Category: What I made

About what I made and how I styled it

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to Draft an all in one facing

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a recent sewing project with you and show you how to draft all in once facings for patterns that don’t have one included. Drafting small pattern like these are a great way to get familiar with pattern making!

Here is the dress I made. I drafted the all in one facing using the steps outlined in this tutorial.

You may have noticed that most times commercial patterns have separate neck facings and separate arm facings. I prefer all in one facing because they allow you to clean finish your neckline and armholes on a sleeveless garment in one go. They look professional as well.

Before we get started drafting, let’s have a look at the front of the all in one facing. Here is what my front facing looks like after I cut it out:

Here is an example of what my back facings looked like. The center back seams on this picture are overlapping, however, there is a center back opening on this pattern that allows for a back zipper:

Now that we have had a look at the garment and the facing that lies underneath, let’s jump into the tutorial! I will be showing you this method using a miniature pattern. I’ll demonstrate with the front bodice pattern

Step 1: Cut out your bodice pattern. If you have a dart that falls on the shoulder seam or a french dart that falls close to the armhole, shut it close using tape.

Step 2: Keeping the original pattern as flat as possible, trace around the side seam, armhole, shoulder, and neckline and center front. In order to keep your original pattern flat, you can place weights or pin the pattern down on top of pattern paper.  Your traced pattern should look something like this.

Step 3: Next we need to freehand the shape of the bottom of the facing. In order to do this. measure down 3 inches on the center front, and about 2 inches on the side seam, and connect the two using a shape as shown below.If you have a french curve, you can use that to draw such shapes, but free handing works as well!

Step 4 : Copy all the markings from your original pattern to your facing pattern. For example, here I have shown the grain line, fold, CF  for center front. I have also added the name of the pattern piece, which is “front facing” and indicated how many pieces to cut, which is my case is “Cut 1 on fold”

If you were to lay your newly drafted facing pattern on top of the original pattern, it should match

The steps to draft the back facing are exactly the same. Here is what the back facing looks like:

Step 5: Make sure the side seams on the front facing and back facing match up and you will be sewing these up. This step is called “Truing”

<Insert pic here>

A few things to note about facings. Facings do not contain darts, or princess seams. If your pattern has darts, tape them shut as shown above in the pictorial. If your pattern has princess seams, you would tape the princess seams together overlapping the seam allowance.

I hope that you found this tutorial helpful and that you will try your hand at some pattern making!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Self Drafted Dolman Top for Summer

Hi, Fashionistas!

Summer is in full effect and we have had some really hot days.

I sewed up a couple quick summer tops. I wanted something basic but cute, to wear with shorts, skirts, or jeans. So I decided on two summer tops. The first one is in a gray jersey knit. This fabric is so soft and comfortable. I ordered one yard and that was enough and I have a little bit leftover fabric.

This is seriously the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

I self-drafted this top. The drafting took about 30 minutes. The sleeves are dolman, which means there is no setting in the sleeve, which also makes the sewing very quick. I have previously published a tutorial on drafting a dolman top and I will link that below.

Also, I  love the clean cover stitch on here.  I used my Brother Coverstitch machine, which I absolutely love and have been using for over two years

I drafted cuffs for the sleeves and a band for the waist.

Here is the back view. I made the neckline on the front and back exactly the same, and gave it a boat neck shape, which is one of my favorite.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest make. Next, I am working on creating a custom dress form cover for myself. A custom dress form is something I have wanted for a very long time. I’ll be sewing up my custom shell using this online class on Craftsy, but instead of using a commercial pattern, I plan on creating my shell from my custom sloper, which can be drafted using this Bodice Sloper Class

So lots of sewing and fitting for me in the near future, but a custom dress form has been a life long dream 🙂 I’ll share my progress with you once that is done.

Here is the tutorial on how to create a dolman top pattern from any tee that has set in sleeves. Hope you enjoy!

See you in July!
XOXO
-Vatsla

DIY Striped dress: Mccalls M6886 Modified

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a sewing project with you that I made for Easter but never blogged about it. Here is the dress I made. The bodice is Mccalls M6886 and the skirt is self drafted. I’ll show you how below:

I wanted to make something with stripes. Stripes are so chic and never go out of style. I chose to make a dress with a scoop neck, fitted bodice, three-quarter sleeve and a pleated skirt. For the bodice, I chose McCalls M6886, mainly because the pattern is something I have in my stash and I use often. I can also cut the size I need straight out of the envelope, and it does not need any alterations. You can use any bodice from your pattern stash! 

At first, I kept the bodice the same length as this top I made previously. It hits at about the low hip and would let me decide the positioning of my waist seam at a later time.

Once I had the bodice sewn up, and moved on to making the skirt, I measured the bodice from the neckline along the center front.

