Category: Pattern Making

Flat pattern making, pattern manipulation and pattern alterations

Peplum Love in Off White

Hello Loves!

Its time to start transitioning our wardrobes from summer to pre-fall/ fall and all I could think of was a fitted peplum top in a shade of white. I am so excited to share my latest creation with you. This off white peplum top I just finished sewing. All design details are at the bottom of th post if you want to make your own version!

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My style is definitely casual chic. I love a comfortable yet cute pair of skinny jeans. These are such a wardrobe staple for me. I love pairing knit tops that are a bit more dressy with jeans. You never feel overdressed, yet you make a statement.

I wanted to make something that was a bit dressy, but still comfortable, so I chose to sew with a soft and comfortable ponte knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I chose an off-white color. For the pattern, I chose Mccalls 7126 View D as a base pattern and modified the peplum.

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I drafted the peplum from scratch because I wanted a much fuller peplum and a more dramatic look. I wanted it to be a full circle (think of it as a mini full circle skirt), but I also wanted a high low effect. The peplum is about 3 inches shorter in the front.You can draft your own high low peplum using my tutorial described HERE. To get the hem to be stiff and show off the ruffles, I used a one inch wide horsehair braid.


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The top has a little bit of peek-a-boo action going on in the back as the peplum hangs free on the centre back. I used a separating zipper on the bodice and chose to let the peplum do its own thing. This is definitely a sexy top, but classy and elegant at the same time. IMG_8515

Very pleased with the way the horse hair braid hem turned out. This fabric is not too heavy weight, but given that the peplum is a full circle peplum, it would drape very differently had I not used the horse hair braid. LOVE the stiffness of the hem and it makes twirling super fun!IMG_8516 Even though this is a knit fabric, the look I was going for was a bit more structured, so I treated the fabric more like a woven. For example, I sewed it with my sewing machine instead of a serger, and I paid special attention to pressing the seams, using heat and steam generously, and pressing the seams crisp with my beloved tailors clapper. You can see my tutorial on pressing seams HERE. I also lined the entire bodice with a lighter knit fabric. I applied an exposed gold metal zipper on the back. IMG_8529

Moving on to how I styled this gorgeous peplum.  I added this pretty silver and pink necklace, and this clutch purse. This is one of my favourites and looks so cute with the off white and denim. And I paired this look with my favorite snake skin pumps. (faux snake skin of course)IMG_8526

Can I just tell you that I love the fit on this top? Sewing tip: A peplum is most flattering on the natural waist, which is that narrowest part of the torso. It cinches in the waist and lengthens the legs.

Oh! And no blog post of mine would be complete unless I struck a Bollywood pose… so here goes….(This is me, starting into the distance, thinking of my prince charming..)

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Update: A few people asked to see the back view with the zipper. I didnt have a good view of the back,zipper, but here is the best I have since my hair was covering the zipper.

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My kid decided to come join me in the pictures! Oh and you know I’ve been gardening this summer…My iris has a bloom! So proud!

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls 7126 View D as the pattern, but instead of using the peplum for view D, I drafted my own since I wanted a fuller peplum with a high low hemline. You can draft your own high low peplum using my tutorial described HERE

FABRIC:  I used an off white ponte knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics. You can find their selection of ponte knits HERE

SEWING: I seriously loved sewing with the ponte knit. Its my first time working with ponte and I am pleased to say that is sews so well on a sewing machine as opposed to the less stable knits. This is definitely a good fabric to start sewing with you are a beginner with knits. It’s a stable, medium weight fabric and lovely to work with.

.I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest creation!

What are you planning on sewing this weekend? I am taking a short break this weekend since my daughter is turning two and its time to celebrate.

XOXO

-Vatsla

 

End of Summer sewing: White Jeans

I did it!!! I knocked of my favourite pair of jeans. Couple weeks ago I talked about a pattern-making method I was going to try using painters tape. Well folks, I finally have my white jeans done. I copied my favourite jeans.. and you can too!!! All design details are below if you want to see how I did it… In the mean time… here are some pictures of my fabulous new jeans:

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I created the pattern for these jeans from my favorite pair of skinny jeans that I previously wore HERE, HERE and HERE.

The front pockets are faux. I top stitched them down. I don’t really use front pockets of jeans, so I didn’t care to add them. I did add a coin pocket though, because I wanted them to look like jeans.  IMG_8277

I am pretty impressed with the way the patch pockets turned out. At first, when I tried them on without the waistband, it felt like the yoke sat lower than where I would like, but after applying the waistband, it felt a lot more comfortable. These jeans are low waisted.IMG_8291

Here is a closeup of the patch pockets

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I kept the look pretty simple with a white v neck tee I previously wore HERE, and added a yellow bag for a pop of color. I love wearing white. It looks beautiful on every skin color.

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And this yellow flower from my garden happened to match perfectly! I think the yellow takes the all white outfit from awesome to fabulous 🙂 It’s just so nice and summery and happy. Perfect to celebrate the end of sewing (although in reality, I am not ready to let summer go… if only it could last 6 more months….)

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I would wear this white on white look for day into evening. For a more dressy look, opt for a clutch!

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PATTERN: Rub off! I used this method HERE. It was easy and quick, not technical at all.. and the pattern was perfect!

FABRIC:  I used white stretch denim from Joann’s Fabrics. You can find it  HERE

SEWING: I seriously loved sewing these jeans. The hardest part for me was inserting the fly front zipper. Its something I only do like once a year and it doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Once I figured out the zipper though, the rest was fun! The front pockets are faux. I top stitched them down. Pressing the seams well is really important here. I made sure to use steam and a tailors clapper for crisp seams. You can see my tutorial on pressing seams HERE. I applied the waistband using the stitch in the ditch foot. It was my 1st time using it. I am not a fan. I think I prefer using a regular foot, but maybe I just need to get used to it.

What are y’all working on? Any weekend sewing planned?  I am working on  an off white peplum top in a ponte knit.. that’s my next projects.. and hoping to rub off my favorite wide leg jeans.. Leave me a comment and let me know about your sewing projects

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.

 

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

 

Handmade Grey Tee with Wilted Bow

Happy Friday!!! After a week of rain , the sun is out for the last few days! The weather is nice and warm! Can’t believe I haven’t sewn much since Easter, but I just needed the break. I was working on my garden a few weeks ago and now I am sot o ready to jump back into sewing. Here is a simple grey tee I previously made. It’s a really simple DIY as it has a bit of a cap sleeve, so there are only two main seams in this top. Design details below:

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I paired it with a black shorts with gold exposed zippers. On the top itself, I used black contrasting thread for the hemming. I used a zigzag hem for the neckline and the armholes, but if you want a more professional and cleaner finish, you can opt for hemming with a twin needle HERE. The shoes are this cute snake print. They are interesting, but not overstated.

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My favorite part of this tee is this wilted bow I added on the left shoulder. I love casual and comfortable clothes that can be stylish as well. This would be so perfect for brunch with the girls or shopping day out! I made the bow using two rectangle pieces of the same knit fabric. I sewed them all around the perimeter, leaving a two-inch gap, then flipped it right side out, manipulated the fabric to add some pleats and then hand tacked it on to the shoulder. I wanted both parts of the bow to fall over to the front. I called it a wilted bow 🙂

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This was such a simple project. It took about 20 minutes to complete. I actually had some mens X-Large t-shirts I had purchased at Target last year and this was made using that T-shirt. Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to re-purpose existing clothes then creating from scratch.

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This top would also be cute with a black circle skirt i previously made HERE.

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Believe me when I say this, this has to be one of the easiest projects for beginners:

FABRIC: I re-purposed a mens t-shirt from Target that I purchased a while back but you can use any knit fabric or you can re-purpose a t-shirt of your choice:

PATTERN: I actually used a tank top I had in my closet and placed it on top of the existing t-shirt and cut around it. The front and the back are the same pattern. When I got to the shoulders, I slightly extended the shoulders, creating a “faux” cap sleeve.

SEWING: No sleeves to sew!! All you have to do is sew up the side seams and then hem! For the bow, I used two rectangle pieces of the same knit fabric. I sewed them all around the perimeter, leaving a two-inch gap, then flipped it right side out, manipulated the fabric to add some pleats and then hand tacked it on to the shoulder.

You can see the rest of my tutorials HERE

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy Friday from me to you!

-XOXO

 

Behind The Seams: How to draft a peplum

Hi Everyone!

Looks like Tuesdays might end up being “Tutorial Tuesdays”. A few days ago, a fellow sewist shared this picture and asked how she could draft the peplum for  a blouse.  I have documented step by step instructions below on how to draft a peplum.  Peplums are really easy to draft and you need only one measurement: your waist.

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First of all I want you to think of a peplum as a baby version of a circle skirt, because that is essentially what it is. A peplum sits on the waist and looks most flattering when worn on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. The natural waist for most women is slightly above the belly button.

Some more examples of peplums….

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And here is the famous Victoria Beckham Sheath dress that you can buy for $3145… or you can learn this DIY and make your own!

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Peplums are found on blouses, dresses, skirts, jackets and come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen peplums with gathers, box pleats, inverted box pleats and many more variations.

Follow the steps below to draft your very own peplum! I  took this pictures in a rush, so excuse the free hand sketching. It’s not fancy, but if you understand the technique, then that is all the matters!

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You will need the following measurements: waist (Measurment A) and desired height of peplum (Measurement B) ,Pattern paper, tape, scissors and drafting pens or pencils.

Step 1: Draw a rectangle using measurement A and measurement B

IMG_6525Then draw lines shown in blue that are somewhat equidistant.

IMG_6526Step 2: Cut along the blue lines almost to the top, but don’t cut all the way. This allows you to spread the pattern.This is called the Splash and Spread Method

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Step 3:  Tape down the original pattern at the top. This is still our original waist measurement. On the bottom of the pattern, you will start spreading the pattern as shown below. You could insert one inch in each opening, or 2 inches for a fuller peplum. Tape down the bottom of the pattern after you have spread it.

 

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If you want a fuller peplum, you can spread the pattern even more as shown here

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Step 4: Next add seam allowance so this can be sewn up properly. Also add a hem on the bottom. I have shown this in red. This is the pattern for the front of the peplum

 

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To draft the back, all you have to do is fold the pattern above in half and add a seam allowance along the centre back to accomodate the zipper.

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Hi-Lo Variation:If you are going for a hi-lo peplum in the back, you can simply extend the centre back by your desired measurement (green line) as shown below before adding the seam allowance (shown in red)

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It was fun making it and trying out a different kind of peplum, but I think I will go back to my favorite style, which is this white one and this blue one, that I left drafted using this tutorial. If you want your peplum to have a stiff hem like my white peplum below, consider sewing in some horse hair braid to the hem. I used a one inch HHB you can find HERE

 

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Want to learn more about pattern making in a way that makes sense? Check out Suzy’s pattern making classes HERE. Suzy is brilliant. I learned everything I know about pattern making from her.

I hope this helped! If you have any questions, leave a comment and sign up for more sewing tips and tricks below!

-Vatsla 🙂

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