Category: Pattern Making

Flat pattern making, pattern manipulation and pattern alterations

Craftsy Class Sale Today! Any class is $19.99

Hi Fashionistas!!

Hope you are well. I wanted to let you know that Craftsy has a sale.  You can get any class for $19.99 with the coupon code below.

Click HERE to get any one class on your wish list for only $19.99.  You will need to use the coupon code below:

The latest class I enrolled in is the one that helps working with sheers, you can see my review HERE 

I also love the pattern making classes I previously reviewed HERE and often go back to reference them.

Do you have any classes on your wishlist? Let me know if you end up taking advantage of the sale.

Talk soon!

XO

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

Gathered Maxi Skirt in Chiffon

This is my very first time making a gathered maxi skirt. I chose this beautiful and summery print. The fabric is a chiffon. I see gathered maxi skirts everywhere but never thought to make one prior to this. 

This is my second time working with chiffon. The first time I failed miserably, so it has taken me a long time to pick this type of fabric up again! This time around I took an online class on working with sheers. I’ll include that information for you and also some tips and tricks  I picked up to make this project a success.

If you saw my silk top, I mentioned some of the challenges I ran into. Since then, I took this online class on sewing with sheers and I was better prepared to deal with a sheer fabric. I do recommend taking this class if you want to take away some of the frustration of working with sheers.  

Here is the back and side view:

I used an invisible zipper on the center back. I was a bit worried about how fragile the chiffon is, but I doubled it up on the center back by folding the chiffon under. This gave me two layers of chiffon, which is more stable than one. I also have a full lining on the skirt, so the lining also added some stability. 

Here are some things I learned from this sewing project:

  • Never cut chiffon on the fold. Only cut one layer at a time!
  • Cut the fabric by placing it on top of paper. This stabilizes it and if the paper is a rectangle, you can use the edges of the paper to make sure your straight grain and cross grain are correctly aligned while cutting.

Here are some challenges I had with this project:

  • Keeping the fabric straight while cutting! It was challenging. 
  • My fabric around my zipper was a bit “ruffly”. Luckily for me, the skirt is gathered, so the imperfection is hidden. 

The skirt hit floor length with heels on, which is how I plan to wear it. I paired it with a white tee. Here are some pictures of the garment construction:


I drafted a straight waistband using my waist measurement. I top stitched two rows on the top of the waistband.

The skirt is lined.  The lining is an A-line skirt instead of a gathered skirt to reduce bulk.  For the fashion fabric, I gathered it manually and attached it to the lining. Then attached the lining to the waistband.  So the entire piece is self-drafted/ free handed.

This is the fabric I used. I hope you enjoyed this project!  I am working on a pair of denim shorts next- think dressy, tailored shorts in denim. 

ps- I also started a sewing newsletter, in which I share more sewing news, tips, and tricks! Sign up using the pink sign up box below !!

XOXO

-Vatsla

How to Draft a Petal Sleeve : Tutorial

Hi Fashionistas!

I have been meaning to film this quick video on how to draft a petal sleeve or tulip sleeve, but for some reason, it’s taking the longest.  I’ve been trying to film overhead so I can give you the best possible angle so you can see the pattern making. I’ve also been trying out new equipment like a new audio recorder. To be honest, I am not very tech savvy and even editing a video in I movie intimidates me! So I am back to doing it the simple way. I took a bunch of pictures and I will just walk you through it! It is very easy!

Before we jump in, let’s have a look at a sample I made from the pattern I drafted for this demo. A petal sleeve is a two piece sleeve where you as the designer chooses whether the back overlaps the front, or whether the front overlaps the back.  You can see examples of both below

 

Now let’s jump into the drafting!

Step 1: Take any basic sleeve. If this is your 1st time drafting a petal sleeve, pick a basic sleeve that does not have much design detail. In other words, stay away from a sleeve that already has gathers, tucks, pleats etc..

Before we move forward, let us look at the anatomy of the sleeve. As you can see below, we have the double notch indicating the back of the sleeve, the single notch indicating the front of the sleeve, the grain line and also the shoulder notch. The shoulder notch is the location where the sleeve connects to the shoulder seam on the bodice. On commercial patterns, you may see a circle instead of the shoulder notch.

Step 2: Trace 2 copies of your sleeve pattern. If you have a needlepoint tracing wheel, you can use this to trace. If not, you can also place a semi-opaque paper on top of your original pattern and trace it that way.

Be sure to copy the notches onto the copies of the sleeve.

Step 3: Measure 2-3 inches out from the shoulder notch along the shoulder cap and mark a new notch. I have shown that in black. We will be creating the back petal sleeve in this step

Using either free handing or a french curve, connect the corner where the side seam and the hem meet to the black notch on the opposite side of the sleeve as shown below.

Cut along this curved line. This below is now your back petal of the sleeve. The double notch on this patterns indicates the back of the sleeve.

Step 4:

Flip the piece you just drafted on step 3 and place it on the 2nd copy you traced in step 2.    Now trace the curve on the 2nd copy of sleeve as shown below:

Cut along the newly traced line.

This is the front of the sleeve.

 

Now if you match the sleeve front and the sleeve back at the shoulder seam, you have a brand new petal sleeve! Be sure to copy the grain line over to both pattern pieces!

That is pretty much it!

If you overlay the 2 new sleeve pieces on top of the original sleeve you traced from, you will notice that it matches perfectly. The fit of the sleeve is not impacted by this pattern changed and you can decide whether you want the front to overlap the back or for the back to overlap the front!

Sewing Tip: If you are using a knit, you can hem the petals individually as you would normally hem a knit by turning it under. If you are sewing with a woven, I highly recommend lining the sleeve for a clean finish. You could self-line or line with an interesting bright fabric or print lining for a pop of color!

Here is a sample I sewed up with this pattern:

 

I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful. Now IF I figure out how to work this monstrosity of a gadget below, I will turn these images into a quick slide show and do a voice over and make a quick video for those of you who are like me and get confused by a lot of words.

 

Talk soon Fashionistas. Let me know. did you find this helpful? What else would you like to see?

Thanks!!

Vatsla 🙂

Flow Away Like a Butterfly!

HI Fashionistas:

My latest make is a beautiful flowy and drapey self-drafted circle top that makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly.  The colors on this fabric are so vibrant, and the color combination on the fabric is one of my favorites:

This fabric might have been the most beautiful fabric I have ever touched. It is a silk cotton blend, feels so soft to the touch. Has more body than a pure sheer silk, and while it was slightly more stable because of the fiber content, I did have some challenges that I will talk about in this post.

Here is a view of the back and side view: 

:

 

So in love with these sleeves!

Here is the fabric I selected.  It is abstract, if you look at the large pic of the fabric air drying, you will see it has large butterflies. So when I ordered the fabric, I knew I had to make large flowy wing-like sleeves!

I did not know exactly how to pretreat this fabric since I typically don’t work with delicate fabrics.  I wasn’t sure if this needs to be pre-shrunk, or whether it should go to the cleaners. So I asked the fabulous Erica Bunker, who is a seasoned seamstress and has worked with a range of fabric types. She suggested I wash and press it. I did not have the heart to throw this fabric in the delicate wash in the machine. So I hand washed it. And that was so much fun.  I love to touch and feel fabric. Something about hand washing the fabric made the creation of this garment a lot more personal 

I let the fabric air dry overnight.

The top was freehanded, no pattern. I will show you a sketch so you know how to make your very own top: I declare this as the laziest pattern in the world if you decide to make a paper pattern. I just drew on the fabric itself.

On the neckline, I did a bias tape. It came out beautifully. Here is a closeup of the neckline/ neck finish.

I had just the right amount of bias tape sitting around. I did attempt to make bias tape from the silk itself, but it was not stable enough.

Now lets talk about hemming this top- I ran into some challenges here. I tried the rolled hem foot on my industrial, and I could just not get comfortable enough with it. If I were doing a rolled hem on a straight hem, that would not be an issue. But hemming circle hems can be challenging as is. Add in the slipperiness of a silk, and that makes the hemming more difficult.

So upon the advice of my mentor. I tried the rolled hem on my serger. His name is Sergio, and for the most part, he is good to me. But he just shred the silk to pieces.

It’s not his fault. My thought is that an all purpose thread was too heavy for this fabric. So I resorted to YouTube land and found out that you can add stability to silks by roll hemming 2 layers. So I tried that and it worked. I folded over the hem and rolled hem. I disengaged the knife and then trimmed really close to the hem as shown here. The hem is more “lettuce edgy” than I would like, but I can live with it.

Honestly, I meant to take this online class about sheer fabrics, but time got away from me. Now you know this is the next class I am buying.  I studied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is brilliant. I probably would have saved a lot of time and trial error had I taken the class!

They say that rolled hem is the ideal finish for sheers, but I think I would have preferred a bias tape finish on the hem as well. I might come back at a future time and apply the bias tape to the hem.

Overall.. I love this top. It’s light and fresh for spring! I paired it with white skinny jeans. I have not worn these in months and I definitely had to jump up and down to squeeze into them!

I ordered 2 yards of this fabric. What I loved about this project is that the amount of waste was very little. I used a majority of the fabric to make the top from, which is one big circle (donut) and the remaining fabric was used to create an infinity/ circle scarf.  I love an all white outfit for spring with a pop of color. I’ll share the scarf with you soon! It’s my new favorite!

The sleeves, the neckline, and the print are my favorite parts of this butterfly top.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this make. I am getting started on my Mommy and Me Easter make after this one.

Hope you are having a fabulous week.  See you with my next make.

XOXO

Vatsla

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

A post shared by ✂️Fashion Behind The Seams✂️ (@fashionbehindtheseams) on

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.

 

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