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 🙂

Sewing Quick Tip: The Gathering Foot

HI Fashionistas!

Every girl has her favorite shoes, and believe me, I have more shoes than I need. But today I wanted to share with you, one of my top 3 sewing feet and why I love it so much.

When it comes to garment construction, the right sewing tools can make all the difference. While you don’t need a fancy sewing machine (a basic machine with a straight stitch and zig zag is just fine), using the right sewing feet can make all the difference. They take your sewing to the next level!

Here is my first favorite: The gathering foot

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This is a small sewing machine accessory but can make gathering a breeze!

 

I have gotten such good use out of this one. You can use this with knits, with wovens, with tulle (YAY) and also with chiffon, organza, netting.. the possibilities are endless.

I used it here to make the ruffles on this DIY top I made last year.

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This little foot  makes beautiful ruffles when paired with the right fabric and the right amount of tension on the machine.

You can control the “tightness” of the ruffles by changing the tension. See my video on this

I also use this foot to gather tulle, which makes gathering a breeze. Here are a couple tulle skirts I made using this technique HERE

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Most people who work with tulle mention how beautiful tulle is, but what a pain it is to gather. Not with this foot! Check out how I gather tulle easily at the rate of 2 yards per minute!

 

What about you?

  • Do you have a favorite foot?
  • Have you used the gathering foot?
  • Do you recommend a foot to make my sewing more fun/efficient?

I hope this review helped. I’ll be sharing my other favorite two sewing accessories with you soon!

 

Oh! I also made this tulle dress with the gathering foot..

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XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

ps. I’ll be posting the progress of my projects on my FB page as always

DIY Wide Leg Denim Pants: TNT Burda 7122

HI Fashionistas!!!

Here is another long-term UFO! I initially made these pants in January, but I was on vacation and did not have access to my serger. So I deconstructed the main seams in February so I could serge the raw edges and re-construct them. Well, this pair sat on my cutting table for about 6 months 🙂 I FINALLY finished them! YAY me!

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These are out of print Burda 7122. I have sewn this up before and thoroughly enjoyed them. This fabric was such a joy to work with.

It pressed beautifully for a nice tailored look. The fabric is a dark blue, it looks almost black.  This scarf is my latest obsession too.

Here is my Bollywood side pose for ya. My mum took these pics, so there was definitely a lot of goofing around.

I recently also wore these pants with this leopard crop top I made the last week.

To find out more about these pants, read below..

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PATTERN: Burda 7122, previously made HERE. I lowered the waist by an inch as these black ones are super high waisted.

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FABRIC: I used a denim sateen from Fabric Mart Fabrics.  It has a small amount of stretch, so these pants are more comfortable than the black ones made in a gabardine.
SEWING: These pants are not a bad pair to attempt if you have never made one. Mainly because an invisible zipper is simpler to install than a front fly zipper.
I love this style of pants and will be making them again, but I will draft my own pants from my sloper.Did you get any weekend sewing done? Do tell!
XOXO
-Vatsla.

Women Who Inspire: Erica Bunker of Erica Bunker DIY Style

Hi Fashionistas:

This is part two of the five-part series: Behind The Seams: Women Who Inspire Me

In 2008, I was introduced to Erica Bunker’s sewing blog. This is when I was spending my days in my gray nerdy cubicle dreaming of colorful fabrics! Pretty much every afternoon around 3 pm after my afternoon chai, I would get so creative and start sketching at my desk.. or browsing the web (on my non- smoking breaks) 🙂 This is when I found Erica. I subscribed to her blog and dreamed about garments I wanted to make, all the while writing useless code for a boring corporation.

Erica has such wonderful taste,  and her construction skills are impeccable. While she follows trends and keeps an eye on the what’s coming down the runway, she also has so many handmade pieces that are timeless and classic. Here are some of my favorite looks:

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