Category: Pattern Making

Flat pattern making, pattern manipulation and pattern alterations

Little Black dress for May

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you are doing fashionably well! The month of May is typically a busy month for my family and I. We celebrate Mother’s day, my birthday and wedding anniversary all in the same month.

Typically, we take our annual trip around this time.. but honestly, this year it seems like we have just been taking it one day at a time. So given its my birthday month, I figured I would sew up a cute Little black dress.

IMG_0647

The fabric is a textured double knit. I like that this fabric is sturdy like a ponte knit, but has more than a moderate stretch. I love the way this dress feels on! I’ll be making my daughter a matching skater skirt soon!

IMG_0698

If you want to make this, see the “Behind The Seams” section at the end of this post. I have included details of pattern, fabric, and how to draft the flounce.

IMG_0727-2

This really is a quick and easy project. I made this the same day as the fabric arrived. I had NO intentions of sewing that day, but I had just picked my kid up from preschool and as soon as I saw that box on my porch, my plans changed.

 

Here is the back view. Just check out the photobomb! She thinks she is such a diva! 🙂 Hehe

IMG_0733

For the makeup, I kept is simple yet bold. A red lip and dark eye makeup. That’s it!

IMG_0739 IMG_0741-2

behindseams2

 

PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886, one of the easiest and simplest patterns out there. I cut view C, shortened the sleeves, chopped off the skirt where I wanted to add the flounce. I self drafted the flounce. Drafting a flounce is exactly the same as drafting a peplum. So use my tutorial HERE and instead of using your waist measurement, use the circumference of wherever you chose to insert the flounce.

I have modified this pattern so many times before.. I have a hard time sewing a pattern out of the envelope. I am like that person who ALWAYS has to customize their meal at a restaurant.. 🙂 Here are the other garments I have made using Mcalls M6886

FABRIC: The fabric is a textured double knit that can be found HERE

SEWING: This is an easy project. If you don’t like inserting sleeves in the round, you can use my tutorial HERE to add sleeves the easy way. I used my serger to sew this up. You can use a sewing machine with a ball point and a stretch stitch as well. I cover hemmed the neckline and sleeves and left the hem on the flounce raw as it will not fray. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, you can do a beautiful cover hem using a twin needle. See my tutorial on that HERE

I hope you enjoyed my DIY project and that this inspired you to sew 🙂

Until next time!
XOXO

-Vatsla

 

 

 

DIY Box Pleated Circle Skirt

Hi Fashionistas!

 

Here is my latest sewing project: A super voluminous box pleated circle skirt made with a bottom weight fabric that has texture and looks embroidered. The skirt is self drafted/free-handed. Details on how to make the pattern are on the bottom of this post.

 

IMG_0374

 

For a casual look, I chose to pair this skirt with a loose and flowy top.
IMG_0371
For a more dressed up look, I chose to pair this skirt with my favorite button down and some tan pumps
IMG_0414

Here is a view of the side and the back:

 

IMG_0399  IMG_0410
behindseams2

 

This skirt was fun and easy to make. I would not recommend this as a beginner project, but if you have made a circle skirt with a waist band before, then this is a good project to make. While is not difficult or advanced, it is time consuming. Read below if you want to draft and make your own (or take a commercial pattern and use that)

 

This skirt has a good amount of twirl factor, and the movement is just gorgeous.. To get this volume, I basically drafted a full circle skirt for myself. Then I cut 3 full circle skirts from the pattern. All pieces were a half doughnut cut on the fold of the fabric. I ended up with 6 panels (6 half doughnuts) that I seamed together. After that I free handed some box pleats on the waist. I did not measure or calculate. I just added pleats that are about 2 inches on the top. I also drafted the waist band. If you want to draft your own circle skirt, watch my video:

I used about 5 yards of this fabric. It is a cotton/lycra bottomweight with the look of embroidery on the surface. I have some leftover and will be making a dress for my daughter soon.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I love this skirt. I might not wear it very often but this will be in my wardrobe for a very long time and I will definitely wear it to the next dressed up girls night out!
Sew you next time!
XOXO-Vatsla.

DIY Keyhole Top- Simplicity 1077 Modified

HI Fashionistas!

It’s taken me longer than desired to get back in the swing of things after the holidays and some vacation.Here is a top I made late last year. We had warm weather all the way through Christmas, so I made a nice keyhole top with a ribbed cotton knit I picked up a Joanns Fabrics a while back.

IMG_9976

I used a simplicity dance pattern for a crop top and made a few flat pattern alterations to get this look. I have mentioned all the alterations at the end of the post if you want to achieve this look

IMG_9981

I love this top. It shows off the shoulders and the back. No I don’t work out, but sometimes I like to believe that I do! The keyhole is sexy indeed.. you never know when you need to look good walking away right? 🙂

IMG_9996

To accessorize, I threw on my favorite (faux) snake-skin pumps from Gianni Bini and a brown clutch… and this was a bad hair day… so I added a gold headband and threw my hair up in a bun.

IMG_0002

And last but not least, to stay true to my roots… I always throw in a Bollywood pose for your viewing pleasure 🙂 Haha!

 IMG_9997

 Read below about how to make this top… but don’t stop there…How cute would this be as a maxi dress? Can we saw “Rawrrr”… or shall we say “Mee-Yow” 🙂

behindseams2

PATTERN: I used Simplicity 1077, view B as a base and made the following alterations:

  • Deepen the keyhole on the back by 2 inches to make is more dramatic
  • Lengthened the top back and front by 6 inches
  • drafted a facing for the front and back since I wanted a clean finish as opposed to hemming the keyhole and armholes.
  • Got rid of the waist band

IMG_8740

FotorCreated

 

SEWING : The top was easy to sew. I used my serger. Since I added a front and back facing, I confused myself a bit.. I usually don’t read pattern instructions.. If you are not doing a facing, this is a one hour top. Easy!

FABRIC: A ribbed knit from Joanns fabric. It was $6.99 a yard. Very casual knit but I put a more dressy twist on it

I love this top. It’s just so cute! And versatile… It can be paired with casual jeans and some pumps or a dressy pair of tailored pants and worn to church!

I am getting back in my sewing studio today after a long hiatus.. What have you been sewing?

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

Channeling my Inner Audrey Hepburn – with a touch of hot pink!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Can you believe it is the last day of 2015?! My very last sewing project for 2015 is this gorgeous Little Black dress. I just wrapped up the sewing yesterday. Well I also started sewing it yesterday, so this is my one day LBD. Always sewing at the last-minute 🙂

IMG_9952 - Copy

I drafted the pattern for this dress using my bodice sloper, which I had made many moons ago in Fashion school. I wanted something that would be a nice fit and flatter my figure. so what better than a custom drafted pattern?

If you are curious as to how I created a custom sloper, I studied with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts. She is an amazing teacher and luckily, she is now on Craftsy. If you are interested in making your very own sloper and designing your own garments, I HIGHLY recommend her Bodice Sloper class. Suzy is an excellent teacher, and takes the intimidation out of pattern drafting. She is also very responsive.

IMG_9873

I wanted a classic look, so I went for a fitted silhouette. I drafted a rounded neck, and princess seams on the bodice, and chose a midi length on the skirt. This look is very classy and quite appropriate for a 30 something momma of one!

And while this dress is a simple LBD, there is a surprise hiding in the back! Doesn’t a splash of hot pink just want to make you smile? Me too 🙂

IMG_9966

IMG_9947

The fabric is a beautiful cotton sateen and the pink is a shirting fabric, both are from Fabric Mart Fabrics. The flounce looks different from every angle. Such a romantic touch to a simple dress 🙂

IMG_9871

And can we just take a moment to admire these shoes? These are giving me life!

IMG_9952

Here is a close up of the circular flounce. Isn’t she gorgeous? I drafted this flounce by measuring how long I wanted this to be on the centre back seam. I decided on 10 inches. Then I drafted a circle with a 10 inch radius, and folded it in half to get a half circle. I will be doing a detailed tutorial on how you can draft this flounce and insert it into any dress or skirt  pattern. Stay tuned!

IMG_9914

Well my darlings, this is a great way to wrap up 2015. When I started this blog in January of 2015, I was excited about where my fashion adventures would take me. Today , on the last day of the year, I can look back and say that this has been a wonderful journey. I have got to know so many amazing women in the sewing community and have loved connecting with each and every one of you.

Happy New Year!!! I will see you in 2016 with my next sewing project! Until then, happy sewing!

-XOXO

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

My Favorite Black Pencil Skirt (replicated)

HI Fashionistas!!

It’s been a minute! I miss you all!! The last month or so has been CRAZY! I welcomed the month of December by breaking a rib! Apparently you CAN break a rib by coughing too much! I have not finished a garment since my winter coat, but that was a big one, so a break was well deserved!!

