Category: Tutorials

Tips and tricks on sewing and patternmaking

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 🙂

 

Tutorial- How to gather tulle using a gathering foot

Quick tutorial/ pictorial on how to gather tulle using a gathering foot. This is the only way I gather tulle, because it is easy and efficient and kinda fun. I like to simplify everything in life, including sewing- so here is my easy method-

Here is the foot:

To begin with, you will need some tulle. I am documenting this tutorial for my Tulle Skirt SewAlong, which is why I am using tulle that comes in a 54 inch width. When tulle is purchased in a fabric store, it comes on the fold. If you remove the tulle from the bolt but leave it folded, you now have 2 layers of tulle at 27 inches each (54 inches divided by 2). Gather the tulle on the fold, which means you will end up gathering two layers of tulle that are 27 inches wide.No need to cut the tulle, no need to unfold the tulle. We will keep it simple!

Step 1: Install a gathering foott and make sure your needle is centered above the slot in the foot so the needle does not break

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Step 2: Adjust tension and stitch length

The gathering foot works in conjunction with the tension and stitch length. The higher the tension, the tighter the gathers. The lower the tension, the softer the gathers. 9 is the highest tension on my machine, and I like to use either a 8 or 9. You can experiment with the tension settings on some scrap tulle to determine what you like. IMG_8812

Set the stitch length to a basting stitch (highest stitch length). This is a 5 on my machine. 

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Step 3: Take the folded edge of the tulle and slide it underneath the gathering foot. Make sure the fabric extends beyond the gathering foot to avoid bunching.

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While holding the treads, lower the gathering foot and lower the needle manually into the fabric.

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Do not engage the foot pedal until after you have lowered the needle manually to secure the fabric.IMG_8811

Step 4: Gather away! Press the foot pedal and let the machine do the magic…IMG_8815 IMG_8816 I used the highest tension and as you can see my gathers are pretty tight.. This will make for a poofy skirt!IMG_8819 IMG_8820

 

I use this method gather 10 yards of tulle in a little over 5 minutes! I have made the following skirts using this method

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Hope this helped!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Part 1 (Supply List and schedule)

Hello Loves,

Happy National Sewing Month!!!! Wooooohoooo… What a perfect day to start our sew along!! Also some good news- I will be contributing to the Fabric Mart Fabricista Blog!

For those of you who are paricipating in the FBTS Tulle Skirt Sew Along, I have published the supply list for the sew along.  See all the details below or print your own copy HERE

 

DIY Tulle Skirt Supply list

Circle skirt pattern: I recommend getting one of  the following:

4045563 (1)

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Tulle: I suggest using tulle that is 54 inches wide. Tulle comes folded on bolts. Leave the tulle folded. This will give you a skirt that is 26.5 inches long from the waist band to the hemline, if you use a half inch seam allowance. As far as how many yards to purchase, I suggest the following: Waist 24 to 26: 6 yards, Waist 27 to 30: 8 yards. Waist  31 to 36: 10 yards, Waist 37 to 40: 12 yards. I love getting my tulle from Joann’s. It’s nice and soft and they have a good variety.

Satin: This will be used as the waist band and as the lining. Follow the directions on your pattern to determine how many yards you need. I usually use two yards of satin per skirt. I prefer to get the satin at Hobby Lobby as it is stable and inexpensive ($4.99 per yard before coupons!) Stay away from flimsy lightweight satins! Both Hancock and Joann’s have bridal satin as well! Always use coupons, because you can buy more fabric with the savings!

Invisible zipper: I suggest 7- 9 inch invisible zipper, unless you have hips that are much larger than your waist, in which case, you will want to opt for a longer zipper. When in doubt, go longer. Have questions? Ask!

Thread: All purpose matching thread

Interfacing:  lightweight Fusible Apparel Interfacing: See you patern envelope for how much to buy

RECOMMENDED SEWING FEET

The right tools make all the difference and make sewing so much fun! I am including links but you can probably find better deals elsewhere..

I highly recommend that you use a gathered foot

 

and a concealed zipper foot for this project. These two make gathering tulle and inserting an invisible zipper a breeze.

 

I also recommend a Stitch in the ditch foot, but if you have a regular zipper foot, then you can use that instead, We will be using this on the very last day of the sew along, Sept 15

As far as the schedule is concerned, here is the general schedule. Based on how everyone is doing, I might extend it if need be!

TIMETABLE /SCHEDULE

Sept 1: Supply list published

Sept 8: Prep and cut pattern, gather tulle

Sept 10: Sewing up majority of the Skirt

Sept 15: Finishing techniques

Lastly, there is a facebook group set up for Q&A , so if you havent already joined, you can join HERE

I can’t wait to start sewing along side with you!! Let me know if you have any questions about getting started.

-XOXO,

Vatsla 🙂

 

Tulle Skirt Pattern Winners Announced

 

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For those who will be participating in the Tulle Skirt sew along, I had hosted a giveaway that ended last night.  The winners have been announced below.

