Category: Sewing Quick Tip

Kimono Duster In Emerald Green: Vogue V9253 Modified

HI Fashionistas!

I am so so excited to share my latest project with you. I made a kimono duster/ topper. Something like this would have typically taken me 4 to 6 hours to make, but I promise I spent more like 20 hours on this one, working at a turtle pace, in the final two weeks of my pregnancy. Matter of fact, I finished the sash on Saturday, Feb 10, and ended up going into labor that afternoon.¬† Had I known that baby Connor for waiting for me to finish sewing, I would have wrapped up this project a lot sooner ūüôā

Well, the baby is out and he is one week old today. By the time you read this, he will be 11 days old… what a week it has been.. to think a week ago we were in the hospital. Moving on to this gorgeous Kimono… Here it is!

The kimono can be worn with or without a sash. I will probably wear it without a sash. That is more my style, but I wanted to have the sash, so I sewed that up in the solid green color.

I will show you how it looks belted as well.  The kimono is unlined as you can see. Here is the back view:

This print is just so gorgeous:

This is the fabric that I used. The fabric had a solid green panel on of the selvage sides, I used that to create the belt/ sash.I used Vogue pattern number V9253, View B with the following variations:

  1. Eliminated the center back zipper
  2. I also had to make my skirt front and back panels slightly less flared as my fabric was not as wide as the pattern suggested.
Here are the pictures of the Kimono belted:



And this is just me being goofy… because life is too short to be serious all the time ūüôā


Here is the back view belted


Oh! Mom is in town visiting from India.. she gifted me these gorgeous earrings that happen to go so well with the kimono, so I wore these ūüôā


Here are some “behind the seams” info of the garment in the making.

  • I always like to do a practice run of the thread/ tension/needle combo and make some samples before I take the garment to the machines. This eliminates any surprises and lets me test out the fabric.
  • I ended up serging the CB Seam and the side seams first, then stitched them and pressed them open. For the rest of the garment, I stitched the seams together, pressed them to one side, and the serged as one. Typically I like to press seams towards gravity, but in this case, I serged the waist seam before sewing it, and pressed the seams open, mainly to reduce bulk.

That is all I have. I am so ready to get started on the next sewing project. Not sure exactly what I am making next but I have been thinking about either an off-white peplum top, somewhat structured, or a knit hi low maxi dress. I will be looking for some sewing inspiration before I commit to the next project. I hope you all are well.  Once my baby is a bit older, I will sew for him and I am sure he will make his debut on the blog!


– Vatsla ūüôā

DIY Gray Coat- Mccalls M7262 Modified

Hi Fashionistas!

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!! We went to my brother and sister in law’s home and had so much fun!

Trying to stay comfortable and fashionable during pregnancy has been challenging, but I am determined to make the best of maternity fashions and look chic while dealing with sleep deprivation, heartburn, and fatigue!

Here is what I made: A soft drapey waterfall coat that can be worn three ways:

1st way to wear this coat: Draped, with either the right or wrong side of the fabric showing:

I wanted to make something that  I can wear for the remainder of my pregnancy, and also be able to wear it after, without having to make any alterations. I decided to go with a drapey, unstructured coat that would be fashionable, yet effortless, but most importantly functional. I am always cold and wanted something warm and cozy.


2nd way to wear this coat:¬†This is my least favorite and I don’t plan on wearing it like this, but I thought I would give you some ideas ūüôā This will require you to fold the top of the collar so the correct side of the fabric is showing, and then overlap the right side over the left side and pin with a brooch at the waist!

3rd way to wear this coat: I LOVE this one! So chic!

The pattern calls for a button and buttonhole, but I instead used a vintage brooch to pin the coat. This easily switches it up from the waterfall drape to a cowl neck look, and perfect for those cold winter days! And to accessorize, I added these cute owl earrings which are a gift to self

This is an easy unstructured coat. It is unlined, had no pad stitching, no sleeve headings.  The fabric is so warm and so soft. When I ordered the fabric, I was expecting it to be a bit more densely woven, but I was pleasantly surprised at how soft it was.

Here are some side pics of how the coat draped if left open in the front

There is really nothing glamorous about the back view, but here it is

Here is one of the inspiration pics I pinned on pinterest

What I also love about this coat is that is is just one big ole’ blanket. So nice and soft and so cuddly. I could live in this now through February ūüôā

And if you get REALLY cold, you could just do this. Hahaha

I used this gorgeous wool blend fabric—>¬†HERE

For the pattern, I initially considered using Butterick B6244, which I think would be such a good pattern, although more drapey and bulkier than my inspiration picture, I had a serious case of mommy brain. I was convinced I had purchased this pattern, but I had not!

 I looked through my stash and found Burda 7184.

I could have used it, but I really wanted a set in sleeve as opposed to the raglan sleeve.¬† So, in the end, I ended up going with¬†Mccalls 7262. I cut view B but eliminated the facing. I’ll talk more about how I finished the edges below.I made a muslin using some wool I had in my fabric stash to test out the pattern. In the end I made only one pattern alteration, extended the length.

I wanted something to hit me calf length.


So many pregnant celebrity mums have rocked similar length coats to rock their bumps and I wanted to join in on the fun!

I also wanted to show you some “Behind The Seams” pictures of the coat.¬†I decided not to hem the perimeter of the coat. That would be bulky and since the wrong side shows, I wanted something subtle. So I topstitched all around the coat, 1/4 inch away from the edge. Then I took a pin and frayed the fabric. I treated it very similar to boucle, where the fabric frays, but still looks chic!

For the side seams, I serged the sides individually before stitching them and pressing them open to avoid bulk. The only place I stitched the seams first and then serged all layers was the shoulder seam and the sleeves. At intersecting seams, my Brother 1034D Serger was able to handle 4 layers of wool beautifully, and I was quite pleased!

For the CB Seam on the collar of the coat, since the wrong side shows, depending on how you wear it, I did not want serger thread showing. So I did a flat felled seam on the center back collar

This project was so fun to make. I have saved the pattern and at some point, I will trace it on to a tag and hang it. That is my preferred way of preserving patterns I like, and having them on a garment rack makes me more likely to reach for them. I could see making this exact same coat in a camel color and a black color and oh. Maybe a light pink or blush! These are so easy to style. They can pretty much make any outfit look good!

I hope you enjoyed sharing in this sewing adventure with me! Happy sewing! See you again, just in time for Christmas!



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 ūüôā 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 ¬Ĺ 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 ūüôā


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..¬†


-Vatsla ūüôā


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 ūüôā 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!






Gathered Maxi Skirt in Chiffon

This is my very first time making a gathered maxi skirt. I chose this beautiful and summery print. The fabric is a chiffon. I see gathered maxi skirts everywhere but never thought to make one prior to this. 

This is my second time working with chiffon. The first time I failed miserably, so it has taken me a long time to pick this type of fabric up again! This time around I took an online class on working with sheers. I’ll include that information for you and also some tips and tricks ¬†I picked up to make this project a success.

If you saw my silk top, I mentioned some of the challenges I ran into. Since then, I took this online class on sewing with sheers and I was better prepared to deal with a sheer fabric. I do recommend taking this class if you want to take away some of the frustration of working with sheers.  

Here is the back and side view:

I used an invisible zipper on the center back. I was a bit worried about how fragile the chiffon is, but I doubled it up on the center back by folding the chiffon under. This gave me two layers of chiffon, which is more stable than one. I also have a full lining on the skirt, so the lining also added some stability. 

Here are some things I learned from this sewing project:

  • Never cut chiffon on the fold. Only cut one layer at a time!
  • Cut the fabric by placing it on top of paper. This stabilizes it and if the paper is a rectangle, you can use the edges of the paper to make sure your straight grain and cross grain¬†are correctly aligned while cutting.

Here are some challenges I had with this project:

  • Keeping the fabric straight while cutting! It was challenging.¬†
  • My fabric around my zipper was a bit “ruffly”. Luckily for me, the skirt is gathered, so the imperfection is hidden.¬†

The skirt hit floor length with heels on, which is how I plan to wear it. I paired it with a white tee. Here are some pictures of the garment construction:

I drafted a straight waistband using my waist measurement. I top stitched two rows on the top of the waistband.

The skirt is lined.  The lining is an A-line skirt instead of a gathered skirt to reduce bulk.  For the fashion fabric, I gathered it manually and attached it to the lining. Then attached the lining to the waistband.  So the entire piece is self-drafted/ free handed.

This is the fabric I used. I hope you enjoyed this project!  I am working on a pair of denim shorts next- think dressy, tailored shorts in denim. 

ps- I also started a sewing newsletter, in which I share more sewing news, tips, and tricks! Sign up using the pink sign up box below !!



How to Draft a Petal Sleeve : Tutorial

Hi Fashionistas!

I have been meaning to film this quick video on how to draft a petal sleeve or tulip sleeve, but for some reason, it’s taking the longest. ¬†I’ve been trying to film overhead so I can give you the best possible angle so you can see the pattern making. I’ve also been trying out new equipment like a new audio recorder. To be honest, I am not very tech savvy and even editing a video in I movie intimidates me!¬†So I am back to doing it the simple way. I took a bunch of pictures and I will just walk you through it! It is very easy!

Before we jump in, let’s have a look at a sample I made from the pattern I drafted for this demo. A petal sleeve is a two piece sleeve where you as the designer chooses whether the back overlaps the front, or whether the front overlaps the back. ¬†You can see examples of both below


Now let’s jump into the drafting!

Step 1: Take any basic sleeve. If this is your 1st time drafting a petal sleeve, pick a basic sleeve that does not have much design detail. In other words, stay away from a sleeve that already has gathers, tucks, pleats etc..

Before we move forward, let us look at the anatomy of the sleeve. As you can see below, we have the double notch indicating the back of the sleeve, the single notch indicating the front of the sleeve, the grain line and also the shoulder notch. The shoulder notch is the location where the sleeve connects to the shoulder seam on the bodice. On commercial patterns, you may see a circle instead of the shoulder notch.

Step 2: Trace 2 copies of your sleeve pattern. If you have a needlepoint tracing wheel, you can use this to trace. If not, you can also place a semi-opaque paper on top of your original pattern and trace it that way.

Be sure to copy the notches onto the copies of the sleeve.

Step 3: Measure 2-3 inches out from the shoulder notch along the shoulder cap and mark a new notch. I have shown that in black. We will be creating the back petal sleeve in this step

Using either free handing or a french curve, connect the corner where the side seam and the hem meet to the black notch on the opposite side of the sleeve as shown below.

Cut along this curved line. This below is now your back petal of the sleeve. The double notch on this patterns indicates the back of the sleeve.

Step 4:

Flip the piece you just drafted on step 3 and place it on the 2nd copy you traced in step 2.    Now trace the curve on the 2nd copy of sleeve as shown below:

Cut along the newly traced line.

This is the front of the sleeve.


Now if you match the sleeve front and the sleeve back at the shoulder seam, you have a brand new petal sleeve! Be sure to copy the grain line over to both pattern pieces!

That is pretty much it!

If you overlay the 2 new sleeve pieces on top of the original sleeve you traced from, you will notice that it matches perfectly. The fit of the sleeve is not impacted by this pattern changed and you can decide whether you want the front to overlap the back or for the back to overlap the front!

Sewing Tip: If you are using a knit, you can hem the petals individually as you would normally hem a knit by turning it under. If you are sewing with a woven, I highly recommend lining the sleeve for a clean finish. You could self-line or line with an interesting bright fabric or print lining for a pop of color!

Here is a sample I sewed up with this pattern:


I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful. Now IF I figure out how to work this monstrosity of a gadget below, I will turn these images into a quick slide show and do a voice over and make a quick video for those of you who are like me and get confused by a lot of words.


Talk soon Fashionistas. Let me know. did you find this helpful? What else would you like to see?


Vatsla ūüôā

Flow Away Like a Butterfly!

HI Fashionistas:

My latest make is a beautiful flowy and drapey self-drafted circle top that makes me feel like a beautiful butterfly.  The colors on this fabric are so vibrant, and the color combination on the fabric is one of my favorites:

This fabric might have been the most beautiful fabric I have ever touched. It is a silk cotton blend, feels so soft to the touch. Has more body than a pure sheer silk, and while it was slightly more stable because of the fiber content, I did have some challenges that I will talk about in this post.

Here is a view of the back and side view: 



So in love with these sleeves!

Here is the fabric I selected.  It is abstract, if you look at the large pic of the fabric air drying, you will see it has large butterflies. So when I ordered the fabric, I knew I had to make large flowy wing-like sleeves!

I did not know exactly how to pretreat this fabric since I typically don’t work with delicate fabrics. ¬†I wasn’t sure if this needs to be pre-shrunk, or whether it should go to the cleaners. So I asked the fabulous¬†Erica Bunker,¬†who is a seasoned seamstress and has worked with a range of fabric types. She suggested I wash and press it. I did not have the heart to throw this fabric in the delicate wash in the machine. So I hand washed it. And that was so much fun. ¬†I love to touch and feel fabric. Something about hand washing the fabric made the creation of this¬†garment a lot more personal¬†

I let the fabric air dry overnight.

The top was freehanded, no pattern. I will show you a sketch so you know how to make your very own top: I declare this as the laziest pattern in the world if you decide to make a paper pattern. I just drew on the fabric itself.

On the neckline, I did a bias tape. It came out beautifully. Here is a closeup of the neckline/ neck finish.

I had just the right amount of bias tape sitting around. I did attempt to make bias tape from the silk itself, but it was not stable enough.

Now lets talk about hemming this top- I ran into some challenges here. I tried the rolled hem foot on my industrial, and I could just not get comfortable enough with it. If I were doing a rolled hem on a straight hem, that would not be an issue. But hemming circle hems can be challenging as is. Add in the slipperiness of a silk, and that makes the hemming more difficult.

So upon the advice of my mentor. I tried the rolled hem on my serger. His name is Sergio, and for the most part, he is good to me. But he just shred the silk to pieces.

It’s not his fault. My thought is that an all purpose thread was too heavy for this fabric. So I resorted to YouTube land and found out that you can add stability to silks by roll hemming 2 layers. So I tried that and it worked. I folded over the hem and rolled hem. I disengaged the knife and then trimmed really close to the hem as shown here. The hem is more “lettuce edgy” than I would like, but I can live with it.

Honestly, I meant to take this online class about sheer fabrics, but time got away from me. Now you know this is the next class I am buying.  I studied with Sara Alm at Apparel Arts and she is brilliant. I probably would have saved a lot of time and trial error had I taken the class!

They say that rolled hem is the ideal finish for sheers, but I think I would have preferred a bias tape finish on the hem as well. I might come back at a future time and apply the bias tape to the hem.

Overall.. I love this top. It’s light and fresh for spring! I paired it with white skinny jeans. I have not worn these in months and I definitely had to jump up and down to squeeze into them!

I ordered 2 yards of this fabric. What I loved about this project is that the amount of waste was very little. I used a majority of the fabric to make the top from, which is one big circle (donut) and the remaining fabric was used to create an infinity/ circle scarf. ¬†I love an all white outfit for spring with a pop of color. I’ll share the scarf with you soon! It’s my new favorite!

The sleeves, the neckline, and the print are my favorite parts of this butterfly top.

I hope that you enjoyed reading about this make. I am getting started on my Mommy and Me Easter make after this one.

Hope you are having a fabulous week.  See you with my next make.



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