Category: RTW Fast

RTW Fast 2015

DIY Black Wool Cape

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps. I’ve really been enjoying my fall sewing. I recently wrapped up this black cape with arm slits.

new-folder-with-items

I had purchased something similar last month and while I loved the style, I did not love the fabric. The fabric was itchy and “synthetic-y” if you know what I mean. I simply love capes. So I decided to recreate the look in a nicer fabric. I chose this wool/cotton blend. It’s made of 100% natural fibers and is way more lux than the original one I wore here.

img_2099-jpg

My cape is collarless and simple, this will allow me to wear it just the way it is, or accessorize with different collars/ neck warmers to maximize its use in my wardrobe. 

I added vintage gold buttons as you can see in the pic below. I knew I wanted some gold hardware on it but decided to keep it fairly simple. These are shank buttons I recently found at an estate sale.

img_2503

Sewing quick tip: To stabilize a shank button and keep it from drooping, add a regular 2 hole or 4 hole button on the back. While you are sewing the shank button on the front, loop your thread through the regular button on the back. That will keep it from drooping.

My favorite look is with the fur collar, re-purposed from another coat, paired with long gloves. I found these while antiquing with a friend.

img_2477

I drafted the pattern and facings:

img_5769-png

I decided to use contrast bias tape on the inside of the garment. I made the bias tape, thanks to a YouTube tutorial. Using a bias tape maker is so simple, and you can create any color or use a nice print!

img_2451

img_2497

I recently purchased this set of bias tape makers and they are so fun and easy to use! I highly recommend them. On the hem of the cape, I used store bought bias tape and then hemmed it.

img_2498

Here is the view from the side:

img_2471

Here is a slightly different way I styled the same outfit. DIY Faux fur collar made by my mum in law with the cape on top, to show off those gorgeous buttons!

img_2428

The cape is unlined. I decided to try the self-bound seam on the inside of the cape.  The fabric is on the medium side for a wool. I started off with drafting the pattern with 1/2 inch seam allowance, but given the turn of cloth, I decided to upgrade to a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The seams turned out nicely, but there was a bit of waviness on the side seams around the shoulders.  Looking back, I think a hong kong finish would be nicer. But this is what I love about sewing, we learn something new with every project.

img_2502

behindseams2

Pattern: I self-drafted the pattern for this one. Drafting a pattern for a cape is fairly simple, as is fitting. I studied pattern making with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts, a school she founded and runs. She is brilliant. Luckily offers pattern making classes on craftsy now and I am enrolled in all her classes for a refresher course.  I am linking her craftsy classes HERE in case you want to check them out.  For making upper body garments, you would want to start with the Bodice sloper class.  Then you would learn how to manipulate the sloper to create your own designs. I actually just re-ordered my textbook to go along with her classes.

This project was so fun to make! I want to make another cape for winter, so I’ll be looking for some more sewing inspiration.  What about you? What’s your latest fall project?

Lastly, I created a small sewing Q&A group that I hope will double as a sewing space for us to asks sewing questions and also get sewing inspiration from each other. You can join the group HERE

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! See you soon!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

2015: A Year in Review

HI Fashionistas!!

I am so excited to be doing this post because this is my very first time doing it, since I started my blog in Jan of 2015! It has been so amazing being able to document what I made. Here is a run down of almost everything I made in 2015. Links to all projects are included incase you want to sew the look!

8 TOPS: 
Looks like I made more tops than any other category. And it makes sense because I am a mainly a SAHM. I live in jeans.. and prefer a cute and comfy top!

From left to right:
FotorCreated01
Actually there is one more that I have not blogged about yet, so total of 9 tops:
PicMonkey Collage

 

6 DRESSES:
FotorCreated7

 

4 SKIRTS

 

I am a bit surprised that I only made 4 skirts, given that I love skirts! I guess its time for me to upgrade my wardrobe and become more stylish!

