Category: Sewing 101

Self Drafted Dolman Top for Summer

Hi, Fashionistas!

Summer is in full effect and we have had some really hot days.

I sewed up a couple quick summer tops. I wanted something basic but cute, to wear with shorts, skirts, or jeans. So I decided on two summer tops. The first one is in a gray jersey knit. This fabric is so soft and comfortable. I ordered one yard and that was enough and I have a little bit leftover fabric.

This is seriously the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

I self-drafted this top. The drafting took about 30 minutes. The sleeves are dolman, which means there is no setting in the sleeve, which also makes the sewing very quick. I have previously published a tutorial on drafting a dolman top and I will link that below.

Also, I  love the clean cover stitch on here.  I used my Brother Coverstitch machine, which I absolutely love and have been using for over two years

I drafted cuffs for the sleeves and a band for the waist.

Here is the back view. I made the neckline on the front and back exactly the same, and gave it a boat neck shape, which is one of my favorite.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest make. Next, I am working on creating a custom dress form cover for myself. A custom dress form is something I have wanted for a very long time. I’ll be sewing up my custom shell using this online class on Craftsy, but instead of using a commercial pattern, I plan on creating my shell from my custom sloper, which can be drafted using this Bodice Sloper Class

So lots of sewing and fitting for me in the near future, but a custom dress form has been a life long dream 🙂 I’ll share my progress with you once that is done.

Here is the tutorial on how to create a dolman top pattern from any tee that has set in sleeves. Hope you enjoy!

See you in July!
XOXO
-Vatsla

Pattern Fitting Class is $12 Today only

HI Fashionistas!!

Public Service Announcement to all my sewing buddies!

Craftsy has one of its biggest class sales ever. This fitting class is on sale for just $12. One of the biggest issues I hear from home sewists is how to get pattern fit.

This is a one day only deal! You also get a vogue pattern, so the price is a great bargain.

I’ve had my eye on this class for a while.. but y’all know I love my discounts! I just bought the class and have been watching it this morning. Here are some screenshots of what is inside the class. You will definitely get a good understanding of how to tweak the pattern to fit you without having to make multiple muslins. Isn’t fitting one of our biggest sewing woes?! To get this amazing deal for just $12, click HERE

I have been watching this class at a coffee shop this morning 🙂 I am including some screen shots of what’s inside

Check out the fit on that gorgrous cocktail dress .. and that looks like a silk taffeta!

I like that she is using a copy of the pattern to explain all the concepts. This is typically more spare than the commercial pattern, and in my opinion easier to follow as it is less overwhelming. You might have noticed that in my tutorials, I also use traced copies of the patterns to make it easy to follow.

I also love that there is an entire chunk of the class dedicated to fitting the garment on a real human being. This is so practical and offers how to address real fit issues.

I also like to read reviews.  Here is one that had me sold!

Perfect for altering patterns without a hassle

I have watched several classes both here on Craftsy and on You Tube concerning pattern alterations. I have probably watched about 6 or 7 in all….but this is by far my favorite. She could write a book titled GEOMETRY FOR DUMMIES and this is what I needed. I can’t wait until I attack all of my patterns. This lady has a gift for teaching (coming from a retired teacher) and is very good at making everything visual. She does comparisons at the end as to what happens when you use her methods, the patterns methods, and eyeballing it. What a difference. That alone made me want to try her methods. I highly recommend this class….not just for beginners….but for anyone with even advanced experience. I am intermediate by definition and learned a lot.

Alright, I am back to watching the class before I have to pick up my kid. Let me know if you end up getting this. I typically do a muslin, and while I don’t do multiple muslins, I almost always to one muslin and then about 2 alterations to the muslin. I am excited about stepping away from as many iterations! HERE is the link again, if you decide to check it out.

 

On Thursday I am sharing with you how I save TONS of money on sewing patterns, and also my process of taking an inspiration picture and turning into a wearable garment! So see you on Thursday!

 

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 🙂

 

 

Mommy and Me Dresses in Blue

HI Fashionistas!!! Happy FriYAY!!!

This month I made another mommy and me outfit.

I did a franken-pattern with the bodice of McCalls M7121  (or HERE for larger sizes) and the skirt of McCalls M7386

At first, I wanted to make a maxi dress for myself, but as I got into the construction of the garment, I wanted to be able to wear just the maxi skirt, so I ended up making 2 pieces, that can give the illusion of a dress when worn together belted.

