Category: Pattern Making

Flat pattern making, pattern manipulation and pattern alterations

A Mommy and Me Valentines

HI, Fashionistas!!

I sewed up another mommy and me outfit before Valentines Day and here it is:

I decided to use a soft jersey knit in a pretty dusty rose color. Typically my go to knits are stable knits like ponte or double knits, but I just could not resist this beautiful color. I used this fabric from Fabric Mart.

I made a top for myself with quilting detail on the sleeves and a cute dress for my daughter.

For her dress, I free handed the skirt and the ruffles. On the ruffles, even though I used a knit fabric, I chose to interface it with a woven interfacing to give the ruffles stiffness.

For my top. I used McCall’s 6886 as a base and then did some interesting pattern manipulation on the sleeve pattern to create some pleats.  I finished the sleeve with some quilting details

Here is the pattern manipulation I did. Many of you asked for a tutorial on these sleeves and I will do a dedicated blog post for that.

Dramatic sleeves are all the rage right now. Interested in learning how to make creative sleeves like this? If so I highly recommend this sleeve drafting class. I reviewed this class and many other pattern making classes HERE if you want to have a look

I love how the sleeve turned out. This would also be so fabulous on a knit dress with say a stiff silk like tussah or dupioni. Maybe that is next 🙂

Like the necklace? Me too! 🙂 You can find it HERE

We both wore our animal print shoes. 

I got these shoes as a gift for self and had the outfit styled before I even made the outfit. 

Here is a view from the back. I changed the neckline to a square on both the front and the back.  This lil’ kid us my ev thing. I call her Jazzy Hepburn with her high bun and sunnies 🙂

Today I am making a laundry hamper for her, one that will hang on the wall, have a ballerina on it wearing a tulle tutu, and a detachable “sock monster” that goes straight into the wash. Ever wonder where all the orphan socks go? Well, no more!

I hope you are having a lovely week and planning a nice weekend for yourself. I have been busy setting up a new home office and also a filming studio in my sewing room. I have some exciting news to share with you… That is coming soon! In the meantime, I will leave you with a perfect visual of the mommy life… Hehe.. This was me last week.

What my kid is wearing tomorrow versus what I'm wearing tomorrow 😱😳 #mommylife #seamstress #mommyandme #toddler #toddlerfashion

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Have a wonderful week my dears.. See you soon with more sewing stuff!!

XOXO-Vatsla 🙂

DIY Valentines Day Dress- What I wore

HI Fashionistas:

Being the last minute that I am, I am surprised that I already have my valentines day dress done like a month ahead of time. That never happens in my world.

I made a partially self-drafted little red dress to wear to dinner tonight

The dress was a bit of a pattern hack. I started with the bodice of a Butterick pattern. Then made some pattern alterations, made the style lines on the bodice style lines curvier, and raised the waist to a curved empire waist.  The red lines are my pattern alterations after making the 1st muslin.

The skirt pattern was self-drafted and I am in LOVE with the fit of this dress. If you want to look into drafting skirts, here is a class I recommend. This is the same teacher I studied with. If you want to see my review of this class, click HERE.

My sewing inspiration was this red dress shown below that I saw on Pinterest. I was planning on doing the following pattern hack, but then I found the Butterick pattern for the bodice.

Here is the back view and side view:

The fabric I used is this one. I love the fabric. It’s a lightweight twill with a 10% stretch. It nice to work with and presses beautifully.

I really enjoyed working on this project. Tailoring a garment is one of my favorite things to do! Next, I am working on some simple tees for the winter- some basics to add to my wardrobe.

PS- I made another valentines day outfit- a mommy and me. That was very last minute. But gorgeous. I’ll share that this week… but here is a sneaky peaky

XOXO
-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.

 

 

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.

 

Craftsy Class Review and Big Black Friday Sales!!!!

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.

 

 

DIY Black Wool Cape

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps. I’ve really been enjoying my fall sewing. I recently wrapped up this black cape with arm slits.

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I had purchased something similar last month and while I loved the style, I did not love the fabric. The fabric was itchy and “synthetic-y” if you know what I mean. I simply love capes. So I decided to recreate the look in a nicer fabric. I chose this wool/cotton blend. It’s made of 100% natural fibers and is way more lux than the original one I wore here.

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My cape is collarless and simple, this will allow me to wear it just the way it is, or accessorize with different collars/ neck warmers to maximize its use in my wardrobe. 

I added vintage gold buttons as you can see in the pic below. I knew I wanted some gold hardware on it but decided to keep it fairly simple. These are shank buttons I recently found at an estate sale.

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Sewing quick tip: To stabilize a shank button and keep it from drooping, add a regular 2 hole or 4 hole button on the back. While you are sewing the shank button on the front, loop your thread through the regular button on the back. That will keep it from drooping.

My favorite look is with the fur collar, re-purposed from another coat, paired with long gloves. I found these while antiquing with a friend.

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I drafted the pattern and facings:

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I decided to use contrast bias tape on the inside of the garment. I made the bias tape, thanks to a YouTube tutorial. Using a bias tape maker is so simple, and you can create any color or use a nice print!

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I recently purchased this set of bias tape makers and they are so fun and easy to use! I highly recommend them. On the hem of the cape, I used store bought bias tape and then hemmed it.

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Here is the view from the side:

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Here is a slightly different way I styled the same outfit. DIY Faux fur collar made by my mum in law with the cape on top, to show off those gorgeous buttons!

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The cape is unlined. I decided to try the self-bound seam on the inside of the cape.  The fabric is on the medium side for a wool. I started off with drafting the pattern with 1/2 inch seam allowance, but given the turn of cloth, I decided to upgrade to a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The seams turned out nicely, but there was a bit of waviness on the side seams around the shoulders.  Looking back, I think a hong kong finish would be nicer. But this is what I love about sewing, we learn something new with every project.

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Pattern: I self-drafted the pattern for this one. Drafting a pattern for a cape is fairly simple, as is fitting. I studied pattern making with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts, a school she founded and runs. She is brilliant. Luckily offers pattern making classes on craftsy now and I am enrolled in all her classes for a refresher course.  I am linking her craftsy classes HERE in case you want to check them out.  For making upper body garments, you would want to start with the Bodice sloper class.  Then you would learn how to manipulate the sloper to create your own designs. I actually just re-ordered my textbook to go along with her classes.

This project was so fun to make! I want to make another cape for winter, so I’ll be looking for some more sewing inspiration.  What about you? What’s your latest fall project?

Lastly, I created a small sewing Q&A group that I hope will double as a sewing space for us to asks sewing questions and also get sewing inspiration from each other. You can join the group HERE

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! See you soon!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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