Tag: beginner fashion design

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 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

Tulle Skirt Sew Along Announcement and Pattern Giveaway!

On Sunday night, I was working on a supply list for a tulle skirts tutorial I am working on, and it occurred to me… why not host a sew along? I remember many years ago, I wanted to make a three-tier tulle skirt (it’s still on my bucket list). Back then I did not have the confidence to make garments. I looked everywhere for an easy to follow tutorial and didn’t find anything that satisfied me. Some were much better than others, but the finishing always confused me.. I was overall just intimidated by handling tulle..

Since then I attended fashion school, completed an internship and have made a quite a few tulle skirts, like the hot pink one featured here…Once we are done with the sew-along, you will know how to make one of these skirts below!

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This one shown below that I made last-minute for a friends photo shoot

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

In this sew along, you can learn how to:

  • Gather tulle the easy way (no pulling strings or using dental floss to gather!)
  • pattern selection, taking measurements and adjusting the pattern to fit
  • sew and press seams, and sew a circle skirt from start to finish
  • Apply a straight waistband
  • Install an invisible zipper
  • Finishing technique – stitch in the ditch
  • Finishing technique- how to hem a circular skirt

You can then re-use these techniques in making other garments and make all types of skirts! For example, if you learn how to apply a waist band on this skirt, you can apply a waist band on shorts and pants! If you learn how to apply a zipper on this skirt, you can apply a zipper on any garment! This project will not only build your skill set, but also your sewing confidence!

The Sew Along start date is September 1st. I will publish a supply list on Tuesday September `1st , so you have one week to get your supplies before we jump into cutting and sewing on Tuesday September 8th!

When I publish a supply list, I will also publish a schedule for the sew along. Based on your skill level, you might be able to jump ahead. In general, we will follow this schedule:

TIMETABLE /SCHEDULE

Part 1: Supply list along pattern suggestions

Part 2: Prep and cut pattern, gather tulle

Part 3: Sewing up majority of the Skirt

Part 4: Sewing and attaching the waist band

Part 5: Finishing techniques (Zipper and heming)

FACEBOOK GROUP:

I have set up a Facebook group for the sew along. This will be a place for Q&A, posting pictures of our progress, sharing inspiration pics and of course proudly modelling our final skirts! You can follow the sew along by either subscribing to my blog here or connecting with me and others in the Facebook group. You can join the FB group HERE

PATTERN GIVEAWAY!

Since different pattern companies and fabric stores have pattern sales at different times, I wanted to go ahead make a few pattern suggestion. You can use any circle skirt pattern really. Here are some suggestions: Simplicty 1200 , Mccalls M7197. You can use any circle skirt pattern instead. Just remember that we will be making a midi length and I suggest something that has a straight waist band, two side seams and a centre back seam. Lets keep it simple! I will be using Mccalls M719 to make my tulle skirt.

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I also have three extra Mccalls M7197 patterns that I will be giving away today. I have two in the size 14-22 range and one in the size 6 to 14 range. So if you are interesting in winning this pattern for the sew along, all you have to do to enter the giveaway is a leave a comment below with which size you would like to win. You can enter now through August 24th. Three winners will be announced August 25th!

I can’t wait to sew along with you. Hope to see you soon!

-XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

 

 

Pattern Making using Painters Tape!

I recently saw this on pinterest I believe, and was curious. I have created some patterns from RTW, but I usually use a method that requires poking several sewing pins into the garment along the seams lines.  I was wanting to sew yesterday but didn’t have a pattern for jeans so decided to give this method a try! See below for step by step instructions on how. Let me start by saying that I work out of my kitchen. I pattern make on the kitchen island and sew in our music room. So if you see any tomatoes, melons, pots and pans in the background, please excuse them. I promised them their five seconds of fame 🙂

So this is a very basic method. Not technical at all. You grab a roll of painters tape and create an outline for each individual pattern piece. To create the outline, I tore off small pieces of painters tape and placed them on the stitch line or seams. The image below if of the front leg. My aim here is to flatten the front leg and paste the tape on it, such that I can get a one-dimensional rub off of the leg.

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Next, I filled in the outline with more painters tape:IMG_8072

 

 

Once this was done, I was able to peel off the tape, and it came off as one big chunk. I then placed it on pattern paper and made sure it was flat.  Next, I used this nifty measuring gauge to add a half-inch seam allowance all around. The dotted line became the outline of my pattern piece for the front leg and I used the dotted line as a guide to cut out the pattern. IMG_8074

This is what the pattern looked like after cutting it. Say hi to Poochie!!!IMG_8080

And my kid wanted to make an appearance as well. Love this little stinker..IMG_8083

You can leave the tape on if you like, but I pulled it off and added a grainline, name of the pattern, and how many to cut. I added an awl punch at the crotch. I didn’t care to add notches, but typically I would. This pattern is so simple that I did not bother. IMG_8087

That’s it! That’s all you have to do to create a pattern. Repeat this step for all patterns pieces on your garment and you can replicate your favourite garment over and over again.

Now the back I did slightly different because the pant leg on the back is usually wider than the front leg as you can see below.

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To overcome this , I first taped just like I did the front leg. I re-used the tape from the front because I hate wasting and killing the environment, so I try my best to re-use. I was not too careful about taping at first. Then I went in with a pen and outlined along the stitch line to get the accurate shape.IMG_8091

This is what the back looked like when I was done with the portion of the back leg that sat flat. I still had to tackle the part of the back leg that extends beyond the side crease to the side seam.IMG_8096

For this I flattened the pant leg, allowing me to tape all the way to the side seam. My finger is pointing to where the side crease was . That’s it! IMG_8097

I did the same with the back yoke, waist band and pocket. I also tried drafting the pocket but it was not as accurate as using painters tape. IMG_8098

Here is the waist band. It’s a contoured waist band as this is a low-rise pair of jeans. Be sure to make CF and CB on the waist band as the waist band has an extension and this can be confusing while sewing. I also recommend using notches to match up the Centre Front, Centre Back, and side seams.IMG_8100

If you liked this tutorial, check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

The one thing I have to figure out is adding the front facing fly before I can cut. To make things super simple, I am going to go with a mock fly zipper and use this pattern as a base.

I am hoping to finish the pattern today and then cut and sew hopefully tomorrow. I would be beyond excited if I can get this completed this week. I know there are some amazing sewing divas out there that pop out a new garment every other day,  but I have to be realistic about my sewing goals, given all my other commitments.

Anyhooz- tell me what you think about this method. Have you used it? If so, do you love it? Or do you have another preferred method? I prefer this over cutting up the garment. It wastes tape, but its more green than cutting up the garment and wasting it. There are so many poor people in this world that could use old clothes, so I really don’t want to destroy any garments.  I’ll be back with my white skinnies soon .Send me some sewing motivation <3

 

Update: I made my skinny jeans using this method and you can see there HERE

-XOXO

-Vatsla.

 

Completed: Shorts, Nautical style McCalls M6756

I just have to start by saying that I am so glad I took this Ready To Wear fast… It really has changed the way I look at fashion.  I would probably be the LAST person on earth to be spotted wearing printed shorts. But then… once upon a time…. shortly after I had started my fast, I noticed this lady in the cutest shorts. They were white shorts with little black elephants all over them. That’s the day I decided I would make a pair of printed shorts for myself…And here they are…  

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I decided to style these adorable shorts two ways….first with a casual cotton tee. The ONLY white tee that currently exists in my wardrobe… because I am too lazy to make another one! IMG_8030

The pattern calls for inseam pockets, but I omitted those for two reasons: they add bulk and while I love pockets, I don’t like the added bulk on the hip area. Also- I wanted to simplify the project. IMG_8032

For a more dressy look, I would wear this with a flowy cotton blouse that has bell sleeves and a lace cut out. It is perfect for these hot summer days. IMG_8017

I really love the lace on the top. Something about it is so romantic…IMG_8020

Here is the back view. For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of shorts, I can truly say that I will be wearing these quite a bit!IMG_8036

I don’t plan on wearing these with a top tucked in, but if I did, it would look like this. I prefer the proportion of a longer top. They are “kinda” high-waisted. I will lower the waist band on the next pair I make.IMG_8047

 

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6756 . I cut the size 6. To my utter shock and surprise, it did not require any alterations except removing about 5/8th of an inch on the centre back seam. This pattern is labeled as easy. I would say its a pretty simple pair of shorts, but I would probably not recommend this as a 1st project to anyone.

FABRIC:  I used a Navy & White Anchors Apparel Fabric from Hobby Lobby. You can find it HERE. Similar fabrics HERE and HERE

SEWING: For the most part the sewing is easy. If you have installed a waist band and zipper before, this should be easy. If this is your very 1st time sewing, I suggest making a muslin, complete with the zipper and waist band to get one round of practice. Pressing is really important when making a tailored garment. Read my article HERE on how to press while sewing.

I hope that this insipred you to sew something! It’s hot as blazes outside. Go sew a cute pair of shorts 🙂 Or leave me a comment and let me how you are staying cool and fashionable.

-XOXO

 

Behind The Seams- Nautical Shorts

So I am still in awe of the amazing fabric I found at Hobby Lobby when I went shopping for my 4th of July outfit. I picked up this amazing cotton navy fabric with anchors on it. Lately I have been obsessed with anchors. It all started on Mothers Day in Charleston when my hubby and daughter took me shopping. My husband must have been giggling inside as he knows I don’t like shopping, and barely ever spend any money (except on fabric). I saw an anchor necklace I liked, but it was kinda cheap and cheerful (quality wise), so I didn’t get it. But then next week I found the cutest anchor charm bracelet and ended up gifting that to myself.

Back to the GORGEOUS fabric.  Look… Just L@@K! Isnt it just beautiful?

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I decided to use Mccalls M6756 that was sitting in my pattern stash.  To make sure my fabric is straight and not slanting, I placed the pattern piece such that the grain line ran through the anchors. And yes, that IS a tomato I am using as a pattern weight. What can I say, I work on my kitchen island, so I grab whatever is available 😀 Haha!

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I decided to make a muslin because I have never sewn a pair of shorts before. Well, maybe in fashion school but that was a long time ago.

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I also realized that I don’t have many shorts in my wardrobe. All I have is these el cheapo and el micro shorts from last summer and this summer I am quite surprised that as a momma of one, I ever wore these. The only other pair of shorts I have are these, and while they are nice, I did not make them.

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Like my pretty toes? Thanks! That’s my DIY pedicure 🙂

The muslin was quick to sew up. These shorts call for a faux front fly zipper. so I pinned in along the centre front. Looks a lot better on me. This dress form has bigger hips than mine, thus the tightness that is causing the wrinkles on the crotch.  As much as I would LOVE a custom dress form, those run around a thousand dollars. Do you know how many diapers that could buy? So for now, I fit my garments on myself…

IMG_7814Now I have sewn pants before, but I usually stay away from those with a front fly zipper, mainly because it’s a more complex construction technique than an invisible zipper,  and I have always been afraid of wrinkles in the centre front. Remember these pants Haley Berry wore a while back? I like to call this “Mister crotch pants phenomenon”. No body wants that.

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Back to my shorts… I should have them done by tomorrow and get to wear them over the weekend! Yay!

What are you guys working on for the weekend and what do you plan to wear, and how do you plan to style it? Whatever you do, stay fashionable!

-XOXO

French Sailor Inspired DIY Dress- Navy Blue and White Stripes

The 4th of July totally inspired me to sew with stripes and I decided to make a dress inspired by the French Sailors shirt. Initially I thought I would make a boat neckline, but ended up going with my very favourite scoop neck.  Here is what I came up with.

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Love Love LOVE the three-quarter sleeve length on this and the fitted silhouette. I actually wanted more ease to begin with but i never feel “put together” unless I have a good fit.. so I took it in some.IMG_7794

Here is the back view. I think this pattern is simple and sews up beautifully but definitely has a good amount of ease. The last time I sewed with this pattern, I ended up adding a centre back seam to accomplish a better fit. I skipped that step here becuase I would have to match up the stripes on one more seam (“Ain’t no body got time for dat”) 🙂

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I previously made a high low black dress HERE using the same pattern . I already had the pattern cut up so I ended up re-using it. This is an easy pattern to sew up and is great for beginners.

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I actually started making this on the 4th of July, but finished it yesterday while my kiddo napped. I took her to a local kids library and wore her out. She slept extra long so mommy could sew!

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I did not have to do much to style this dress. It is so chic on its own! I threw on some nude pumps and these beautiful silver meenakari earrings that are a gift from my mum. I kept the makeup fairly simple with a dark eye and nude lips.IMG_7806

Here is my inspiration pic for this dress, minus the midriff. Mine turned out pretty nice, me thinks..

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Hope you all had a lovely 4th of July! We celebrated freedom by having some friends over and lighting kids sized fireworks and cooking out! I was super delighted to serve up veggies from my garden!

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PATTERN: I used Mccalls M6886 view C . I did not do any pattern alterations. The dress was bit on the waist, so I took it in by one inch on each side and pegged in the hem about an inch on each side as well. I cut the size 6

FABRIC: I used a seasonal knit from Hobby Lobby. You can find similar fabrics HERE, HERE and HERE. The fabric I used was fairly thin and kind of see through. To get around that I undelined all the pattern pieces with a tissue knit before sewing them together.

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Underlining a fabric totally changes its body and drape. I liked it a lot better when it was thicker. If you are a beginner, I suggest using a thicker knit, or double knit or a ponte knit if you can. They are more stable than the thinner knits and makes sewing easier!

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SEWING: The dress is easy to sew. You can use this technique to sew the dress up. For the hem, you can use a twin needle or a cover stitch. I used a coverstitch machine to finish the hem and neckline.

You can also see another version of this dress I made HERE.  The rest of my sewing tutorials can be found HERE.

I hope that this inspired you to create something! Until next time,

XOXO

 

Another Day, Another Dress – McCALLS M6957

After a month of purchasing my coverstitch machine, I finally made some time today to sit down and test it out. It’s been sitting in my studio all this time and if I can be completely honest, I have been scared to enter my sewing room. My sewing rooms looks like it threw up on itself. I really need to spend some time getting my fabric and patterns organized.

Anyways, moving on to the fun stuff.. this little red dress was another UFO (Unfinished Object) hiding in my closet. so I decided to finish it today. Design details below if you want to make your own!IMG_7571

I have had this dress in my UFO stash for at least eight months. . All it needed was hemming, so I used this an opportunity to use the cover stitch and have a new garment in 10 minutes! Talk about instant gratification.

I paired this dress with my favourite (faux) snake-skin pumps and a brown and tan belt with gold hardware.

 

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And of course no outfit is complete without oversized sunnies and a handbag.. so I added these sunnies…IMG_7580 IMG_7582

And this vegan leather bag.. (although I dont know what exactly vegan leather means..)IMG_7588

I will do a detailed review of the coverstitch machine soon. For now, here are more details of the dress.

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PATTERN:I made this dress using Mcalls M6957. This is an easy pattern and excellent for beginners.

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FABRIC: I used an interlock knit from Joanns Fabrics.

SEWING: This dress was fairly simple to sew and is a good project for beginners.Only pattern pieces are front, back and sleeve. I omitted the belt. I also self faced the front of the bodice only. For the the hem, I used a coverstich. You can also finish the hem using with a twin needle. See my tutorial HERE. If you are a beginner, you can use this easy technique to attach the sleeves seen HERE

I hope you enjoyed this! Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!!

Until next time

-XOXO

Mommy and Me outfits for Mothers Day Celebration

May is a month of celebration for me and my family. Last year we celebrated my birthday, wedding anniversary and Mothers Day all in one by taking a family vacation to Charleston, SC. My husband decided to make that an annual tradition, so we went to Charleston again.

I wanted to make some Mommy and Me outfits for the vacation, but I only had time to make one, so I decided to use what was already in my wardrobe and sew what I could last minute. Two of the outfits are made by me, two are RTW.

Here are some pictures of the outfits I styled for myself and my lil’ muchkin!

Outfit # 1:I had this dress for a while, Its slighty big on me around the waist, so I cinched in the waist with this nautical belt I love. The belt was also big, so I quickly altered it to make it snug. For my daughter I happened to find this perfectly matching eyelet dress at Target.

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we went to dinner with some friends that night and my kid took over the dance floor. Of course I had to go join her. I copied all her dance moves:)IMG_7197 IMG_7200

Outfit # 2: On Mothers day, my husband and daughter took me to a yummy breakfast (my favorite meal of the day). My daughter slept in till 10 am and that was a very nice Mothers Day gift since I slept in too! We went to breakfast in our PJ’s, which was the icing on the cake. These were both made by me.

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Outfit #3: I styled daughter and I in casual yet chic skinny jeans and white cotton shirts. We went to the street festival in Charleston. There was a lot of food and live music. My kid LOVES music and drops everything and starts dancing the moment she hears the sound of music. Seems like she loves the blues and jazz.

We started the day off with a nice hello Kitty card from my darling daughter.

 

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Then we strolled to the street festival in downtown Charleston. My kid danced to her heart’s content…IMG_7265

And she made a friend.. IMG_7267

Love her stylish hat.. 🙂 We even wore matching ankle bracelets, both gifts from my mum.IMG_7272

Here she is dancing with her pappa…

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And then.. we found a fountain….IMG_7325

And got drenched 🙂IMG_7350 IMG_7352 IMG_7363

Outfit # 4: I wore this leopard print top I made a few months back. I paired it with cute black shorts and pumps. Mini me wore a dropped waist skater dress in the same print. I think my kid looked a little bit like Pebbles Flintstone, and this might have been a bit much, but I still enjoyed being matchy matchy.  We don’t wear matching outfits much, but it is something I want to enjoy before she gets too big 🙂

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This picture pretty much sums up my life… running after my kid on the go!IMG_7381

I just realised my lipper matches my kids fascinator, but that was not intentional!IMG_7434I hope you all had a wonderful mothers day weekend!

Until next time!

-XOXO

 

Handmade Grey Tee with Wilted Bow

Happy Friday!!! After a week of rain , the sun is out for the last few days! The weather is nice and warm! Can’t believe I haven’t sewn much since Easter, but I just needed the break. I was working on my garden a few weeks ago and now I am sot o ready to jump back into sewing. Here is a simple grey tee I previously made. It’s a really simple DIY as it has a bit of a cap sleeve, so there are only two main seams in this top. Design details below:

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I paired it with a black shorts with gold exposed zippers. On the top itself, I used black contrasting thread for the hemming. I used a zigzag hem for the neckline and the armholes, but if you want a more professional and cleaner finish, you can opt for hemming with a twin needle HERE. The shoes are this cute snake print. They are interesting, but not overstated.

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My favorite part of this tee is this wilted bow I added on the left shoulder. I love casual and comfortable clothes that can be stylish as well. This would be so perfect for brunch with the girls or shopping day out! I made the bow using two rectangle pieces of the same knit fabric. I sewed them all around the perimeter, leaving a two-inch gap, then flipped it right side out, manipulated the fabric to add some pleats and then hand tacked it on to the shoulder. I wanted both parts of the bow to fall over to the front. I called it a wilted bow 🙂

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This was such a simple project. It took about 20 minutes to complete. I actually had some mens X-Large t-shirts I had purchased at Target last year and this was made using that T-shirt. Sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to re-purpose existing clothes then creating from scratch.

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This top would also be cute with a black circle skirt i previously made HERE.

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Believe me when I say this, this has to be one of the easiest projects for beginners:

FABRIC: I re-purposed a mens t-shirt from Target that I purchased a while back but you can use any knit fabric or you can re-purpose a t-shirt of your choice:

PATTERN: I actually used a tank top I had in my closet and placed it on top of the existing t-shirt and cut around it. The front and the back are the same pattern. When I got to the shoulders, I slightly extended the shoulders, creating a “faux” cap sleeve.

SEWING: No sleeves to sew!! All you have to do is sew up the side seams and then hem! For the bow, I used two rectangle pieces of the same knit fabric. I sewed them all around the perimeter, leaving a two-inch gap, then flipped it right side out, manipulated the fabric to add some pleats and then hand tacked it on to the shoulder.

You can see the rest of my tutorials HERE

I hope you enjoyed this post. Happy Friday from me to you!

-XOXO

 

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