This first look is quite summery. I plan on wearing it to our upcoming family trip. The fabric is a 4-way stretch knit that is 92% tactel Nylon Microfiber and 8 % lycra. 

Side view if I wore these as a 2 piece. I ended up putting in a facing on the skirt since I decided to keep it as a skirt instead of sewing it to the bodice:

If I wear this as a one piece, I use the facing of the skirt as a waist band, so instead of being tucked into the skirt, it is flipped up above the skirt and tucked in under the bodice. Then I am able to belt it and Voila! It looks and feels like a one-piece dress!

The best part about this fabric is how breathable it is. I did not feel hot in it, even with a self-lined bodice. The fabric moves so beautifully. Isn’t that the true pleasure of wearing a maxi?

Here is the back view.Quite a few people have asked me about how I get these curls. I use the Jose Eber curling wand that I got on amazon a while back. It takes only 30 mins to curl all that hair, as opposed to over an hour to straighten, so I do this when in a rush. This is 4th-day hair, and my hair is still holding the curls.

Side view belted:

I also made a  high-low dress for my daughter. I ordered 3 yards of the fabric and it was just enough! Here is a simple A-line dress with a high-low hem and some ruffles on the neck!

So much love from this munchkin! 

Yay, it’s Friday!! What do you have planned? We are going out for ice cream, and I am doing some gardening on Saturday with a dear friend. Let me know what you are up to. Any sewing plans?!!

XO-

Vatsla 🙂

This craftsy sewing class is $10 right now!

Hi Fashionistas!

I’ve been dying to share my latest make with you, but I don’t even know where the time goes these days! I’ll try to get that posted tomorrow morning!

I wanted to let you know a few things:

Craftsy has this sewing class on sale for $10 right now!!!!! 

Do you remember when I told you that I should have taken this craftsy class before tackling this silk blouse I made? Well, I just purchased the class for $10. I studied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is excellent.

Anyways wanted to share the deal with you. Click HERE if you want to check out the class.

What else.. so I finally filmed the “Seamstress Tag” and I cannot even begin to tell how much technology hates me. This must have been why I never really got into youtube.  So Ya… my upload has pretty much been stuck at 94% for the last 94 hours. Anyhooz.. I will share the video with you soon! Its a set of 12 questions I answered about my love of sewing!

 

Anyways.. I’ll send you my latest mommy and me ice blue outfit tomorrow.. Have a wonderful night and TGIF!!!!

 

XO

Vatsla 🙂

 

Behind The Seams: Sewing Athletic Wear!

HI, Fashionistas!

Confession: I don’t love sewing with knits. I know, I know.. I have sewn with knits a bunch, but I still don’t love it.  Why? Probably because of fear. I can work with a woven garment all day, sew, drape, do flat pattern making (for wovens) and never thing twice. But knits intimidate me. Why you ask? Because every knit is different. Some stretch a bit, some stretch a lot, some stretch 2 ways (selvage to selvage), some stretch 4 ways (along both the cross grain and the straight grain). There is a lot more that needs to be taken into account. There is negative ease, stretch percentage, elasticity and many more things you have to take into account.

Anyways.. I recently had the opportunity to make athletic wear for a new fabric that is making its debut next month. I ordered the fabric, but I decided against making athletic wear.  I’ve recently started working out and I’ve been fascinated by all the interesting and intricate athletic wear worn by women. I mean, I own a  sports bra, and a few basic workout pants. In the past, I never thought about work our wear being fashionable, but it is! I’ve been mesmerized by the different cuts, color blocking, patterns and the use of mesh. There is decorative cover stitching and top stitching, something I have never done on knits. I use my cover stitch to hem, and that’s about it. While I have drafted a gusset (the diamond shaped fabric insert typically sewn into the armholes and crotches of athletic wear), I have never sewn one. So, I decided that I would learn from my last experience, which was making this DIY Silk Top, and learn to work with my cover stitch machine before jumping into sewing athletic wear.

I’ve been eyeing this class on craftsy that shows all the functions a cover stitch machine can do, so when I got a coupon code today I jumped on it

Here is the cover stitch class I just purchased. The coupon code is below.  You can get any class for $14.99. Yipee!!! You can view their sleection of sewing and pattern making classes HERE

Don’t know about you guys, but I love myself a nice deal! If you have considered pattern making classes, see my review of all the pattern making classes HERE

I have this cover stitch machine. Like I said, I have only used it for hemming, but this machine has a lot more to offer. So I am jumping into learning mode RAT now. 🙂

So I am off to my studio to watch the class while I sew. I am currently doing muslin making for a peplum I am making. I’ve been asked so many times why I make a muslin, whether I always make one etc, so I am currently working on a Muslin FAQ blog post that I will publish either next Tuesday or the following Tuesday, so stay tuned for that!

I hope you all are having a fabulous week. What do you have planned for the weekend? Hubby and I are going to go see some land for a potential lake house- so exciting. That,  and Church, the usual Sunday stuff. I am hoping to wear this peplum to match this dress I made for my daughter a few weeks ago. We are expecting temps in the high 70’s

This is coming to the blog soon! Talk soon!

XOXO-

Vatsla.

Flow Away Like a Butterfly!

HI Fashionistas:

My latest make is a beautiful flowy and drapey self-drafted circle top that makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly.  The colors on this fabric are so vibrant, and the color combination on the fabric is one of my favorites:

This fabric might have been the most beautiful fabric I have ever touched. It is a silk cotton blend, feels so soft to the touch. Has more body than a pure sheer silk, and while it was slightly more stable because of the fiber content, I did have some challenges that I will talk about in this post.

Here is a view of the back and side view: 

:

 

So in love with these sleeves!

Here is the fabric I selected.  It is abstract, if you look at the large pic of the fabric air drying, you will see it has large butterflies. So when I ordered the fabric, I knew I had to make large flowy wing-like sleeves!

I did not know exactly how to pretreat this fabric since I typically don’t work with delicate fabrics.  I wasn’t sure if this needs to be pre-shrunk, or whether it should go to the cleaners. So I asked the fabulous Erica Bunker, who is a seasoned seamstress and has worked with a range of fabric types. She suggested I wash and press it. I did not have the heart to throw this fabric in the delicate wash in the machine. So I hand washed it. And that was so much fun.  I love to touch and feel fabric. Something about hand washing the fabric made the creation of this garment a lot more personal 

I let the fabric air dry overnight.

The top was freehanded, no pattern. I will show you a sketch so you know how to make your very own top: I declare this as the laziest pattern in the world if you decide to make a paper pattern. I just drew on the fabric itself.

On the neckline, I did a bias tape. It came out beautifully. Here is a closeup of the neckline/ neck finish.

I had just the right amount of bias tape sitting around. I did attempt to make bias tape from the silk itself, but it was not stable enough.

Now lets talk about hemming this top- I ran into some challenges here. I tried the rolled hem foot on my industrial, and I could just not get comfortable enough with it. If I were doing a rolled hem on a straight hem, that would not be an issue. But hemming circle hems can be challenging as is. Add in the slipperiness of a silk, and that makes the hemming more difficult.

So upon the advice of my mentor. I tried the rolled hem on my serger. His name is Sergio, and for the most part, he is good to me. But he just shred the silk to pieces.

It’s not his fault. My thought is that an all purpose thread was too heavy for this fabric. So I resorted to YouTube land and found out that you can add stability to silks by roll hemming 2 layers. So I tried that and it worked. I folded over the hem and rolled hem. I disengaged the knife and then trimmed really close to the hem as shown here. The hem is more “lettuce edgy” than I would like, but I can live with it.

Honestly, I meant to take this online class about sheer fabrics, but time got away from me. Now you know this is the next class I am buying.  I studied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is brilliant. I probably would have saved a lot of time and trial error had I taken the class!

They say that rolled hem is the ideal finish for sheers, but I think I would have preferred a bias tape finish on the hem as well. I might come back at a future time and apply the bias tape to the hem.

Overall.. I love this top. It’s light and fresh for spring! I paired it with white skinny jeans. I have not worn these in months and I definitely had to jump up and down to squeeze into them!

I ordered 2 yards of this fabric. What I loved about this project is that the amount of waste was very little. I used a majority of the fabric to make the top from, which is one big circle (donut) and the remaining fabric was used to create an infinity/ circle scarf.  I love an all white outfit for spring with a pop of color. I’ll share the scarf with you soon! It’s my new favorite!

The sleeves, the neckline, and the print are my favorite parts of this butterfly top.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this make. I am getting started on my Mommy and Me Easter make after this one.

Hope you are having a fabulous week.  See you with my next make.

XOXO

Vatsla

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