myself and also many for VBS. Starting today, I am in mental vacation mode and also in selfish sewing mode. All I want to do is eat, sleep and sew! While that is not exactly possible, I do plan on spending every free moment in my studio.

Here is my latest sewing project. I made this DIY Date night tank top.

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All White For Summer…

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you are well and enjoying the summer. A couple of summers ago, I purchased a white linen maxi skirt.  It has the perfect fit, the perfect length, with one problem. The linen was so lightweight that you could see the outline of my thighs through it. The skirt didn’t get as much wear as I expected. I decided to make a similar skirt in a thicker linen. Here is what I came up with

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