Category: Sewing 101

Cardi Refashion and How I styled it

Hi Fashionistas!!

Remember the sweater/ cardi I was altering last week to make it fit me? It turned out really nice and I wore it to Church last Sunday. I really like easy outfits. This was so easy to style. Since the cardi had a built-in fur collar, I kept the rest of the outfit basic. I paired it with a black pencil skirt, one of my favorite garments in my wardrobe and a tank top.

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The cardi has an attached fox tail fur on it. I was surprised to find genuine fur on a Bebe top. Oh, not sure if I mentioned, this cardi was thrifted. I found it in San Fran earlier this year when I visited. While I would never purchase a new fur, I love giving new life to old furs. It is extremely soft and warm. The day I wore it, it was cold and rainy, so I loved wearing this. It kept me nice and warm (and stylish!)

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Not the best lighting and pics- I usually do my own pics outdoors, using a tripod and remote- but it was raining and cold. I don’t know about you but I don’t think most men are equipped to take pics. I don’t like asking my husband.. so here are some selfies for you! I love that this entire outfit can look like a black dress without me having to have the perfect black dress.

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I wore it like a wrap cardi, and as I mentioned in my previous post HERE, it needed a brooch or belt . I used a gorgeous pearl brooch that was another vintage find. I just love repurposing. The 3/4 sleeves are elegant. The cardi has been altered to fit like a dream.

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Oh hello thread hanging from my slit- where are my thread clipper? 🙂

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I completed the outfit with my absolute favorite faux snakeskin shoes. I honestly treat these are my nude pumps. They are so comfortable compared to a stiletto. Lots of support , thanks to the thicker heel, and a bit of platform.

 

Would you say that I have a shoe problem? Yikes…

You know you have a shoe problem when…… These beauties are going to be on the blog today 👠👣 #shoes #shoes #shoestagram #fashionbehindtheseams #shoeaddict

A post shared by ✂️Fashion Behind The Seams✂️ (@fashionbehindtheseams) on

 

Here is the before and after from last week

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Well.. That’s all I have for now. The 2nd half of December is seriously busy for me. I am wrapping up an online course, making a 5 piece outfit for Christmas, 2 pairs of matching mommy and me jammies and a red dress. I better get to work NOW. Bye loves! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, and if you are not, take on a sewing project for instant gratification and happiness!!! I swear sewing is better than therapy! 🙂

 

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

Saturday Night Sewing

Greetings Fashionistas!

I am in my happy place right now. Really- I am writing you from my sewing ma-sheen 🙂 This is where I am the happiest, this is where I feel 18 years young again. As if I don’t have a care in the world. Nothing matters when I am here. Just my music, my fabric, my machine.

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I haven’t been sewing in the past couple weeks (Boo!). Why?!! What’s wrong with me? Have I really been doing dishes and cooking dinner all week?  Actually, I didn’t do much this week. I just slowed down. So I have nothing to show for. And that is OK. I enjoyed my week. I enjoyed my daughter. I enjoyed a guilt-free cheeseburger with fries, a coke and washed it down with a milkshake. That is so unlike me.. but it was the best thing I have “eated” in a while :)))

Do you ever complete a 10-minute project and not only get that hit of dopamine, but also a new addition to your wardrobe? This sweater was a size L Bebe sweater. I am a size S, but I had to have it. So I purchased it knowing that it would sit in my studio for years before I got to it. It was a simple 5-minute alteration.

I tried the sweater on, eyeballed it and decided I need to take in an inch on the sleeves and the side seams. Pretty simple. I have previously explained this in a tutorial HERE. It literally took 5 minutes.

Here is the sweater after…

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Here is the before.

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To take it in, I did one continuous stitch starting at the wrist, all the way up the sleeve, and then down the side seam. I took in about an inch on each side. It’s the same method I explained HERE

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I ended up using Sergio (my serger). I haven’t used him in a while since I’ve started using my industrial for knits. Mainly because I sew with stable knits most of the time.

The fit is not bad. It needs to be belted.. or “brooched” since there is no closure.

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I love this cardi! I plan on wearing her to Church tomorrow.. with a black pencil skirt. I wore something similar to Christmas Ever service 2 years ago. Geez.. where does the time go?!!!

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Anyhooz.. I hope you are guys are well and enjoying December! I’ll post pics soon of the final look!!! Have  a wonderful weekend!

 

XO-Vatsla

 

 

Sewing Quick Tip: The Gathering Foot

HI Fashionistas!

Every girl has her favorite shoes, and believe me, I have more shoes than I need. But today I wanted to share with you, one of my top 3 sewing feet and why I love it so much.

When it comes to garment construction, the right sewing tools can make all the difference. While you don’t need a fancy sewing machine (a basic machine with a straight stitch and zig zag is just fine), using the right sewing feet can make all the difference. They take your sewing to the next level!

Here is my first favorite: The gathering foot

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This is a small sewing machine accessory but can make gathering a breeze!

 

I have gotten such good use out of this one. You can use this with knits, with wovens, with tulle (YAY) and also with chiffon, organza, netting.. the possibilities are endless.

I used it here to make the ruffles on this DIY top I made last year.

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This little foot  makes beautiful ruffles when paired with the right fabric and the right amount of tension on the machine.

You can control the “tightness” of the ruffles by changing the tension. See my video on this

I also use this foot to gather tulle, which makes gathering a breeze. Here are a couple tulle skirts I made using this technique HERE

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Most people who work with tulle mention how beautiful tulle is, but what a pain it is to gather. Not with this foot! Check out how I gather tulle easily at the rate of 2 yards per minute!

 

What about you?

  • Do you have a favorite foot?
  • Have you used the gathering foot?
  • Do you recommend a foot to make my sewing more fun/efficient?

I hope this review helped. I’ll be sharing my other favorite two sewing accessories with you soon!

 

Oh! I also made this tulle dress with the gathering foot..

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XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

ps. I’ll be posting the progress of my projects on my FB page as always

Behind The Seams: Dresses for Haiti

HI Fashionistas!

Happy Monday! I wanted to share with you a couple of dresses I made a few weeks ago. I am just getting around to photographing these pillowcases dresses:

 

Initially, I had purchased this sheet set to create pillow cases for my daughter.. and a fitted sheet to match. I re-purposed the adult size pillow cases to make smaller pillowcases. Jazz didn’t care for them at all. She insisted on having her boring white pillowcase back.  So I re-purposed them yet again into pillowcase dresses. This is my 1st time applying bias tape on the arms and neck. It isn’t perfect, but I am sure it will be perfect for some little girl. Besides, perfection is over-rated and exhausting. I wake up every morning aiming to be an “imperfectionist” 🙂

 

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Here is the back view

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I used pink bias tape on the 2nd dress. On this one, I topstitched the bias tape as opposed to stitching in the ditch and it didn’t ripple.

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I know that these are going to girls that have nothing to wear, lace is obviously not needed, but I want them to feel pretty. So I added this vintage lace . I created ties for the waist with leftover fabric. I am so in love with the lace. I found that lace at an estate sale..

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Here is what the dress looks like without the tie.

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A little bit of backstory on these dresses. I have been wanting to sew for charity for a while, but it never happened. After I moved into the basement studio, I have been in here so much sewing, might as well sew some more 🙂 I met a couple from Haiti a month or so ago, who told me they send barrels of clothes back to Haiti. I took their contact info, but then misplaced it. Fast forward a few weeks, I finally hired some help to come watch my daughter so I can work on Mondays. Her church does a lot of outreach work, including sewing dresses for girls in Haiti. I jumped on the opportunity. She is taking these to her Church to be mailed. My hope is that I can contribute one or two dresses a month.

I have been sewing for another little girl….My darling Jazz! I made her a beautiful dress from an 80’s prom dress, here is the before.. I will post the outcome soon. It turned out so pretty. She loved it.

 

I will see you soon with the before and after of the Minnie mouse dress.. and you can vote on who wore it best 🙂

Until then!