 

FotorCreated04

 

5 PANTS
Nautical shortsWhite Jeans, Black Pants, , Christmas PJ’s, Palazzo pants (since demoted to pajamas)
FotorCreated8

 

2 Outerwear garments:
Cape and winter coat
FotorCreated06
5 outfits for my little human

 

As you can imagine, it is close to impossible to get a picture in focus of a toddler.. but here is the best I got..

 

Tulle dress, leopard dress, Easter Dress, Christmas Eve service dress and Christmas PJ’s
FotorCreated10

 

There are also a couple other things that didn’t make it to the blog.. a skirt and a disaster dress.. so that is 2 more. So a total of 33 garments in 2016.. Not too shabby..More coming in 2016..
Thanks so much for reading this.. I so enjoyed writing about my sewing adventures in 2015.. The fun continues!!!

 

Hope you are having a wonderful start to the year!

 

XOXO-
Vatsla

Breaking my Ready To Wear Fast after 1 Year and 5 Days…

 

2015-Goodbye-Valentino-RTW-Fast-e1420760087418

I am about to break my Ready To Wear Fast today after one year and five days.

I decided to observe the 2015 RTW Fast in January 2015, and that happened to coincide with the time I started my blog.

The last time I purchased clothes was December 28, 2014. I met a dear friend Kristina for breakfast and then we headed out on our shopping adventures.

Well, Its Jan 2, 2016 now and its been one year and 5 days. When I started the fast, I knew I had the discipline to not purchase a single piece of clothing in 2015. I took this fast mainly because it would help me accomplish my goal, which was to improve my skill, and learn how to make better garments. Looking back I can truly say that the fast made me push myself to expand my creativity.

Today, I can shop again.. but the questions is… do I want to shop? I am not surprised that I don’t feel excited about shopping. Do I really want to try on five pairs of jeans in hopes that one fits?

Maybe the excitement will hit me when I look at clothes on the rack, or when I actually try something on. The problem is, I cannot help but think about the fact that I know nothing about who made this garment, whether they were working under decent conditions, or whether it was made in a facility where people work for less than minimum wage, in inhumane conditions..

You see, the image of the “Last Embrace” is forever burned in my memory… If you don’t know what the last embrace is, it has to do with the Bangladesh Factory collapse a few years ago

19997366.cms

My current feelings: I am going to go shopping, however I am not sure what I will buy. We shall see.. I don’t think I am going to go back to mainly wearing RTW, but I do feel the need to buy some basic layering items, some basic tees, maybe a pair of jeans.. but I will just have to report back on how it goes.

If I had to describe my current mood, I would say “Awkward” . It feels awkward and strange to be going shopping. I have not looked at clothes in over a year, I have not even browsed the garments racks, I have not been in a fitting room. It honestly feels strange.. As my dear friend Vik would put it “I am feeling some kinda way”…

Anyways.. I felt the need to come pen down my feelings..Now I am off to look for some wardrobe basics.. and for support, I am taking my mum along.. If nothing else, it will be a fun mom and daughter outing!

Happy New Year all!!!

See you soon!

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

DIY Tulle Dress & DIY White jeans

HI Fashionistas:

For my daughters second birthday, I decided to make her a dress for our family pictures. It was our 1st time doing family pictures, so I wanted her to have something special to wear. Here is what I came up with. All design details below if you want to make your own version.

be822109-af8b-43c9-8704-6e8a2b1aef2d

Gathering tulle can be extremely easy and fun, if you use the right sewing foot! I’ll talk about that more later in the post..

I used an off-white ponte knit from my stash. I had it leftover from this DIY off white peplum top I made a few months back . I got 4 yards of this from Fabric Mart, once upon a time…

watkins-6

Doing these pics was fun. It was hot and we were kinda cranky in the beginning (try getting a toddler to co-operate), but it became fun as soon as we gave up and let her do her “thang”….03eaf405-511c-432a-bbb1-8c4a2cf1f81e

I also made these DY white end of summer jeans I am wearing in these pictures.