As my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast is coming to an end, I have been thinking about what all I have learned from it. I can honestly say that I have learned the importance of well-fitting wardrobe staples. Here is one of my favorite staples: The black pencil skirt.  This is a RTW piece I have owned for a few years:

IMG_6250

The things I LOVE about this skirt:

  1. The fit. It fits beautifully
  2. Wearing Comfort: The fabric is a woven with some stretch
  3. Style: Its high-waisted, which is always flattering
  4. The hemline. This hits me just below the knees and is quite appropriate for me, a thirty something momma of one

IMG_6274

t has a slit in the back, which is a must for a fitted pencil skirt. I love this skirt paired with my self drafted DIY leopard top

I also dressed up the skirt for Christmas Eve service last year. DSC_0980

Because I loved this skirt so much, I decided to replicate it in a different fabric. So I created this DIY denim skirt below

IMG_8953

It pretty much has the same fit. The fabric I used is a stretch denim that I had left over from fashion school. I had about a yard and it was just what I needed! I paired it with the DIY Frankenpattern top

IMG_8956

Because my denim was a lot thicker than the black fabric, the self faced yoke/ waist band actually acted as a bit of “tummy control”.  On my version, I added an invisible zipper instead of a regular version of the RTW skirt. I love invisible zippers. They instantly make your garments look high-end!

I wore it to Thanksgiving dinner last month with this DIY ruffle top I made

12279157_920520674698715_4907120738231684447_n

I also wore this to work a LOT with a crisp white button up shirt:

IMG_5056

If you want to replicate your favorite garment, keep reading!

behindseams2

I have two preferred methods of copying an existing garment. I have tested and tried both and they work perfectly for me!

My preferred method to copy woven garments is the painters tape method that I documented a while back  This works great for wovens with or without stretch.  I have used this method to copy for my favorite skinny jeans HERE. The white jeans were copies from the skinnies on the left

FotorCreated

For knits, my preferred method is documented HERE. I have used this method plenty of  times with great success.  The ruffled top on the right was copied from the leftFotorCreated

I hope this helped! While I would never ever encourage copying another designers work by using this method, I feel comfortable using it for my personal sewing. I am guaranteed to get the perfect fit over and over again and it is very rewarding to sew for yourself when the clothes fit and look good!

I am so glad I was able to come hang out with you again! Please comment and let me know what you are working on! With a broken rib, most of my sewing has been put on hold, so I would like to vicariously sew through you!

Happy Holiday Sewing everyone! See you soon!

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

 

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to copy a Ready to Wear Peplum

Hi Fashionistas!!!

Peplums never go out of style! I recently got a request to demonstrate how I would create a pattern from a high low peplum on the ready to wear garment. I filmed this video for one of my readers and wanted to share if with you in case you find it helpful.

Here is the peplum I used for the demo. I made this one a while back by repurposing a dress and you can see the details of this top HERE

11216589_888256027925180_2689937117683685814_n

IMG_6669

The video below talks specifically about how to create a pattern for a peplum, along with a high low variation, but the same technique can be applied to any pattern piece. For example, you could use the same technique to create a pattern for a bodice front and back. If the video does not open for you, you can view it HERE

 

If you prefer to draft the peplum from scratch, you can see my simple tutorial HERE

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!!

I am currently working on my winter coat. Its my biggest project of the year! I made and fitted the muslin today. I am hoping to cut into the yummy fabric this weekend.

Hope you are having a WONDERFUL weekend.

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

Easy One Hour Dolman Top

I copied my favorite Dolman Top. It is getting chilly here and I wanted something warm and comfy. I am so in love with this sweater knit dolman top I purchased sometimes last year. I decided to create a replica using a double-knit I had in my fabric stash.

finalfbts

The double-knit is a thick material. It feels like sweatshirt material. Its warm and comfy. This HAS to be the most casual piece I have ever made. I usually stick to tops that are more on the fitted side. but I also like my sweatshirts!

Here is a close up of the original:IMG_9259

I did not even create a pattern for this one, since it is so easy to recreate. I simply folded my fabric and placed my original top on it. I cut around the outline eyeballing the seam allowance. I have a 3/8 inch seam allowance all over and a 5/8 inch hem allowance on the sleeves, neckline and bottom hem.

IMG_9265

One of the main reasons this is such a simple top is that there is no separate sleeve to sew.  As you can see below, the bodice and sleeve are one,

IMG_9267 IMG_9268

I like how to the stripes on the side create a chevron pattern…

behindseams2

PATTERN: This is what the pattern would look like if you used a commercial pattern

fac5919d76d04484d701c9388708e8971b8820f8_large

I simply traced my original tee as described above in the post. If you want to do it the way I did, but dont have a dolman top in your wardrobe, you can take any t shirt you own and do it this way: I have shown the original tee in blue and how you will trace around it in red to create your pattern. My front and back bodice are exactly the same with the exception of the neckline, which is lower on the back .

IMG_9313

FABRIC:I used a double knit from girl Charlee, but I used the wrong side on the outside of the top, as I loved the texture and I also liked the color better as compared to the correct side of the fabric.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There are only 4 seams to sew: 2 side seams and 2 shoulder seams. I completed the hemming with a coverstitch. You could also hem using a twin needle.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.Let me know what you think of this easy project.

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

%d bloggers like this: