Category: Behind The Seams

Sewing or Design Quick Tip

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Announcement and Pattern Giveaway!

On Sunday night, I was working on a supply list for a tulle skirts tutorial I am working on, and it occurred to me… why not host a sew along? I remember many years ago, I wanted to make a three-tier tulle skirt (it’s still on my bucket list). Back then I did not have the confidence to make garments. I looked everywhere for an easy to follow tutorial and didn’t find anything that satisfied me. Some were much better than others, but the finishing always confused me.. I was overall just intimidated by handling tulle..

Since then I attended fashion school, completed an internship and have made a quite a few tulle skirts, like the hot pink one featured here…Once we are done with the sew-along, you will know how to make one of these skirts below!

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This one shown below that I made last-minute for a friends photo shoot

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

In this sew along, you can learn how to:

  • Gather tulle the easy way (no pulling strings or using dental floss to gather!)
  • pattern selection, taking measurements and adjusting the pattern to fit
  • sew and press seams, and sew a circle skirt from start to finish
  • Apply a straight waistband
  • Install an invisible zipper
  • Finishing technique – stitch in the ditch
  • Finishing technique- how to hem a circular skirt

You can then re-use these techniques in making other garments and make all types of skirts! For example, if you learn how to apply a waist band on this skirt, you can apply a waist band on shorts and pants! If you learn how to apply a zipper on this skirt, you can apply a zipper on any garment! This project will not only build your skill set, but also your sewing confidence!

The Sew Along start date is September 1st. I will publish a supply list on Tuesday September `1st , so you have one week to get your supplies before we jump into cutting and sewing on Tuesday September 8th!

When I publish a supply list, I will also publish a schedule for the sew along. Based on your skill level, you might be able to jump ahead. In general, we will follow this schedule:

TIMETABLE /SCHEDULE

Part 1: Supply list along pattern suggestions

Part 2: Prep and cut pattern, gather tulle

Part 3: Sewing up majority of the Skirt

Part 4: Sewing and attaching the waist band

Part 5: Finishing techniques (Zipper and heming)

FACEBOOK GROUP:

I have set up a Facebook group for the sew along. This will be a place for Q&A, posting pictures of our progress, sharing inspiration pics and of course proudly modelling our final skirts! You can follow the sew along by either subscribing to my blog here or connecting with me and others in the Facebook group. You can join the FB group HERE

PATTERN GIVEAWAY!

Since different pattern companies and fabric stores have pattern sales at different times, I wanted to go ahead make a few pattern suggestion. You can use any circle skirt pattern really. Here are some suggestions: Simplicty 1200 , Mccalls M7197. You can use any circle skirt pattern instead. Just remember that we will be making a midi length and I suggest something that has a straight waist band, two side seams and a centre back seam. Lets keep it simple! I will be using Mccalls M719 to make my tulle skirt.

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I also have three extra Mccalls M7197 patterns that I will be giving away today. I have two in the size 14-22 range and one in the size 6 to 14 range. So if you are interesting in winning this pattern for the sew along, all you have to do to enter the giveaway is a leave a comment below with which size you would like to win. You can enter now through August 24th. Three winners will be announced August 25th!

I can’t wait to sew along with you. Hope to see you soon!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

Pattern Making using Painters Tape!

I recently saw this on pinterest I believe, and was curious. I have created some patterns from RTW, but I usually use a method that requires poking several sewing pins into the garment along the seams lines.  I was wanting to sew yesterday but didn’t have a pattern for jeans so decided to give this method a try! See below for step by step instructions on how. Let me start by saying that I work out of my kitchen. I pattern make on the kitchen island and sew in our music room. So if you see any tomatoes, melons, pots and pans in the background, please excuse them. I promised them their five seconds of fame 🙂

So this is a very basic method. Not technical at all. You grab a roll of painters tape and create an outline for each individual pattern piece. To create the outline, I tore off small pieces of painters tape and placed them on the stitch line or seams. The image below if of the front leg. My aim here is to flatten the front leg and paste the tape on it, such that I can get a one-dimensional rub off of the leg.

