Category: Review

Tailored Denim Shorts- Simplicity 8391 Review

HI, Fashionistas!

Happy end of summer! Hope you had a lovely summer and are enjoying cooler temps! My kid started pre school this week and I am REALLY enjoying the structure that comes with drop offs and pick-ups and planning my day around it.

So I am hoping to catch up on sharing some summer sewing projects with you. One of my favorite makes this summer was this pair of tailored shorts. They are so simple yet so chic. Sometimes easy projects can be so rewarding to make.

I have always wanted tailored shorts made in denim, a dressy pair of shorts if you will. So here is what I came up with based on my inspiration picture 🙂 I am recommending some pressing tools towards the end of the post if you want to go for a more tailored look on your garments. 

How do you plan your sewing projects? Do you browse patterns on sale, and get inspired based on what you see in the pattern catalogs, or do you look for a pattern to match your inspiration picture or your sketch? I typically tend to find my inspiration from people watching or Pinterest, and then go hunting for the perfect pattern that can either be sewn out of the envelope or modified to match my inspiration picture.

Here is my inspiration picture

It was not too hard to find a pattern for these shorts, I needed to look for a pattern that has a slant pocket so that I could add the gold shank buttons like my inspiration picture. I found Simplicity 8391 view D.

I wanted my shorts to have slightly more wearing ease than the inspiration picture. I also wanted them to be slightly longer.  I did make a muslin to get the fit perfected, but other than that, I did not need to make any pattern alterations. I cut the size 6, which was larger on the hips.  After I made the muslin and tried them on, I ended up removing ½ inch from the side seams.

For the fabric, I chose a denim that had 1% spandex in it. Personally, I like to work with wovens that have a small amount of stretch. In my opinion, it makes the fitting easier because you have some flexibility when the fabric has some stretch.  My happy place is 1% to 2 % of spandex in the fiber content of the fabric.

Here are some more pictures of the shorts

Loving the slant pockets.

Here is the back and side view:

And a view from the side 🙂

 

Sewing Tips

Here are some sewing tips I would like to offer when making a tailored pair of shorts:

  • Use pressing tools to get that crisp look on seams, edges, and hems. I like to use a tailors clapper and press cloth to get defined, crisp seams. I have described both the tools below:
  • Tailors Clapper: I like to use a tailor’s clapper .When pressing my seams. A clapper is made of wood and it helps to seal in the heat and the steam from the iron and gives you that impeccably tailored look!
  • Press Cloth: While pressing, I like to use a press cloth and give the seams a good amount of heat and steam while pressing. A press cloth will help eliminate shine and protect your fabric. I like to use a sheer press cloth so I can see what I am pressing, but a scrap piece of muslin will do too!
  • Gravity Feed Iron: I am going to list this one as “optional” only because while you don’t need to invest in a gravity feed iron, it a gravity feed iron is definitely a professional tailors iron. A good domestic iron with steam when combined with a clapper and press cloth will also elevate your sewing, but put if you can add this to your sewing room, I HIGHLY recommend it. They are very sturdy and can last you 5 to 10 years!
  • Sewing Shank buttons: When sewing on shank buttons, you can stabilize them by sewing a small two hole or four hole button on the back. You would loop your thread through both the buttons. This will prevent the shank buttons from drooping. I used shank buttons with a 3/4 inch diameter on the front and four hole buttons with a 1/2 inch diameter in the back.

Simplicity 8391 Pattern Review and Suggestions

This pattern is easy and simple to use.  The instructions were pretty clear and straightforward. I noticed that the shorts instructions did not include applying the waistband, so you will need to refer to the skirt instructions (view B) on applying the waistband.

While making the muslin I also realized that it was best for me to replace the pocket facing fabric with a thinner cotton in a similar color as the fashion fabric. Once I had attached the pocket and pocket facing to the shorts front, that was 3 layers of fabric. Once the short front was attached to the shorts back, that was 4 layers of fabric and was noticeably bulky. So when I cut the actual fabric, I cut the pocket facing in a dark blue cotton sateen as opposed to the fashion fabric. I am glad I did that!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with this pattern, and now that I have the fit perfected, I will probably trace this pattern onto thicker pattern paper and hang it up on a garment rack for re-use!

I hope that you found this pattern review helpful and enjoyed reading this post! What has been your favorite summer make and what are you planning for the fall? I am planning on doing a lot of cardi’s and lose coats for the fall/ winter. I have pretty much decided that my uniform for fall is going to be black and denim and I plan to sew more outerwear.. but more on that later.. 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

 

Craftsy Class Review and Pattern Making Book Review

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 .

suzy-jpg

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:

561280_10150933697570770_1295253735_n376485_10150933696030770_652623201_n

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:

IMG_9952 - CopyIMG_9966

557457_10150933697350770_197424397_n

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 :))

532363_10150933695565770_2128746321_n

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)

IMG_0414

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.

