Category: Sewing 101

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 🙂

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along part 3 (sewing up majority of the skirt)

For part 3 of the tulle skirt sew along, we will be sewing up majority of the skirt and attaching the tulle overlay to the satin skirt. In order to explain the next steps to you, I will be using my miniature dress form and a miniature skirt.

By now you should have all your pattern pieces cut out. Today we will be using pattern piece 1 and 2, which are the skirt back and skirt front. Lets take a minute to look at these two pattens  pieces.

1 is the back of the skirt, and you will be cutting 2 pieces of fabric from this using your satin.

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2 is the skirt front, and we will be cutting one piece of fabric on the fold of the fabric.

IMG_8891And just in case we have any beginners here, I want to make sure everyone understands the following terms:

CB is centre back as shown below

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CF is centre front as shown belowIMG_8892

SS is side seam as shown below:

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Now let’s get to sewing!

Step 1: Cut our your fabric pieces 1 and 2, and you should have 3 fabric pieces as shown below

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Step 2: With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, sew up both the side seams

This is what the skirt should look like from the back and front

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Step 3: Press both the side seams towards the CB. Pressing is very important in this skirt and in making all tailored garments. Read my tutorial on pressing seams HERE

Now your skirt should look like this after pressing

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If you have a serger, this would be a good time to go ahead serge the side seams, hem, and centre back seam. If you do not have a serger, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Using your ruler or measuring gauge, measure 5/8 inch in from the CB and mark it. This is the 5/8 inch seam allowance that will accommodate the zipper. I have shown this mark in orange.

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Now go ahead mark another mark that is 1/2 inch away from the 1st mark.  I have shown this mark in purple. Mark these on both the skirt backs. We are marking these because we want to make sure the tulle will not get stuck in the zipper. In the picture below, the orange mark indicates where the zipper will be inserted and the purple mark indicates where the tulle will be attached. This will ensure that the tulle is always 1/2 inch away from the zipper

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Step 5: In the picture below,  I have pinned the tulle to the skirt, starting at the purple mark and ending on the purple mark. IMG_8922

 

When you are pinning the tulle to the purple mark, make sure you fold the tulle under by 1/2 inch so that the tulle is nice and neat. Pin all along the waist to secure the tulle.

Step 6: Using a basting stitch, secure the tulle to the skirt. Make sure to back-stitch when you start stitching and when you end stitching.Since this pattern calls for a Seam allowance of 5/8 of an inch, make sure you are making your basting stitch about 1/4 inches from the edge, but no more than 1/2 inch away. This way we can be sure that this basting stitch will get hidden inside the seam allowance when we attach the waist band to the skirt.

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Your skirt should now look something like this:

 

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That is it for now! Next week we will tackle the waist band application, zipper insertion and hemming! Those will be the final steps!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Video Tutorial – How to gather tulle EASILY using a gathering foot

For those of you who are participating in the FBTS Tulle Skirt sewalong, there were some questions about how to gather the tulle, and whether or not to cut it, so to clear up the confusion, here is a step by step video tutorial on how to gather the tulle.  Watch how I gather 10 yards of tulle in 5 minutes. …

Also- I am going to push back part 3 of the sew along by 1 day so that everyone can catch up.. so I will be posting part 3 (sewing up majority of the tulle skirt) tomorrow, Sept 11.

If you are not participating but hate gathering tulle, watch this video… you are welcome!

Hope this helps! I cant wait to see your skirts!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Part 2 (Prep Pattern and Tulle)

Hello- This is part 2 of the Tulle Skirt SewAlong. Last week I had published a printable supply list HERE. If you are just now joining us, it’s not too late! You can follow along!

On the agenda today are two things:

  1. Prepping and cutting the pattern
  2. Gathering the Tulle

PREPPING/CUTTING THE PATTERN

For the sew along, I will be giving you instructions based on Mccalls M7197, but you can use any circle skirt as a base pattern.

Let’s begin by looking at the pattern. We are going to need the following pieces that I have highlighted in red. 1- Skirt Back, 2- Skirt Front, 4- Front Waist Band, 5- Back Waist BandIMG_8821

Go ahead and cut all 4 pieces from the tissue paper. At 1st I roughly cut around the pattern pieces

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Then before you determine which size you will need, have a look at pattern piece 4- Front Band. Here you will see the finished measurement of the skirt at the waist. As you can see here, a size 6 will give me a skirt with waist of 25.5 inches.  My waist is  25.5. I am going to cut a size 6.

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However, If I were to go by the sizing chart on the back of the envelope, I would have cut a size 10, which would have been too 2 inches too big on me. Now I like my skirt snug. If you don’t like them snug and want more breathing room, just be sure to look at the finished waist size on this pattern piece and pick the one that suits you best. For example, if I wanted one inch breathing room on my skirt, I would cut a size 8 instead of a size 6.

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Now that you have selected your size, do ahead and neatly cut out all 4 pattern pieces. IMG_8831

 

GATHERING THE TULLE

Moving on to the fun part.. I LOVE gathering tulle! It is a very mindful and relaxing for me!

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Last week we discussed using a gathering foot to make the task of gathering tulle easy and efficient. I mean… I can gather TEN yards of tulle in about 5 minutes.  Read my detailed tutorial on how to gather tulle HEREThis is the foot:

 

That is it for now!!!! If you have any questions, let me know via comments, email or on our facebook sewalong group

On Sept 10th, I will be giving you instructions to sew up majority of the skirt.This way, you can sew over the weekend and then next week. we will work on the finishing techniques.

See you then!

-XOXO,

Vatsla 🙂

 

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