Sewing Vacay

Hi Fashionistas!! Happy FriYAY!

 

Bit of a transparent post. I am burned out. As a momma to a lovely and energetic toddler, and as a wife to a busy husband who travels a good bit for work, I am exhausted, spent, drained.  I was talking to my therapist yesterday and she said “Sounds like you need a mommy vacation”. My eyes lit up- what a wonderful idea!!!

But 1st- check out this beauty I am working on

Work in progress ✂️💗 Friday morning work mode ✂️✂️✂️ #fashionbehindtheseams #sewing #isew

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In a matter of seconds, I decided to go for it- I even had the hotel picked out. The idea of some “me time” to rest and recharge sounded so appealing. Since yesterday I have been in deep thought as to why we wait until our breaking point to act . Why are we (at least me)- not more proactive about avoiding a state of exhaustion. Why am I not more proactive about having a self care routine. One that involves daily, weekly, monthly and yearly practices that re-energise myself? Why are we as a society, and specifically we as a gender (I assume most of my readers are women) conditioned/trained/expected to give give give and burn ourselves out? Why are we so conscious of how to care for our bodies, but not our minds? Why don’t we focus on caring for ourselves before we care for the rest of the world?

I see this burn out as a blessing. It’s really got me thinking that I need to be intentional about creating a self care plan for myself to ensure I don’t get to this point again. Now the EXCITING part:

Hotel is booked, 2 days of no interruptions. I am packing my current sewing project, tools and sewing machine, and checking myself into a lovely hotel.

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It is in an amazing location, walking from everything. I plan on eating good nourishing food, taking long walks and sewing. That’s all I want to do. Sewing re-juvenates me. And the idea of doing it without being pulled in every direction is just glorious. This also got me thinking- how many other women are out there who would love to do something like this- get away for a few days to sew without responsibilities? To rest and re-charge. So I decided to host a sewing retreat in 2017. Imagine 3 days of sewing, a nice relaxed space with sewing machines, dress forms, cutting tables, and a sea of fabric. More on that later, but I am curious to know… where are you located? I am in Charlotte NC, and would love to know if you are close by and if you would be interested in joining me. Just leave me a comment and let me know. You can also comment on my facebook page. If you prefer to send me a private message, use the contact form below.

Here is what I am currently working on: Lots of pattern making and sewing in the last week.. I will wrap this up in vacation mode 🙂

 

 

Friday #workflow 💗💗💗✂️✂️✂️

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I hope to hear from you soon!! I hope that you are having a relaxing holiday. If not, I pray that you would take some time to rest and rejuvenate before doing for others.

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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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

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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…

You know you have a shoe problem when…… These beauties are going to be on the blog today 👠👣 #shoes #shoes #shoestagram #fashionbehindtheseams #shoeaddict

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Here is the before and after from last week

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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.

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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…

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Here is the before.

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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

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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.

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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?!!!

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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 Big Black Friday Sales!!!!

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 .

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

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

Skirt Sloper : Click HERE

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

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Bodice Sloper : Click HERE

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

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Dart Manipulation/Seam Lines : Click HERE

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

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

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

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Creative Necklines : Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves : Click HERE

You know sleeves 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.

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Pants : Click HERE

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

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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

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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.

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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!

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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 ?)

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

Here is the back view:

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And front:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I drafted the pattern and facings:

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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!

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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.

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Here is the view from the side:

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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!

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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.

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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 🙂

DIY Animal Print Dress – TNT Mccalls M6886

Hi, Fashionistas!!

Happy Friday! Here is another one of my fall DIY dresses. I whipped up another quick version of TNT McCalls M6886, also known as the easiest knit pattern in the sewing community.

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I made view C, which I have made  a few times before. I elongated the hem by a few inches.

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Here is the view from the back. I did add a CB seam (the pattern does not call for it), but it always helps to get a better fit. Instead of cutting the back “Cut 1 on fold”, I cut 2, adding a CB Seam allowance.

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I made this dress fitted but not super fitted. I paired it with a collarless cape with arm slits for colder days.

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I so love the style lines on this cape.

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Read below for more details on this DIY:

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PATTERN: I used TNT McCalls M6886, view C and added a few inches to the hem.

SEWING:

Super easy. I used this easy technique to attach the sleeves. There are only 3 pattern pieces on this dress: Front, sleeve, back. I did all the hemming with a cover stitch.

 FABRIC: Double knit I purchased on Etsy many moons ago.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope this inspires you to sew and make something for yourself. See you next time and until then. Happy Sewing :)

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

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