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!

 

 

 

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to copy a Ready to Wear Peplum

Hi Fashionistas!!!

Peplums never go out of style! I recently got a request to demonstrate how I would create a pattern from a high low peplum on the ready to wear garment. I filmed this video for one of my readers and wanted to share if with you in case you find it helpful.

Here is the peplum I used for the demo. I made this one a while back by repurposing a dress and you can see the details of this top HERE

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The video below talks specifically about how to create a pattern for a peplum, along with a high low variation, but the same technique can be applied to any pattern piece. For example, you could use the same technique to create a pattern for a bodice front and back. If the video does not open for you, you can view it HERE

 

If you prefer to draft the peplum from scratch, you can see my simple tutorial HERE

Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!!

I am currently working on my winter coat. Its my biggest project of the year! I made and fitted the muslin today. I am hoping to cut into the yummy fabric this weekend.

Hope you are having a WONDERFUL weekend.

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

 

Tutorial: How to Hem a Circle Skirt or Circular Hem

There are more than one way to hem a circle skirt, but here is my go to method. I use this method on all my circular hems and end up with a nice and crisp hem free of wrinkles.

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I also used the same hemming technique on the black circle skirt above and the silk dress below I made for Easter earlier this year

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Tutorial below…

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I am using a miniature pattern for the sake of this demo.  You will be hemming in the round, since you will close up all your seams before hemming. I am using a small sample, but you get the point..

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Step 1:  Serge all around your hem. This will give you a guideline to press the serged part of the hem under and also give some weight to your hem.

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Step 2: Finger press the serged portion of the hem towards wrong side of the fabric  and top stitch it down around the circumference of the hemIMG_9292

Give your hem an overall good press. The hem will look like this on the correct side of the garment. At this point you see only one row of stitching as shown below. IMG_9294

Step 3: Repeat Step 2! In this final step,  finger press the hem over one more time to conceal the serged portion. This will give you a nice and clean finish on the outside AND on the inside of the garment. IMG_9297

Give the hem a good press. I use heat, steam and my tailors clapper at this point. I always use a press cloth. Here is what the inside of the garment will look like. You will see two visible rows of stitching on the incorrect side. IMG_9299

On the correct side of the garment, you will see only one row of stitching.

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As you can see, the hem is nice and crisp, and has no wrinkles!IMG_9304

Here is an example of the issue you have probably run into when trying to hem a circle skirt…IMG_9305

If you don’t have a serger, you can replace step 1 with the following: Mark the distance you want to turn under (I would do 3/8 inch, same as the width of my serged portion) and press, proceed to step 2. It is going to be easier to work with if you use a serger in step 1.

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The basic concept behind why this method works is simple. If you look at the diagram below, the dark blue line is the raw edge of the garment. The turquoise color line represents the final hemline after the garment has been hemmed. The pink shaded area in between is what is called the Hem allowance.

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The dark blue line is a larger circle (circumference measurement C) than the turquoise line (circumference measurement A). So if you try to turn the hem allowance under in one go, you will never get a perfect hem because C will always be larger than A. However, by doing this in multiple steps, we reduce the discrepancy between C and A in iterations. The stitching also helps. If you eliminate the stitching in step 2, you are likely to see wrinkling.

I hope this helped you! If you liked this tutorial, then check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

Let me know what you think of this technique, and do you have another go to sewing technique for hems? Leave me a comment and let me know!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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 🙂

Easy One Hour Dolman Top

I copied my favorite Dolman Top. It is getting chilly here and I wanted something warm and comfy. I am so in love with this sweater knit dolman top I purchased sometimes last year. I decided to create a replica using a double-knit I had in my fabric stash.

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The double-knit is a thick material. It feels like sweatshirt material. Its warm and comfy. This HAS to be the most casual piece I have ever made. I usually stick to tops that are more on the fitted side. but I also like my sweatshirts!

Here is a close up of the original:IMG_9259

I did not even create a pattern for this one, since it is so easy to recreate. I simply folded my fabric and placed my original top on it. I cut around the outline eyeballing the seam allowance. I have a 3/8 inch seam allowance all over and a 5/8 inch hem allowance on the sleeves, neckline and bottom hem.

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One of the main reasons this is such a simple top is that there is no separate sleeve to sew.  As you can see below, the bodice and sleeve are one,

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I like how to the stripes on the side create a chevron pattern…

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PATTERN: This is what the pattern would look like if you used a commercial pattern

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I simply traced my original tee as described above in the post. If you want to do it the way I did, but dont have a dolman top in your wardrobe, you can take any t shirt you own and do it this way: I have shown the original tee in blue and how you will trace around it in red to create your pattern. My front and back bodice are exactly the same with the exception of the neckline, which is lower on the back .

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FABRIC:I used a double knit from girl Charlee, but I used the wrong side on the outside of the top, as I loved the texture and I also liked the color better as compared to the correct side of the fabric.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There are only 4 seams to sew: 2 side seams and 2 shoulder seams. I completed the hemming with a coverstitch. You could also hem using a twin needle.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.Let me know what you think of this easy project.

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Cozy and Comfy : DIY Cowl Neck Top


It finally began to feel like fall at the beginning of October, and I pulled out one of my favorite black cowl neck tops. I made this a while back, so it’s not a product of my 2015 Ready To Wear Fast. However, its been getting a lot of wear lately.

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What I LOVE about this top: It’s so easy to wear. It’s casual, yet stylish and the fabric is super soft. I also love the full sleeve length. The sleeves are actually longer than my arms and I love that because I can pull them over my hands on those chilly evenings..

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I cannot remember exactly when I made this top but it might have been in 2014 or even 2013. Although.. I was pregnant in 2013.. so it was probably made sometime last year

I copied the pattern for this top from a RTW top I owned previously. I loved it SO much that I wore it all the time. To the point where it was falling apart, so I created a pattern and copied my old beloved top . Here is the original. This picture is old! October 2012 in Paris!!!

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Love the drape of the neck.. and here is how it looked from the front:

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Because I couldn’t let go of it, I created a pattern from it.. and sewed up my own version. It’s an easy top to sew. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made.

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My fabric is a bit slinky with a 4-way stretch, so it drapes slightly differently… but overall I am ver happy with it…


I also paired this top with a dressy pair of pants I made last winter. I LOVE an all black look for winter…The pants I made are Burda 7122

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I also wore it with a DIY tulle skirt I made last winter.. I cannot believe I agreed to do a photoshoot in this skirt while we had snow on the ground. Brrrrr…..

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So as you can see, this top is pretty versatile, it can be dressed up or dressed down. This is going to be one of my wardrobe staples for fall and winter…


Design details below if you would like to make your own!

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PATTERN: I used a self drafted pattern , but I have seen many commercial patterns that can be used.

FABRIC:I used a lightweight black knit from Joanns Fabrics.

SEWING : This was pretty simple to sew and can be a one hour top. There is no hemming the neck since the neck is essentially like a neck-band, sewn similar to the shoulder band on this black off shoulder top I made. I actually left the sleeves and hem raw because this knit does not fray at all.. and I am happy with it the way it is. There are also no sleeves to set, because raglan sleeve with a cowl neck.

I hope you are having a wonderful week so far. I have reserved the month of October for learning all I can about the art of tailoring. I will be making my first tailored coat ever. Its a lot of new information, so I have been reading and researching like crazy! What are you up to? Any fun sewing projects? Drop me a comment and let me know!

Until next time!

XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

 

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