Category: RTW Fast

RTW Fast 2015

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….

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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!!!

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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.

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

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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)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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!

 

 

 

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

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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 🙂

 

Winter Cape Completed: Falling in Love with Wool

Hello Fashionistas!!

Sewing with wool has been on my bucket list forever. To be specific, a wool cape, a winter coat and a french jacket.

Earlier this year when I launched my blog I thought about all the sewing projects I would like to make. It was a reasonable list… twenty-one items in all.. and number six on the list was a wool cape, which has now been crossed off my list 🙂 Design details at the end of the post if you want to sew up your own version of this!

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It’s finally DONE!!!!  I am so in love with the final product. I have been working on this for the past three days while my kid naps 🙂

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I wanted something unique so I chose a vintage pattern. I wanted a superior fabric and I wanted to work with 100% wool. I picked a camel/taupe brushed wool that was such a pleasure to work with.

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On my version I only used two buttons as opposed to four. I also eliminated the waist tie and styled the cape with a leather belt instead. This is a big cape, so to create a good proportion, I used a wide belt. 

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Here is side view and back view. The fabric drapes beautifully!

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Check out my signature accent.. on the back of the collar… It’s all in the details!

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The cape looks different when worn without a belt and I like that look too!

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I am simply in love with the sleeves and they make me feel like a butterfly! I chose a floral lining. Isn’t it adorable?

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As I was wrapping up pictures, my kid decided to join the party. I had some leftover fabric and cut a small cape for her as well, but have not sewn it up yet. That’s next on my list…

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I learned a good bit about working with wool.  I had it pre-shrinked by sending it to the cleaners. I learned that is takes special care to avoid overpressing and shine. I also mastered the art of perfect top stitching! What a joy..This project required more work, but the end result was so worth it.. This cape will be in my wardrobe for a long time..

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PATTERN: Vintage Simplicty 9669, view 2. It’s a fully lined cape. I cut the size Medium which is for a bust size 34 to 36. The only pattern alteration I had to do was to remove about 3/4 of an inch from the Centre back. I also eliminated the centre back seam and instead cut my back pattern piece on the fold of the fabric. I like to simplify sewing where I can. Eliminating the centre back seam saved me about 5 minutes of pinning and sewing and bout 10 minutes of pressing the seam…

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I did make a muslin and did a fit analysis on my dress form an myself. This is a outerwear garment so I left a good amount of ease on the pattern to accommodate a shirt and possibly a sweater underneath. Initially I had considered shortening the cape by a couple of inches but once I made the muslin, I decided against it.

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SEWING : I learned a lot about sewing with wool by making this cape. This was my first time working with a wool and it was truly a pleasure to sew up. I quickly realised that pressing wool can be tricky. I am used to working with muslin and cottons and by habit, I used a hot iron, a good amount of steam and pressure.. AND my tailors clapper and that resulted in shine and over pressing. As you can see below.. The seam allowance was causing the impression and lightening of the wool color. I always like to sew up samples with some scrap fabric and press them before I take the iron to my garment. I will be writing a detailed article on what I learned about pressing wool without damaging it. That is coming to the blog soon!

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This project was a labor of love. It was time-consuming. Not only because it included some trial and error as I was working with something new, but also because I was broadcasting live some of the tips and techniques of sewing as I was discovering easy ways to work with wool and having those “Aha” moments…I really enjoyed connecting with other sewists while working on this project.

I also experimented till I discovered an easy and practical way to master top stitching. That is coming to the blog soon, so stay tuned! Since there are so many little details about this project I want to share with you, I will be doing a “Behind The Seams” blog post about it soon.

FABRIC: I used a soft 100% brushed wool. It has texture, so I had to take extra precaution while pressing. The fabric is indeed luxurious. Since I knew that this garment would be an investment piece, I wanted to use the best fabric I could find in my budget. Local fabric stores like Joanns and Hancock only had wool blends with a low percentage of wool, but I found an array of pure wool fabric on Fabric Mart Fabrics at very good prices. And if you want a super yummy 100% wool, check out the selection of wools HERE

That’s all for now.. I am taking a one day break before jumping into my biggest project of the year… a Melton wool winter coat….with hair canvas, shoulder pads, sleeve heads… and all that jazz!

 Hope you enjoyed reading this! Leave me a comment and let me know what you are working on… And if you like this vintage cape.. add it to your bucket list!

Until next time.. 

 XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

Cozy and Comfy : DIY Cowl Neck Top


It finally began to feel like fall at the beginning of October, and I pulled out one of my favorite black cowl neck tops. I made this a while back, so it’s not a product of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast. However, its been getting a lot of wear lately.

