Category: Sewing 101

Behind The Seams – Craftsy Class Review

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are having a good week so far! This morning I woke up to an email from Craftsy and it got me so excited about sewing to Fall and winter. They currently have a few classes on sale for under $20 and I wanted to review one that I took last year that totally changed the game for me.

Last winter I knew nothing about coat making (except that I wanted to make one!) So I signed up for shape and structure  and was able to turn my inspiration picture into reality.

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Here is my coat. I also took tailoring class.  If you are considering making your first coat, or improving your coatmaking skills, I HIGHLY recommend these two classes.

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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 got this email this morning and it reminded me I promised to review this class a while back. Seriously.. where does the time . l’ll need to go back and watch the class to refresh my memory. That is another thing I love about these classes …you have lifelong access to them.

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Since this was my 1st time making a coat, I had to learn about suitable fabrics, setting in a sleeve, creating custom shoulder pads, using hair canvas, pad stitching etc.. These 2 classes taught me all that and more.. and upped my confidence.. I mean once you make a coat, you can make anything!

Here are some “Behind The Seams” pics of the coat…what goes inside a coat is just fascinating to me! What do you think?

 

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You can see all the details of the coat and two ways to wear it HERE

I also made this jacket.. the jacket could use improvements. They say that a picture tells a thousand words.. In my opinion, a picture hides a thousand flaws.. While a garment can look amazing in pictures, its only upon close inspection that you can find the flaws.. for example, the lapel on this one was sitting away from the body. I would like to make a blazer this year again.. and to improve on last year I am thinking of signing up for Modern Jacket Techniques to attempt another jacket to blazer this winter.

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You can see all the details of this jacket and how I styled it two ways HERE

I hope this review helped. Is anyone up for making a coat and jacket this year? Let me know.. I’ll be making mine and would love to hear about yours.

 

XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

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

 

Little Black dress for May

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you are doing fashionably well! The month of May is typically a busy month for my family and I. We celebrate Mother’s day, my birthday and wedding anniversary all in the same month.

Typically, we take our annual trip around this time.. but honestly, this year it seems like we have just been taking it one day at a time. So given its my birthday month, I figured I would sew up a cute Little black dress.

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The fabric is a textured double knit. I like that this fabric is sturdy like a ponte knit, but has more than a moderate stretch. I love the way this dress feels on! I’ll be making my daughter a matching skater skirt soon!

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If you want to make this, see the “Behind The Seams” section at the end of this post. I have included details of pattern, fabric, and how to draft the flounce.

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This really is a quick and easy project. I made this the same day as the fabric arrived. I had NO intentions of sewing that day, but I had just picked my kid up from preschool and as soon as I saw that box on my porch, my plans changed.

 

Here is the back view. Just check out the photobomb! She thinks she is such a diva! 🙂 Hehe

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For the makeup, I kept is simple yet bold. A red lip and dark eye makeup. That’s it!

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886, one of the easiest and simplest patterns out there. I cut view C, shortened the sleeves, chopped off the skirt where I wanted to add the flounce. I self drafted the flounce. Drafting a flounce is exactly the same as drafting a peplum. So use my tutorial HERE and instead of using your waist measurement, use the circumference of wherever you chose to insert the flounce.

I have modified this pattern so many times before.. I have a hard time sewing a pattern out of the envelope. I am like that person who ALWAYS has to customize their meal at a restaurant.. 🙂 Here are the other garments I have made using Mcalls M6886

FABRIC: The fabric is a textured double knit that can be found HERE

SEWING: This is an easy project. If you don’t like inserting sleeves in the round, you can use my tutorial HERE to add sleeves the easy way. I used my serger to sew this up. You can use a sewing machine with a ball point and a stretch stitch as well. I cover hemmed the neckline and sleeves and left the hem on the flounce raw as it will not fray. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, you can do a beautiful cover hem using a twin needle. See my tutorial on that HERE

I hope you enjoyed my DIY project and that this inspired you to sew 🙂

Until next time!
XOXO

-Vatsla

 

 

 

DIY Box Pleated Circle Skirt

Hi Fashionistas!

 

Here is my latest sewing project: A super voluminous box pleated circle skirt made with a bottom weight fabric that has texture and looks embroidered. The skirt is self drafted/free-handed. Details on how to make the pattern are on the bottom of this post.

 

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For a casual look, I chose to pair this skirt with a loose and flowy top.
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For a more dressed up look, I chose to pair this skirt with my favorite button down and some tan pumps
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Here is a view of the side and the back:

 

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This skirt was fun and easy to make. I would not recommend this as a beginner project, but if you have made a circle skirt with a waist band before, then this is a good project to make. While is not difficult or advanced, it is time consuming. Read below if you want to draft and make your own (or take a commercial pattern and use that)

 

This skirt has a good amount of twirl factor, and the movement is just gorgeous.. To get this volume, I basically drafted a full circle skirt for myself. Then I cut 3 full circle skirts from the pattern. All pieces were a half doughnut cut on the fold of the fabric. I ended up with 6 panels (6 half doughnuts) that I seamed together. After that I free handed some box pleats on the waist. I did not measure or calculate. I just added pleats that are about 2 inches on the top. I also drafted the waist band. If you want to draft your own circle skirt, watch my video:

I used about 5 yards of this fabric. It is a cotton/lycra bottomweight with the look of embroidery on the surface. I have some leftover and will be making a dress for my daughter soon.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I love this skirt. I might not wear it very often but this will be in my wardrobe for a very long time and I will definitely wear it to the next dressed up girls night out!
Sew you next time!
XOXO-Vatsla.

All About Circle Skirts

HI Fashionistas!

I am so in love with circle skirts lately..full circle skirts in particular.. I have been all over Pinterest looking for sewing inspiration for my April project.

I want to experiment with muslin and make a really full circle skirt. Here is my favorite so far. I believe this one is 2 full circle skirts drafted with half the waist measurement to achieve this amount of fullness. It might even have some box pleats added into it.  You could also accomplish this look by using Mccalls 7022, although you might have to add box pleats to the pattern. I’ll know more once I have created a mockup..

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I also love this bright floral one:

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And this one in tulle is simply adorable. This is a full circle skirt with a tailored waistband..Check out the tutorial at the end of the post to see how to attach a tailored waist band to a skirt..

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Here is the only circle skirt I have ever made. This one is probably somewhere between a half and a three-quarter circle skirt in fullness. I drafted this one:

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I also drafted the skirt of this dress. This is also a full circle skirt:

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If you want to learn about drafting and sewing circle skirts, see more below..

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If you want to draft your own circle skirt, here is a tutorial you can use:

Circle skirts can be a bit tricky to hem at 1st. Check out this tutorial for hemming a circular hem:

How to hem a circle skirt/ round hem  Click HERE

 How to attach a tailored waist band to a skirt  Click HERE

I hope this inspired you to sew! Let me know what you think about circle skirts. I wasn’t a big fan of these when I started sewing.. but now I am totally in love. They are one of the easiest to draft and sew and if you have a go to pattern, you can quickly whip one up in a few hours.

I am also thinking of making one in denim soon! See you with my next sewing project and happy sewing until then!

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

Tutorial: How to Hem a Circle Skirt or Circular Hem

There are more than one way to hem a circle skirt, but here is my go to method. I use this method on all my circular hems and end up with a nice and crisp hem free of wrinkles.

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I also used the same hemming technique on the black circle skirt above and the silk dress below I made for Easter earlier this year

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Tutorial below…

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I am using a miniature pattern for the sake of this demo.  You will be hemming in the round, since you will close up all your seams before hemming. I am using a small sample, but you get the point..

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Step 1:  Serge all around your hem. This will give you a guideline to press the serged part of the hem under and also give some weight to your hem.

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Step 2: Finger press the serged portion of the hem towards wrong side of the fabric  and top stitch it down around the circumference of the hemIMG_9292

Give your hem an overall good press. The hem will look like this on the correct side of the garment. At this point you see only one row of stitching as shown below. IMG_9294

Step 3: Repeat Step 2! In this final step,  finger press the hem over one more time to conceal the serged portion. This will give you a nice and clean finish on the outside AND on the inside of the garment. IMG_9297

Give the hem a good press. I use heat, steam and my tailors clapper at this point. I always use a press cloth. Here is what the inside of the garment will look like. You will see two visible rows of stitching on the incorrect side. IMG_9299

On the correct side of the garment, you will see only one row of stitching.

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As you can see, the hem is nice and crisp, and has no wrinkles!IMG_9304

Here is an example of the issue you have probably run into when trying to hem a circle skirt…IMG_9305

If you don’t have a serger, you can replace step 1 with the following: Mark the distance you want to turn under (I would do 3/8 inch, same as the width of my serged portion) and press, proceed to step 2. It is going to be easier to work with if you use a serger in step 1.

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The basic concept behind why this method works is simple. If you look at the diagram below, the dark blue line is the raw edge of the garment. The turquoise color line represents the final hemline after the garment has been hemmed. The pink shaded area in between is what is called the Hem allowance.

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The dark blue line is a larger circle (circumference measurement C) than the turquoise line (circumference measurement A). So if you try to turn the hem allowance under in one go, you will never get a perfect hem because C will always be larger than A. However, by doing this in multiple steps, we reduce the discrepancy between C and A in iterations. The stitching also helps. If you eliminate the stitching in step 2, you are likely to see wrinkling.

I hope this helped you! If you liked this tutorial, then check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

Let me know what you think of this technique, and do you have another go to sewing technique for hems? Leave me a comment and let me know!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Easy One Hour Dolman Top

I copied my favorite Dolman Top. It is getting chilly here and I wanted something warm and comfy. I am so in love with this sweater knit dolman top I purchased sometimes last year. I decided to create a replica using a double-knit I had in my fabric stash.

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The double-knit is a thick material. It feels like sweatshirt material. Its warm and comfy. This HAS to be the most casual piece I have ever made. I usually stick to tops that are more on the fitted side. but I also like my sweatshirts!

Here is a close up of the original:IMG_9259

I did not even create a pattern for this one, since it is so easy to recreate. I simply folded my fabric and placed my original top on it. I cut around the outline eyeballing the seam allowance. I have a 3/8 inch seam allowance all over and a 5/8 inch hem allowance on the sleeves, neckline and bottom hem.

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One of the main reasons this is such a simple top is that there is no separate sleeve to sew.  As you can see below, the bodice and sleeve are one,

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I like how to the stripes on the side create a chevron pattern…

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PATTERN: This is what the pattern would look like if you used a commercial pattern

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I simply traced my original tee as described above in the post. If you want to do it the way I did, but dont have a dolman top in your wardrobe, you can take any t shirt you own and do it this way: I have shown the original tee in blue and how you will trace around it in red to create your pattern. My front and back bodice are exactly the same with the exception of the neckline, which is lower on the back .

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FABRIC:I used a double knit from girl Charlee, but I used the wrong side on the outside of the top, as I loved the texture and I also liked the color better as compared to the correct side of the fabric.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There are only 4 seams to sew: 2 side seams and 2 shoulder seams. I completed the hemming with a coverstitch. You could also hem using a twin needle.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.Let me know what you think of this easy project.

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Part 4- Attaching the waist band

Heloooooo ev one!!

For those of you who are participating in the Tulle Skirt Sew Along, here is part 4 – we will be attaching the waist band today! For those who are not participating, these instructions can be used to attach a waist band to any garment!

Back to our pattern pieces, today we are working with 4 – Front waist band and 5 – Back waist band. Go ahead and cut of the fabric pieces per the instructions. Transfer notches as well.

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For this demo, I am using muslin because it is easy to write on. Since muslin does not have a right or wrong side,  I will be using my sharpie to write on the correct side of the fabric.

I have cut out all the pieces of the waist band and as you see we have 2 sets. Basically a waist band has one side that faces the body and one that faces the world. That is why we have 2 sets. We will be interfacing one set- the one that sits against the body.

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Now that you have all the pieces cut out and laid out- we will be interfacing the wrong side on one of the sets. It does not matter which set, since they are identical,

Time Saving Tip: Instead of cutting out the interfacing using the pattern, I use this time-saving technique: I interface all pieces at once and then cut along the outline.

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Always use a press cloth while applying interfacing. I am using fusible interfacing. I lay out my fabric pieces such that the wrong side of the fabric is facing the adhesive side of the interfacing. Then I cover the fabric with a press cloth and fuse using steam and heat. A presscloth is nothing more than a piece of scrap muslin.. or you can even use any scrap fabric that is cotton. IMG_9055

Next, we are going to construct the waist band. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin the back pieces to the front piece on both sets as shown below.

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Then go ahead sew up seams you just pinned and press them. Press the side seams towards the centre back seam as shown below. The arrows indicate the directions in which you should press the seams. DO NOT SKIP Pressing.. if you do, your garment will look home-made.. and you don’t want that! To see how to press seams, read my tutorial HERE

Now your pieces should look like this–

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Now that we have sewn the backs to the fronts, we should have 2 pieces of fabric , One that is interfaced, one that is not interfaced. Place the interfaced waist band and the non  interfaced waist band on top of each other with the right sides facing each other and pin along the top of the waist band and stitch.

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The next step is really important. We need to press this baby so we can get a really nice crisp fold on top of the waist band. There is a trick to this..

With the wrong side of the waist band facing the sky, finger press the seam open

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Then using your iron and steam, press this seam open

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Next, flip the waist band so the right side of the fabric is facing the sky. Then press the seam with heat and steam

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Now go ahead fold the waist band with the wrong sides together and press the fold of the waist band again. It will be nice and crisp!

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Next, we will remove bulk from the seam by trimming the seam allowance. What I do is flip the waist band, wrong sides out and trim as shown

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Now are waist band is finally beginning to look like a waist band! wohoo!!!

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Now the final part is to attach the waist band to the skirt..

If you have been following along in the sew along, you should have 2 pieces now that look like this: WB and skirt

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Next, we are going to attach the waist band to the skirt, which is the final part:

With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, place the NON interfaced part of the waist band to the skirt at the waist seam. I like to start by matching and pinning the side seams, then I pin the centre back, centre front, and randomly pin in the middle. Use your notches to make sure you are pinning the waist band and skirt correctly.

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This is where we will stop for now.. L@@K.. Its beginning to look like a tulle skirt! We will close up the waist band after we attach the zipper, which is coming next!

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That is it for now! I’ll see you soon with the next steps where we insert our invisible zippers and hem this baby up.

If you have any questions about these steps, leave a comment , email me or contact me in the facebook group dedicated to this sew along

FACEBOOK GROUP:

I have set up a Facebook group for the sew along. This will be a place for Q&A, posting pictures of our progress, sharing inspiration pics and of course proudly modelling our final skirts! You can follow the sew along by either subscribing to my blog here or connecting with me and others in the Facebook group. You can join the FB group HERE

See you soon!!!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

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