Tag: sewing with knits

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!

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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. 🙂

DIY Leopard Print Pencil Skirt and a Mini Announcement!

Hi Fashionistas!

Long time no see! I hope you enjoyed National Sewing Month last month and did a whole bunch of sewing. I did a decent amount of sewing, although I took a break from blogging.

I wanted to share one of my recent most projects with you. It is high waisted pencil skirt made in a thin scuba knit fabric I found at Joann’s Fabric last simmer. I remember falling in love with the fabric and purchasing the entire bolt.

This was made without a pattern because it really is that simple of a garment. This was a 20-minute project but has been so useful. I have worn this skirt at least 4 times in the last month.

I paired the skirt with this ruffled tank I made last year

Here is the fabric:

I did not use a pattern but I traced around this skirt I already own and LOVE.

The skirt was so easy to sew.  I have only side seams which I serged up in no time. The bottom hem was serged then stitched.

Here is the back view.

And now for my mini announcement:

 

There’s a little munchkin in this belly! I’m going to be a mamma again!

These pics were taken about a month ago! I am just now getting the energy to blog about it!

I have so many garments I made that I have not shared on the blog yet. Some are from the summer, and some from just last month. I’ll try to play catch up here soon now that I am feeling better. Know that I have missed you, my sewing friends. I have recently cleared off my drafting table and starting downsizing my studio. I am trying to give away fabric and notions I don’t use to my students and keep on hand just what I need for the next few projects.  At least that is my hope.

I’m currently teaching sewing with knits at school and it has been such a fun class to teach! I’ll share some student projects with you over the quarter!

Take care and I’ll see you with my next sewing project!

XOXO

-Vatsla 🙂

Self Drafted Dolman Top for Summer

Hi, Fashionistas!

Summer is in full effect and we have had some really hot days.

I sewed up a couple quick summer tops. I wanted something basic but cute, to wear with shorts, skirts, or jeans. So I decided on two summer tops. The first one is in a gray jersey knit. This fabric is so soft and comfortable. I ordered one yard and that was enough and I have a little bit leftover fabric.

This is seriously the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe right now.

I self-drafted this top. The drafting took about 30 minutes. The sleeves are dolman, which means there is no setting in the sleeve, which also makes the sewing very quick. I have previously published a tutorial on drafting a dolman top and I will link that below.

Also, I  love the clean cover stitch on here.  I used my Brother Coverstitch machine, which I absolutely love and have been using for over two years

I drafted cuffs for the sleeves and a band for the waist.

Here is the back view. I made the neckline on the front and back exactly the same, and gave it a boat neck shape, which is one of my favorite.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my latest make. Next, I am working on creating a custom dress form cover for myself. A custom dress form is something I have wanted for a very long time. I’ll be sewing up my custom shell using this online class on Craftsy, but instead of using a commercial pattern, I plan on creating my shell from my custom sloper, which can be drafted using this Bodice Sloper Class

So lots of sewing and fitting for me in the near future, but a custom dress form has been a life long dream 🙂 I’ll share my progress with you once that is done.

Here is the tutorial on how to create a dolman top pattern from any tee that has set in sleeves. Hope you enjoy!

See you in July!
XOXO
-Vatsla

Behind The Seams: Sewing Athletic Wear!

HI, Fashionistas!

Confession: I don’t love sewing with knits. I know, I know.. I have sewn with knits a bunch, but I still don’t love it.  Why? Probably because of fear. I can work with a woven garment all day, sew, drape, do flat pattern making (for wovens) and never thing twice. But knits intimidate me. Why you ask? Because every knit is different. Some stretch a bit, some stretch a lot, some stretch 2 ways (selvage to selvage), some stretch 4 ways (along both the cross grain and the straight grain). There is a lot more that needs to be taken into account. There is negative ease, stretch percentage, elasticity and many more things you have to take into account.

Anyways.. I recently had the opportunity to make athletic wear for a new fabric that is making its debut next month. I ordered the fabric, but I decided against making athletic wear.  I’ve recently started working out and I’ve been fascinated by all the interesting and intricate athletic wear worn by women. I mean, I own a  sports bra, and a few basic workout pants. In the past, I never thought about work our wear being fashionable, but it is! I’ve been mesmerized by the different cuts, color blocking, patterns and the use of mesh. There is decorative cover stitching and top stitching, something I have never done on knits. I use my cover stitch to hem, and that’s about it. While I have drafted a gusset (the diamond shaped fabric insert typically sewn into the armholes and crotches of athletic wear), I have never sewn one. So, I decided that I would learn from my last experience, which was making this DIY Silk Top, and learn to work with my cover stitch machine before jumping into sewing athletic wear.

I’ve been eyeing this class on craftsy that shows all the functions a cover stitch machine can do, so when I got a coupon code today I jumped on it

Here is the cover stitch class I just purchased. The coupon code is below.  You can get any class for $14.99. Yipee!!! You can view their sleection of sewing and pattern making classes HERE

Don’t know about you guys, but I love myself a nice deal! If you have considered pattern making classes, see my review of all the pattern making classes HERE

I have this cover stitch machine. Like I said, I have only used it for hemming, but this machine has a lot more to offer. So I am jumping into learning mode RAT now. 🙂

So I am off to my studio to watch the class while I sew. I am currently doing muslin making for a peplum I am making. I’ve been asked so many times why I make a muslin, whether I always make one etc, so I am currently working on a Muslin FAQ blog post that I will publish either next Tuesday or the following Tuesday, so stay tuned for that!

I hope you all are having a fabulous week. What do you have planned for the weekend? Hubby and I are going to go see some land for a potential lake house- so exciting. That,  and Church, the usual Sunday stuff. I am hoping to wear this peplum to match this dress I made for my daughter a few weeks ago. We are expecting temps in the high 70’s

This is coming to the blog soon! Talk soon!

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 🙂

Saturday Night Sewing

Greetings Fashionistas!

I am in my happy place right now. Really- I am writing you from my sewing ma-sheen 🙂 This is where I am the happiest, this is where I feel 18 years young again. As if I don’t have a care in the world. Nothing matters when I am here. Just my music, my fabric, my machine.

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I haven’t been sewing in the past couple weeks (Boo!). Why?!! What’s wrong with me? Have I really been doing dishes and cooking dinner all week?  Actually, I didn’t do much this week. I just slowed down. So I have nothing to show for. And that is OK. I enjoyed my week. I enjoyed my daughter. I enjoyed a guilt-free cheeseburger with fries, a coke and washed it down with a milkshake. That is so unlike me.. but it was the best thing I have “eated” in a while :)))

Do you ever complete a 10-minute project and not only get that hit of dopamine, but also a new addition to your wardrobe? This sweater was a size L Bebe sweater. I am a size S, but I had to have it. So I purchased it knowing that it would sit in my studio for years before I got to it. It was a simple 5-minute alteration.

I tried the sweater on, eyeballed it and decided I need to take in an inch on the sleeves and the side seams. Pretty simple. I have previously explained this in a tutorial HERE. It literally took 5 minutes.

Here is the sweater after…

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Here is the before.

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To take it in, I did one continuous stitch starting at the wrist, all the way up the sleeve, and then down the side seam. I took in about an inch on each side. It’s the same method I explained HERE

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I ended up using Sergio (my serger). I haven’t used him in a while since I’ve started using my industrial for knits. Mainly because I sew with stable knits most of the time.

The fit is not bad. It needs to be belted.. or “brooched” since there is no closure.

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I love this cardi! I plan on wearing her to Church tomorrow.. with a black pencil skirt. I wore something similar to Christmas Ever service 2 years ago. Geez.. where does the time go?!!!

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Anyhooz.. I hope you are guys are well and enjoying December! I’ll post pics soon of the final look!!! Have  a wonderful weekend!

 

XO-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 🙂

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