Category: Sewing 101

Red, Black and Rawwrrr :)

Hi Beauties!

I hope that you are doing well and that you stayed dry in case you were in the path of hurricane Flo!

I am in Charlotte (North Carolina). We got a good amount of rain, although my neighborhood was not impacted very much. My rose bushes were destroyed but we were lucky to not get any serious damage! I spent the weekend sewing with a beautiful black ITY knit and made two black tops for fall.

The 1st one is my favorite as it has this gorgeous tie back detail on the neckline!

I made the top to be long sleeves, even though I will probably pull the sleeves up to a three-quarter length most of the time. The element that takes this top from basic to stylish is definitely the scoop neck on the back and the back tie. I paired the outfit with my favorite animal print pumps.


When I sewed up the top, the neckline on the front and back were the same because the front and back are both cut from the same paper pattern. Then I ended up free handing the back neck to be a deep scoop neck.

I added ties using my scrap fabric.

The top has a raglan sleeve and I created the pattern by copying a RTW top I had. I basically copied the pattern from a short sleeve tee and extended the sleeves, then changed up the neckline.

Here is the front and side:

Love the little details in the ensemble


I made another black top for fall, which is perfect for layering, but I will talk about that later in a separate blog post! That one is perfect for winter and fall, and for layering.



I am working on a gathered poofy skirt to go with top #1 next. So excited to pair the two and have a head to toe me made look!

I will see you soon and let me know if you have ever copied your favorite RTW tops? The pattern making was so quick and easy. I made both patterns in under 30 minutes!


XOXO-  Vatsla 🙂




Black Summer Maxi Dress

HI Fashionistas!

The kids are back in school and I am finally getting a chance to catch up on blogging.  I have a few things I made over the summer that I will be sharing with you over the next few weeks.  This is one of those summer maxi dresses I made in a lightweight knit.

I made the dress without a pattern. It was made in under two hours. To cut the bodice of the dress, I used a tank top as a guideline, and to make the skirt, I simply made very small pleats on my sewing machine (freehanded) to mimic the look of gathers. The bodice is self-lined, as the fabric is thin. The skirt is not lined. Its light and airy. I wore this dress to fathers day dinner. Matter of fact, I am wearing it now with a floral scarf for a pop of color.
 

What I love about this dress is that it’s so easy to wear.  You really don’t have to worry about styling a dress like this. It will go with whatever shoes you are wearing and whatever purse you are wearing!

 

I am pretty obsessed with these owl earrings lately. Since I don’t have a lot of time to spend on myself right now, these statement earrings so a long way.  Connor is four months now and this dress is also nursing friendly.
Here is a back and side view:

I left the bottom hem raw for two reasons: The hem on maxi dresses always gets so worn, so I can simply trim it by 1/2 inch when that happens and continue using the dress. I also plan on attaching a ruffle on the hem for a different look when I chop some of the hem off- to add back some length,  Then I would wear it with some shoes that have a slight heel. For now, I needed something that I can wear with flat shoes. The fabric does not fray, so skipping the hem worked for me.

I have already started sewing some fall pieces.. I will be sharing those with you starting next week!

 

Hope you all are dong well.

 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Statement Sleeves -Mcalls M6886 Modified!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no sew! I took a break from sewing for the month of March to adjust to a second child. It has been quite a transition, and I and my family are still getting used to the new routine, or lack of routine 🙂

Anyways, I am trying to get back into the swing of things. I am sewing, and here is my latest make!

I used this fabric.  It is currently sold out but I am hoping they will offer it again! It is a quilted double knit. Very soft, yet has good body and is thicker, about the thickness of a lightweight scuba knit. 

For the pattern, I ended up using this pattern, view C, but made the following alterations.

  1. Changed the neckline to a boat neck.
  2. Chopped off the pattern at the high hip (to include hem allowance)
  3. Shortened the sleeve
  4. Freehanded the lantern/ bell sleeve with pleats using some scrap fabric

The fabric is quilted and has some really gorgeous texture as you can see in this close up below. For the neck, I used a twin needle to do the hemming as I did not have enough matching spools of thread for my coverstitch machine.  I hemmed the sleeves by serging first, then turning under and using a straight stitch.

I so love the sleeves!  They are so poofy!

This is how I wore this top on Sunday, with skinny jeans … and a sock bun. Yes, there is a sock in my bun.. it belongs to my husband 🙂 I cut off the foot part and rolled all that hair up, the stuck in a ballpoint pen to hold it in place. It’s called mommy chic 🙂

For a more dressy look, I paired this with a skirt (which I will never wear anywhere since I have nowhere to go :), but it is so cute!

Here is the back view of the top. Typically I put a CB seam in this pattern, but I decided not to in this one, as the fabric has a moderate amount of stretch, as opposed to more stretchy fabrics I usually use.

Ok- before I made this top, I actually made a scoop neck peplum with a cap sleeve, but I was totally cutting corners and I made a bad garment. So that one is getting cut and I will use the fabric into a top for my daughter. I also have some fabric left over so I will definitely be using that to make another top for myself!

Well, that is it! I am working on a red circle skirt for May, for my birthday!!

I hope that you are doing well. I would love to hear about what you are working on these days and I hope you are enjoying the spring!

I’ll see you in May with my next project- the red skirt!

ps- did you know Crafsty is giving an all access pass for 2 weeks for $1 right now? You can access all classes for $1 by clicking HERE

XOXO

-Vatsla

 

Craftsy Class Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale Alert!!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Enabler Alert!! Craftsy has all classes on sale today for Black Friday and also Cyber Monday and it is the perfect time to buy a class or two if you have been wanting to add to your skill level or get into patternmaking, or couture sewing!

Hope that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend. I’ll be doing some online shopping for both fabric and online classes as soon as my kid goes down for a nap! See my review of all the classes I am already enrolled in and what I am buying today, as well as what I am putting on my wishlist!

I am purchasing the latest Coat Pattern Making class by Suzy Furrer for Black Friday. I studied pattern making with her in person at Apparel Arts and she is truly brilliant! I got to visit Suzy last year at the new school location and it is amazing! She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

All classes are $17.87 or less. To get this amazing deal, click HERE

Here are the classes I am currently registered for. I highly recommend all of them. Suzy is an excellent teacher and also very responsive.

We studied pattern making at Apparel Arts in this order. Now you can benefit from her classes at home! If you want to learn pattern making, these would be the classes to take in order to build a good foundation.

Skirt Sloper : Click HERE

Here are a couple skirts I made for my final collection while studying with her:

561280_10150933697570770_1295253735_n376485_10150933696030770_652623201_n

Bodice Sloper: Click HERE

From a bodice sloper, you can draft dresses, tops. jackets. Here is a dress and jacket I self-drafted using my bodice sloper:

IMG_9952 - CopyIMG_9966

557457_10150933697350770_197424397_n

Dart Manipulation/Seam Lines: Click HERE

This class focusses on taking the basic slopers drafted for the body and then manipulating them into different style elements. For example, here you will learn how to change a basic darts on your sloper into princess seams, gathers, pleats, tucks etc.

Here is a good example of manipulating a bodice sloper into a sweetheart strappless neckline and also manipulating the darts into princess seams. (ps- that isnt alkee-hol, i just posed for my final collection :))

532363_10150933695565770_2128746321_n

Another example fo a self-drafted garment is this one.  You also learn about adding excess ease and then removing it in the form of pleats (which are dart equivalents)

IMG_0414

Creative Necklines: Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves: Click HERE

You know sleeves can completely change a garment. Dramatic sleeves are still in

. You can learn how to make bishop sleeves, bell sleeves etc. Here is a bell sleeve I drafted this summer.

IMG_0796

Pants : Click HERE

Here is a pair of pants I drafted in school. Not the best fabric choice, which caused the wrinkles. But being a novice, I can see why I selected this fabric. These pants with a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

599674_10150933696360770_1260781199_n

I also highly recommend her textbook, which is the Bible of Pattern Making. You can find it HERE

In fact, I just purchased a second copy because I misplaced my original one

 

I have also taken and reviewed the following classes in the past. They are both for tailoring a coat:

The first one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape and the second one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Construction

IMG_0524

You can read my review of these classes HERE and see the final garment HERE

Here is the latest coat I made, I should be posting this one to the blog soon!

I hope this post helps you see how these classes can help someone who wants to be a self-taught fashion designer. Gone are the days where you needed to take out crazy student loans and go to fashion school. regardless of whether you want to be creative and design for yourself, or be a self-taught designer and turn into a career option, the sky is the limit. With online learning, it IS possible!

In the last year, I added the following class to my library to make this chiffon skirt

I also added a coverstitch class

Let me know if you like online learning. I have the following I am adding to my wishlist and plan to score them on upcoming sales:

  • Sewing with Waxed Canvas: HERE
  • Couture Dressmaking Techniques:  HERE

Happy Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping! Have a relaxing weekend!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

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
%d bloggers like this: