Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Today I met Stevie Wonder

Hellooo Fashionistas.

So today I met Stevie Wonder! And I want to tell you the story how….

I would love to tell you that his people called my people, and we decided to talk about music and fashion over coffee and pancakes.. but that isn’t exactly how it went down. 🙂 My blog posts aren’t usually text-heavy, but it’s storytime, so go grab yo self a drink 🙂

I posted this pic on social media earlier today and everyone wanted to know the story. So here goes…

Guess who I just had breakfast with? 💗☕️🍴🍳🎼🎤🎹 #steviewonder #breakky #coffee #breakfast #fashionbehindtheseams

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So… what had happened was.. It was any old ordinary day. My husband dropped of Jazz to school and then we had an appointment together. After that, I went to grab a solo breakfast at one of my fav restaurants, called The Original Pancake House.

I parked, got out of the car and was walking in as two men standing by the dumpster starting talking to me. Something about two shady looking men standing by the dumpster is never a comfortable feeling. Maybe I watch too many crime shows. Anyhooz. They were begging for money. They looked homeless. I told them I didn’t have cash, but I would be happy to buy them breakfast. They accepted.

Then I proceeded to walk towards the restaurant, dreaming of eggs and coffee (Breakfast IS my favorite part of the day and I wake up thinking about it). Another lady was walking in at the same time. She had noticed me talking to the homeless men and asked if they were panhandling. I told her I was buying them breakfast and we both conversed about how we felt uncomfortable handing out money.

I was planning on eating solo. I love my solitude, but something in me wanted to ask her if she wanted to share a table.  The host came up and assumed we were together. He asked us if we wanted a table for two. At this point, she asked me to join her. This was the first time she took the words right out of my mouth. I was delighted because I love meeting new people. By the time I got food for the two men outside and returned to the table, she was already seated. I introduced myself to her and shook her hand. She told me her name was Fannie. In my head, I had already decided her last name was Pack. 🙂 Next thing I know, I look over, and I am seated next to Stevie Wonder.

I am not one to be starstruck, but there is something AMAZING about being in the room with greatness. Fannie could barely contain her excitement. We ordered coffee and food and Fannie made it very clear she had to do something to meet him. Honestly, I am not one to go ask anyone for an autograph or a picture, mainly because they too want to enjoy a breakfast out without being bombarded by fans.  Fannie pulled out her phone. I noticed it was an old school phone, so I knew it didn’t have a camera. I could tell that she too felt uncomfortable approaching him. So i suggested she write him a note. It’s less intrusive. So she did. I don’t know what it said, but it started with “God bless you”. I loved that Fannie wasn’t asking for anything. Just writing a message. The waiter, who was beaming with excitement, took the note to his people, seated at the next table.

Then Fannie and I received our meal and in my head, I wanted to ask if we could pray before we eat. This was the 2nd time she took the words out of my mouth and asked if we could pray. So we held hands and gave thanks. Some may say we are complete strangers, but it didn’t feel like it. When God says pray, we pray. When God says to feed the homeless, we obey! That right there put Frannie in a very special place in my heart. Even if one doesn’t believe in God, one must give thanks for the people who made that food, who grew that food, who brought it to our table.. and the host who seated us next to Stevie WONDER!!!!

I was feeling so happy. I was feeling happy to be next to someone who has been such an influence on the music industry.  Someone who has inspired so many and healed so many through music.  Music mends the soul. And what a contribution! Just AMAZING to be eating pancakes next to Stevie Wonder 🙂 I mean, how often does that happen.

Here is my beautiful food btw. I live for breakfast. Yummy eggs benny with potato pancakes. Nom to the nom nom 🙂

 

I was happy to be in the presence of Fannie. She said to me “we were meant to meet today”. I believed it, and in the next few minutes, you will see why.

So Fannie and I are eating and chatting it up about our lives. I was so excited to hear her story. She is one of 22 kids. I can’t even wrap my mind around that. She told me she grew up on a farm, they raised and grew their own food. Truly fascinating. I’ve always wanted to own a farm, but I will settle for a chicken coop if my husband ever agrees. Fannie talked about her daughter and her grandkids. I think Frannie was enjoying her meal until the waiter came back and told her that Stevie Wonder offered to take a picture with her. She was SO beyond excited, she phoned her kids to tell them about it. She couldn’t eat anymore, she just couldn’t contain her excitement.

I was just so happy to be there with her because I knew that my purpose in that moment was to take that picture for her. Remember I mentioned that she had a very old phone. I was happy that I had mine. As we continued to eat, she told me she was 66, close to my mom’s age. I did the math in my head and realized that when her daughter was born (my age), it was the late 70’s. So her youth was in Wonders “classic period”. Now I knew why she was so excited 🙂

She couldn’t eat, so she got a to go box, and promptly paid for her breakky. I knew she didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet him. We finished our coffee and soon after that, it was time for her picture. And of course, I wanted one too!!! So Fannie and I got to spend about 10 minutes with him, talk, and take pictures. It was so special to witness that. He is so humble. And so is his family.

Here is Fannie and the legend 🙂

Fannie and I parted ways. It was time for her doctor’s appointment and time for me to run errands.  I had promised Fannie that I would email her the pictures and also send her a hard copy.  she asked me to “develop” the picture and mail it to her. I told her I would.

We hugged and said goodbye.  We took a picture together too, because yes it was amazing meeting Stevie Wonder, but the highlight of my day was meeting Fannie. And I want to cherish that memory 🙂 I’ll never meet Stevie Wonder again, but I know I will meet Fannie again, and share breakky and coffee. What a wonderful day!

That’s really all I have to share with you. So no, his people didn’t call my people and arrange a breakfast meeting.. although I would love that. But I did sit next to Stevie Wonder and eat pancakes. Maybe Fannie and I should have asked him to share a table with us, and who knows, maybe he would have.

Well.. I am back in my studio and ready to sew.

 

My next project is a lovely mommy and me outfit. Dress for me and dress for her. It is in my head at the moment but the dress is going to be a square neckline in the front and back, fitted bodice, with a flair skirt. The sleeves are going to be dramatic.  And for Jazz? Let’s face it, she could wear a paper bag and look fabulous. Oh! I do have the shoes I plan on wearing with my new dress.  These are an early Valentines day gift for myself. I love self-gifting <3.

Can we take a moment to admire the hot pink heel? The fabric is a beautiful soft pink. I think I will end up fully lining the dress with a tissue knit as I  don’t have enough fabric to self-line. Initially, I had planned on making a top for myself and dress for Jazz, but once I saw the fabric, I knew it had to be a dress.

So see you next week with the cutest mommy and munchkin outfit!

Have a good weekend and sew sew sew 🙂

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

 

 

 

 

SnowDay = No Sew Day!

HI Fashionistas!!!

I hope you are well and had a fabulous weekend. We got snow yesterday. Not much, just a tiny amount. I was expecting to be locked up in the house for days based on the weather forecast, but what we got was just some light snow.

Can you spot the snowman? (hint- he’s portable!)

True story. Snowman of the South. Can you spot the ⛄️?! Happy Snow day!!! ❄️ #snow #snowday #snowman #frosty #winterfashion #fashionbehindtheseams

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I did not get much done this weekend. But as my hubby reminded me, it is the day of rest.

So I rested in bed and played around with some graphics to create wall art for my studio. I love quotes and inspirational words. I made this one so far and am working on a few more I can frame for my studio space

This week I am working on my red dress I mentioned last week and also doing some organization in my studio. Did y’all do any sewing over the weekend? What are you working on this week?

Have a lovely week!!

XO

Vatsla.

Happy New Year and the Little Red Dress Project!

Hello All!

Happy New Year to you! Do you have a sewing resolutions for 2017? Can you believe we are already in 2017?!!

I am so excited for all the sewing fun I have planned for 2017. I am starting off the year by sewing a red dress, for my blogiversary. I started my blog in Jan 2015 (Whoop Whoop- my two-year blogiversary is coming up). I have the feeling that 2017 is going to be some kinda special.

This is the inspiration pic for the dress! But it is possible I will change it up after making the muslin. I am known to completely scratch what I am doing or drastically change up the design, so we shall see.

So.. I did NOT make a muslin for the last bodice I drafted for this Christmas Outfit (shame on me). While it fit pretty well, there was some extra ease on the back.

 

So for this dress, I do plan on making a muslin. And because I am starting early, I have plenty of time.  The fabric has arrived. It is so lovely. It has a tiny bit of stretch, so as far as the fitting in concerned, I can fully rely on the muslin, which has no stretch at all. What I mean by that is, I will not be adding any wearing ease to my pattern when I draft it from my sloper. The tiny amount of stretch in the fabric will make up for the lack of wearing ease.

Here is the fabric. Isn’t she beautiful? 🙂

Reflecting on 2016….I hate to say it, because we are supposed to be positive and all, and while I am very grateful for all that I am blessed with, 2016 was a difficult year for me.  And my sewing had to take a back seat so much more than normal. Now moving on to the positive: as far as my sewing journey is concerned, the best thing about 2016 was the connections I made.  I LOVED hearing from your guys and seeing what you are making. Prior to that, I was sewing in solitude.

Well.. 2017 is here and I am excited about sewing more, blogging more, and connecting with you all more. So CHEERS to a lot more sewing in 2017! I wish you sewing, health and happiness!!  Let’s add more sewing to our plan! Let’s face it, responsibilities and chores and grown up things are always going to be there! Let’s just sew more and work less 🙂 Hehe.. I am dancing into 2017 with an optimistic sewing plan.. and that makes me happier than any other grown up goals I can think of. Happy Sewing in 2017!!!!

See you soon!!

Much Love,

Vatsla.

 

Merry Christmas To My Sewing Family :)

Merry Christmas Fashionistas!!!!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Hope you are celebrating with your family and friends. We ended up leaving town pretty last minute on Wednesday and I did not pack my white peplum or top/skirt.

We are in VA at the moment and it was a lot more practical to wear something warm and comfy. I wore this black sweater dress with a detachable cowl neck. My daughter wore this DIY dress I made last year. I grabbed it last minute as we were heading out the door and it still fit! Her dress was made from a throw blanket from Target and a faux fur scarf from the women’s section at Target. Every so often I pretend I am a contestant on Project Runway and challenge myself to make clothes from non-fashion fabric. Had we been at home, we would have been matchy matchy in winter white!

Did you get yourself anything for Christmas? I got myself a perfume and wrapped it up 🙂 I’m a big believer of self-gifting, since we are women tend to ignore ourselves this time of the year. If you have not got yourself a gift yet, check out all these sewing classes under $20. A wonderful self-gift 🙂 I saw this email this morning. All classes are $19.99 – the gift of learning is the best gift of all!

We were able to get a couple pics in before Christmas Eve service….

But the reality is, most pics looked like this 🙂 Haha!


I really missed our home church, but we were meant to be in VA this Christmas.

Here are some pics of Jazz rocking her dress!

Here she is at our Gigi’s house talking to Santa on Christmas eve 🙂

Wishing you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!! Hope you have peace, love,  food and that you are relaxed.

Don’t forget to do something nice for YOU now that all the hustle bustle, shopping, cooking, is over!!! I plan on sewing for a day straight when I get home to decompress from10-hour train ride (with a toddler who refuses to nap in the choo choo train)

My latest craftsy purchase has been this pattern drafting class for Pants. Since I already have my pants sloper drafted, I plan on making myself a nice pair of pants. Fit is everything baby!

If you want to see my review of any of the pattern making classes, you can read my reviews HERE

You can also have a look at my latest self-drafted clothes HERE

See you soon with my next sewing adventure!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Dreaming of a White Christmas

HI Fashionistas!

Merry Christmas!! Hope you are having a fabulous holiday season.

I have been working on my outfit for Christmas Eve. I decided to go with a black and white holiday look. I am completely in love with monochromatic looks since they are chic and also so easy to style. You can just throw on a pair of nude pumps and a clutch and you are ready to go.

Well for my last project of the year, I decided to sew multiple garments that could give me many outfits by mixing and matching with existing pieces in my wardrobe. Help me decide if I should go all white or mix and match. I think black and white is so glam!

Look 1: I drafted the top from my bodice sloper. I changed the neckline to boat neck, which is one of my favorites.  I also drafted this skirt from my sloper and changes the waist to an empire. I chose a midi length and it’s one of my favorites. For drafting instructions for skirts, you can look into this class. I did not require any fitting as the sloper was drafted to my measurements. I love an all white look- if I chose this look. I would accessorize and add a nice warm fur for the neck and a cute clutch!

Look 2: Top and black bottoms:

A simpler, more casual look. Dressing up a pair of black skinnies with a tailored top. The top fit pretty well but required some adjustments on the back neck.  I used the instructions in this book to draft the boat neck. It is form fitting, but not skin tight.. which in my opinion is never a good look.  

Look 3: My Fav look: Peplum Belt added to Look 2. The peplum I draped on the dress form and the waistband I drafted. I wanted some high-low action and a contrast lining to peek through. If you are interested in self-drafting tops, this class has great instruction on drafting the bodice sloper.

 The pleats are facing the side seam. The peplum has a high-low hem which gives it that waterfall effect where the black lining peeks through. I posted this pic on social media and a lot of you asked about the back. I will share pictures of the back as well in a separate post where I should how to draft this peplum from scratch.

Look 4: Look 3 with a different top I have in my closet.

If you have any interest in self-drafting, I highly recommend these pattern making classes 

Well, ladies. I think for Christmas Eve, I will be going with one of look  2, 3 of 4. Not sure yet, can you help me decide?!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in my next blog post.

ps- I have a Christmas Giveaway coming up. Stay tuned for fabric!!!

XOXO

Vatsla

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.

fullsizerender

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

 

 

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