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What I LOVE about this top: It’s so easy to wear. It’s casual, yet stylish and the fabric is super soft. I also love the full sleeve length. The sleeves are actually longer than my arms and I love that because I can pull them over my hands on those chilly evenings..

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I cannot remember exactly when I made this top but it might have been in 2014 or even 2013. Although.. I was pregnant in 2013.. so it was probably made sometime last year

I copied the pattern for this top from a RTW top I owned previously. I loved it SO much that I wore it all the time. To the point where it was falling apart, so I created a pattern and copied my old beloved top . Here is the original. This picture is old! October 2012 in Paris!!!

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Love the drape of the neck.. and here is how it looked from the front:

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Because I couldn’t let go of it, I created a pattern from it.. and sewed up my own version. It’s an easy top to sew. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made.

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My fabric is a bit slinky with a 4-way stretch, so it drapes slightly differently… but overall I am ver happy with it…


I also paired this top with a dressy pair of pants I made last winter. I LOVE an all black look for winter…The pants I made are Burda 7122

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I also wore it with a DIY tulle skirt I made last winter.. I cannot believe I agreed to do a photoshoot in this skirt while we had snow on the ground. Brrrrr…..

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So as you can see, this top is pretty versatile, it can be dressed up or dressed down. This is going to be one of my wardrobe staples for fall and winter…


Design details below if you would like to make your own!

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PATTERN: I used a self drafted pattern , but I have seen many commercial patterns that can be used.

FABRIC:I used a lightweight black knit from Joanns Fabrics.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made. I actually left the sleeves and hem raw because this knit does not fray at all.. and I am happy with it the way it is. There are also no sleeves to set, because raglan sleeve with a cowl neck.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far. I have reserved the month of October for learning all I can about the art of tailoring. I will be making my first tailored coat ever. Its a lot of new information, so I have been reading and researching like crazy! What are you up to? Any fun sewing projects? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

 

Black Off Shoulder Top – Fall sewing is in full swing!

Hello Fashionistas!!!

I have missed you! I made this top late last week and I’ve been wanting to write about it, but we have had no internet at the house since Friday. So I am blogging from the public library! Finally I can share my latest creation with you! As always, design details at the end of the post if you would like to make your own!

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I was inspired by a member of one of my facebook sewing groups to make this top. I felt that black would be a good color given the season change. I used a soft ponte knit and kept the sleeve length at three quarters length, which is my preffered look for knit tops.

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I styled this black and white outfit with this gorgeous black hat with white top stitching. It’s getting a little cooler here and I am in love with hats… wearing hats makes me look forward to bad hair days 🙂IMG_9165

.I paired the black top with these white jeans I made last month using this rub off method.

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So the one pattern alteration that did not work in my favor was that I reduced the height of the shoulder band by about one inch. Perhaps that is the reason the band wants to roll up. I did top stitch the band down on both arms as you can see in the picture below.

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Here is the back view. It really is a cute top. IMG_9201

Design details below…

 

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PATTERN: Simplicity 1613 , but I left out the shoulder straps.

FABRIC:  I used a black ponte knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics. You can find their selection of ponte knits HERE. Very nice and soft to work with. If you have ever been frustrated working with knits, try a ponte knit or a double knit.

SEWING: Easy, two hour project.  I coverstitched the hem and the sleeves. Because of the shoulder band, no hemming was required on the neck, which is great 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know what are you sewing for fall or planning to sew?

If you liked this , you can also read about my previous project also with a ponte knit HERE

I hope our internet ir restored soon so I can blog regularly again. Time warner cable is supposed to come tomorrow but its one of my two days off this week and I don’t want to give my precious time to the cable man. I will be out enjoying coffee and breakky with my dear friend instead.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and has a good week planned!

See you soon with me next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla

New Frankenpattern white top- M6886 meets M7046 (plus DIY Denim Skirt)

M6886 and M7046 have been hanging out in my pattern stash for way to long. They fell in love, got married, and now they had a baby.

My latest creation is a Frankenpattern: This white knit top with ruffly- circle sleeves. Design deets at the end of the post, if you would like to make your own!

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The top is a frankenpattern.  I took the sleeves from Mcalls M7046 and the bodice from TNT Mcalls M6886 and combined the two. While I love the soft and romantic sleeves on M7046, I didn’t care for the ruched and gathered bodice. All that does is add bulk to the garment.. so I wanted to keep the bodice fairly simple and let the sleeves have all the attention.

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Btw, If you have been following me since I started blogging, you might remember these high-waisted wide leg pants I made a while back. Now that the temperatures are dropping, I can wear these again.

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I am so crazy in love with these sleeves. This might be my new favorite. I am going to wear it as much as I can before it gets cold.

