Category: What I made

About what I made and how I styled it

A Mommy and Me Valentines

HI, Fashionistas!!

I sewed up another mommy and me outfit before Valentines Day and here it is:

I decided to use a soft jersey knit in a pretty dusty rose color. Typically my go to knits are stable knits like ponte or double knits, but I just could not resist this beautiful color. I used this fabric from Fabric Mart.

I made a top for myself with quilting detail on the sleeves and a cute dress for my daughter.

For her dress, I free handed the skirt and the ruffles. On the ruffles, even though I used a knit fabric, I chose to interface it with a woven interfacing to give the ruffles stiffness.

For my top. I used McCall’s 6886 as a base and then did some interesting pattern manipulation on the sleeve pattern to create some pleats.  I finished the sleeve with some quilting details

Here is the pattern manipulation I did. Many of you asked for a tutorial on these sleeves and I will do a dedicated blog post for that.

Dramatic sleeves are all the rage right now. Interested in learning how to make creative sleeves like this? If so I highly recommend this sleeve drafting class. I reviewed this class and many other pattern making classes HERE if you want to have a look

I love how the sleeve turned out. This would also be so fabulous on a knit dress with say a stiff silk like tussah or dupioni. Maybe that is next 🙂

Like the necklace? Me too! 🙂 You can find it HERE

We both wore our animal print shoes. 

I got these shoes as a gift for self and had the outfit styled before I even made the outfit. 

Here is a view from the back. I changed the neckline to a square on both the front and the back.  This lil’ kid us my ev thing. I call her Jazzy Hepburn with her high bun and sunnies 🙂

Today I am making a laundry hamper for her, one that will hang on the wall, have a ballerina on it wearing a tulle tutu, and a detachable “sock monster” that goes straight into the wash. Ever wonder where all the orphan socks go? Well, no more!

I hope you are having a lovely week and planning a nice weekend for yourself. I have been busy setting up a new home office and also a filming studio in my sewing room. I have some exciting news to share with you… That is coming soon! In the meantime, I will leave you with a perfect visual of the mommy life… Hehe.. This was me last week.

Have a wonderful week my dears.. See you soon with more sewing stuff!!

XOXO-Vatsla 🙂

DIY Valentines Day Dress- What I wore

HI Fashionistas:

Being the last minute that I am, I am surprised that I already have my valentines day dress done like a month ahead of time. That never happens in my world.

I made a partially self-drafted little red dress to wear to dinner tonight

The dress was a bit of a pattern hack. I started with the bodice of a Butterick pattern. Then made some pattern alterations, made the style lines on the bodice style lines curvier, and raised the waist to a curved empire waist.  The red lines are my pattern alterations after making the 1st muslin.

The skirt pattern was self-drafted and I am in LOVE with the fit of this dress. If you want to look into drafting skirts, here is a class I recommend. This is the same teacher I studied with. If you want to see my review of this class, click HERE.

My sewing inspiration was this red dress shown below that I saw on Pinterest. I was planning on doing the following pattern hack, but then I found the Butterick pattern for the bodice.

Here is the back view and side view:

The fabric I used is this one. I love the fabric. It’s a lightweight twill with a 10% stretch. It nice to work with and presses beautifully.

I really enjoyed working on this project. Tailoring a garment is one of my favorite things to do! Next, I am working on some simple tees for the winter- some basics to add to my wardrobe.

PS- I made another valentines day outfit- a mommy and me. That was very last minute. But gorgeous. I’ll share that this week… but here is a sneaky peaky

XOXO
-Vatsla

 

SnowDay = No Sew Day!

HI Fashionistas!!!

I hope you are well and had a fabulous weekend. We got snow yesterday. Not much, just a tiny amount. I was expecting to be locked up in the house for days based on the weather forecast, but what we got was just some light snow.

Can you spot the snowman? (hint- he’s portable!)

 

I did not get much done this weekend. But as my hubby reminded me, it is the day of rest.

