Category: What I made

About what I made and how I styled it

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 🙂 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 🙂

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!

XOXO

-Vatsla

Craftsy Class Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale Alert!!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Enabler Alert!! Craftsy has all classes on sale today for Black Friday and also Cyber Monday and it is the perfect time to buy a class or two if you have been wanting to add to your skill level or get into patternmaking, or couture sewing!

Hope that you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend. I’ll be doing some online shopping for both fabric and online classes as soon as my kid goes down for a nap! See my review of all the classes I am already enrolled in and what I am buying today, as well as what I am putting on my wishlist!

I am purchasing the latest Coat Pattern Making class by Suzy Furrer for Black Friday. I studied pattern making with her in person at Apparel Arts and she is truly brilliant! I got to visit Suzy last year at the new school location and it is amazing! She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

All classes are $17.87 or less. To get this amazing deal, click HERE

Here are the classes I am currently registered for. I highly recommend all of them. Suzy is an excellent teacher and also very responsive.

We studied pattern making at Apparel Arts in this order. Now you can benefit from her classes at home! If you want to learn pattern making, these would be the classes to take in order to build a good foundation.

Skirt Sloper : Click HERE

Here are a couple skirts I made for my final collection while studying with her:

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Bodice Sloper: Click HERE

From a bodice sloper, you can draft dresses, tops. jackets. Here is a dress and jacket I self-drafted using my bodice sloper:

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Dart Manipulation/Seam Lines: Click HERE

This class focusses on taking the basic slopers drafted for the body and then manipulating them into different style elements. For example, here you will learn how to change a basic darts on your sloper into princess seams, gathers, pleats, tucks etc.

Here is a good example of manipulating a bodice sloper into a sweetheart strappless neckline and also manipulating the darts into princess seams. (ps- that isnt alkee-hol, i just posed for my final collection :))

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Another example fo a self-drafted garment is this one.  You also learn about adding excess ease and then removing it in the form of pleats (which are dart equivalents)

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Creative Necklines: Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves: Click HERE

You know sleeves can completely change a garment. Dramatic sleeves are still in

. You can learn how to make bishop sleeves, bell sleeves etc. Here is a bell sleeve I drafted this summer.

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Pants : Click HERE

Here is a pair of pants I drafted in school. Not the best fabric choice, which caused the wrinkles. But being a novice, I can see why I selected this fabric. These pants with a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

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I also highly recommend her textbook, which is the Bible of Pattern Making. You can find it HERE

In fact, I just purchased a second copy because I misplaced my original one

 

I have also taken and reviewed the following classes in the past. They are both for tailoring a coat:

The first one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape and the second one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Construction

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You can read my review of these classes HERE and see the final garment HERE

Here is the latest coat I made, I should be posting this one to the blog soon!

I hope this post helps you see how these classes can help someone who wants to be a self-taught fashion designer. Gone are the days where you needed to take out crazy student loans and go to fashion school. regardless of whether you want to be creative and design for yourself, or be a self-taught designer and turn into a career option, the sky is the limit. With online learning, it IS possible!

In the last year, I added the following class to my library to make this chiffon skirt

I also added a coverstitch class

Let me know if you like online learning. I have the following I am adding to my wishlist and plan to score them on upcoming sales:

  • Sewing with Waxed Canvas: HERE
  • Couture Dressmaking Techniques:  HERE

Happy Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping! Have a relaxing weekend!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Mommy and me in Yellow Seersucker

Hi Fashionistas!! And Happy Thanksgiving to you!!! Hope you all are enjoying the short week and looking forward to the holiday. My lovely sister in law is hosting at her house and I am so happy to be a guest and not a host! Everone is bringing a dish. I am making a Waldorf salad, homemade cranberry sauce, and from scratch mashed potatoes. Yummy…

Anyways.. about this mommy and me outfit. I made my top back in August and I made my daughter’s dress in late September for her annual school pictures!

My top is a copycat RTW top and maternity friendly. I am 22 weeks pregnant in these pictures. I also did a DIY hack on these jeans by removing the pockets and inserting thick elastic in place of the pockets. It was so nice to be able to wear non-maternity jeans for once. They still fit now at almost 29 weeks, but definitely feel snug.

Let’s talk about her dress 1st. Isn’t it adorable? She didn’t like it at 1st. She said it looked like a shirt. Well, it kinda does I guess. With a vintage-inspired design, it has a yoke and gathers. I typically self-draft her dresses and keep them kinda kit and flared, with a more defined waist.. but why does a four-year-old care?! 🙂

I used this Butterick pattern for her. It’s the 1st time I’ve used a commercial pattern for her. Usually, I self-draft.

Here are the side and back view.

I used a hook and eye closure on that back, but I was so tired being pregnant and all, he handstitched it on for me, the night before her school pictures <3 Such a sweet husband and doting dad 🙂

Both her dress and my top have a facing applied. You can read in more detail about how to made my cold shoulder top HERE

By the way. taking her pics is quite amusing now. She either wants to pose like a fashionista or make funny faces. Candid pics are hard to come by

This has to be my absolute favorite pic of us. This pretty much sums up our personalities 🙂

Also- I had a complete case of mommy brain. I thought I was sewing up her dress from leftover fabric used to make my top, but her fabric is different. I thought they were the same. Oh well.

