Tag: learn how to sew

Yellow Seersucker Cold Shoulder (CopyCat) Top

Hi, Fashionistas!

I was so excited to sew with a beautiful yellow seersucker I found at Fabric Mart recently.  Here is the top I made:

You see, I have been the slowest to catch on to the cold shoulder trend. I know, it’s been around for a while and is continuing into fall fashions.  I was meeting my hubby for pizza one night and had some time to kill. So I decided to do some window shopping when I saw and tried on this RTW top.. and loved it. 

So.. I made a pattern… and found the perfect fabric.

And made my own version! I really do love the tent shape of this top. It is very different than the usual type of garments I make and wear, which typically tend to be more fitted.

 

 

Yes, that’s a pen in m hair 🙂  My kid has two most frequently asked questions lately..”Mommy, why do you have a pen in your hair?” and “Mommy, are you talking to yourself again”? #momlife

 

I drafted a facing and modified the sleeves a bit by removing the band at the bottom and hemming them instead

I also made the straps a fixed length as opposed to adjustable.

Overall I am pretty happy with the way the top turned out.  I topstitched all around the neckline to ensure the facing was sitting down. 

 

I actually started making another version in a white cotton, but that one is still a work in progress. I may or may not get to wear that one this year!

I hope you enjoyed this make!  I am going to work on some maxi dresses next! Fall is coming!! Hope you are enjoying the cooler weather. I sure am!

See you soon

XOXO- Vatsla

Tailored Denim Shorts- Simplicity 8391 Review

HI, Fashionistas!

Happy end of summer! Hope you had a lovely summer and are enjoying cooler temps! My kid started pre school this week and I am REALLY enjoying the structure that comes with drop offs and pick-ups and planning my day around it.

So I am hoping to catch up on sharing some summer sewing projects with you. One of my favorite makes this summer was this pair of tailored shorts. They are so simple yet so chic. Sometimes easy projects can be so rewarding to make.

I have always wanted tailored shorts made in denim, a dressy pair of shorts if you will. So here is what I came up with based on my inspiration picture 🙂 I am recommending some pressing tools towards the end of the post if you want to go for a more tailored look on your garments. 

How do you plan your sewing projects? Do you browse patterns on sale, and get inspired based on what you see in the pattern catalogs, or do you look for a pattern to match your inspiration picture or your sketch? I typically tend to find my inspiration from people watching or Pinterest, and then go hunting for the perfect pattern that can either be sewn out of the envelope or modified to match my inspiration picture.

Here is my inspiration picture

It was not too hard to find a pattern for these shorts, I needed to look for a pattern that has a slant pocket so that I could add the gold shank buttons like my inspiration picture. I found Simplicity 8391 view D.

I wanted my shorts to have slightly more wearing ease than the inspiration picture. I also wanted them to be slightly longer.  I did make a muslin to get the fit perfected, but other than that, I did not need to make any pattern alterations. I cut the size 6, which was larger on the hips.  After I made the muslin and tried them on, I ended up removing ½ inch from the side seams.

For the fabric, I chose a denim that had 1% spandex in it. Personally, I like to work with wovens that have a small amount of stretch. In my opinion, it makes the fitting easier because you have some flexibility when the fabric has some stretch.  My happy place is 1% to 2 % of spandex in the fiber content of the fabric.

Here are some more pictures of the shorts

Loving the slant pockets.

Here is the back and side view:

And a view from the side 🙂

 

Sewing Tips

Here are some sewing tips I would like to offer when making a tailored pair of shorts:

  • Use pressing tools to get that crisp look on seams, edges, and hems. I like to use a tailors clapper and press cloth to get defined, crisp seams. I have described both the tools below:
  • Tailors Clapper: I like to use a tailor’s clapper .When pressing my seams. A clapper is made of wood and it helps to seal in the heat and the steam from the iron and gives you that impeccably tailored look!
  • Press Cloth: While pressing, I like to use a press cloth and give the seams a good amount of heat and steam while pressing. A press cloth will help eliminate shine and protect your fabric. I like to use a sheer press cloth so I can see what I am pressing, but a scrap piece of muslin will do too!
  • Gravity Feed Iron: I am going to list this one as “optional” only because while you don’t need to invest in a gravity feed iron, it a gravity feed iron is definitely a professional tailors iron. A good domestic iron with steam when combined with a clapper and press cloth will also elevate your sewing, but put if you can add this to your sewing room, I HIGHLY recommend it. They are very sturdy and can last you 5 to 10 years!
  • Sewing Shank buttons: When sewing on shank buttons, you can stabilize them by sewing a small two hole or four hole button on the back. You would loop your thread through both the buttons. This will prevent the shank buttons from drooping. I used shank buttons with a 3/4 inch diameter on the front and four hole buttons with a 1/2 inch diameter in the back.

Simplicity 8391 Pattern Review and Suggestions

This pattern is easy and simple to use.  The instructions were pretty clear and straightforward. I noticed that the shorts instructions did not include applying the waistband, so you will need to refer to the skirt instructions (view B) on applying the waistband.

While making the muslin I also realized that it was best for me to replace the pocket facing fabric with a thinner cotton in a similar color as the fashion fabric. Once I had attached the pocket and pocket facing to the shorts front, that was 3 layers of fabric. Once the short front was attached to the shorts back, that was 4 layers of fabric and was noticeably bulky. So when I cut the actual fabric, I cut the pocket facing in a dark blue cotton sateen as opposed to the fashion fabric. I am glad I did that!

Overall, I am pretty pleased with this pattern, and now that I have the fit perfected, I will probably trace this pattern onto thicker pattern paper and hang it up on a garment rack for re-use!

I hope that you found this pattern review helpful and enjoyed reading this post! What has been your favorite summer make and what are you planning for the fall? I am planning on doing a lot of cardi’s and lose coats for the fall/ winter. I have pretty much decided that my uniform for fall is going to be black and denim and I plan to sew more outerwear.. but more on that later.. 

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

 

Pattern Fitting Class is $12 Today only

HI Fashionistas!!

Public Service Announcement to all my sewing buddies!

Craftsy has one of its biggest class sales ever. This fitting class is on sale for just $12. One of the biggest issues I hear from home sewists is how to get pattern fit.

This is a one day only deal! You also get a vogue pattern, so the price is a great bargain.

I’ve had my eye on this class for a while.. but y’all know I love my discounts! I just bought the class and have been watching it this morning. Here are some screenshots of what is inside the class. You will definitely get a good understanding of how to tweak the pattern to fit you without having to make multiple muslins. Isn’t fitting one of our biggest sewing woes?! To get this amazing deal for just $12, click HERE

I have been watching this class at a coffee shop this morning 🙂 I am including some screen shots of what’s inside

Check out the fit on that gorgrous cocktail dress .. and that looks like a silk taffeta!

I like that she is using a copy of the pattern to explain all the concepts. This is typically more spare than the commercial pattern, and in my opinion easier to follow as it is less overwhelming. You might have noticed that in my tutorials, I also use traced copies of the patterns to make it easy to follow.

I also love that there is an entire chunk of the class dedicated to fitting the garment on a real human being. This is so practical and offers how to address real fit issues.

I also like to read reviews.  Here is one that had me sold!

Perfect for altering patterns without a hassle

I have watched several classes both here on Craftsy and on You Tube concerning pattern alterations. I have probably watched about 6 or 7 in all….but this is by far my favorite. She could write a book titled GEOMETRY FOR DUMMIES and this is what I needed. I can’t wait until I attack all of my patterns. This lady has a gift for teaching (coming from a retired teacher) and is very good at making everything visual. She does comparisons at the end as to what happens when you use her methods, the patterns methods, and eyeballing it. What a difference. That alone made me want to try her methods. I highly recommend this class….not just for beginners….but for anyone with even advanced experience. I am intermediate by definition and learned a lot.

Alright, I am back to watching the class before I have to pick up my kid. Let me know if you end up getting this. I typically do a muslin, and while I don’t do multiple muslins, I almost always to one muslin and then about 2 alterations to the muslin. I am excited about stepping away from as many iterations! HERE is the link again, if you decide to check it out.

 

On Thursday I am sharing with you how I save TONS of money on sewing patterns, and also my process of taking an inspiration picture and turning into a wearable garment! So see you on Thursday!

 

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 🙂

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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READ MORE

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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