XOXO

Vatsla 🙂

Behind The Seams: Pleats 101

Hi Fashionistas!!! Hope you are well..

I have received a few questions about how to calculate the yardage need to create pleated skirts.. Before i get into that subject, I wanted to address pleats on a more basic level.. This is a sewing 101 tutorial of sorts, geared towards the beginner sewist, or someone who wants to brush up on their sewing jargon 🙂

I’ll be showing you examples of the following:

  • Pleats (Read below)
  • Box Pleats vs Inverted Box Pleats (Tutorial coming soon)

I’ll start with a definition, then a visual aid. I will also show you how to construct them.

Lets start off by looking at pictures of each.  Here are some pleats I free handed on these sleeves :

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Let’s have a look at some more pleats. This dress below has pleats on the neckline.

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And here is another one with pleats

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To learn more about what a pleat is and how to sew one, read below.

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Simply put, a pleat is fabric folded on itself. That’s it. Let’s have a look.

Here is a muslin sample of a pleat. One single pleatIMG_1446

If the fabric were flat, it would look like this. I have color coded this for you in blue and red, so you can see the parts that disappear in the fold of the fabric once the fabric is folded.

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After being folded, the red portion would be concealed in the fold.

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From the bottom, the pleat would look like this:

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On a pattern, a pleat is usually shown with a combination of a circle, squares or notches and a directional arrow showing you which direction the fabric needs to be folded.I do my pattern making per the industry standards for apparel production, therefore I use the notches for the pleats. You will see my pattern further into this post.

Here is an example of what you might see on a ready made pattern . This used circles, dotted lines and a directional arrow.

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Now that you have the theory down, lets move on to the construction.

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I have a muslin sample here . I have transferred the markings from the paper pattern. We have 2 notches and 1 directional arrow. We shall call these notches A and B. Note that the arrow is pointing in the direction of B. This means that when we construct the pleat, we need to make notch A meet notch B. In other words, the pleat will be facing notch B. You can also think of it this way. Notch B is stationary, and notch A is moving to meet Notch B. Make sense? Now lets see this is action

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Pinch the notch A and make it meet notch B

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Secure the pleat down with a pin, catching all three layers of fabric. Then do a basting stitch close to the edge of the fabric to secure the pleat in place and remove the pin. Voila! You have a pleat!

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While you can make pleats like I showed you above, I am going to show you my preferred method of making pleats, because sometimes the pleats can tend to shift, especially if you are using slippery fabrics. So if you are working with slippery fabrics or want a more tailored look, use the method below. This is the one I recommend, but itrequiress more effort, so I wanted to show you quick method as well.

We will start with the same notches A and B

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Then instead of pinching the notch A, fold the fabric such that notch A overlaps notch B, with the right sides of the fabric together. You are essentially picking up notch A and placing it exactly on top of notch B

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Secure the pleats by placing a pin in the fabric about 1/2 inch away from the notches.

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Then take it to the machine and stitch down 1/2 inch on the notches and also backstitch 1/2 to secure the pleat down. This step will ensure that your pleats stay in place.

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Next, press the folded edge

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Then lift the fabric and fold it away from the notches as shown in pic below.

At this point, your pleat is done!

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You can press the pleat down just a little bit on the top if you want more poofy pleats…

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Or you can press the pleats all the way down if you like..

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Let me know if you want the paper pattern available for download so you can do a practice run. I can scan it and upload is here.

That’s it, folks! I will leave you with this inspiration picture. What can pleats do for you?! 🙂

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In the next tutorial, I will cover box pleats… as seen on this skirt.

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Have a lovely day! Talk to you soon!

XOXO

Vatsla. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Behind The Seams: The Dress that never made the Cut

HI Fashionistas! Happy FriYAY!!!

So excited the weekend is here. I am so ready to unwind, relax and sew! We don’t always love sharing our  failures but here is a t-shirt dress I made that never made the cut. I made this dress last year and it didn’t make it past this picture. Looking back, this dress does not look that bad, but it went straight to the goodwill pile.

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