This is the morning I dropped her off at school and I still can’t get over this cuteness. Somedays I wonder… where did she come from? Is she really mine?

I am glad I finally got to post about this DIY. Like I told my husband, I can’t be posting seersucker after Thanksgiving. He was sweet enough to put her to bed tonight so I can catch up on some blogging. I have another super cute mommy and me outfit I made for us, as well as a gorgeous coat coming up. With energy coming back, I am hoping to get them posted over the next few weeks.

Once again have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. Will you be indulging in the Craftsy black Friday sales? I’ll send an email out to remind you when the sales hit the shelves!!!

Eat, drink and be Merry. I am very thankful for everything I have in my life. The fact that I am able to enjoy what I do have, instead of wanting more. Being content is such a precious thing.  Stay blessed my dears. See you very soon!

Love,

Vatsla 🙂

Sewing Up Leftovers- DIY Tent Dress

HI Fashionistas!

Over the summer (in July) I sewed up something with leftover fabric that had been sitting in my stash for two years! Fabric Mart was gracious enough to send me some extra fabric a few years ago!

I used Simplicity 8383 to sew up this gorgeous tent dress. I wasn’t showing in this pic, but I would have been about 8 weeks pregnant I think, maybe 10

I cut view A in a size 6 and it was just right. Although the pattern calls for a softer knit, I chose a scuba knit. Even though it’s not as drapey, it falls beautifully.

Another reason I love a scuba knit, it doesn’t need any finishing on the hem.

Here is the back view. The dress pattern was shorter. I lengthened the hem by a few inches. Oh my hair has grown so much since I can’t believe it! I need to keep up with blogging my makes!

Love the cut outs. This is officially my 1st cold shoulder make. I replaced the neck binding with a triple cover stitch.

That’s all for my DIY dress! I’ve made a few more things since this dress, and I’m hoping to catch up on blogging soon. I made the cutest mommy and me seersucker outfit for Jazz and I …… I will post that soon!

Oh! Before I go, I wanted to share with you the original dresses I made with this fabric. You can see them below and here.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the fall temps.. It is still warm here in Nov, but maybe only for another week!

See you soon!

-Vatsla 🙂

 

DIY Leopard Print Pencil Skirt and a Mini Announcement!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no see! I hope you enjoyed National Sewing Month last month and did a whole bunch of sewing. I did a decent amount of sewing, although I took a break from blogging.

I wanted to share one of my recent most projects with you. It is high waisted pencil skirt made in a thin scuba knit fabric I found at Joann’s Fabric last simmer. I remember falling in love with the fabric and purchasing the entire bolt.

This was made without a pattern because it really is that simple of a garment. This was a 20-minute project but has been so useful. I have worn this skirt at least 4 times in the last month.

I paired the skirt with this ruffled tank I made last year

Here is the fabric:

I did not use a pattern but I traced around this skirt I already own and LOVE.

The skirt was so easy to sew.  I have only side seams which I serged up in no time. The bottom hem was serged then stitched.

Here is the back view.

And now for my mini announcement:

 

There’s a little munchkin in this belly! I’m going to be a mamma again!

These pics were taken about a month ago! I am just now getting the energy to blog about it!

I have so many garments I made that I have not shared on the blog yet. Some are from the summer, and some from just last month. I’ll try to play catch up here soon now that I am feeling better. Know that I have missed you, my sewing friends. I have recently cleared off my drafting table and starting downsizing my studio. I am trying to give away fabric and notions I don’t use to my students and keep on hand just what I need for the next few projects.  At least that is my hope.

I’m currently teaching sewing with knits at school and it has been such a fun class to teach! I’ll share some student projects with you over the quarter!

Take care and I’ll see you with my next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Yellow Seersucker Cold Shoulder (CopyCat) Top

Hi, Fashionistas!

I was so excited to sew with a beautiful yellow seersucker I found at Fabric Mart recently.  Here is the top I made:

You see, I have been the slowest to catch on to the cold shoulder trend. I know, it’s been around for a while and is continuing into fall fashions.  I was meeting my hubby for pizza one night and had some time to kill. So I decided to do some window shopping when I saw and tried on this RTW top.. and loved it. 

So.. I made a pattern… and found the perfect fabric.

And made my own version! I really do love the tent shape of this top. It is very different than the usual type of garments I make and wear, which typically tend to be more fitted.

 

 

Yes, that’s a pen in m hair 🙂  My kid has two most frequently asked questions lately..”Mommy, why do you have a pen in your hair?” and “Mommy, are you talking to yourself again”? #momlife

 

I drafted a facing and modified the sleeves a bit by removing the band at the bottom and hemming them instead

I also made the straps a fixed length as opposed to adjustable.

Overall I am pretty happy with the way the top turned out.  I topstitched all around the neckline to ensure the facing was sitting down. 

 

I actually started making another version in a white cotton, but that one is still a work in progress. I may or may not get to wear that one this year!

I hope you enjoyed this make!  I am going to work on some maxi dresses next! Fall is coming!! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am!

See you soon

XOXO- Vatsla

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 🙂 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 ½ 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 🙂

 

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.. 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

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