Category: What I made

About what I made and how I styled it

DIY Keyhole Top- Simplicity 1077 Modified

HI Fashionistas!

It’s taken me longer than desired to get back in the swing of things after the holidays and some vacation.Here is a top I made late last year. We had warm weather all the way through Christmas, so I made a nice keyhole top with a ribbed cotton knit I picked up a Joanns Fabrics a while back.

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I used a simplicity dance pattern for a crop top and made a few flat pattern alterations to get this look. I have mentioned all the alterations at the end of the post if you want to achieve this look

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I love this top. It shows off the shoulders and the back. No I don’t work out, but sometimes I like to believe that I do! The keyhole is sexy indeed.. you never know when you need to look good walking away right? 🙂

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To accessorize, I threw on my favorite (faux) snake-skin pumps from Gianni Bini and a brown clutch… and this was a bad hair day… so I added a gold headband and threw my hair up in a bun.

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And last but not least, to stay true to my roots… I always throw in a Bollywood pose for your viewing pleasure 🙂 Haha!

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 Read below about how to make this top… but don’t stop there…How cute would this be as a maxi dress? Can we saw “Rawrrr”… or shall we say “Mee-Yow” 🙂

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PATTERN: I used Simplicity 1077, view B as a base and made the following alterations:

  • Deepen the keyhole on the back by 2 inches to make is more dramatic
  • Lengthened the top back and front by 6 inches
  • drafted a facing for the front and back since I wanted a clean finish as opposed to hemming the keyhole and armholes.
  • Got rid of the waist band

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SEWING : The top was easy to sew. I used my serger. Since I added a front and back facing, I confused myself a bit.. I usually don’t read pattern instructions.. If you are not doing a facing, this is a one hour top. Easy!

FABRIC: A ribbed knit from Joanns fabric. It was $6.99 a yard. Very casual knit but I put a more dressy twist on it

I love this top. It’s just so cute! And versatile… It can be paired with casual jeans and some pumps or a dressy pair of tailored pants and worn to church!

I am getting back in my sewing studio today after a long hiatus.. What have you been sewing?

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

 

2015: A Year in Review

HI Fashionistas!!

I am so excited to be doing this post because this is my very first time doing it, since I started my blog in Jan of 2015! It has been so amazing being able to document what I made. Here is a run down of almost everything I made in 2015. Links to all projects are included incase you want to sew the look!

8 TOPS: 
Looks like I made more tops than any other category. And it makes sense because I am a mainly a SAHM. I live in jeans.. and prefer a cute and comfy top!

From left to right:
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Actually there is one more that I have not blogged about yet, so total of 9 tops:
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6 DRESSES:
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4 SKIRTS

 

I am a bit surprised that I only made 4 skirts, given that I love skirts! I guess its time for me to upgrade my wardrobe and become more stylish!

 

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5 PANTS
Nautical shortsWhite Jeans, Black Pants, , Christmas PJ’s, Palazzo pants (since demoted to pajamas)
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2 Outerwear garments:
Cape and winter coat
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5 outfits for my little human

 

As you can imagine, it is close to impossible to get a picture in focus of a toddler.. but here is the best I got..

 

Tulle dress, leopard dress, Easter Dress, Christmas Eve service dress and Christmas PJ’s
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There are also a couple other things that didn’t make it to the blog.. a skirt and a disaster dress.. so that is 2 more. So a total of 33 garments in 2016.. Not too shabby..More coming in 2016..
Thanks so much for reading this.. I so enjoyed writing about my sewing adventures in 2015.. The fun continues!!!

 

Hope you are having a wonderful start to the year!

 

XOXO-
Vatsla

Channeling my Inner Audrey Hepburn – with a touch of hot pink!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Can you believe it is the last day of 2015?! My very last sewing project for 2015 is this gorgeous Little Black dress. I just wrapped up the sewing yesterday. Well I also started sewing it yesterday, so this is my one day LBD. Always sewing at the last-minute 🙂

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I drafted the pattern for this dress using my bodice sloper, which I had made many moons ago in Fashion school. I wanted something that would be a nice fit and flatter my figure. so what better than a custom drafted pattern?

If you are curious as to how I created a custom sloper, I studied with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts. She is an amazing teacher and luckily, she is now on Craftsy. If you are interested in making your very own sloper and designing your own garments, I HIGHLY recommend her Bodice Sloper class. Suzy is an excellent teacher, and takes the intimidation out of pattern drafting. She is also very responsive.

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I wanted a classic look, so I went for a fitted silhouette. I drafted a rounded neck, and princess seams on the bodice, and chose a midi length on the skirt. This look is very classy and quite appropriate for a 30 something momma of one!

And while this dress is a simple LBD, there is a surprise hiding in the back! Doesn’t a splash of hot pink just want to make you smile? Me too 🙂

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The fabric is a beautiful cotton sateen and the pink is a shirting fabric, both are from Fabric Mart Fabrics. The flounce looks different from every angle. Such a romantic touch to a simple dress 🙂

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And can we just take a moment to admire these shoes? These are giving me life!

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Here is a close up of the circular flounce. Isn’t she gorgeous? I drafted this flounce by measuring how long I wanted this to be on the centre back seam. I decided on 10 inches. Then I drafted a circle with a 10 inch radius, and folded it in half to get a half circle. I will be doing a detailed tutorial on how you can draft this flounce and insert it into any dress or skirt  pattern. Stay tuned!

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Well my darlings, this is a great way to wrap up 2015. When I started this blog in January of 2015, I was excited about where my fashion adventures would take me. Today , on the last day of the year, I can look back and say that this has been a wonderful journey. I have got to know so many amazing women in the sewing community and have loved connecting with each and every one of you.

Happy New Year!!! I will see you in 2016 with my next sewing project! Until then, happy sewing!

-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)

 

 

The Seven Day Coat: Vogue 8346 Modified

Hi Fashionistas!!!

I have missed you. I have been a busy little sewing bee. Earlier this year when I started thinking about my bucket list, making a winter coat was one of the items on my list. And that is what I have been working on for the last seven days….

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When I started thinking about coat making, I had a structured coat in mind. I have always been fascinated with the structure that goes inside a tailored jacket or coat, so I decided I wanted shoulder pads, I wanted hair canvas and pad stitching, I wanted sleeve headings, I wanted it all!!!

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I chose to go with a design that was a bit millitary-esque. I exaggerated the neckline for a more dramatic look and used custom-made shoulder pads to add structure to the garment.  I also used hair canvas throughout the neckline to make sure it would stand up.

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I really am in love with this neckline…It’s oh-so-majestic!

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If you look at my inspiration pic, you will see that my version is very similar to it, with minor variations. Since time was of the essence, I decided to take a ready-made pattern and modify it instead of making my own pattern from scratch. (This post may contain affiliate links)

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The pattern I used as a base is Vogue 8346 view A, and modified the pattern accordingly to match my inspiration. The main pattern alterations I made included changing the front bodice, and the collar. I also lengthened the coat by an inch and a half.  Of course I made a muslin. I actually ended up with three iterations.

Moving on to one of my favorite things about this coat… Not only does it have the gorgeous stand up collar that I wanted, it also converts into a gorgeous shawl collar. I mean… two looks in one?! That’s what I’m talking about!

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I styled this coat with one of my favorite cowl neck chunky sweaters, a classic double stand of vintage pearls, My favorite skinny jeans and the boots with the furrrrr!!!!!IMG_0587

And the coat looks just as nice with the buttons undone. It’s such a classic pointy shawl collar. It’s not a true shawl collar because I did preserve the original collar from the centre back seam to the shoulder seam.

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But no coat is complete with a fabulous lining….. so I lined this coat with a pretty silky fabric just like I did on my wool cape last month!

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This was my first time making in-seam pockets.  In-seam pockets are actually really easy to sew!  I am not sure why I was shying away from them!

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I am just loving the back of this coat. The seams pressed beautifully. The fabric was a dream to work with. The lining was so beautiful, it made me want to get up and dance and sing. (And y’all know I cant sing)

One of the reasons I love sewing so much is that you never stop learning! Here are the new techniques I learned while working on this project:

  • How to set in a fabulous sleeve (I combined 3 techniques to get the perfect set in sleeve)
  • How to create custom shoulder pads
  • The hybrid method of tailoring that combined fusibles and padstitching.
  • I need an industrial machine (Honey, are you listening?!!!!)

Since this was my very 1st coat, I knew I needed the right guidance. Depending on the web and you tube can be tricky, especially when you get into topics like tailoring. So I turned to the experts! I previewed a bunch of classes on craftsy during October, when they had the all access pass, and chose 2 classes that suited me best. I chose a class about shape and structure and another one about tailoring. If you are considering making your first coat, or improving your coatmaking skills, I HIGHLY recommend these two classes. The instructor Alison Smith is an excellent teacher, I loved her method of delivery and she is prompt and thorough with her responses. I truly enjoyed studying with her. I did a review of both of these craftsy classes HERE if you are interested in taking them.

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I also did this coat as a part of Sew Along hosted by Erica Bunker DIY Style. Since the sleeves are the trickiest, I combined my knowledge of the class as well as Erica’s advice to get the sleeve set in nicely. If you have not seen Erica Bunker’s blog, check her out. She is an excellent seamstress and an inspiration to many!

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Over all, this was a really amazing project. I hope that you enjoyed reading this. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it! I will be doing a “Behind The Seams” blog post on the making of this garment, so you can come into my workshop and take a virtual tour of all that went into making this coat!

And until next time, happy sewing!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

ps- Behind The Seams update below…

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Normally I take you “Behind The Seams” of all my sewing projects and show you how you can make your own version, but since this was such a large scope project, it deserves a post of its own! Ill be talking in detail of what went inside the garment, the hair canvas, the shoulder pads, sleeve headings and all that jazz! So stay tuned, and please subscribe to my facebook page if you are interested in more!

 

 

 

Winter Cape Completed: Falling in Love with Wool

Hello Fashionistas!!

Sewing with wool has been on my bucket list forever. To be specific, a wool cape, a winter coat and a french jacket.

Earlier this year when I launched my blog I thought about all the sewing projects I would like to make. It was a reasonable list… twenty-one items in all.. and number six on the list was a wool cape, which has now been crossed off my list 🙂 Design details at the end of the post if you want to sew up your own version of this!

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It’s finally DONE!!!!  I am so in love with the final product. I have been working on this for the past three days while my kid naps 🙂

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I wanted something unique so I chose a vintage pattern. I wanted a superior fabric and I wanted to work with 100% wool. I picked a camel/taupe brushed wool that was such a pleasure to work with.

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On my version I only used two buttons as opposed to four. I also eliminated the waist tie and styled the cape with a leather belt instead. This is a big cape, so to create a good proportion, I used a wide belt. 

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Here is side view and back view. The fabric drapes beautifully!

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Check out my signature accent.. on the back of the collar… It’s all in the details!

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The cape looks different when worn without a belt and I like that look too!

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I am simply in love with the sleeves and they make me feel like a butterfly! I chose a floral lining. Isn’t it adorable?

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As I was wrapping up pictures, my kid decided to join the party. I had some leftover fabric and cut a small cape for her as well, but have not sewn it up yet. That’s next on my list…

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I learned a good bit about working with wool.  I had it pre-shrinked by sending it to the cleaners. I learned that is takes special care to avoid overpressing and shine. I also mastered the art of perfect top stitching! What a joy..This project required more work, but the end result was so worth it.. This cape will be in my wardrobe for a long time..

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PATTERN: Vintage Simplicty 9669, view 2. It’s a fully lined cape. I cut the size Medium which is for a bust size 34 to 36. The only pattern alteration I had to do was to remove about 3/4 of an inch from the Centre back. I also eliminated the centre back seam and instead cut my back pattern piece on the fold of the fabric. I like to simplify sewing where I can. Eliminating the centre back seam saved me about 5 minutes of pinning and sewing and bout 10 minutes of pressing the seam…

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I did make a muslin and did a fit analysis on my dress form an myself. This is a outerwear garment so I left a good amount of ease on the pattern to accommodate a shirt and possibly a sweater underneath. Initially I had considered shortening the cape by a couple of inches but once I made the muslin, I decided against it.

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SEWING : I learned a lot about sewing with wool by making this cape. This was my first time working with a wool and it was truly a pleasure to sew up. I quickly realised that pressing wool can be tricky. I am used to working with muslin and cottons and by habit, I used a hot iron, a good amount of steam and pressure.. AND my tailors clapper and that resulted in shine and over pressing. As you can see below.. The seam allowance was causing the impression and lightening of the wool color. I always like to sew up samples with some scrap fabric and press them before I take the iron to my garment. I will be writing a detailed article on what I learned about pressing wool without damaging it. That is coming to the blog soon!

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This project was a labor of love. It was time-consuming. Not only because it included some trial and error as I was working with something new, but also because I was broadcasting live some of the tips and techniques of sewing as I was discovering easy ways to work with wool and having those “Aha” moments…I really enjoyed connecting with other sewists while working on this project.

I also experimented till I discovered an easy and practical way to master top stitching. That is coming to the blog soon, so stay tuned! Since there are so many little details about this project I want to share with you, I will be doing a “Behind The Seams” blog post about it soon.

FABRIC: I used a soft 100% brushed wool. It has texture, so I had to take extra precaution while pressing. The fabric is indeed luxurious. Since I knew that this garment would be an investment piece, I wanted to use the best fabric I could find in my budget. Local fabric stores like Joanns and Hancock only had wool blends with a low percentage of wool, but I found an array of pure wool fabric on Fabric Mart Fabrics at very good prices. And if you want a super yummy 100% wool, check out the selection of wools HERE

That’s all for now.. I am taking a one day break before jumping into my biggest project of the year… a Melton wool winter coat….with hair canvas, shoulder pads, sleeve heads… and all that jazz!

 Hope you enjoyed reading this! Leave me a comment and let me know what you are working on… And if you like this vintage cape.. add it to your bucket list!

Until next time.. 

 XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

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