Pattern Size 6 to 14: Renee C

Pattern Size 14 to 22: Natasha and Martha Mcintosh

Congrats Ladies!!!

Please submit your mailing address to fashionbehindtheseams@gmail.com so I can get these mailed this week. Or you can use the contact form below to do the same.

CONGRATS to the winners and I can’t wait to get started! The sew along starts September 1st and we have 35 people signed up to sew with us!

It’s not too late to sign up!  To join, you can either subscribe to the blog here or sign up by joining this Facebook group

This is the skirt we will be making.

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Tulle Skirt Sew Along Announcement and Pattern Giveaway!

On Sunday night, I was working on a supply list for a tulle skirts tutorial I am working on, and it occurred to me… why not host a sew along? I remember many years ago, I wanted to make a three-tier tulle skirt (it’s still on my bucket list). Back then I did not have the confidence to make garments. I looked everywhere for an easy to follow tutorial and didn’t find anything that satisfied me. Some were much better than others, but the finishing always confused me.. I was overall just intimidated by handling tulle..

Since then I attended fashion school, completed an internship and have made a quite a few tulle skirts, like the hot pink one featured here…Once we are done with the sew-along, you will know how to make one of these skirts below!

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This one shown below that I made last-minute for a friends photo shoot

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

In this sew along, you can learn how to:

  • Gather tulle the easy way (no pulling strings or using dental floss to gather!)
  • pattern selection, taking measurements and adjusting the pattern to fit
  • sew and press seams, and sew a circle skirt from start to finish
  • Apply a straight waistband
  • Install an invisible zipper
  • Finishing technique – stitch in the ditch
  • Finishing technique- how to hem a circular skirt

You can then re-use these techniques in making other garments and make all types of skirts! For example, if you learn how to apply a waist band on this skirt, you can apply a waist band on shorts and pants! If you learn how to apply a zipper on this skirt, you can apply a zipper on any garment! This project will not only build your skill set, but also your sewing confidence!

The Sew Along start date is September 1st. I will publish a supply list on Tuesday September `1st , so you have one week to get your supplies before we jump into cutting and sewing on Tuesday September 8th!

When I publish a supply list, I will also publish a schedule for the sew along. Based on your skill level, you might be able to jump ahead. In general, we will follow this schedule:

TIMETABLE /SCHEDULE

Part 1: Supply list along pattern suggestions

Part 2: Prep and cut pattern, gather tulle

Part 3: Sewing up majority of the Skirt

Part 4: Sewing and attaching the waist band

Part 5: Finishing techniques (Zipper and heming)

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

PATTERN GIVEAWAY!

Since different pattern companies and fabric stores have pattern sales at different times, I wanted to go ahead make a few pattern suggestion. You can use any circle skirt pattern really. Here are some suggestions: Simplicty 1200 , Mccalls M7197. You can use any circle skirt pattern instead. Just remember that we will be making a midi length and I suggest something that has a straight waist band, two side seams and a centre back seam. Lets keep it simple! I will be using Mccalls M719 to make my tulle skirt.

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I also have three extra Mccalls M7197 patterns that I will be giving away today. I have two in the size 14-22 range and one in the size 6 to 14 range. So if you are interesting in winning this pattern for the sew along, all you have to do to enter the giveaway is a leave a comment below with which size you would like to win. You can enter now through August 24th. Three winners will be announced August 25th!

I can’t wait to sew along with you. Hope to see you soon!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

Pattern Making using Painters Tape!

I recently saw this on pinterest I believe, and was curious. I have created some patterns from RTW, but I usually use a method that requires poking several sewing pins into the garment along the seams lines.  I was wanting to sew yesterday but didn’t have a pattern for jeans so decided to give this method a try! See below for step by step instructions on how. Let me start by saying that I work out of my kitchen. I pattern make on the kitchen island and sew in our music room. So if you see any tomatoes, melons, pots and pans in the background, please excuse them. I promised them their five seconds of fame 🙂

So this is a very basic method. Not technical at all. You grab a roll of painters tape and create an outline for each individual pattern piece. To create the outline, I tore off small pieces of painters tape and placed them on the stitch line or seams. The image below if of the front leg. My aim here is to flatten the front leg and paste the tape on it, such that I can get a one-dimensional rub off of the leg.

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Next, I filled in the outline with more painters tape:IMG_8072

 

 

Once this was done, I was able to peel off the tape, and it came off as one big chunk. I then placed it on pattern paper and made sure it was flat.  Next, I used this nifty measuring gauge to add a half-inch seam allowance all around. The dotted line became the outline of my pattern piece for the front leg and I used the dotted line as a guide to cut out the pattern. IMG_8074

This is what the pattern looked like after cutting it. Say hi to Poochie!!!IMG_8080

And my kid wanted to make an appearance as well. Love this little stinker..IMG_8083

You can leave the tape on if you like, but I pulled it off and added a grainline, name of the pattern, and how many to cut. I added an awl punch at the crotch. I didn’t care to add notches, but typically I would. This pattern is so simple that I did not bother. IMG_8087

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to create a pattern. Repeat this step for all patterns pieces on your garment and you can replicate your favourite garment over and over again.