6a037fce-460d-417e-a3d3-448d5785fc85

It’s amazing how much she’s grown in just a few months because she wore this dress again last week and it’s not as long on her anymore!

And here she is being a snuggle bug and getting love from her pappa!

7ffba330-acc4-4ed2-aaf8-fd726bf277f7

You don’t have to teach children to stop and smell the roses.. or whatever it is she is smelling here.. hopefully it’s not dog poop.

8b3613ef-5e1a-4b21-93cf-440feac71aae

The sleeves are pleated on the sleeve cap, and self faced for a clean finish. I used a serger over all to construct the dress. The gathered tulle is top stitched on to the skirt part of the dress. I am so glad I pleated the sleeves. I only had to cover stitch the neckline because the skirt hem is left raw and the sleeve are self faced/ self lined.

049ac967-2796-4546-a0dc-851a93ec1c03

This pretty much sums up sums up my lil’ munchkin. She is happy and silly most of the time, is my little BFF and showers me with SO much love. I can’t even imagine a life without her.

dedce3c2-87e3-4dd9-b6be-83e73f33394a

28353a1e-5494-43c1-b034-c0619cd59e7f

Sometimes I wish that all people could understand the importance of family and relationships. This below is my world. I feel so blessed to call these two my own and thank the Lord for them every day.

877795df-8f2f-4d48-9435-6412082004c8

I applied a pink exposed zipper on the back. It’s actually an invisible zipper, but I applied it on the outside, mainly because I had the perfect shade on pink and also because I usually don’t plan my projects. I just dive in and usually have to shop my stash….

a62449ba-68e1-42f6-9408-b2f89b2909deThe zipper came out a little wonky. If I were sewing for myself, I would interface the CB with some fusible interfacing.. but if I remember correctly, I was sewing this last-minute, and last time I checked, no toddler cares about the zipper application on their tutu 🙂

464fad55-176b-47b5-a709-1ac768ed7bd9

If I made her a similar dress again, I would make sure the skirt is a circle skirt. It was quite snug and wanted to ride up. I forgot that pampers can easily add 6 inches to the hips 😀

Initially I wanted to do a “mommy and me ” outfit with a skirt for me like this DIY tulle skirt below and a dress for her, but I changed my mind last-minute and wanted to be more casual, so I wore these DIY jeans instead. It turned out great in the end!

9ad65d50715bbdc858077342ff48f1e8

I hope you enjoyed reading about this dress and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am beyond thankful for the Lord, my church, my health and my family. Also for wisdom, for it allows me to deal with difficult circumstances with ease. And of course my sewing keeps mt centred. In a world where there is so much up and down, so much unpredictability, I create stability with my sewing. I know that needle and thread are always there waiting for me, and that they will give me great company and soothe me. After all, sewing mends the soul, doesn’t it?

Love, peace and blessings to you this Thanksgiving.

I’ll see y’all soon with my next sewing project!

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

behindseams2

FABRIC: Ponte knit from Fabric Mart.

SEWING: Easy. The bodice and skirt were constructed using a serger. The tulle was gathered using my super easy tutorial HERE   or see the video below!

The only hemming was done on the neckline.

PATTERN: I copied the pattern from a shirt she already had using an easy method for copying an existing garment (you can find it under tutorials)

 

 

The Seven Day Coat: Vogue 8346 Modified

Hi Fashionistas!!!

I have missed you. I have been a busy little sewing bee. Earlier this year when I started thinking about my bucket list, making a winter coat was one of the items on my list. And that is what I have been working on for the last seven days….

IMG_0524

When I started thinking about coat making, I had a structured coat in mind. I have always been fascinated with the structure that goes inside a tailored jacket or coat, so I decided I wanted shoulder pads, I wanted hair canvas and pad stitching, I wanted sleeve headings, I wanted it all!!!

IMG_0548

I chose to go with a design that was a bit millitary-esque. I exaggerated the neckline for a more dramatic look and used custom-made shoulder pads to add structure to the garment.  I also used hair canvas throughout the neckline to make sure it would stand up.

IMG_9713

I really am in love with this neckline…It’s oh-so-majestic!

IMG_0536

If you look at my inspiration pic, you will see that my version is very similar to it, with minor variations. Since time was of the essence, I decided to take a ready-made pattern and modify it instead of making my own pattern from scratch. (This post may contain affiliate links)

0ac0846c3cece38b29239cb557a8b667

The pattern I used as a base is Vogue 8346 view A, and modified the pattern accordingly to match my inspiration. The main pattern alterations I made included changing the front bodice, and the collar. I also lengthened the coat by an inch and a half.  Of course I made a muslin. I actually ended up with three iterations.

Moving on to one of my favorite things about this coat… Not only does it have the gorgeous stand up collar that I wanted, it also converts into a gorgeous shawl collar. I mean… two looks in one?! That’s what I’m talking about!

IMG_0570

IMG_0576

I styled this coat with one of my favorite cowl neck chunky sweaters, a classic double stand of vintage pearls, My favorite skinny jeans and the boots with the furrrrr!!!!!IMG_0587

And the coat looks just as nice with the buttons undone. It’s such a classic pointy shawl collar. It’s not a true shawl collar because I did preserve the original collar from the centre back seam to the shoulder seam.

IMG_0617

But no coat is complete with a fabulous lining….. so I lined this coat with a pretty silky fabric just like I did on my wool cape last month!

IMG_0627

This was my first time making in-seam pockets.  In-seam pockets are actually really easy to sew!  I am not sure why I was shying away from them!

IMG_9715

IMG_0651

I am just loving the back of this coat. The seams pressed beautifully. The fabric was a dream to work with. The lining was so beautiful, it made me want to get up and dance and sing. (And y’all know I cant sing)

One of the reasons I love sewing so much is that you never stop learning! Here are the new techniques I learned while working on this project:

  • How to set in a fabulous sleeve (I combined 3 techniques to get the perfect set in sleeve)
  • How to create custom shoulder pads
  • The hybrid method of tailoring that combined fusibles and padstitching.
  • I need an industrial machine (Honey, are you listening?!!!!)

Since this was my very 1st coat, I knew I needed the right guidance. Depending on the web and you tube can be tricky, especially when you get into topics like tailoring. So I turned to the experts! I previewed a bunch of classes on craftsy during October, when they had the all access pass, and chose 2 classes that suited me best. I chose a class about shape and structure and another one about tailoring. If you are considering making your first coat, or improving your coatmaking skills, I HIGHLY recommend these two classes. The instructor Alison Smith is an excellent teacher, I loved her method of delivery and she is prompt and thorough with her responses. I truly enjoyed studying with her. I did a review of both of these craftsy classes HERE if you are interested in taking them.

IMG_9702

I also did this coat as a part of Sew Along hosted by Erica Bunker DIY Style. Since the sleeves are the trickiest, I combined my knowledge of the class as well as Erica’s advice to get the sleeve set in nicely. If you have not seen Erica Bunker’s blog, check her out. She is an excellent seamstress and an inspiration to many!

IMG_9724

Over all, this was a really amazing project. I hope that you enjoyed reading this. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it! I will be doing a “Behind The Seams” blog post on the making of this garment, so you can come into my workshop and take a virtual tour of all that went into making this coat!

And until next time, happy sewing!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

ps- Behind The Seams update below…

behindseams2

Normally I take you “Behind The Seams” of all my sewing projects and show you how you can make your own version, but since this was such a large scope project, it deserves a post of its own! Ill be talking in detail of what went inside the garment, the hair canvas, the shoulder pads, sleeve headings and all that jazz! So stay tuned, and please subscribe to my facebook page if you are interested in more!

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: