Tag: pattern making

Maternity Shoot and my DIY Dress Hack!

Hi Fashionistas!

So last month, in the cold cold month of January, I did my maternity shoot and family pics before the babe arrives.

Christmas ended and it all of a sudden hit me, I had not even thought about Maternity pictures. We had not thought about which photographer to hire, where we would take the pictures of what I would wear. I liked the idea of combining the Maternity pictures with some family pictures since we don’t get family pictures done that often.  I was so tired of being preggo at this point, I did not want to make my dress, let along mommy and me dresses.. But after the dreaded looking around for the ideal dress and seeing the high cost of low-quality maternity dresses, I decided to make mine after all.

Here is the dress I made, I will talk more about how I ended up with the fabric choice, pattern and other details below.

I knew exactly the dress I wanted, based on my inspo pic I will share later in this post…


Here are my fav mommy and me pictures: I made her dress too, freehanded pattern 🙂

We also did some family pictures and here are some of my favorites, I want to get these 2 framed. Love my little fam!

And


 

The dress has a bit of a train in the back..

Photo credit for all these gorgeous shots to Bailey Smith Photography. 

As always.. I found my Inspo pic on Pinterest. I pretty much knew I wanted a form-fitting, off shoulder dress that was fit and flair.. after looking I settled for a royal blue.. I think the color is just gorgeous and pops in pictures.. Once I found the inspo pic, I went on to hack/ draft a pattern to make the muslin (in black below). I’ll talk more about how I hacked the pattern.

I also know the color suits me from having sewn it up before HERE in this peplum top

Lots of folks on IG and Facebook asked what pattern I used. I hacked this one up so let me share the details below!

Once I find an inspiration pic, I look for the silhouette or the style lines. Example … I ask myself what is the best way to accomplish this fit? Do I have a pattern that looks like this (even remotely), do I have a garment in my wardrobe that could be used as a base to lift a pattern?

Let’s start by looking at the inspiration pictures: Here are two I liked:

 

I figured I could accomplish this neckline with a raglan sleeve, one that goes from the collarbone to the underarm. I immediately thought of this RTW top I have  in my wardrobe :


 

So I lifted the pattern for the top and used it as a base: I used THIS method I documented on youtube a while back. This method will work for lifting the pattern from any knit garment (one lacking darts)

Then I placed the bodice pattern on my dress form to make sure it kinda sorta looked like it would work. This is a knit garment so I can be a lot less concerned about the pattern being perfect.

When I copied the pattern for the bodice, I had drafted it down to the low hip. Then I measured down from my own low hip to decide where I wanted the flare to start. That was 16 inches for me. Then I just flared the pattern out to as wide as the pattern paper was. I used the exact same pattern to cut the front and back of the dress. I also lifted the pattern of the sleeve from the RTW striped top and extended it to be full sleeves.

Using this pattern I sewed up this muslin, which all of you seemed to love! I had 4 yards of this sweater knit sitting around that I previously used to make THIS dress . so I used that for the muslin

Confession: I have been very indecisive in the end of my pregnancy.. and I could not decide between cobalt blue and royal blue.. so I made 2 dresses, one that I wore (Royal) blue and one in the cobalt blue below. When I tried on the cobalt blue dress, it just did not feel right. Below is the fabric that did not make the cut. That will be repurposed into a pencil skirt as soon as I drop the baby weight!

I hope you enjoyed reading up on this make. Since this dress, I have made 2 baby blankets and a kimono duster/topper. I am so done sewing at the point, until after baby arrives!

I’ll try to share my 2017 review (high time) and also the blankets and duster with you (Its GORG)… energy permitting..

That’s all I have to share with you for now.. Who else is ready for warm weather? Do drop me a comment and let me know what you are working on.. I’ll be living vicariously through your sewing projects for a while 🙂

Take care and hugs. Excuse any typos… I’m still tired as a mother 🙂 Just trying to get through my to do list before we head to the hospital!

Vatsla. 🙂

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

Pattern Making Tutorial: How to Draft an all in one facing

Hi, Fashionistas!

I wanted to share a recent sewing project with you and show you how to draft all in once facings for patterns that don’t have one included. Drafting small pattern like these are a great way to get familiar with pattern making!

Here is the dress I made. I drafted the all in one facing using the steps outlined in this tutorial.

You may have noticed that most times commercial patterns have separate neck facings and separate arm facings. I prefer all in one facing because they allow you to clean finish your neckline and armholes on a sleeveless garment in one go. They look professional as well.

Before we get started drafting, let’s have a look at the front of the all in one facing. Here is what my front facing looks like after I cut it out:

Here is an example of what my back facings looked like. The center back seams on this picture are overlapping, however, there is a center back opening on this pattern that allows for a back zipper:

Now that we have had a look at the garment and the facing that lies underneath, let’s jump into the tutorial! I will be showing you this method using a miniature pattern. I’ll demonstrate with the front bodice pattern

Step 1: Cut out your bodice pattern. If you have a dart that falls on the shoulder seam or a french dart that falls close to the armhole, shut it close using tape.

Step 2: Keeping the original pattern as flat as possible, trace around the side seam, armhole, shoulder, and neckline and center front. In order to keep your original pattern flat, you can place weights or pin the pattern down on top of pattern paper.  Your traced pattern should look something like this.

Step 3: Next we need to freehand the shape of the bottom of the facing. In order to do this. measure down 3 inches on the center front, and about 2 inches on the side seam, and connect the two using a shape as shown below.If you have a french curve, you can use that to draw such shapes, but free handing works as well!

Step 4 : Copy all the markings from your original pattern to your facing pattern. For example, here I have shown the grain line, fold, CF  for center front. I have also added the name of the pattern piece, which is “front facing” and indicated how many pieces to cut, which is my case is “Cut 1 on fold”

If you were to lay your newly drafted facing pattern on top of the original pattern, it should match

The steps to draft the back facing are exactly the same. Here is what the back facing looks like:

Step 5: Make sure the side seams on the front facing and back facing match up and you will be sewing these up. This step is called “Truing”

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A few things to note about facings. Facings do not contain darts, or princess seams. If your pattern has darts, tape them shut as shown above in the pictorial. If your pattern has princess seams, you would tape the princess seams together overlapping the seam allowance.

I hope that you found this tutorial helpful and that you will try your hand at some pattern making!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

A Mommy and Me Valentines

HI, Fashionistas!!

I sewed up another mommy and me outfit before Valentines Day and here it is:

I decided to use a soft jersey knit in a pretty dusty rose color. Typically my go to knits are stable knits like ponte or double knits, but I just could not resist this beautiful color. I used this fabric from Fabric Mart.

I made a top for myself with quilting detail on the sleeves and a cute dress for my daughter.

For her dress, I free handed the skirt and the ruffles. On the ruffles, even though I used a knit fabric, I chose to interface it with a woven interfacing to give the ruffles stiffness.

For my top. I used McCall’s 6886 as a base and then did some interesting pattern manipulation on the sleeve pattern to create some pleats.  I finished the sleeve with some quilting details

Here is the pattern manipulation I did. Many of you asked for a tutorial on these sleeves and I will do a dedicated blog post for that.

Dramatic sleeves are all the rage right now. Interested in learning how to make creative sleeves like this? If so I highly recommend this sleeve drafting class. I reviewed this class and many other pattern making classes HERE if you want to have a look

I love how the sleeve turned out. This would also be so fabulous on a knit dress with say a stiff silk like tussah or dupioni. Maybe that is next 🙂

Like the necklace? Me too! 🙂 You can find it HERE

We both wore our animal print shoes. 

I got these shoes as a gift for self and had the outfit styled before I even made the outfit. 

Here is a view from the back. I changed the neckline to a square on both the front and the back.  This lil’ kid us my ev thing. I call her Jazzy Hepburn with her high bun and sunnies 🙂

Today I am making a laundry hamper for her, one that will hang on the wall, have a ballerina on it wearing a tulle tutu, and a detachable “sock monster” that goes straight into the wash. Ever wonder where all the orphan socks go? Well, no more!

I hope you are having a lovely week and planning a nice weekend for yourself. I have been busy setting up a new home office and also a filming studio in my sewing room. I have some exciting news to share with you… That is coming soon! In the meantime, I will leave you with a perfect visual of the mommy life… Hehe.. This was me last week.

Have a wonderful week my dears.. See you soon with more sewing stuff!!

XOXO-Vatsla 🙂

Happy New Year and the Little Red Dress Project!

Hello All!

Happy New Year to you! Do you have a sewing resolutions for 2017? Can you believe we are already in 2017?!!

I am so excited for all the sewing fun I have planned for 2017. I am starting off the year by sewing a red dress, for my blogiversary. I started my blog in Jan 2015 (Whoop Whoop- my two-year blogiversary is coming up). I have the feeling that 2017 is going to be some kinda special.

This is the inspiration pic for the dress! But it is possible I will change it up after making the muslin. I am known to completely scratch what I am doing or drastically change up the design, so we shall see.

So.. I did NOT make a muslin for the last bodice I drafted for this Christmas Outfit (shame on me). While it fit pretty well, there was some extra ease on the back.

 

So for this dress, I do plan on making a muslin. And because I am starting early, I have plenty of time.  The fabric has arrived. It is so lovely. It has a tiny bit of stretch, so as far as the fitting in concerned, I can fully rely on the muslin, which has no stretch at all. What I mean by that is, I will not be adding any wearing ease to my pattern when I draft it from my sloper. The tiny amount of stretch in the fabric will make up for the lack of wearing ease.

Here is the fabric. Isn’t she beautiful? 🙂

Reflecting on 2016….I hate to say it, because we are supposed to be positive and all, and while I am very grateful for all that I am blessed with, 2016 was a difficult year for me.  And my sewing had to take a back seat so much more than normal. Now moving on to the positive: as far as my sewing journey is concerned, the best thing about 2016 was the connections I made.  I LOVED hearing from your guys and seeing what you are making. Prior to that, I was sewing in solitude.

Well.. 2017 is here and I am excited about sewing more, blogging more, and connecting with you all more. So CHEERS to a lot more sewing in 2017! I wish you sewing, health and happiness!!  Let’s add more sewing to our plan! Let’s face it, responsibilities and chores and grown up things are always going to be there! Let’s just sew more and work less 🙂 Hehe.. I am dancing into 2017 with an optimistic sewing plan.. and that makes me happier than any other grown up goals I can think of. Happy Sewing in 2017!!!!

See you soon!!

Much Love,

Vatsla.

 

Dreaming of a White Christmas

HI Fashionistas!

Merry Christmas!! Hope you are having a fabulous holiday season.

I have been working on my outfit for Christmas Eve. I decided to go with a black and white holiday look. I am completely in love with monochromatic looks since they are chic and also so easy to style. You can just throw on a pair of nude pumps and a clutch and you are ready to go.

Well for my last project of the year, I decided to sew multiple garments that could give me many outfits by mixing and matching with existing pieces in my wardrobe. Help me decide if I should go all white or mix and match. I think black and white is so glam!

Look 1: I drafted the top from my bodice sloper. I changed the neckline to boat neck, which is one of my favorites.  I also drafted this skirt from my sloper and changes the waist to an empire. I chose a midi length and it’s one of my favorites. For drafting instructions for skirts, you can look into this class. I did not require any fitting as the sloper was drafted to my measurements. I love an all white look- if I chose this look. I would accessorize and add a nice warm fur for the neck and a cute clutch!

Look 2: Top and black bottoms:

A simpler, more casual look. Dressing up a pair of black skinnies with a tailored top. The top fit pretty well but required some adjustments on the back neck.  I used the instructions in this book to draft the boat neck. It is form fitting, but not skin tight.. which in my opinion is never a good look.  

Look 3: My Fav look: Peplum Belt added to Look 2. The peplum I draped on the dress form and the waistband I drafted. I wanted some high-low action and a contrast lining to peek through. If you are interested in self-drafting tops, this class has great instruction on drafting the bodice sloper.

 The pleats are facing the side seam. The peplum has a high-low hem which gives it that waterfall effect where the black lining peeks through. I posted this pic on social media and a lot of you asked about the back. I will share pictures of the back as well in a separate post where I should how to draft this peplum from scratch.

Look 4: Look 3 with a different top I have in my closet.

If you have any interest in self-drafting, I highly recommend these pattern making classes 

Well, ladies. I think for Christmas Eve, I will be going with one of look  2, 3 of 4. Not sure yet, can you help me decide?!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in my next blog post.

ps- I have a Christmas Giveaway coming up. Stay tuned for fabric!!!

XOXO

Vatsla

Craftsy Class Review and Pattern Making Book Review

HI Fashionistas!!!

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and are enjoying a nice weekend.I am not one to shop the early  morning sales on Black Friday but I do appreciate a good deal that can be scored from my laptop on the comfort of my couch. One that doesn’t require an “early bird” special and does not entice you into a brick and mortar store to bombard you with more specials.

Here are some of my favorite sewing related Black Friday sales that I want to share with you. I already own and recommend a lot of these items so I wanted to share them with you in case you are interested:

My absolute favorite are the following sales on all  Craftsy classes on sale for $ 17.99

I studied with Suzy Furrer at Apparel Arts a while back. She is now also teaching on craftsy and I have all of her online pattern making classes

I got to visit with Suzy earlier this year and tour the new location of Apparel Arts, which is fabulous .

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Here are the classes I am currently registered for. I highly recommend all of them. Suzy is an excellent teacher and also very responsive.

We studied pattern making at Apparel Arts in this order. Now you can benefit from her classes at home! If you want to learn pattern making, these would be the classes to take in order to build a good foundation.

Skirt Sloper : Click HERE

Here are a couple skirts I made for my final collection while studying with her:

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Bodice Sloper : Click HERE

From a bodice sloper, you can draft dresses , tops. jackets. Here is a dress and jacket I self-drafted using my bodice sloper:

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Dart Manipulation/Seam Lines : Click HERE

This class focusses on taking the basic slopers drafted for the body and then manipulating them into different style elements. For example, here you will learn how to change a basic darts on your sloper into princess seams, gathers, pleats, tucks etc.

Here is a good example of manipulating a bodice sloper into a sweetheart strappless neckline and also manipulating the darts into princess seams. (ps- that isnt alkee-hol, i just posed for my final collection :))

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Another example fo a self-drafted garment is this one.  You also learn about adding excess ease and then removing it in the form of pleats (which are dart equivalents)

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Creative Necklines : Click HERE

Collars/Closures : Click HERE

Sleeves : Click HERE

You know sleeves are big this fall. Dramatic sleeves are in. You can learn how to make bishop sleeves, bell sleeves etc. Here is a bell sleeve I drafted this summer.

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Pants : Click HERE

Here is a pair of pants I drafted in school. Not the best fabric choice,which caused the wrinkles. But being a novice, I can see why I selected this fabric. These pants in a stretch denim would be so cute! Hindsight is 20/20 🙂

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Her latest classes are based on wardrobe building. I have registered for one of these, but have not watched it yet. You can view those HERE

I also highly recommend her textbook, which is the Bible of Pattern Making. You can find it HERE

In fact, I just purchased a second copy because I misplaced my original one

All classes are $17.99 for the black Friday sale which I think is an excellent deal. I have been purchasing craftsy classes for years and on average I pay $30 to $35 for each class.

I have also taken and reviewed the following classes in the past. They are both for tailoring a coat:

The first one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Structure & Shape and the second one is Essential Guide to Tailoring: Construction

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You can read my review of these classes HERE and see the final garment HERE

I hope this post helps you see how these classes can help someone who wants to be a self-taught fashion designer. Gone are the days where you needed to take out crazy student loans and go to fashion school. regardless of whether you want to be creative and design for yourself, or be a self-taught designer and turn into a career option, the sky is the limit. With online learning, it IS possible!

Let me know if you like online learning. Just last night I was watching a video on drafting cowl pants. There is so much to learn, it never gets old!

I am heading down to the studio in a bit to work on my cowl pants and purchase  few more classes ! Hope you are well and I will see you soon with my next sewing post.

Happy Black Friday!!!

XOXO

Vatsla.

 

 

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