Category: Pattern Making

Flat pattern making, pattern manipulation and pattern alterations

Mommy and Me Skirts for Christmas and Upcoming Giveaway

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you all are having a wonderful December. Mine is going by way too fast! I’ve been sewing up a storm lately. Last weekend, I wrapped up my baby shower dress and this past weekend, I finished these mommy and me skirts from a double-knit fabric:

For my daughter, I made a full circle skirt, and for myself, I made a maternity pencil skirt. I am seven months now! By the time you read this, I will be 33 weeks! Yipee!

Hers has a straight waistband and a zip on the back. Both hers and mine are self-drafted. 

I used a black and white double knit that can be seen HERE

Back view of her skirt:

Back and side view of mine:

She has her very own custom clothier, and wardrobe department

I styled this skirt two ways, 1st with a halter top with a bow, and next with this ruffle tee with 3/4 sleeves. Personally, I felt more “me” in the long sleeves,  since I feel its a more balanced look, and the top is longer. I do love the halter with the bow. It’s very chic!

Initially, I had planned on making mommy and me pajamas for Christmas morning.  It is my annual tradition, but the fabric did not have as much of a stretch as needed, so I switched to skirts!

And here is my latest obsession. Owl earrings! I shared with you the last owl earrings I gifted myself HERE. Well here is another 🙂

That’s all the fun I have to share with you!  By the time you read this post, I will officially be in hibernation mode through my due date 🙂

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!!  Happy New Year and stay tuned for my end of year/ new year fabric box giveaway!

XOXO- Vatsla 🙂

But before I go… some final silliness from my kid.

 

Craftsy Class Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale Alert!!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Enabler Alert!! Craftsy has all classes on sale today for Black Friday and also Cyber Monday and it is the perfect time to buy a class or two if you have been wanting to add to your skill level or get into patternmaking, or couture sewing!

Hope that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend. I’ll be doing some online shopping for both fabric and online classes as soon as my kid goes down for a nap! See my review of all the classes I am already enrolled in and what I am buying today, as well as what I am putting on my wishlist!

I am purchasing the latest Coat Pattern Making class by Suzy Furrer for Black Friday. I studied pattern making with her in person at Apparel Arts and she is truly brilliant! I got to visit Suzy last year at the new school location and it is amazing! She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

All classes are $17.87 or less. To get this amazing deal, click HERE

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 can completely change a garment. Dramatic sleeves are still 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 with a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

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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

 

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

Here is the latest coat I made, I should be posting this one to the blog soon!

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!

In the last year, I added the following class to my library to make this chiffon skirt

I also added a coverstitch class

Let me know if you like online learning. I have the following I am adding to my wishlist and plan to score them on upcoming sales:

  • Sewing with Waxed Canvas: HERE
  • Couture Dressmaking Techniques:  HERE

Happy Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping! Have a relaxing weekend!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Mommy and me in Yellow Seersucker

Hi Fashionistas!! And Happy Thanksgiving to you!!! Hope you all are enjoying the short week and looking forward to the holiday. My lovely sister in law is hosting at her house and I am so happy to be a guest and not a host! Everone is bringing a dish. I am making a Waldorf salad, homemade cranberry sauce, and from scratch mashed potatoes. Yummy…

Anyways.. about this mommy and me outfit. I made my top back in August and I made my daughter’s dress in late September for her annual school pictures!

My top is a copycat RTW top and maternity friendly. I am 22 weeks pregnant in these pictures. I also did a DIY hack on these jeans by removing the pockets and inserting thick elastic in place of the pockets. It was so nice to be able to wear non-maternity jeans for once. They still fit now at almost 29 weeks, but definitely feel snug.

Let’s talk about her dress 1st. Isn’t it adorable? She didn’t like it at 1st. She said it looked like a shirt. Well, it kinda does I guess. With a vintage-inspired design, it has a yoke and gathers. I typically self-draft her dresses and keep them kinda kit and flared, with a more defined waist.. but why does a four-year-old care?! 🙂

I used this Butterick pattern for her. It’s the 1st time I’ve used a commercial pattern for her. Usually, I self-draft.

Here are the side and back view.

I used a hook and eye closure on that back, but I was so tired being pregnant and all, he handstitched it on for me, the night before her school pictures <3 Such a sweet husband and doting dad 🙂

Both her dress and my top have a facing applied. You can read in more detail about how to made my cold shoulder top HERE

By the way. taking her pics is quite amusing now. She either wants to pose like a fashionista or make funny faces. Candid pics are hard to come by

This has to be my absolute favorite pic of us. This pretty much sums up our personalities 🙂

Also- I had a complete case of mommy brain. I thought I was sewing up her dress from leftover fabric used to make my top, but her fabric is different. I thought they were the same. Oh well.

This is the morning I dropped her off at school and I still can’t get over this cuteness. Somedays I wonder… where did she come from? Is she really mine?

I am glad I finally got to post about this DIY. Like I told my husband, I can’t be posting seersucker after Thanksgiving. He was sweet enough to put her to bed tonight so I can catch up on some blogging. I have another super cute mommy and me outfit I made for us, as well as a gorgeous coat coming up. With energy coming back, I am hoping to get them posted over the next few weeks.

Once again have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. Will you be indulging in the Craftsy black Friday sales? I’ll send an email out to remind you when the sales hit the shelves!!!

Eat, drink and be Merry. I am very thankful for everything I have in my life. The fact that I am able to enjoy what I do have, instead of wanting more. Being content is such a precious thing.  Stay blessed my dears. See you very soon!

Love,

Vatsla 🙂

Yellow Seersucker Cold Shoulder (CopyCat) Top

Hi, Fashionistas!

I was so excited to sew with a beautiful yellow seersucker I found at Fabric Mart recently.  Here is the top I made:

You see, I have been the slowest to catch on to the cold shoulder trend. I know, it’s been around for a while and is continuing into fall fashions.  I was meeting my hubby for pizza one night and had some time to kill. So I decided to do some window shopping when I saw and tried on this RTW top.. and loved it. 

So.. I made a pattern… and found the perfect fabric.

And made my own version! I really do love the tent shape of this top. It is very different than the usual type of garments I make and wear, which typically tend to be more fitted.

 

 

Yes, that’s a pen in m hair 🙂  My kid has two most frequently asked questions lately..”Mommy, why do you have a pen in your hair?” and “Mommy, are you talking to yourself again”? #momlife

 

I drafted a facing and modified the sleeves a bit by removing the band at the bottom and hemming them instead

I also made the straps a fixed length as opposed to adjustable.

Overall I am pretty happy with the way the top turned out.  I topstitched all around the neckline to ensure the facing was sitting down. 

 

I actually started making another version in a white cotton, but that one is still a work in progress. I may or may not get to wear that one this year!

I hope you enjoyed this make!  I am going to work on some maxi dresses next! Fall is coming!! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am!

See you soon

XOXO- Vatsla

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to Draft an all in one facing

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a recent sewing project with you and show you how to draft all in once facings for patterns that don’t have one included. Drafting small pattern like these are a great way to get familiar with pattern making!

Here is the dress I made. I drafted the all in one facing using the steps outlined in this tutorial.

You may have noticed that most times commercial patterns have separate neck facings and separate arm facings. I prefer all in one facing because they allow you to clean finish your neckline and armholes on a sleeveless garment in one go. They look professional as well.

Before we get started drafting, let’s have a look at the front of the all in one facing. Here is what my front facing looks like after I cut it out:

Here is an example of what my back facings looked like. The center back seams on this picture are overlapping, however, there is a center back opening on this pattern that allows for a back zipper:

Now that we have had a look at the garment and the facing that lies underneath, let’s jump into the tutorial! I will be showing you this method using a miniature pattern. I’ll demonstrate with the front bodice pattern

Step 1: Cut out your bodice pattern. If you have a dart that falls on the shoulder seam or a french dart that falls close to the armhole, shut it close using tape.

Step 2: Keeping the original pattern as flat as possible, trace around the side seam, armhole, shoulder, and neckline and center front. In order to keep your original pattern flat, you can place weights or pin the pattern down on top of pattern paper.  Your traced pattern should look something like this.

Step 3: Next we need to freehand the shape of the bottom of the facing. In order to do this. measure down 3 inches on the center front, and about 2 inches on the side seam, and connect the two using a shape as shown below.If you have a french curve, you can use that to draw such shapes, but free handing works as well!

Step 4 : Copy all the markings from your original pattern to your facing pattern. For example, here I have shown the grain line, fold, CF  for center front. I have also added the name of the pattern piece, which is “front facing” and indicated how many pieces to cut, which is my case is “Cut 1 on fold”

If you were to lay your newly drafted facing pattern on top of the original pattern, it should match

The steps to draft the back facing are exactly the same. Here is what the back facing looks like:

Step 5: Make sure the side seams on the front facing and back facing match up and you will be sewing these up. This step is called “Truing”

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A few things to note about facings. Facings do not contain darts, or princess seams. If your pattern has darts, tape them shut as shown above in the pictorial. If your pattern has princess seams, you would tape the princess seams together overlapping the seam allowance.

I hope that you found this tutorial helpful and that you will try your hand at some pattern making!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Self Drafted Dolman Top for Summer

Hi, Fashionistas!

Summer is in full effect and we have had some really hot days.

I sewed up a couple quick summer tops. I wanted something basic but cute, to wear with shorts, skirts, or jeans. So I decided on two summer tops. The first one is in a gray jersey knit. This fabric is so soft and comfortable. I ordered one yard and that was enough and I have a little bit leftover fabric.

This is seriously the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

I self-drafted this top. The drafting took about 30 minutes. The sleeves are dolman, which means there is no setting in the sleeve, which also makes the sewing very quick. I have previously published a tutorial on drafting a dolman top and I will link that below.

Also, I  love the clean cover stitch on here.  I used my Brother Coverstitch machine, which I absolutely love and have been using for over two years

I drafted cuffs for the sleeves and a band for the waist.

Here is the back view. I made the neckline on the front and back exactly the same, and gave it a boat neck shape, which is one of my favorite.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest make. Next, I am working on creating a custom dress form cover for myself. A custom dress form is something I have wanted for a very long time. I’ll be sewing up my custom shell using this online class on Craftsy, but instead of using a commercial pattern, I plan on creating my shell from my custom sloper, which can be drafted using this Bodice Sloper Class

So lots of sewing and fitting for me in the near future, but a custom dress form has been a life long dream 🙂 I’ll share my progress with you once that is done.

Here is the tutorial on how to create a dolman top pattern from any tee that has set in sleeves. Hope you enjoy!

See you in July!
XOXO
-Vatsla

DIY Striped dress: Mccalls M6886 Modified

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a sewing project with you that I made for Easter but never blogged about it. Here is the dress I made. The bodice is Mccalls M6886 and the skirt is self drafted. I’ll show you how below:

I wanted to make something with stripes. Stripes are so chic and never go out of style. I chose to make a dress with a scoop neck, fitted bodice, three-quarter sleeve and a pleated skirt. For the bodice, I chose McCalls M6886, mainly because the pattern is something I have in my stash and I use often. I can also cut the size I need straight out of the envelope, and it does not need any alterations. You can use any bodice from your pattern stash! 

At first, I kept the bodice the same length as this top I made previously. It hits at about the low hip and would let me decide the positioning of my waist seam at a later time.

Once I had the bodice sewn up, and moved on to making the skirt, I measured the bodice from the neckline along the center front.

I  typically like my waist seam to fall on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. Then I marked the waist seam and chopped off the bodice excess after marking my 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Next, it was time to move on to the skirt, and do a small amount of math (nothing super technical) to determine the placement and size of the pleats.

While this is not a fixed formula, I want to share my thought process that you can use to create your own version of this dress!

Here is what I did next, I took a flat measurement of the waist on the bodice. This was 14 inches, excluding seam allowances

Then I took my fabric and folded selvage to selvage. Next, I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be. For me, that was 19 inches. To this, I added measurements of 5/8 inch on top for seam allowance and 1  inch on the bottom for hem allowance.  I used this final measurement to cut the fabric to where it looked like this:

Now I took a flat measurement of the folded fabric across the top. This was 32 inches, excluding seam allowance.  I then cut the fabric into 2 pieces by cutting the fold. This gave me a skirt front of 32 inches and a skirt back of 32 inches.

 Now my goal was to create some pleats on the skirt pieces so that 32 inches would match closely to the 14 inches. For this, I did some simple math and I find that easier to demonstrate on paper. The 1st thing you need to do is decide the placement of the inverted box pleats on your bodice. To do this, I took my bodice and pinned the center front, shown in green on the diagram below (point A). I wanted the placement of the inverted box pleats to fall on my princess seam. For me, that is 3 inches from the center front. So I pinned points B and C on my bodice. The measurement of AB and AC are 3 inches each. When the skirt is attached to the bodice, the inverted box pleats will con-inside with points B and C shown on the bodice in the diagram below

Now that you have placed your pins, you can set the bodice aside. You can also make notches at these points if you prefer.

Now let’s move on to the skirt! I will demonstrate the sewing on a small piece of muslin, that mimics the shape of the skirt on a miniature scale. This will make it easy to demonstrate how I marked and constructed the inverted box pleats.

Because the bodice is 14 inches and the skirt is 32 inches, let us take the difference of the two measurements to decide how much excess we need to eat up in the form of inverted box pleats. 32 minus 12 is 18 inches. Since we are adding 2 invested box pleats, placed at each princess seam, we need each invested box pleat to eat up 9 inches each (18 divided by 2). Make sense so far?

This is all the math you will need to do, now we can do some markings on the skirt and then we are ready to baste the pleats in place! I am showing you the markings on paper below, then we will move on to a sample of sewing the inverted box pleats on muslin! Let’s go over the markings on the diagram below. A is the center of the fabric. AB and AC are 3 inches from the center of the fabric. This is done so that the pleats will coincide with the princess seams on the bodice. Now the final marking is going to be 9 inches from points B and C. This is because we decided that the excess each pleat needs to eat up 9 inches. Measurements BE and CD are 9 inches each. This is all you have to mark on the skirt. You would use pins to mark as I did, or you can make notches in your fabric, whatever you prefer.

Now let us move on to the final step in this pictorial, which is the constructions of the inverted box pleats! By definition, an inverted box pleat is two pleats that are facing each other. If you have never sewn inverted box pleat before, I will show you in muslin below.

On the muslin below, I have marked points A,B,C,D and E.

Now for the construction of the 1st inverted box pleat. pick up the fabric at point D, and place it on top of point C. now make a small stitch as shown to secure the pleat down. This stitch is usually 1/2 inch long.

I have highighted the stich in orange below:

Flip the fabric such that the wrong side is facing up. Now we are ready to flatten the area between C and D and create our inverted box pleats. You can now finger press the excess down on the wrong side of the fabric and distribute it evenly on both sides. now press this down into place.

Now pin this down. You have successfully created the 1st inverted box pleat! Now do the same on the other side of the skirt using points E and D. When you are done, Secure the pleats down by using a basting stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. At this point, your skirt front should look like this:

next steps in construction are as follows:

  1. Create pleats on the skirt back using the same method.
  2. Sew up the side seams
  3. Attach the skirt to bodice matching up the center front, center back, side seams and make sure the points B and C on the bodice match the points B and C on the skirt!
  4. Hem the garment

This is it! I inserted pockets in my dress, in which case, you would want to add the pockets before step 2!

Here are some more pictures of my dress.

I styled my dress with a black belt and black open toe pumps. This ensemble is perfect for summer!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and this encouraged you to try some free handing of your own! While I like using patterns, I also like being independent of them. Many times I run into accidental inventions and those are the best!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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