Tag: learn to sew

Behind The Seams – Craftsy Class Review

HI Fashionistas!

Hope you are having a good week so far! This morning I woke up to an email from Craftsy and it got me so excited about sewing to Fall and winter. They currently have a few classes on sale for under $20 and I wanted to review one that I took last year that totally changed the game for me.

Last winter I knew nothing about coat making (except that I wanted to make one!) So I signed up for shape and structure  and was able to turn my inspiration picture into reality.

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Here is my coat. I also took tailoring class.  If you are considering making your first coat, or improving your coatmaking skills, I HIGHLY recommend these two classes.

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The instructor Alison Smith is an excellent teacher, I loved her method of delivery and she is prompt and thorough with her responses. I truly enjoyed studying with her.

I got this email this morning and it reminded me I promised to review this class a while back. Seriously.. where does the time . l’ll need to go back and watch the class to refresh my memory. That is another thing I love about these classes …you have lifelong access to them.

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Since this was my 1st time making a coat, I had to learn about suitable fabrics, setting in a sleeve, creating custom shoulder pads, using hair canvas, pad stitching etc.. These 2 classes taught me all that and more.. and upped my confidence.. I mean once you make a coat, you can make anything!

Here are some “Behind The Seams” pics of the coat…what goes inside a coat is just fascinating to me! What do you think?

 

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You can see all the details of the coat and two ways to wear it HERE

I also made this jacket.. the jacket could use improvements. They say that a picture tells a thousand words.. In my opinion, a picture hides a thousand flaws.. While a garment can look amazing in pictures, its only upon close inspection that you can find the flaws.. for example, the lapel on this one was sitting away from the body. I would like to make a blazer this year again.. and to improve on last year I am thinking of signing up for Modern Jacket Techniques to attempt another jacket to blazer this winter.

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You can see all the details of this jacket and how I styled it two ways HERE

I hope this review helped. Is anyone up for making a coat and jacket this year? Let me know.. I’ll be making mine and would love to hear about yours.

 

XO-

Vatsla. 🙂

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

 

All White For Summer…

Hi Fashionistas!

I hope you are well and enjoying the summer. A couple of summers ago, I purchased a white linen maxi skirt.  It has the perfect fit, the perfect length, with one problem. The linen was so lightweight that you could see the outline of my thighs through it. The skirt didn’t get as much wear as I expected. I decided to make a similar skirt in a thicker linen. Here is what I came up with

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Tutorial: How to Hem a Circle Skirt or Circular Hem

There are more than one way to hem a circle skirt, but here is my go to method. I use this method on all my circular hems and end up with a nice and crisp hem free of wrinkles.

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I also used the same hemming technique on the black circle skirt above and the silk dress below I made for Easter earlier this year

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Tutorial below…

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I am using a miniature pattern for the sake of this demo.  You will be hemming in the round, since you will close up all your seams before hemming. I am using a small sample, but you get the point..

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Step 1:  Serge all around your hem. This will give you a guideline to press the serged part of the hem under and also give some weight to your hem.

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Step 2: Finger press the serged portion of the hem towards wrong side of the fabric  and top stitch it down around the circumference of the hemIMG_9292

Give your hem an overall good press. The hem will look like this on the correct side of the garment. At this point you see only one row of stitching as shown below. IMG_9294

Step 3: Repeat Step 2! In this final step,  finger press the hem over one more time to conceal the serged portion. This will give you a nice and clean finish on the outside AND on the inside of the garment. IMG_9297

Give the hem a good press. I use heat, steam and my tailors clapper at this point. I always use a press cloth. Here is what the inside of the garment will look like. You will see two visible rows of stitching on the incorrect side. IMG_9299

On the correct side of the garment, you will see only one row of stitching.

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As you can see, the hem is nice and crisp, and has no wrinkles!IMG_9304

Here is an example of the issue you have probably run into when trying to hem a circle skirt…IMG_9305

If you don’t have a serger, you can replace step 1 with the following: Mark the distance you want to turn under (I would do 3/8 inch, same as the width of my serged portion) and press, proceed to step 2. It is going to be easier to work with if you use a serger in step 1.

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The basic concept behind why this method works is simple. If you look at the diagram below, the dark blue line is the raw edge of the garment. The turquoise color line represents the final hemline after the garment has been hemmed. The pink shaded area in between is what is called the Hem allowance.

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The dark blue line is a larger circle (circumference measurement C) than the turquoise line (circumference measurement A). So if you try to turn the hem allowance under in one go, you will never get a perfect hem because C will always be larger than A. However, by doing this in multiple steps, we reduce the discrepancy between C and A in iterations. The stitching also helps. If you eliminate the stitching in step 2, you are likely to see wrinkling.

I hope this helped you! If you liked this tutorial, then check out the rest of my tutorials HERE

Let me know what you think of this technique, and do you have another go to sewing technique for hems? Leave me a comment and let me know!

-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

 

I’m feeling (Navy) Blue….

So…. I’ve been wanting a navy blue and white striped dress for such a long time. I really wanted to make one for Memorial Day, but the local fabric stores have such a sad selection of knits. And I really don’t buy fabric online much. Here are some of the looks I would LOVE to sew up:

This one below, but I would sew it up a one piece dress instead of a skirt and crop top. I love the thin stripes on this. It’s so chic and reminds me of a French Sailor’s shirt. I think I would make this with a boat neck instead of a round neck

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Here is another look I love, with thicker stripes:2db54a2f3a63d63861c764ead03b7b52

These would sew up beautifully with McCall’s M668 that I previously used HERE

Love this dress to.So effortless, yet so chic. Love the pockets too!

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I have a bit over two yards of the fabric with thing stripes.. so I am hoping I can get a dress AND a tee or tank top out of it. How cute is this look below?

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So Memorial Day came and went, and it’s hard to believe, but Independence Day is this weekend! Anyhooz.. today when my kid went down for her nap, I sat down at my desk and decided it was time to make the navy blue and white striped dress. But we are one day away from the weekend, and even if I opted for overnight shipping, I still would not have enough time to get my dress done by Friday. I was feeling inspired, so I shopped for fabric. I found three beautiful fabrics on girlcharlee.com

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Fabric: I figured for the 4th, I would use some navy and white fabric and somehow make do. But then I went to Hobby Lobby in the evening to get somegol paint and found lots of nautical theme fabric! I’ll be using one of the two striped fabrics for my outfit for the 4th. But check out the anchor fabric! That is for a pair of shorts for me and matching dress for my little girl! I also got a navy knit in case I decide to make a bow for my kid. All this and I went in to by a tube of paint! You can also find similar fabric HERE, HERE and HERE

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Pattern: I will use a tested and tried pattern Mccalls M668 that I used previously to make THIS dress.

Hope you are planning to have a LOVELY weekend. Happy Independence Day!

-XOXO

Easy DIY Ruffled Lace Tank Tutorial with Linen Pants

Hello and Happy May! Hard to believe it’s May already! Its my birthday month and I am going to celebrate all month long by sewing!

I wanted to share with you a really quick and easy DIY project. This is a ruffled tank with a lace embellishment around the neckline. I made this tank about three years ago and it has been a wardrobe staple ever since. Simple instructions on how to make your own below!

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I like this look with or without the nautical belt. This is such an effortless look, yet it is stylish and chic. I mean, we are talking a tank top and linen pants, but the lace around the neck and arms make this tank so dressy and dainty.

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Love the fact that these pants are not only wide leg, but they have a bit of a flare towards the bottom. The pants are unlined. I did not make these pants, but I did alter them to fit. IMG_6922*

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This tank top is so versatile and it can be worn so many ways! I have worn this tank top so many different ways. I wore it pre-pregnancy:

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I wore it during my pregnancy, it stretched as I did!

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I even wore it to my pregnancy shoot! I wore it with jeans, maxi skirts, shorts, and I am still wearing it today!

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I wore it for Mothers Day brunch last year (what’s with that look on my kids face? Must be poop-face :))

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Easy DIY instructions below for anyone that is interesting in getting this look:

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SUPPLIES: Any tank top, lace trim. You  can find lace time and fabric and craft stores like Joanns, Hancocks and Hobby Lobby.

SEWING:

Step 1: Start with a flat piece of lace trim and then create pleats in the lace about 1.5 inches apart as shown below. IMG_1415

IMG_1413Once the lace is pleated, it can easily be bent into a curve as shown below:

Step 2: Place the pleated trim on the neckline from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. Fold the lace under on the edges for a clean finish. Pin in place.

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Step 3: Sew the pleated lace onto the neckline from shoulder seam to shoulder seam and fold the edges of the lace under for a clean finish as shown below:

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Final Step: Wear it and show it off!! What a super simple diy project. This would be so cute to wear to brunch with jeans and a string of pearls, or for a shopping day out with the girls! The tank I used was a $8 tank I had picked up from Old Navy many moons ago. This would also look so cute in black. Instead of using lace, you can use any fabric trim, or even scrap fabric! This is also such an easy and cute DIY for mommy and me outfits. I think I might just make one for my kid!

To view the rest of my tutorials, click HERE

I hope you enjoyed this DIY and I  hope this inspired you!! Have a lovely rest of the week.

-XOXO

 

RTW Fast Update – A Geeky Q1 Report of sorts…

Hola Folks!

If I were still working in corporate America, I would be working on my 1st quarter end of quarter report right about now.. I would also be putting a cover sheet on my TPS report and sending it to my eight different bosses. (Anyone else love the movie Office Space?) 🙂 Luckily I have no reports to fill out, but I am excited to look back at 2015 so far and let you know how the RTW (Ready To Wear) Fast is going thus far…

Lets start with the garments I made, things I learned and the tutorials I created 🙂

GARMENTS I MADE

4 tops, 3 skirts, 2 dresses and 1 pair of pants. Total of 10 garments 🙂

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So.. I officially started the fast on Jan 23rd. Between Jan 23rd and the end of March, there were 9 weeks and I sewed 8 of the 9 weeks and completed a total of 10 garments! That’s more than one a week. I know for a fact that I would not have sewn this much had I not decided to observe the fast.

SKIRTS:

1) Box pleat skirt: Details and pics HEREIMG_5460

2) Circle Skirt: Details and pics HERE

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3) Tulle Skirt: Details and pics HERE

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TOPS

4) Black fitted cowl neck: Details and pics HERE

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5) Leopard print top: Details and pics HERE

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6) Ruffle top: Details and pics HERE

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7) Blue Peplum top. Details and pics HERE

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DRESSES:

8) V Day Dress. Details and pics HERE

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9) HI-Low dress: Details and pics HERE

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PANTS:

 

10) High Waisted Wide Leg Pants. Details and pics HERE

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THINGS I LEARNED

1) Patience 🙂

2) How to use a twin needle. Tutorial HERE

3) Commercial patterns have a ridiculous amount of ease

4) The seam ripper is my soul mate. We are in an eternal love hate relationship…

TUTORIALS

One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share my love of sewing with others but also teach others. I was able to find time when my little one naps to document a few tutorials to share with others

1) How to sew a sleeve the easy way. Click HERE
2) How to hem knits using a twin needle. Click HERE
3) How to draft a peplum. Click HERE
4) How to press a seam. Click HERE
5) Sew tight ruffles using a gathering foot. Click HERE
6) How to draft a circle Skirt. Click HERE

That concludes my nerdy end of quarter report … 😀 This has been such a fun-filled journey.. if you are someone who has been thinking of picking up a sewing machine, or encourage you to start now! If you have questions on how to get started or how to sew a particular technique, or draft a pattern, I am here to help 🙂

Hope you have are having a wonderful week. It’s almost the weekend.. and that means more time to sew. Yay..
I’ll see you soon with my next garment.. but I have to leave you with a clip from my favourite movie of all time.. Office Space. Enjoy.. XOXO

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