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Before I move on to this GORGEOUS denim skirt, let me just say that the top is a two-hour project. Start to finish. The sleeves aren’t an exact match but if you are like me, you are pretty good at “wingin it”. So make this blouse NOW :)))))

ok- Now for the denim skirt. There are two stories behind this denim skirt.. I love telling stories so here goes. Once upon a time, many moons ago, when I worked in the corporate nerdery,  I was uptown and walking through some food festival to grab lunch where I saw this absolutely gorgeous girl dressed in nicely tailored pencil denim skirt and a crisp white button down, and a simple string of pearls. She grabbed my attention and I was in LOVE with the outfit. How can two such simple fabrics. cotton and denim make such an amazing outfit? So… I wanted my own… That was a million years ago..

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Now on to the 2nd story. I made this skirt last-minute because I had to go to work one day… and like every woman on this planet, I walked into a closet full of clothes and said “I have nothing to wear”. So I picked up some leftover fabric I had sitting around since the days of fashion school and whipped this up. I copied the pattern from a black skirt I have.

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The skirt has a wide waist band, is high-waisted and pretty form-fitting. There are no darts, because this is a stretchy fabric.

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I have gotten a lot of wear out of this skirt, mainly because is dressy and comfortable at the same time. I wear this to work a good bit…. with a crisp white button down 🙂

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PATTERN: McCall M6886 for the bodice combined with Mcalls  M7046 for the sleeves.

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

SEWING: Easy, breezy, beautiful. Two hour project. I left the sleeves raw. No hemming. I used this way of attaching the seams. I picked up the sleeves on the shoulder cap and placed them closer to my neck on the shoulder seam and tacked them down. This made them look more lifted and not so droopy.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Are you moving on to fall sewing or still holding on to summer like me?

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Oldie but Goodie- Off White Day Dress

Happy Humpday Y’all…

I’m back with another shade of white! If you havent noticed, I have been all about shades of white lately.. My last 2 sewing projects have been in some shade of white. I made these white jeans recently and also this off white peplum

Now moving on to my latest obsession with white… Here is a dress that I designed as part of my eight piece collection way back when in fashion school…

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I have not worn this dress in forever.. matter of fact, that last time I wore it was for my graduation party…I wore this to Church last Sunday…The fabric I used was a mens suiting fabric. Oh how I miss the fabric stores in San Francisco…IMG_8699

Let’s talk about the design details of this dress…I designed this dress using my sloper that I drafted while in school. For those of you who don’t know what a sloper is, it is a blue print of your body, drafted using your own measurements. It lacks wearing ease, design ease, and has no design elements. It looks like a pattern with a few darts and notches. The sloper is then used to manipulate darts to create design variations.

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On the bodice, I created an inverted box pleat on the centre front, and manipulated all the darts into the pleats along the neckline. I like how the darts are pointing away from the centre of the body. The inverted box pleat does its own thing and opens up for an interesting effect. How cool would it be if it were in a contrasting color, that would be interesting too! On the waist, I have a wide waist band connecting the bodice and the skirt. This creates a slimming effect. Who doesn’t want that right?

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The skirt is a simple pencil skirt with darts on the front.The back is fairly simple. on the bodice,  I have shoulder darts and waist darts. On the skirts, darts on the back and a pencil fit. I did not draft a slit in the skirt, but I should have.. Hey! This was my 1st dress I designed ever… so I am allowed to make mistakes!

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Here is the side view.. although … can i bring your attention to my iris? Its blooming in late summer! Was not expecting that. What a pleasant surprise!

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To style this outfit, I went with choco brown super pointy pumps, a chunky orange necklace, and this bright yellow bag I previously wore with my all white outfit  HERE

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Now.. I have to say this dress fits a lot more snug now compared to when I designed it. I have gained a good 10 lbs since then. I had a baby since, gained 40 lbs, lost it all, and breastfed for 2 years. Needless to say, my body is not the same as it used to be. But I have to say, I like the way it fits now as opposed to before.. It has less wearing ease now.. so it was tight when sitting down.. which is also why I only use wovens with stretch now! I need to be able to breathe if I gain a few lbs!

What a difference 10 lbs makes! This is the same dress worn a few years ago!

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And before I receive any complements on how beautifully tailored this garment is, let me tell you that I did not sew this up. This is my design (from scratch), which means I came up with the design, sketched it, created a flat sketch and did the pattern making and sewed up the muslin for fitting, but because I was on such a time crunch back then, I hired a sample makes to sew this dress from my final pattern.  I WISH I could sew this beautifully, but I am still learning..

That’s all for now. I have not sewn much in the last few weeks. Got busy with the kiddo starting pre-school.. It’s all about the toddler right now.. Once we get in a routine, hopefully by next week, you will be seeing more of me!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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