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Next, I filled in the outline with more painters tape:IMG_8072

 

 

Once this was done, I was able to peel off the tape, and it came off as one big chunk. I then placed it on pattern paper and made sure it was flat.  Next, I used this nifty measuring gauge to add a half-inch seam allowance all around. The dotted line became the outline of my pattern piece for the front leg and I used the dotted line as a guide to cut out the pattern. IMG_8074

This is what the pattern looked like after cutting it. Say hi to Poochie!!!IMG_8080

And my kid wanted to make an appearance as well. Love this little stinker..IMG_8083

You can leave the tape on if you like, but I pulled it off and added a grainline, name of the pattern, and how many to cut. I added an awl punch at the crotch. I didn’t care to add notches, but typically I would. This pattern is so simple that I did not bother. IMG_8087

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to create a pattern. Repeat this step for all patterns pieces on your garment and you can replicate your favourite garment over and over again.

Now the back I did slightly different because the pant leg on the back is usually wider than the front leg as you can see below.

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To overcome this , I first taped just like I did the front leg. I re-used the tape from the front because I hate wasting and killing the environment, so I try my best to re-use. I was not too careful about taping at first. Then I went in with a pen and outlined along the stitch line to get the accurate shape.IMG_8091

This is what the back looked like when I was done with the portion of the back leg that sat flat. I still had to tackle the part of the back leg that extends beyond the side crease to the side seam.IMG_8096

For this I flattened the pant leg, allowing me to tape all the way to the side seam. My finger is pointing to where the side crease was . That’s it! IMG_8097

I did the same with the back yoke, waist band and pocket. I also tried drafting the pocket but it was not as accurate as using painters tape. IMG_8098

Here is the waist band. It’s a contoured waist band as this is a low-rise pair of jeans. Be sure to make CF and CB on the waist band as the waist band has an extension and this can be confusing while sewing. I also recommend using notches to match up the Centre Front, Centre Back, and side seams.IMG_8100

If you liked this tutorial, check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

The one thing I have to figure out is adding the front facing fly before I can cut. To make things super simple, I am going to go with a mock fly zipper and use this pattern as a base.

I am hoping to finish the pattern today and then cut and sew hopefully tomorrow. I would be beyond excited if I can get this completed this week. I know there are some amazing sewing divas out there that pop out a new garment every other day,  but I have to be realistic about my sewing goals, given all my other commitments.

Anyhooz- tell me what you think about this method. Have you used it? If so, do you love it? Or do you have another preferred method? I prefer this over cutting up the garment. It wastes tape, but its more green than cutting up the garment and wasting it. There are so many poor people in this world that could use old clothes, so I really don’t want to destroy any garments.  I’ll be back with my white skinnies soon .Send me some sewing motivation <3

 

Update: I made my skinny jeans using this method and you can see there HERE

-XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Goodbye July, Hello August!

It’s hard for me to believe that July has come to an end and it’s already august. With “back to school” being advertised everywhere, it feels like summer is almost over, even though we have 52 days left until the end of summer. Talking about back to school… Can you believe this cute little human is starting preschool next month?!!!!

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When I think of august, I think of white and yellow. It’s still summery and warm and really wants me to catch up on all the cute summer clothes I didn’t make. Before I get into the items I MUST make in August,  I want to recap what I make in July and how much I enjoyed them.

JULY PROJECTS

I made this striped dress that I absolutely adore. It is so simple and yet one of the favourite dresses I have made this year. You can read more about this dress HERE and HERE

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I also made my first pair of shorts ever! Loved these and plan on getting some good use out of these for the rest of the summer. You can read more about this project HERE and HERE

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Moving on to my August projects… I am really feeling inspired to make a pair of white denim skinny jeans. I feel like these are a must have. I could pair these with so many existing tanks and tops. White skinny jeans would be so easy to pair with peplum tops, button downs or casual tees. Mine won’t be distressed and will fit more like skinny jeans and less like jeggings.

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I am also in need of a comfortable and practical pair of jeans to replace my current straight leg denim jeans. So this will be my second project for August. As a mom of a toddler entering her terrific twos, I need practical clothes, while still looking stylish.

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If I am lucky, I will be able to throw in some simple tops to pair with these pants. Wish me luck for my august projects. These two pieces will transition perfectly in to my pre-fall and fall wardrobe.