I  typically like my waist seam to fall on the natural waist, which is the smallest part of the torso. Then I marked the waist seam and chopped off the bodice excess after marking my 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Next, it was time to move on to the skirt, and do a small amount of math (nothing super technical) to determine the placement and size of the pleats.

While this is not a fixed formula, I want to share my thought process that you can use to create your own version of this dress!

Here is what I did next, I took a flat measurement of the waist on the bodice. This was 14 inches, excluding seam allowances

Then I took my fabric and folded selvage to selvage. Next, I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be. For me, that was 19 inches. To this, I added measurements of 5/8 inch on top for seam allowance and 1  inch on the bottom for hem allowance.  I used this final measurement to cut the fabric to where it looked like this:

Now I took a flat measurement of the folded fabric across the top. This was 32 inches, excluding seam allowance.  I then cut the fabric into 2 pieces by cutting the fold. This gave me a skirt front of 32 inches and a skirt back of 32 inches.

 Now my goal was to create some pleats on the skirt pieces so that 32 inches would match closely to the 14 inches. For this, I did some simple math and I find that easier to demonstrate on paper. The 1st thing you need to do is decide the placement of the inverted box pleats on your bodice. To do this, I took my bodice and pinned the center front, shown in green on the diagram below (point A). I wanted the placement of the inverted box pleats to fall on my princess seam. For me, that is 3 inches from the center front. So I pinned points B and C on my bodice. The measurement of AB and AC are 3 inches each. When the skirt is attached to the bodice, the inverted box pleats will con-inside with points B and C shown on the bodice in the diagram below

Now that you have placed your pins, you can set the bodice aside. You can also make notches at these points if you prefer.

Now let’s move on to the skirt! I will demonstrate the sewing on a small piece of muslin, that mimics the shape of the skirt on a miniature scale. This will make it easy to demonstrate how I marked and constructed the inverted box pleats.

Because the bodice is 14 inches and the skirt is 32 inches, let us take the difference of the two measurements to decide how much excess we need to eat up in the form of inverted box pleats. 32 minus 12 is 18 inches. Since we are adding 2 invested box pleats, placed at each princess seam, we need each invested box pleat to eat up 9 inches each (18 divided by 2). Make sense so far?

This is all the math you will need to do, now we can do some markings on the skirt and then we are ready to baste the pleats in place! I am showing you the markings on paper below, then we will move on to a sample of sewing the inverted box pleats on muslin! Let’s go over the markings on the diagram below. A is the center of the fabric. AB and AC are 3 inches from the center of the fabric. This is done so that the pleats will coincide with the princess seams on the bodice. Now the final marking is going to be 9 inches from points B and C. This is because we decided that the excess each pleat needs to eat up 9 inches. Measurements BE and CD are 9 inches each. This is all you have to mark on the skirt. You would use pins to mark as I did, or you can make notches in your fabric, whatever you prefer.

Now let us move on to the final step in this pictorial, which is the constructions of the inverted box pleats! By definition, an inverted box pleat is two pleats that are facing each other. If you have never sewn inverted box pleat before, I will show you in muslin below.

On the muslin below, I have marked points A,B,C,D and E.

Now for the construction of the 1st inverted box pleat. pick up the fabric at point D, and place it on top of point C. now make a small stitch as shown to secure the pleat down. This stitch is usually 1/2 inch long.

I have highighted the stich in orange below:

Flip the fabric such that the wrong side is facing up. Now we are ready to flatten the area between C and D and create our inverted box pleats. You can now finger press the excess down on the wrong side of the fabric and distribute it evenly on both sides. now press this down into place.

Now pin this down. You have successfully created the 1st inverted box pleat! Now do the same on the other side of the skirt using points E and D. When you are done, Secure the pleats down by using a basting stitch 1/4 inch from the edge of the fabric. At this point, your skirt front should look like this:

next steps in construction are as follows:

  1. Create pleats on the skirt back using the same method.
  2. Sew up the side seams
  3. Attach the skirt to bodice matching up the center front, center back, side seams and make sure the points B and C on the bodice match the points B and C on the skirt!
  4. Hem the garment

This is it! I inserted pockets in my dress, in which case, you would want to add the pockets before step 2!

Here are some more pictures of my dress.

I styled my dress with a black belt and black open toe pumps. This ensemble is perfect for summer!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and this encouraged you to try some free handing of your own! While I like using patterns, I also like being independent of them. Many times I run into accidental inventions and those are the best!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

How I save tons of money on sewing patterns: Free printable

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I either draft my own patterns or use store-bought patterns and tweak them in some way to put my own spin on them.

A lot of times I will start with an inspiration picture I find online. And then I go on the hunt for a sewing pattern that I can use as a base. Then I start the process of changing the pattern or mixing it with patterns that are self-drafted.  Regardless, I never pay full price for patterns, EVER. I’ll be giving you a free printable that I use to save money. Keep reading!

I don’t know about you, but it hurts my soul to pay retail price for patterns. This little voice inside myself is always saying to me “Imagine how much fabric you could buy instead”.

