Category: Sewing 101

DIY Leopard Print Pencil Skirt and a Mini Announcement!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no see! I hope you enjoyed National Sewing Month last month and did a whole bunch of sewing. I did a decent amount of sewing, although I took a break from blogging.

I wanted to share one of my recent most projects with you. It is high waisted pencil skirt made in a thin scuba knit fabric I found at Joann’s Fabric last simmer. I remember falling in love with the fabric and purchasing the entire bolt.

This was made without a pattern because it really is that simple of a garment. This was a 20-minute project but has been so useful. I have worn this skirt at least 4 times in the last month.

I paired the skirt with this ruffled tank I made last year

Here is the fabric:

I did not use a pattern but I traced around this skirt I already own and LOVE.

The skirt was so easy to sew.  I have only side seams which I serged up in no time. The bottom hem was serged then stitched.

Here is the back view.

And now for my mini announcement:

 

There’s a little munchkin in this belly! I’m going to be a mamma again!

These pics were taken about a month ago! I am just now getting the energy to blog about it!

I have so many garments I made that I have not shared on the blog yet. Some are from the summer, and some from just last month. I’ll try to play catch up here soon now that I am feeling better. Know that I have missed you, my sewing friends. I have recently cleared off my drafting table and starting downsizing my studio. I am trying to give away fabric and notions I don’t use to my students and keep on hand just what I need for the next few projects.  At least that is my hope.

I’m currently teaching sewing with knits at school and it has been such a fun class to teach! I’ll share some student projects with you over the quarter!

Take care and I’ll see you with my next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

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