Category: Tutorials

Tips and tricks on sewing and patternmaking

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 🙂

 

 

My Favorite Black Pencil Skirt (replicated)

HI Fashionistas!!

It’s been a minute! I miss you all!! The last month or so has been CRAZY! I welcomed the month of December by breaking a rib! Apparently you CAN break a rib by coughing too much! I have not finished a garment since my winter coat, but that was a big one, so a break was well deserved!!

As my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast is coming to an end, I have been thinking about what all I have learned from it. I can honestly say that I have learned the importance of well-fitting wardrobe staples. Here is one of my favorite staples: The black pencil skirt.  This is a RTW piece I have owned for a few years:

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The things I LOVE about this skirt:

  1. The fit. It fits beautifully
  2. Wearing Comfort: The fabric is a woven with some stretch
  3. Style: Its high-waisted, which is always flattering
  4. The hemline. This hits me just below the knees and is quite appropriate for me, a thirty something momma of one

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t has a slit in the back, which is a must for a fitted pencil skirt. I love this skirt paired with my self drafted DIY leopard top

I also dressed up the skirt for Christmas Eve service last year. DSC_0980

Because I loved this skirt so much, I decided to replicate it in a different fabric. So I created this DIY denim skirt below

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It pretty much has the same fit. The fabric I used is a stretch denim that I had left over from fashion school. I had about a yard and it was just what I needed! I paired it with the DIY Frankenpattern top

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Because my denim was a lot thicker than the black fabric, the self faced yoke/ waist band actually acted as a bit of “tummy control”.  On my version, I added an invisible zipper instead of a regular version of the RTW skirt. I love invisible zippers. They instantly make your garments look high-end!

I wore it to Thanksgiving dinner last month with this DIY ruffle top I made

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I also wore this to work a LOT with a crisp white button up shirt:

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If you want to replicate your favorite garment, keep reading!

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I have two preferred methods of copying an existing garment. I have tested and tried both and they work perfectly for me!

My preferred method to copy woven garments is the painters tape method that I documented a while back  This works great for wovens with or without stretch.  I have used this method to copy for my favorite skinny jeans HERE. The white jeans were copies from the skinnies on the left

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For knits, my preferred method is documented HERE. I have used this method plenty of  times with great success.  The ruffled top on the right was copied from the leftFotorCreated

I hope this helped! While I would never ever encourage copying another designers work by using this method, I feel comfortable using it for my personal sewing. I am guaranteed to get the perfect fit over and over again and it is very rewarding to sew for yourself when the clothes fit and look good!

I am so glad I was able to come hang out with you again! Please comment and let me know what you are working on! With a broken rib, most of my sewing has been put on hold, so I would like to vicariously sew through you!

Happy Holiday Sewing everyone! See you soon!

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

 

DIY Tulle Dress & DIY White jeans

HI Fashionistas:

For my daughters second birthday, I decided to make her a dress for our family pictures. It was our 1st time doing family pictures, so I wanted her to have something special to wear. Here is what I came up with. All design details below if you want to make your own version.

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Gathering tulle can be extremely easy and fun, if you use the right sewing foot! I’ll talk about that more later in the post..

I used an off-white ponte knit from my stash. I had it leftover from this DIY off white peplum top I made a few months back . I got 4 yards of this from Fabric Mart, once upon a time…

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Doing these pics was fun. It was hot and we were kinda cranky in the beginning (try getting a toddler to co-operate), but it became fun as soon as we gave up and let her do her “thang”….03eaf405-511c-432a-bbb1-8c4a2cf1f81e

I also made these DY white end of summer jeans I am wearing in these pictures.

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It’s amazing how much she’s grown in just a few months because she wore this dress again last week and it’s not as long on her anymore!

And here she is being a snuggle bug and getting love from her pappa!

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You don’t have to teach children to stop and smell the roses.. or whatever it is she is smelling here.. hopefully it’s not dog poop.

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The sleeves are pleated on the sleeve cap, and self faced for a clean finish. I used a serger over all to construct the dress. The gathered tulle is top stitched on to the skirt part of the dress. I am so glad I pleated the sleeves. I only had to cover stitch the neckline because the skirt hem is left raw and the sleeve are self faced/ self lined.

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This pretty much sums up sums up my lil’ munchkin. She is happy and silly most of the time, is my little BFF and showers me with SO much love. I can’t even imagine a life without her.

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Sometimes I wish that all people could understand the importance of family and relationships. This below is my world. I feel so blessed to call these two my own and thank the Lord for them every day.

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I applied a pink exposed zipper on the back. It’s actually an invisible zipper, but I applied it on the outside, mainly because I had the perfect shade on pink and also because I usually don’t plan my projects. I just dive in and usually have to shop my stash….

a62449ba-68e1-42f6-9408-b2f89b2909deThe zipper came out a little wonky. If I were sewing for myself, I would interface the CB with some fusible interfacing.. but if I remember correctly, I was sewing this last-minute, and last time I checked, no toddler cares about the zipper application on their tutu 🙂

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If I made her a similar dress again, I would make sure the skirt is a circle skirt. It was quite snug and wanted to ride up. I forgot that pampers can easily add 6 inches to the hips 😀

Initially I wanted to do a “mommy and me ” outfit with a skirt for me like this DIY tulle skirt below and a dress for her, but I changed my mind last-minute and wanted to be more casual, so I wore these DIY jeans instead. It turned out great in the end!

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I hope you enjoyed reading about this dress and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am beyond thankful for the Lord, my church, my health and my family. Also for wisdom, for it allows me to deal with difficult circumstances with ease. And of course my sewing keeps mt centred. In a world where there is so much up and down, so much unpredictability, I create stability with my sewing. I know that needle and thread are always there waiting for me, and that they will give me great company and soothe me. After all, sewing mends the soul, doesn’t it?

Love, peace and blessings to you this Thanksgiving.

I’ll see y’all soon with my next sewing project!

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

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FABRIC: Ponte knit from Fabric Mart.

SEWING: Easy. The bodice and skirt were constructed using a serger. The tulle was gathered using my super easy tutorial HERE   or see the video below!

The only hemming was done on the neckline.

PATTERN: I copied the pattern from a shirt she already had using an easy method for copying an existing garment (you can find it under tutorials)

 

 

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to copy a Ready to Wear Peplum

Hi Fashionistas!!!

Peplums never go out of style! I recently got a request to demonstrate how I would create a pattern from a high low peplum on the ready to wear garment. I filmed this video for one of my readers and wanted to share if with you in case you find it helpful.

Here is the peplum I used for the demo. I made this one a while back by repurposing a dress and you can see the details of this top HERE

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The video below talks specifically about how to create a pattern for a peplum, along with a high low variation, but the same technique can be applied to any pattern piece. For example, you could use the same technique to create a pattern for a bodice front and back. If the video does not open for you, you can view it HERE

 

If you prefer to draft the peplum from scratch, you can see my simple tutorial HERE

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!!

I am currently working on my winter coat. Its my biggest project of the year! I made and fitted the muslin today. I am hoping to cut into the yummy fabric this weekend.

Hope you are having a WONDERFUL weekend.

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

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