Here is a perfect example of what I do. I found my inspiration pic shown below, Then went out and found a pattern for the bodice that I could use as a base. Then I mixed it with a self-drafted pencil skirt and VOILA! I had the dress of my dreams!

Left to right below: My inspiration pic found on Pinterest. Middle: a look at how to found a pattern with similar style lines and made a muslin to tweak it. On the right: My final garment with the Butterick pattern and self-drafted skirt. This is what I love to see. Bringing a garment to life. I will be teaching this process in an online course where I teach how to you can start with an inspiration picture or a sketch and then create a garment from it!

Anyways.. back to how I save tons of money on sewing patterns and how you can do the same. I have a pattern stash, one that is WAY bigger than my fabric stash. When the inspirations strikes, I almost always have a pattern on hand that can be used as a base pattern.  I do this by keeping a running list of all the patterns that catch my eye as I see people post about them on Facebook groups, Instagram etc. And If I like the pattern design, I quickly jot the pattern number down on a pattern sale tracker that I always carry with me. You can see what it looks like in the picture below. Know that almost all fabric stores (in the US) have pattern sales that are cyclical. When the sale hits the fabric stores, I get all my patterns at once.  This way I never ever pay retail for a pattern. I usually get all my simplicity patterns for 99 cents, Mccalls for $1.99, and vogue for $4.99. Ps. Do you know Vogue is on sale right now for $4.99?

The printable has 3 shopping lists and I usually use one list per pattern company per store. Example, I might use one list for Simplicity for Joann’s and one for Simplicity for Hobby Lobby.  You can also use the lists as you are browsing the catalogs! That way you can check off all the patterns you were able to get and carry over the ones you did not get for next time! Let’s face it, patterns are in high demand when the prices drop, which is why I go straight to the pattern drawers!!!

I would love to share this printable with you for FREE so you too can stay organized with your shopping lists and save money!

To download your very own copy and print as many times as you like, Click HERE

I hope you find this helpful, and if you do, please share this post with your sewing family and friends too!

See you soon!

XO-

Vatsla.

 

 

 

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 !!

XOXO

-Vatsla

Mommy and Me Dresses in Blue

HI Fashionistas!!! Happy FriYAY!!!

This month I made another mommy and me outfit.

I did a franken-pattern with the bodice of McCalls M7121  (or HERE for larger sizes) and the skirt of McCalls M7386

At first, I wanted to make a maxi dress for myself, but as I got into the construction of the garment, I wanted to be able to wear just the maxi skirt, so I ended up making 2 pieces, that can give the illusion of a dress when worn together belted.

This first look is quite summery. I plan on wearing it to our upcoming family trip. The fabric is a 4-way stretch knit that is 92% tactel Nylon Microfiber and 8 % lycra. 

Side view if I wore these as a 2 piece. I ended up putting in a facing on the skirt since I decided to keep it as a skirt instead of sewing it to the bodice:

If I wear this as a one piece, I use the facing of the skirt as a waist band, so instead of being tucked into the skirt, it is flipped up above the skirt and tucked in under the bodice. Then I am able to belt it and Voila! It looks and feels like a one-piece dress!

The best part about this fabric is how breathable it is. I did not feel hot in it, even with a self-lined bodice. The fabric moves so beautifully. Isn’t that the true pleasure of wearing a maxi?

Here is the back view.Quite a few people have asked me about how I get these curls. I use the Jose Eber curling wand that I got on amazon a while back. It takes only 30 mins to curl all that hair, as opposed to over an hour to straighten, so I do this when in a rush. This is 4th-day hair, and my hair is still holding the curls.

Side view belted:

I also made a  high-low dress for my daughter. I ordered 3 yards of the fabric and it was just enough! Here is a simple A-line dress with a high-low hem and some ruffles on the neck!

So much love from this munchkin! 

Yay, it’s Friday!! What do you have planned? We are going out for ice cream, and I am doing some gardening on Saturday with a dear friend. Let me know what you are up to. Any sewing plans?!!

XO-

Vatsla 🙂

10 Minute Silk Scarf!

HI, Fashionistas!

I made a 10-minute scarf using leftover from the silk top I made last month. Basically, I ordered 2 yards of the fabric, and whatever was leftover was 2 long skinny rectangles. I seamed them together to create one long skinny rectangle and then hemmed on all four sides.

 

The fabric is a silk cotton blend that I previously used HERE. I styled the scarf with all white and a nude pump. This pretty print deserves to the the focal point of the outfit 🙂

It was so easy to make and so cute! Love these instant gratification projects! Have you every used leftover scraps to make something fun? Let me know in the comments below!

Here is the original silk top of which I used the leftovers.

April is a really busy sewing month for me. I just wrapped up a mommy and me outfit and I am starting another one that I will share with you next week! Hope you are well!!

XOXO

Vatsla 🙂

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