IMG_0796

 

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 🙂

599674_10150933696360770_1260781199_n

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

IMG_0524

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.

 

 

Warm and Cozy Sweater Dress

HI Fashionistas!

It’s getting so cold and I plan on doing everything in my power to stay warm!

I am that person who is always cold.  So when I saw this sweater knit with a fleece backing, I was intrigued! I made this dress and have a little bit leftover that I am hoping to use for a top.

img_2591

I used this fabric, which is a sweater knit that feels like fleece on the inside. It is very nice and warm. This is my 1st time sewing a sweater knit and I loved it. It is very forgiving as the texture hides and sewing mistakes 🙂 Typically my preference is for fabrics made of natural fibres, but this looked so appealing, so I went for it!

img_2550

I made the sleeves super long so they can be pulled over the hands, something I do often in clothes I make (Don’t you love how we can customize our clothes ?)

img_2574

For the pattern, I used McCall’s 6886 that I previously used so many times before HERE

Here is the back view:

img_2568

And front:

img_2594

LOVE the drape on the cowl.  It is self-lined, so super warm . I free-handed the cowl neck. It was very easy to do. I tried to make a pattern at first but it wasn’t chunky enough.. so I just cut off a 28 inch long piece (measuring 28 inches along the selvage), folded it on itself . The fold them became the top of the cowl that can be pulled over the face. So the cowl is essentially like a mini version of an infinity scarf. 

You probably did not notice it yet, but the cowl neck is stand-alone

I really was opposed to doing this initially, but eventually decided to do it. I have been wanting to simplify and downsize my wardrobe, so having pieces that can mix and match to create more looks is key. Deciding to make the cowl separate allows me to wear both pieces many ways.

img_2583

The black dress can be worn with many other scarves, and the chunky cowl can be added to other looks as  neck warmer.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I would love to sew with this fabric again! I highly recommend it. Let me know what y’all are working on. Love to hear about your sewing projects.

XOXO

-Vatsla 

DIY Animal Print Dress – TNT Mccalls M6886

Hi, Fashionistas!!

Happy Friday! Here is another one of my fall DIY dresses. I whipped up another quick version of TNT McCalls M6886, also known as the easiest knit pattern in the sewing community.

img_2024

I made view C, which I have made  a few times before. I elongated the hem by a few inches.

img_1972

Here is the view from the back. I did add a CB seam (the pattern does not call for it), but it always helps to get a better fit. Instead of cutting the back “Cut 1 on fold”, I cut 2, adding a CB Seam allowance.

img_1963

I made this dress fitted but not super fitted. I paired it with a collarless cape with arm slits for colder days.

img_2022

I so love the style lines on this cape.

img_2003

 

 

Read below for more details on this DIY:

behindseams2

PATTERN: I used TNT McCalls M6886, view C and added a few inches to the hem.

SEWING:

Super easy. I used this easy technique to attach the sleeves. There are only 3 pattern pieces on this dress: Front, sleeve, back. I did all the hemming with a cover stitch.

 FABRIC: Double knit I purchased on Etsy many moons ago.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope this inspires you to sew and make something for yourself. See you next time and until then. Happy Sewing :)

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

DIY Wide Leg Denim Pants: TNT Burda 7122

HI Fashionistas!!!

Here is another long-term UFO! I initially made these pants in January, but I was on vacation and did not have access to my serger. So I deconstructed the main seams in February so I could serge the raw edges and re-construct them. Well, this pair sat on my cutting table for about 6 months 🙂 I FINALLY finished them! YAY me!

14524622_10153886123440770_5566300593980091516_o

These are out of print Burda 7122. I have sewn this up before and thoroughly enjoyed them. This fabric was such a joy to work with.

It pressed beautifully for a nice tailored look. The fabric is a dark blue, it looks almost black.  This scarf is my latest obsession too.

Here is my Bollywood side pose for ya. My mum took these pics, so there was definitely a lot of goofing around.

I recently also wore these pants with this leopard crop top I made the last week.

To find out more about these pants, read below..

behindseams2

PATTERN: Burda 7122, previously made HERE. I lowered the waist by an inch as these black ones are super high waisted.

IMG_6099
FABRIC: I used a denim sateen from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  It has a small amount of stretch, so these pants are more comfortable than the black ones made in a gabardine.
SEWING: These pants are not a bad pair to attempt if you have never made one. Mainly because an invisible zipper is simpler to install than a front fly zipper.
I love this style of pants and will be making them again, but I will draft my own pants from my sloper.Did you get any weekend sewing done? Do tell!
XOXO
-Vatsla.
%d bloggers like this: