New Frankenpattern white top- M6886 meets M7046 (plus DIY Denim Skirt)

M6886 and M7046 have been hanging out in my pattern stash for way to long. They fell in love, got married, and now they had a baby.

My latest creation is a Frankenpattern: This white knit top with ruffly- circle sleeves. Design deets at the end of the post, if you would like to make your own!

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The top is a frankenpattern.  I took the sleeves from Mcalls M7046 and the bodice from TNT Mcalls M6886 and combined the two. While I love the soft and romantic sleeves on M7046, I didn’t care for the ruched and gathered bodice. All that does is add bulk to the garment.. so I wanted to keep the bodice fairly simple and let the sleeves have all the attention.

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Btw, If you have been following me since I started blogging, you might remember these high-waisted wide leg pants I made a while back. Now that the temperatures are dropping, I can wear these again.

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I am so crazy in love with these sleeves. This might be my new favorite. I am going to wear it as much as I can before it gets cold.

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Before I move on to this GORGEOUS denim skirt, let me just say that the top is a two-hour project. Start to finish. The sleeves aren’t an exact match but if you are like me, you are pretty good at “wingin it”. So make this blouse NOW :)))))

ok- Now for the denim skirt. There are two stories behind this denim skirt.. I love telling stories so here goes. Once upon a time, many moons ago, when I worked in the corporate nerdery,  I was uptown and walking through some food festival to grab lunch where I saw this absolutely gorgeous girl dressed in nicely tailored pencil denim skirt and a crisp white button down, and a simple string of pearls. She grabbed my attention and I was in LOVE with the outfit. How can two such simple fabrics. cotton and denim make such an amazing outfit? So… I wanted my own… That was a million years ago..

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Now on to the 2nd story. I made this skirt last-minute because I had to go to work one day… and like every woman on this planet, I walked into a closet full of clothes and said “I have nothing to wear”. So I picked up some leftover fabric I had sitting around since the days of fashion school and whipped this up. I copied the pattern from a black skirt I have.

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The skirt has a wide waist band, is high-waisted and pretty form-fitting. There are no darts, because this is a stretchy fabric.

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I have gotten a lot of wear out of this skirt, mainly because is dressy and comfortable at the same time. I wear this to work a good bit…. with a crisp white button down 🙂

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PATTERN: McCall M6886 for the bodice combined with Mcalls  M7046 for the sleeves.

FABRIC:  I used a white ponte knit from Fabric Mart Fabrics. You can find their selection of ponte knits HERE

SEWING: Easy, breezy, beautiful. Two hour project. I left the sleeves raw. No hemming. I used this way of attaching the seams. I picked up the sleeves on the shoulder cap and placed them closer to my neck on the shoulder seam and tacked them down. This made them look more lifted and not so droopy.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and found it helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Are you moving on to fall sewing or still holding on to summer like me?

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along part 3 (sewing up majority of the skirt)

For part 3 of the tulle skirt sew along, we will be sewing up majority of the skirt and attaching the tulle overlay to the satin skirt. In order to explain the next steps to you, I will be using my miniature dress form and a miniature skirt.

By now you should have all your pattern pieces cut out. Today we will be using pattern piece 1 and 2, which are the skirt back and skirt front. Lets take a minute to look at these two pattens  pieces.

1 is the back of the skirt, and you will be cutting 2 pieces of fabric from this using your satin.

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2 is the skirt front, and we will be cutting one piece of fabric on the fold of the fabric.

IMG_8891And just in case we have any beginners here, I want to make sure everyone understands the following terms:

CB is centre back as shown below

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CF is centre front as shown belowIMG_8892

SS is side seam as shown below:

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Now let’s get to sewing!

Step 1: Cut our your fabric pieces 1 and 2, and you should have 3 fabric pieces as shown below

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Step 2: With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, sew up both the side seams

This is what the skirt should look like from the back and front

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Step 3: Press both the side seams towards the CB. Pressing is very important in this skirt and in making all tailored garments. Read my tutorial on pressing seams HERE

Now your skirt should look like this after pressing

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If you have a serger, this would be a good time to go ahead serge the side seams, hem, and centre back seam. If you do not have a serger, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Using your ruler or measuring gauge, measure 5/8 inch in from the CB and mark it. This is the 5/8 inch seam allowance that will accommodate the zipper. I have shown this mark in orange.

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Now go ahead mark another mark that is 1/2 inch away from the 1st mark.  I have shown this mark in purple. Mark these on both the skirt backs. We are marking these because we want to make sure the tulle will not get stuck in the zipper. In the picture below, the orange mark indicates where the zipper will be inserted and the purple mark indicates where the tulle will be attached. This will ensure that the tulle is always 1/2 inch away from the zipper

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Step 5: In the picture below,  I have pinned the tulle to the skirt, starting at the purple mark and ending on the purple mark. IMG_8922

 

When you are pinning the tulle to the purple mark, make sure you fold the tulle under by 1/2 inch so that the tulle is nice and neat. Pin all along the waist to secure the tulle.

Step 6: Using a basting stitch, secure the tulle to the skirt. Make sure to back-stitch when you start stitching and when you end stitching.Since this pattern calls for a Seam allowance of 5/8 of an inch, make sure you are making your basting stitch about 1/4 inches from the edge, but no more than 1/2 inch away. This way we can be sure that this basting stitch will get hidden inside the seam allowance when we attach the waist band to the skirt.

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Your skirt should now look something like this:

 

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That is it for now! Next week we will tackle the waist band application, zipper insertion and hemming! Those will be the final steps!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Video Tutorial – How to gather tulle EASILY using a gathering foot

For those of you who are participating in the FBTS Tulle Skirt sewalong, there were some questions about how to gather the tulle, and whether or not to cut it, so to clear up the confusion, here is a step by step video tutorial on how to gather the tulle.  Watch how I gather 10 yards of tulle in 5 minutes. …

Also- I am going to push back part 3 of the sew along by 1 day so that everyone can catch up.. so I will be posting part 3 (sewing up majority of the tulle skirt) tomorrow, Sept 11.

If you are not participating but hate gathering tulle, watch this video… you are welcome!

Hope this helps! I cant wait to see your skirts!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Oldie but Goodie- Off White Day Dress

Happy Humpday Y’all…

I’m back with another shade of white! If you havent noticed, I have been all about shades of white lately.. My last 2 sewing projects have been in some shade of white. I made these white jeans recently and also this off white peplum

Now moving on to my latest obsession with white… Here is a dress that I designed as part of my eight piece collection way back when in fashion school…

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I have not worn this dress in forever.. matter of fact, that last time I wore it was for my graduation party…I wore this to Church last Sunday…The fabric I used was a mens suiting fabric. Oh how I miss the fabric stores in San Francisco…IMG_8699

Let’s talk about the design details of this dress…I designed this dress using my sloper that I drafted while in school. For those of you who don’t know what a sloper is, it is a blue print of your body, drafted using your own measurements. It lacks wearing ease, design ease, and has no design elements. It looks like a pattern with a few darts and notches. The sloper is then used to manipulate darts to create design variations.

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On the bodice, I created an inverted box pleat on the centre front, and manipulated all the darts into the pleats along the neckline. I like how the darts are pointing away from the centre of the body. The inverted box pleat does its own thing and opens up for an interesting effect. How cool would it be if it were in a contrasting color, that would be interesting too! On the waist, I have a wide waist band connecting the bodice and the skirt. This creates a slimming effect. Who doesn’t want that right?

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The skirt is a simple pencil skirt with darts on the front.The back is fairly simple. on the bodice,  I have shoulder darts and waist darts. On the skirts, darts on the back and a pencil fit. I did not draft a slit in the skirt, but I should have.. Hey! This was my 1st dress I designed ever… so I am allowed to make mistakes!

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Here is the side view.. although … can i bring your attention to my iris? Its blooming in late summer! Was not expecting that. What a pleasant surprise!

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To style this outfit, I went with choco brown super pointy pumps, a chunky orange necklace, and this bright yellow bag I previously wore with my all white outfit  HERE

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Now.. I have to say this dress fits a lot more snug now compared to when I designed it. I have gained a good 10 lbs since then. I had a baby since, gained 40 lbs, lost it all, and breastfed for 2 years. Needless to say, my body is not the same as it used to be. But I have to say, I like the way it fits now as opposed to before.. It has less wearing ease now.. so it was tight when sitting down.. which is also why I only use wovens with stretch now! I need to be able to breathe if I gain a few lbs!

What a difference 10 lbs makes! This is the same dress worn a few years ago!

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And before I receive any complements on how beautifully tailored this garment is, let me tell you that I did not sew this up. This is my design (from scratch), which means I came up with the design, sketched it, created a flat sketch and did the pattern making and sewed up the muslin for fitting, but because I was on such a time crunch back then, I hired a sample makes to sew this dress from my final pattern.  I WISH I could sew this beautifully, but I am still learning..

That’s all for now. I have not sewn much in the last few weeks. Got busy with the kiddo starting pre-school.. It’s all about the toddler right now.. Once we get in a routine, hopefully by next week, you will be seeing more of me!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Part 2 (Prep Pattern and Tulle)

Hello- This is part 2 of the Tulle Skirt SewAlong. Last week I had published a printable supply list HERE. If you are just now joining us, it’s not too late! You can follow along!

On the agenda today are two things:

  1. Prepping and cutting the pattern
  2. Gathering the Tulle

PREPPING/CUTTING THE PATTERN

For the sew along, I will be giving you instructions based on Mccalls M7197, but you can use any circle skirt as a base pattern.

Let’s begin by looking at the pattern. We are going to need the following pieces that I have highlighted in red. 1- Skirt Back, 2- Skirt Front, 4- Front Waist Band, 5- Back Waist BandIMG_8821

Go ahead and cut all 4 pieces from the tissue paper. At 1st I roughly cut around the pattern pieces

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Then before you determine which size you will need, have a look at pattern piece 4- Front Band. Here you will see the finished measurement of the skirt at the waist. As you can see here, a size 6 will give me a skirt with waist of 25.5 inches.  My waist is  25.5. I am going to cut a size 6.

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However, If I were to go by the sizing chart on the back of the envelope, I would have cut a size 10, which would have been too 2 inches too big on me. Now I like my skirt snug. If you don’t like them snug and want more breathing room, just be sure to look at the finished waist size on this pattern piece and pick the one that suits you best. For example, if I wanted one inch breathing room on my skirt, I would cut a size 8 instead of a size 6.

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Now that you have selected your size, do ahead and neatly cut out all 4 pattern pieces. IMG_8831

 

GATHERING THE TULLE

Moving on to the fun part.. I LOVE gathering tulle! It is a very mindful and relaxing for me!

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Last week we discussed using a gathering foot to make the task of gathering tulle easy and efficient. I mean… I can gather TEN yards of tulle in about 5 minutes.  Read my detailed tutorial on how to gather tulle HEREThis is the foot:

 

That is it for now!!!! If you have any questions, let me know via comments, email or on our facebook sewalong group

On Sept 10th, I will be giving you instructions to sew up majority of the skirt.This way, you can sew over the weekend and then next week. we will work on the finishing techniques.

See you then!

-XOXO,

Vatsla 🙂

 

Tutorial- How to gather tulle using a gathering foot

Quick tutorial/ pictorial on how to gather tulle using a gathering foot. This is the only way I gather tulle, because it is easy and efficient and kinda fun. I like to simplify everything in life, including sewing- so here is my easy method-

Here is the foot:

To begin with, you will need some tulle. I am documenting this tutorial for my Tulle Skirt SewAlong, which is why I am using tulle that comes in a 54 inch width. When tulle is purchased in a fabric store, it comes on the fold. If you remove the tulle from the bolt but leave it folded, you now have 2 layers of tulle at 27 inches each (54 inches divided by 2). Gather the tulle on the fold, which means you will end up gathering two layers of tulle that are 27 inches wide.No need to cut the tulle, no need to unfold the tulle. We will keep it simple!

Step 1: Install a gathering foott and make sure your needle is centered above the slot in the foot so the needle does not break

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Step 2: Adjust tension and stitch length

The gathering foot works in conjunction with the tension and stitch length. The higher the tension, the tighter the gathers. The lower the tension, the softer the gathers. 9 is the highest tension on my machine, and I like to use either a 8 or 9. You can experiment with the tension settings on some scrap tulle to determine what you like. IMG_8812

Set the stitch length to a basting stitch (highest stitch length). This is a 5 on my machine. 

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Step 3: Take the folded edge of the tulle and slide it underneath the gathering foot. Make sure the fabric extends beyond the gathering foot to avoid bunching.

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While holding the treads, lower the gathering foot and lower the needle manually into the fabric.

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Do not engage the foot pedal until after you have lowered the needle manually to secure the fabric.IMG_8811

Step 4: Gather away! Press the foot pedal and let the machine do the magic…IMG_8815 IMG_8816 I used the highest tension and as you can see my gathers are pretty tight.. This will make for a poofy skirt!IMG_8819 IMG_8820

 

I use this method gather 10 yards of tulle in a little over 5 minutes! I have made the following skirts using this method

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Hope this helped!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Behind The Seams – Time Lapse Video

Every once in a while, I like filming the process of making a garment. I am truly a “Behind  The Seams” kinda gal. I would rather be in the workshop sewing , than in the front row of a runway show. So many people think that fashion is all about glamour, and runways, but what fascinates me most is the creative process that goes on in the background. I am that person who wants to touch and feel fabric, hear the roar of a fast machine, and open up a garment and look at the bones of it.

So here I present to you, for your viewing pleasure… another time-lapse of my latest sewing project. ENJOY!! If the embedded video does not play for you, you can view it directly using this LINK.

Get some popcorn and ENJOY!!!!

See you next time!

-XOXO,

Vatsla.

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