Now the back I did slightly different because the pant leg on the back is usually wider than the front leg as you can see below.

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To overcome this , I first taped just like I did the front leg. I re-used the tape from the front because I hate wasting and killing the environment, so I try my best to re-use. I was not too careful about taping at first. Then I went in with a pen and outlined along the stitch line to get the accurate shape.IMG_8091

This is what the back looked like when I was done with the portion of the back leg that sat flat. I still had to tackle the part of the back leg that extends beyond the side crease to the side seam.IMG_8096

For this I flattened the pant leg, allowing me to tape all the way to the side seam. My finger is pointing to where the side crease was . That’s it! IMG_8097

I did the same with the back yoke, waist band and pocket. I also tried drafting the pocket but it was not as accurate as using painters tape. IMG_8098

Here is the waist band. It’s a contoured waist band as this is a low-rise pair of jeans. Be sure to make CF and CB on the waist band as the waist band has an extension and this can be confusing while sewing. I also recommend using notches to match up the Centre Front, Centre Back, and side seams.IMG_8100

If you liked this tutorial, check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

The one thing I have to figure out is adding the front facing fly before I can cut. To make things super simple, I am going to go with a mock fly zipper and use this pattern as a base.

I am hoping to finish the pattern today and then cut and sew hopefully tomorrow. I would be beyond excited if I can get this completed this week. I know there are some amazing sewing divas out there that pop out a new garment every other day,  but I have to be realistic about my sewing goals, given all my other commitments.

Anyhooz- tell me what you think about this method. Have you used it? If so, do you love it? Or do you have another preferred method? I prefer this over cutting up the garment. It wastes tape, but its more green than cutting up the garment and wasting it. There are so many poor people in this world that could use old clothes, so I really don’t want to destroy any garments.  I’ll be back with my white skinnies soon .Send me some sewing motivation <3

 

Update: I made my skinny jeans using this method and you can see there HERE

-XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

French Sailor Inspired DIY Dress- Navy Blue and White Stripes

The 4th of July totally inspired me to sew with stripes and I decided to make a dress inspired by the French Sailors shirt. Initially I thought I would make a boat neckline, but ended up going with my very favourite scoop neck.  Here is what I came up with.

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Love Love LOVE the three-quarter sleeve length on this and the fitted silhouette. I actually wanted more ease to begin with but i never feel “put together” unless I have a good fit.. so I took it in some.IMG_7794

Here is the back view. I think this pattern is simple and sews up beautifully but definitely has a good amount of ease. The last time I sewed with this pattern, I ended up adding a centre back seam to accomplish a better fit. I skipped that step here becuase I would have to match up the stripes on one more seam (“Ain’t no body got time for dat”) 🙂

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I previously made a high low black dress HERE using the same pattern . I already had the pattern cut up so I ended up re-using it. This is an easy pattern to sew up and is great for beginners.

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I actually started making this on the 4th of July, but finished it yesterday while my kiddo napped. I took her to a local kids library and wore her out. She slept extra long so mommy could sew!

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I did not have to do much to style this dress. It is so chic on its own! I threw on some nude pumps and these beautiful silver meenakari earrings that are a gift from my mum. I kept the makeup fairly simple with a dark eye and nude lips.IMG_7806

Here is my inspiration pic for this dress, minus the midriff. Mine turned out pretty nice, me thinks..

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Hope you all had a lovely 4th of July! We celebrated freedom by having some friends over and lighting kids sized fireworks and cooking out! I was super delighted to serve up veggies from my garden!

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886 view C . I did not do any pattern alterations. The dress was bit on the waist, so I took it in by one inch on each side and pegged in the hem about an inch on each side as well. I cut the size 6

FABRIC: I used a seasonal knit from Hobby Lobby. You can find similar fabrics HERE, HERE and HERE. The fabric I used was fairly thin and kind of see through. To get around that I undelined all the pattern pieces with a tissue knit before sewing them together.

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Underlining a fabric totally changes its body and drape. I liked it a lot better when it was thicker. If you are a beginner, I suggest using a thicker knit, or double knit or a ponte knit if you can. They are more stable than the thinner knits and makes sewing easier!

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SEWING: The dress is easy to sew. You can use this technique to sew the dress up. For the hem, you can use a twin needle or a cover stitch. I used a coverstitch machine to finish the hem and neckline.

You can also see another version of this dress I made HERE.  The rest of my sewing tutorials can be found HERE.

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Until next time,

XOXO

 

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