What did you make in July and what are your sewing goals for August? I would love to hear! Leave me a comment below.

-XOXO

Behind The Seams- Nautical Shorts

So I am still in awe of the amazing fabric I found at Hobby Lobby when I went shopping for my 4th of July outfit. I picked up this amazing cotton navy fabric with anchors on it. Lately I have been obsessed with anchors. It all started on Mothers Day in Charleston when my hubby and daughter took me shopping. My husband must have been giggling inside as he knows I don’t like shopping, and barely ever spend any money (except on fabric). I saw an anchor necklace I liked, but it was kinda cheap and cheerful (quality wise), so I didn’t get it. But then next week I found the cutest anchor charm bracelet and ended up gifting that to myself.

Back to the GORGEOUS fabric.  Look… Just L@@K! Isnt it just beautiful?

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I decided to use Mccalls M6756 that was sitting in my pattern stash.  To make sure my fabric is straight and not slanting, I placed the pattern piece such that the grain line ran through the anchors. And yes, that IS a tomato I am using as a pattern weight. What can I say, I work on my kitchen island, so I grab whatever is available 😀 Haha!

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I decided to make a muslin because I have never sewn a pair of shorts before. Well, maybe in fashion school but that was a long time ago.

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I also realized that I don’t have many shorts in my wardrobe. All I have is these el cheapo and el micro shorts from last summer and this summer I am quite surprised that as a momma of one, I ever wore these. The only other pair of shorts I have are these, and while they are nice, I did not make them.

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Like my pretty toes? Thanks! That’s my DIY pedicure 🙂

The muslin was quick to sew up. These shorts call for a faux front fly zipper. so I pinned in along the centre front. Looks a lot better on me. This dress form has bigger hips than mine, thus the tightness that is causing the wrinkles on the crotch.  As much as I would LOVE a custom dress form, those run around a thousand dollars. Do you know how many diapers that could buy? So for now, I fit my garments on myself…

IMG_7814Now I have sewn pants before, but I usually stay away from those with a front fly zipper, mainly because it’s a more complex construction technique than an invisible zipper,  and I have always been afraid of wrinkles in the centre front. Remember these pants Haley Berry wore a while back? I like to call this “Mister crotch pants phenomenon”. No body wants that.

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Back to my shorts… I should have them done by tomorrow and get to wear them over the weekend! Yay!

What are you guys working on for the weekend and what do you plan to wear, and how do you plan to style it? Whatever you do, stay fashionable!

-XOXO

I’m feeling (Navy) Blue….

So…. I’ve been wanting a navy blue and white striped dress for such a long time. I really wanted to make one for Memorial Day, but the local fabric stores have such a sad selection of knits. And I really don’t buy fabric online much. Here are some of the looks I would LOVE to sew up:

This one below, but I would sew it up a one piece dress instead of a skirt and crop top. I love the thin stripes on this. It’s so chic and reminds me of a French Sailor’s shirt. I think I would make this with a boat neck instead of a round neck

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Here is another look I love, with thicker stripes:2db54a2f3a63d63861c764ead03b7b52

These would sew up beautifully with McCall’s M668 that I previously used HERE

Love this dress to.So effortless, yet so chic. Love the pockets too!

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I have a bit over two yards of the fabric with thing stripes.. so I am hoping I can get a dress AND a tee or tank top out of it. How cute is this look below?

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So Memorial Day came and went, and it’s hard to believe, but Independence Day is this weekend! Anyhooz.. today when my kid went down for her nap, I sat down at my desk and decided it was time to make the navy blue and white striped dress. But we are one day away from the weekend, and even if I opted for overnight shipping, I still would not have enough time to get my dress done by Friday. I was feeling inspired, so I shopped for fabric. I found three beautiful fabrics on girlcharlee.com

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Fabric: I figured for the 4th, I would use some navy and white fabric and somehow make do. But then I went to Hobby Lobby in the evening to get somegol paint and found lots of nautical theme fabric! I’ll be using one of the two striped fabrics for my outfit for the 4th. But check out the anchor fabric! That is for a pair of shorts for me and matching dress for my little girl! I also got a navy knit in case I decide to make a bow for my kid. All this and I went in to by a tube of paint! You can also find similar fabric HERE, HERE and HERE

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Pattern: I will use a tested and tried pattern Mccalls M668 that I used previously to make THIS dress.

Hope you are planning to have a LOVELY weekend. Happy Independence Day!

-XOXO

Aich Fashion Portfolio Showcase and Runway Show

Last week fourteen of my students graduated and the Fashion Design department put up a fabulous portfolio showcase and runway show. I was so proud and here are all the designers and their models! The show was so much fun and we wrapped up with hugs and a group picture.

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My students have been working hard for the last ten weeks designing an eight to ten piece cohesive collection and also creating one or more garments to be presented on the runway. They worked long hours, and some of the students had to be kicked out of the sewing lab at 11 pm when lab time was over.  Every students had a very different project. Some were creating garments using tailoring techniques, while some were using draping techniques with delicate fabrics like chiffon and organza.

The show was held at the Art Institute of Charlotte

I attended with one of my friends, and we enjoyed an afternoon of fashion and gourmet cuisine. The graduating Culinary students had booths set up with their creations. Most impressive of all was the presentation by both the Fashion Design students and the culinary students.

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This desert was my favourite. Eggless custard with a sweet and tart sauce, pomegranate and chocolate!IMG_7610

 

Here are some of the looks that came down the runway: everything from bohemian chic to bridal to beach wear and plus size…

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Last, but not the least, fellow designer and friend Tara Davis presented a few looks from her collection:

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I was asked to judge the best overall portfolio and present an award to the winner. As an instructor, I definitely get invested in my students work. I have to say, I was feeling proud of them and gave them a few words of encouragement before presenting the award. Oh! And I have to mention what I wore 🙂 I wore this light coffee color scoop neck tee and a pencil skirt with ruffles on the back. I designed these two pieces a few years ago. The top is a tussue knit and the skirt is made from linen fabric. I love wearing my own pieces.

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What I also liked about the Portfolio Showcase was that the students got to set up their individual stations and network with industry professionals. We all know the power of networking. I was impressed with how creative some of the students got with their takeaways- something I have been stressing to them is important to make them memorable.

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Some of the designer and models after the show:IMG_7665IMG_7674

 

Me and my designer friend and fellow instructor, Miss Tara Davis. She is amazing. IMG_7683

 

 

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A lot of work goes into designing a garment. The typical life cycle of designing a collection is as follows: We start with the inspiration, then create a mood board or inspiration board. This is the 1st tangible rendition of the inspiration that previously sits in our minds. Then we proceed to creating illustrations and then technical flat sketches. Pattern making, muslin making and fit analysis follow. Sometimes designers have to make multiple muslins and do multiple fittings before they can commit to a final pattern. After ALL of this is done, the designer is ready to cut the fashion fabric and sew. Goodbye muslin, hello gorgeous fabric, texture and drape. Here are a few of my students in action:

 

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What a nice way to see off our students. I hope you enjoyed reading this. This week I have finally worked on organizing my studio. I also binge shopped for fabric as there was a ridiculous sale at Joanns last week. So I am currently planning my sewing projects for next week and spending my evening cutting and pattern making.

Hope to see you soon with many new fabulous garments. Can’t believe I am about to hit the halfway mark of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast!

– Until next time

 

Brother Coverstitch Machine First Impressions and Early Birthday Present!

Happy (Early) Birthday to me!!!! My birthday is not for another few weeks but I love celebrating every and any occasion, so I am getting an early start on my b-day 🙂

I came home from lunch today and found a box on my front porch 🙂 I started bubbling with excitement as I realised what it was!! I have been eyeing the brother 2340CV Cover stitch machine for months now and finally just ordered it. Here she is!

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You can watch my first impression of it below. I can’t wait to start using it. I have heard mainly good reviews about it. In general Brother machines are robust and user-friendly. I absolutely love that all the internal parts are made of metal. Anyways.. I’ll be back with a review.. but here are my first impressions. Now go eat some cake to help me celebrate turning THIRTY SIX years old. Haha! 🙂

It came with the following accessories:

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Now Ican finish all my UFO’s :)See you soon 🙂

-XOXO

 

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