So I rested in bed and played around with some graphics to create wall art for my studio. I love quotes and inspirational words. I made this one so far and am working on a few more I can frame for my studio space

This week I am working on my red dress I mentioned last week and also doing some organization in my studio. Did y’all do any sewing over the weekend? What are you working on this week?

Have a lovely week!!

XO

Vatsla.

Merry Christmas To My Sewing Family :)

Merry Christmas Fashionistas!!!!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. Hope you are celebrating with your family and friends. We ended up leaving town pretty last minute on Wednesday and I did not pack my white peplum or top/skirt.

We are in VA at the moment and it was a lot more practical to wear something warm and comfy. I wore this black sweater dress with a detachable cowl neck. My daughter wore this DIY dress I made last year. I grabbed it last minute as we were heading out the door and it still fit! Her dress was made from a throw blanket from Target and a faux fur scarf from the women’s section at Target. Every so often I pretend I am a contestant on Project Runway and challenge myself to make clothes from non-fashion fabric. Had we been at home, we would have been matchy matchy in winter white!

Did you get yourself anything for Christmas? I got myself a perfume and wrapped it up 🙂 I’m a big believer of self-gifting, since we are women tend to ignore ourselves this time of the year. If you have not got yourself a gift yet, check out all these sewing classes under $20. A wonderful self-gift 🙂 I saw this email this morning. All classes are $19.99 – the gift of learning is the best gift of all!

We were able to get a couple pics in before Christmas Eve service….

But the reality is, most pics looked like this 🙂 Haha!


I really missed our home church, but we were meant to be in VA this Christmas.

Here are some pics of Jazz rocking her dress!

Here she is at our Gigi’s house talking to Santa on Christmas eve 🙂

Wishing you all a very merry and blessed Christmas!! Hope you have peace, love,  food and that you are relaxed.

Don’t forget to do something nice for YOU now that all the hustle bustle, shopping, cooking, is over!!! I plan on sewing for a day straight when I get home to decompress from10-hour train ride (with a toddler who refuses to nap in the choo choo train)

My latest craftsy purchase has been this pattern drafting class for Pants. Since I already have my pants sloper drafted, I plan on making myself a nice pair of pants. Fit is everything baby!

If you want to see my review of any of the pattern making classes, you can read my reviews HERE

You can also have a look at my latest self-drafted clothes HERE

See you soon with my next sewing adventure!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Dreaming of a White Christmas

HI Fashionistas!

Merry Christmas!! Hope you are having a fabulous holiday season.

I have been working on my outfit for Christmas Eve. I decided to go with a black and white holiday look. I am completely in love with monochromatic looks since they are chic and also so easy to style. You can just throw on a pair of nude pumps and a clutch and you are ready to go.

Well for my last project of the year, I decided to sew multiple garments that could give me many outfits by mixing and matching with existing pieces in my wardrobe. Help me decide if I should go all white or mix and match. I think black and white is so glam!

Look 1: I drafted the top from my bodice sloper. I changed the neckline to boat neck, which is one of my favorites.  I also drafted this skirt from my sloper and changes the waist to an empire. I chose a midi length and it’s one of my favorites. For drafting instructions for skirts, you can look into this class. I did not require any fitting as the sloper was drafted to my measurements. I love an all white look- if I chose this look. I would accessorize and add a nice warm fur for the neck and a cute clutch!

Look 2: Top and black bottoms:

A simpler, more casual look. Dressing up a pair of black skinnies with a tailored top. The top fit pretty well but required some adjustments on the back neck.  I used the instructions in this book to draft the boat neck. It is form fitting, but not skin tight.. which in my opinion is never a good look.  

Look 3: My Fav look: Peplum Belt added to Look 2. The peplum I draped on the dress form and the waistband I drafted. I wanted some high-low action and a contrast lining to peek through. If you are interested in self-drafting tops, this class has great instruction on drafting the bodice sloper.

 The pleats are facing the side seam. The peplum has a high-low hem which gives it that waterfall effect where the black lining peeks through. I posted this pic on social media and a lot of you asked about the back. I will share pictures of the back as well in a separate post where I should how to draft this peplum from scratch.

Look 4: Look 3 with a different top I have in my closet.

If you have any interest in self-drafting, I highly recommend these pattern making classes 

Well, ladies. I think for Christmas Eve, I will be going with one of look  2, 3 of 4. Not sure yet, can you help me decide?!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in my next blog post.

ps- I have a Christmas Giveaway coming up. Stay tuned for fabric!!!

XOXO

Vatsla

Cardi Refashion and How I styled it

Hi Fashionistas!!

Remember the sweater/ cardi I was altering last week to make it fit me? It turned out really nice and I wore it to Church last Sunday. I really like easy outfits. This was so easy to style. Since the cardi had a built-in fur collar, I kept the rest of the outfit basic. I paired it with a black pencil skirt, one of my favorite garments in my wardrobe and a tank top.

picmonkey-collage

 

The cardi has an attached fox tail fur on it. I was surprised to find genuine fur on a Bebe top. Oh, not sure if I mentioned, this cardi was thrifted. I found it in San Fran earlier this year when I visited. While I would never purchase a new fur, I love giving new life to old furs. It is extremely soft and warm. The day I wore it, it was cold and rainy, so I loved wearing this. It kept me nice and warm (and stylish!)

img_6810

Not the best lighting and pics- I usually do my own pics outdoors, using a tripod and remote- but it was raining and cold. I don’t know about you but I don’t think most men are equipped to take pics. I don’t like asking my husband.. so here are some selfies for you! I love that this entire outfit can look like a black dress without me having to have the perfect black dress.

img_6844

I wore it like a wrap cardi, and as I mentioned in my previous post HERE, it needed a brooch or belt . I used a gorgeous pearl brooch that was another vintage find. I just love repurposing. The 3/4 sleeves are elegant. The cardi has been altered to fit like a dream.

img_6853

Oh hello thread hanging from my slit- where are my thread clipper? 🙂

img_6858

I completed the outfit with my absolute favorite faux snakeskin shoes. I honestly treat these are my nude pumps. They are so comfortable compared to a stiletto. Lots of support , thanks to the thicker heel, and a bit of platform.

 

Would you say that I have a shoe problem? Yikes…

 

Here is the before and after from last week

picmonkey-collage

Well.. That’s all I have for now. The 2nd half of December is seriously busy for me. I am wrapping up an online course, making a 5 piece outfit for Christmas, 2 pairs of matching mommy and me jammies and a red dress. I better get to work NOW. Bye loves! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, and if you are not, take on a sewing project for instant gratification and happiness!!! I swear sewing is better than therapy! 🙂

 

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

Saturday Night Sewing

Greetings Fashionistas!

I am in my happy place right now. Really- I am writing you from my sewing ma-sheen 🙂 This is where I am the happiest, this is where I feel 18 years young again. As if I don’t have a care in the world. Nothing matters when I am here. Just my music, my fabric, my machine.

fullsizerender

I haven’t been sewing in the past couple weeks (Boo!). Why?!! What’s wrong with me? Have I really been doing dishes and cooking dinner all week?  Actually, I didn’t do much this week. I just slowed down. So I have nothing to show for. And that is OK. I enjoyed my week. I enjoyed my daughter. I enjoyed a guilt-free cheeseburger with fries, a coke and washed it down with a milkshake. That is so unlike me.. but it was the best thing I have “eated” in a while :)))

Do you ever complete a 10-minute project and not only get that hit of dopamine, but also a new addition to your wardrobe? This sweater was a size L Bebe sweater. I am a size S, but I had to have it. So I purchased it knowing that it would sit in my studio for years before I got to it. It was a simple 5-minute alteration.

I tried the sweater on, eyeballed it and decided I need to take in an inch on the sleeves and the side seams. Pretty simple. I have previously explained this in a tutorial HERE. It literally took 5 minutes.

Here is the sweater after…

img_6770

 

Here is the before.

img_6759

To take it in, I did one continuous stitch starting at the wrist, all the way up the sleeve, and then down the side seam. I took in about an inch on each side. It’s the same method I explained HERE

img_6763

I ended up using Sergio (my serger). I haven’t used him in a while since I’ve started using my industrial for knits. Mainly because I sew with stable knits most of the time.

The fit is not bad. It needs to be belted.. or “brooched” since there is no closure.

img_6768

I love this cardi! I plan on wearing her to Church tomorrow.. with a black pencil skirt. I wore something similar to Christmas Ever service 2 years ago. Geez.. where does the time go?!!!

DSC_0980

Anyhooz.. I hope you are guys are well and enjoying December! I’ll post pics soon of the final look!!! Have  a wonderful weekend!

 

XO-Vatsla

 

 

Craftsy Class Review and Pattern Making Book Review

HI Fashionistas!!!

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend.I am not one to shop the early  morning sales on Black Friday but I do appreciate a good deal that can be scored from my laptop on the comfort of my couch. One that doesn’t require an “early bird” special and does not entice you into a brick and mortar store to bombard you with more specials.

Here are some of my favorite sewing related Black Friday sales that I want to share with you. I already own and recommend a lot of these items so I wanted to share them with you in case you are interested:

My absolute favorite are the following sales on all  Craftsy classes on sale for $ 17.99

I studied with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts a while back. She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

I got to visit with Suzy earlier this year and tour the new location of Apparel Arts, which is fabulous .

suzy-jpg

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:

561280_10150933697570770_1295253735_n376485_10150933696030770_652623201_n

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:

IMG_9952 - CopyIMG_9966

557457_10150933697350770_197424397_n

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 :))

532363_10150933695565770_2128746321_n

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)

IMG_0414

Creative Necklines : Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves : Click HERE

You know sleeves are big this fall. Dramatic sleeves are in. You can learn how to make bishop sleeves, bell sleeves etc. Here is a bell sleeve I drafted this summer.

IMG_0796

 

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 in a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

599674_10150933696360770_1260781199_n

Her latest classes are based on wardrobe building. I have registered for one of these, but have not watched it yet. You can view those HERE

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

All classes are $17.99 for the black Friday sale which I think is an excellent deal. I have been purchasing craftsy classes for years and on average I pay $30 to $35 for each class.

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

IMG_0524

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

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!

Let me know if you like online learning. Just last night I was watching a video on drafting cowl pants. There is so much to learn, it never gets old!

I am heading down to the studio in a bit to work on my cowl pants and purchase  few more classes ! Hope you are well and I will see you soon with my next sewing post.

Happy Black Friday!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

Warm and Cozy Sweater Dress

HI Fashionistas!

It’s getting so cold and I plan on doing everything in my power to stay warm!

I am that person who is always cold.  So when I saw this sweater knit with a fleece backing, I was intrigued! I made this dress and have a little bit leftover that I am hoping to use for a top.

img_2591

I used this fabric, which is a sweater knit that feels like fleece on the inside. It is very nice and warm. This is my 1st time sewing a sweater knit and I loved it. It is very forgiving as the texture hides and sewing mistakes 🙂 Typically my preference is for fabrics made of natural fibres, but this looked so appealing, so I went for it!

img_2550

I made the sleeves super long so they can be pulled over the hands, something I do often in clothes I make (Don’t you love how we can customize our clothes ?)

img_2574

For the pattern, I used McCall’s 6886 that I previously used so many times before HERE

Here is the back view:

img_2568

And front:

img_2594

LOVE the drape on the cowl.  It is self-lined, so super warm . I free-handed the cowl neck. It was very easy to do. I tried to make a pattern at first but it wasn’t chunky enough.. so I just cut off a 28 inch long piece (measuring 28 inches along the selvage), folded it on itself . The fold them became the top of the cowl that can be pulled over the face. So the cowl is essentially like a mini version of an infinity scarf. 

You probably did not notice it yet, but the cowl neck is stand-alone

I really was opposed to doing this initially, but eventually decided to do it. I have been wanting to simplify and downsize my wardrobe, so having pieces that can mix and match to create more looks is key. Deciding to make the cowl separate allows me to wear both pieces many ways.

img_2583

The black dress can be worn with many other scarves, and the chunky cowl can be added to other looks as  neck warmer.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I would love to sew with this fabric again! I highly recommend it. Let me know what y’all are working on. Love to hear about your sewing projects.

XOXO

-Vatsla 

DIY Black Wool Cape

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the cooler temps. I’ve really been enjoying my fall sewing. I recently wrapped up this black cape with arm slits.

new-folder-with-items

I had purchased something similar last month and while I loved the style, I did not love the fabric. The fabric was itchy and “synthetic-y” if you know what I mean. I simply love capes. So I decided to recreate the look in a nicer fabric. I chose this wool/cotton blend. It’s made of 100% natural fibers and is way more lux than the original one I wore here.

img_2099-jpg

My cape is collarless and simple, this will allow me to wear it just the way it is, or accessorize with different collars/ neck warmers to maximize its use in my wardrobe. 

I added vintage gold buttons as you can see in the pic below. I knew I wanted some gold hardware on it but decided to keep it fairly simple. These are shank buttons I recently found at an estate sale.

img_2503

Sewing quick tip: To stabilize a shank button and keep it from drooping, add a regular 2 hole or 4 hole button on the back. While you are sewing the shank button on the front, loop your thread through the regular button on the back. That will keep it from drooping.

My favorite look is with the fur collar, re-purposed from another coat, paired with long gloves. I found these while antiquing with a friend.

img_2477

I drafted the pattern and facings:

img_5769-png

I decided to use contrast bias tape on the inside of the garment. I made the bias tape, thanks to a YouTube tutorial. Using a bias tape maker is so simple, and you can create any color or use a nice print!

img_2451

img_2497

I recently purchased this set of bias tape makers and they are so fun and easy to use! I highly recommend them. On the hem of the cape, I used store bought bias tape and then hemmed it.

img_2498

Here is the view from the side:

img_2471

Here is a slightly different way I styled the same outfit. DIY Faux fur collar made by my mum in law with the cape on top, to show off those gorgeous buttons!

img_2428

The cape is unlined. I decided to try the self-bound seam on the inside of the cape.  The fabric is on the medium side for a wool. I started off with drafting the pattern with 1/2 inch seam allowance, but given the turn of cloth, I decided to upgrade to a 5/8 inch seam allowance.  The seams turned out nicely, but there was a bit of waviness on the side seams around the shoulders.  Looking back, I think a hong kong finish would be nicer. But this is what I love about sewing, we learn something new with every project.

img_2502

behindseams2

Pattern: I self-drafted the pattern for this one. Drafting a pattern for a cape is fairly simple, as is fitting. I studied pattern making with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts, a school she founded and runs. She is brilliant. Luckily offers pattern making classes on craftsy now and I am enrolled in all her classes for a refresher course.  I am linking her craftsy classes HERE in case you want to check them out.  For making upper body garments, you would want to start with the Bodice sloper class.  Then you would learn how to manipulate the sloper to create your own designs. I actually just re-ordered my textbook to go along with her classes.

This project was so fun to make! I want to make another cape for winter, so I’ll be looking for some more sewing inspiration.  What about you? What’s your latest fall project?

Lastly, I created a small sewing Q&A group that I hope will double as a sewing space for us to asks sewing questions and also get sewing inspiration from each other. You can join the group HERE

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween! See you soon!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

%d bloggers like this: