Tag: fashion behind the seams

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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Behind The Seams- Women who Inspire Me

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope that you are having a fashionably fabulous week.

You know me based on all the garments I make and share with you, but today I want to take you behind the seams and share my sewing journey with you. I also want to share with you four women who have been an inspiration to me. I’ll be sharing with you, in chronological order, the women I met and how they inspired me. I hope you enjoy 🙂

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Meet Erica Bunker, Tara Davis, Erin Bohanon and Suzy Furrer. These are four women who inspired me and continue to inspire me in my sewing journey.

I will be doing a five-part series to tell you my story. My story of sewing. How it all started and how I ended up where I am now,  spending days in my studio creating, when just a few years ago, I was writing useless code in a nerdy cubicle.

I cannot possibly squeeze all their amazing work and my story into this one blog post, so I will write about them one at a time. I met them, either virtually or in person starting in 2008

2008– Erica Bunker –  Sewing Blogger, self-proclaimed sewing goddess

2009– Tara Davis, my teacher in 2009, now my colleague

2011– Suzy Furrer- My teacher in design school, director of Apparel Arts.

2012– Erin Bohanon- My previous “boss”, now my mentor and friend

I cannot wait to share my story with you and how I was impacted by these wonderful ladies. Stay tuned for part two of this series: Behind The Seams- Women who inspire me.

See you soon! I still have to show y’all my scary prom dress turned Minnie mouse DIY dress.

XO-

Vatsla.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited, I just cant hide it!

My new office y’all.. I am so in love with it. I spent the last day cleaning and organizing my studio.. this desk was  previously piled up with “STUFF” (a mountain of fabric)

Ha.. This is like a breath of fresh air 🙂 It’s so fun and artsy and inviting. It doesn’t really feel like an office. It’s more like a non-office, a place where I can come and play. I am going to call it my “Noffice” 🙂

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On my desk: a lot of white, pink and gold! A miniature dress form for decor, a vintage vogue poster, a pic of hubs and I, some books and some more accessories. Below the glass top is displayed my certificate of completion from fashion school and a memory book put together by my sister that documented my journey through fashion school, both very special to me.

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The desk if from IKEA, I found it used on Craigslist. I picked up the dry erase calendar at Target a couple of days ago. I had a coaching call with Sharice of Sharice Styles. She suggested adding a monthly calendar to my workspace for accountability. I LOVE it. Having a planner is one thing, but having a visual reminder of goals is more effective.

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This vintage vogue poster is an estate sale find from last weekend.

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I am getting a new rotary cutter in the mail today. Going to get all my cutting done today so I can spend the rest of the week sewing. What are y’all up to this week?

XOXO-

Vatsla 🙂

Behind The Seams: Dresses for Haiti

HI Fashionistas!

Happy Monday! I wanted to share with you a couple of dresses I made a few weeks ago. I am just getting around to photographing these pillowcases dresses:

 

Initially, I had purchased this sheet set to create pillow cases for my daughter.. and a fitted sheet to match. I re-purposed the adult size pillow cases to make smaller pillowcases. Jazz didn’t care for them at all. She insisted on having her boring white pillowcase back.  So I re-purposed them yet again into pillowcase dresses. This is my 1st time applying bias tape on the arms and neck. It isn’t perfect, but I am sure it will be perfect for some little girl. Besides, perfection is over-rated and exhausting. I wake up every morning aiming to be an “imperfectionist” 🙂

 

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Here is the back view

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I used pink bias tape on the 2nd dress. On this one, I topstitched the bias tape as opposed to stitching in the ditch and it didn’t ripple.

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I know that these are going to girls that have nothing to wear, lace is obviously not needed, but I want them to feel pretty. So I added this vintage lace . I created ties for the waist with leftover fabric. I am so in love with the lace. I found that lace at an estate sale..

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Here is what the dress looks like without the tie.

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A little bit of backstory on these dresses. I have been wanting to sew for charity for a while, but it never happened. After I moved into the basement studio, I have been in here so much sewing, might as well sew some more 🙂 I met a couple from Haiti a month or so ago, who told me they send barrels of clothes back to Haiti. I took their contact info, but then misplaced it. Fast forward a few weeks, I finally hired some help to come watch my daughter so I can work on Mondays. Her church does a lot of outreach work, including sewing dresses for girls in Haiti. I jumped on the opportunity. She is taking these to her Church to be mailed. My hope is that I can contribute one or two dresses a month.

I have been sewing for another little girl….My darling Jazz! I made her a beautiful dress from an 80’s prom dress, here is the before.. I will post the outcome soon. It turned out so pretty. She loved it.

 

I will see you soon with the before and after of the Minnie mouse dress.. and you can vote on who wore it best 🙂

Until then!

XOXO

Vatsla 🙂

Project Runway Season 15 start tonight!!!

HI Fashionistas!!!

Project Runway season 15 starts tonight. Last year I was so excited about watching .. but would you believe that I only watched 2 replays last season? Sad right?  But that won’t be the case this season. It’s  time for some me time!

Check out the cast below for season 15

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This time around I am determined to watch each and every episode. I have let my family know that tonight is momma’s night off. I want the living room and the big screen all to myself. I don’t want to hear the word mommy (more like mommy, mommy, mommy, MAWWWWMEEEEEE). Nope. NERP! None of that. Tonight will be just me, drink in one hand, food in the other. I’ll be soaking my two scary feet and giving myself a pedicure and watching the show.  If my husband can watch 8 hours of football on Sundays and make that a priority, I can make Project Runway a priority. I am just as guilty as any other woman of letting my wants and needs slide. Me time is so important, it is an essential part of self-care.

Check out the preview here:

I hope you enjoy the show or the replay. I am also hoping this season is more about design, and less about drama . (Don’t we have enough drama in our lives already?) Hehehe 🙂 Let’s have a virtual PR party on my FB page tonight. Hope you are watching!

Until next time my dears!

-Vatsla

 

Behind The Seams: Pleats 101

Hi Fashionistas!!! Hope you are well..

I have received a few questions about how to calculate the yardage need to create pleated skirts.. Before i get into that subject, I wanted to address pleats on a more basic level.. This is a sewing 101 tutorial of sorts, geared towards the beginner sewist, or someone who wants to brush up on their sewing jargon 🙂

I’ll be showing you examples of the following:

  • Pleats (Read below)
  • Box Pleats vs Inverted Box Pleats (Tutorial coming soon)

I’ll start with a definition, then a visual aid. I will also show you how to construct them.

Lets start off by looking at pictures of each.  Here are some pleats I free handed on these sleeves :

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Let’s have a look at some more pleats. This dress below has pleats on the neckline.

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And here is another one with pleats

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To learn more about what a pleat is and how to sew one, read below.

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Simply put, a pleat is fabric folded on itself. That’s it. Let’s have a look.

Here is a muslin sample of a pleat. One single pleatIMG_1446

If the fabric were flat, it would look like this. I have color coded this for you in blue and red, so you can see the parts that disappear in the fold of the fabric once the fabric is folded.

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After being folded, the red portion would be concealed in the fold.

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From the bottom, the pleat would look like this:

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On a pattern, a pleat is usually shown with a combination of a circle, squares or notches and a directional arrow showing you which direction the fabric needs to be folded.I do my pattern making per the industry standards for apparel production, therefore I use the notches for the pleats. You will see my pattern further into this post.

Here is an example of what you might see on a ready made pattern . This used circles, dotted lines and a directional arrow.

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Now that you have the theory down, lets move on to the construction.

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I have a muslin sample here . I have transferred the markings from the paper pattern. We have 2 notches and 1 directional arrow. We shall call these notches A and B. Note that the arrow is pointing in the direction of B. This means that when we construct the pleat, we need to make notch A meet notch B. In other words, the pleat will be facing notch B. You can also think of it this way. Notch B is stationary, and notch A is moving to meet Notch B. Make sense? Now lets see this is action

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Pinch the notch A and make it meet notch B

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Secure the pleat down with a pin, catching all three layers of fabric. Then do a basting stitch close to the edge of the fabric to secure the pleat in place and remove the pin. Voila! You have a pleat!

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While you can make pleats like I showed you above, I am going to show you my preferred method of making pleats, because sometimes the pleats can tend to shift, especially if you are using slippery fabrics. So if you are working with slippery fabrics or want a more tailored look, use the method below. This is the one I recommend, but itrequiress more effort, so I wanted to show you quick method as well.

We will start with the same notches A and B

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Then instead of pinching the notch A, fold the fabric such that notch A overlaps notch B, with the right sides of the fabric together. You are essentially picking up notch A and placing it exactly on top of notch B

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Secure the pleats by placing a pin in the fabric about 1/2 inch away from the notches.

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Then take it to the machine and stitch down 1/2 inch on the notches and also backstitch 1/2 to secure the pleat down. This step will ensure that your pleats stay in place.

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Next, press the folded edge

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Then lift the fabric and fold it away from the notches as shown in pic below.

At this point, your pleat is done!

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You can press the pleat down just a little bit on the top if you want more poofy pleats…

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Or you can press the pleats all the way down if you like..

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Let me know if you want the paper pattern available for download so you can do a practice run. I can scan it and upload is here.

That’s it, folks! I will leave you with this inspiration picture. What can pleats do for you?! 🙂

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In the next tutorial, I will cover box pleats… as seen on this skirt.

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Have a lovely day! Talk to you soon!

XOXO

Vatsla. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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