Monday, 30 April 2012

Make it in May Skirt Sew-Along

1. DSCF1404, 2. DSCF1353, 3. DSCF1648e, 4. A-line Skirt (denim), 5. Join in! You know you want to, 6. DSCF1312, 7. DSCF1639e, 8. DSCF1513, 9. DSCF1514

I'll be back in a day or two with a re-cap of the Kids Clothing Week Challenge, but in the mean-time, I thought I would share that I have signed up to join in Curly-Pops Make it in May Skirt sew-along. I promise, by the end of May, I will have a new skirt for me-me-meeee! I need some new skirts. Do you? Why don't you join in with us?

Sunday, 29 April 2012


1. DSCF1290, 2. DSCF1295, 3. DSCF1334, 4. DSCF1296, 5. DSCF1339, 6. DSCF1301, 7. DSCF1321, 8. DSCF1310, 9. DSCF1313

I managed to get all the pajama pants finished yesterday! I'll be back tomorrow with the tops. I had a little set-back today with no suitable buttons in my stash, so I had to go on a bit of an expedition to find some. The boys are happily wearing new pajamas to bed tonight. Amelie seemed a little disappointed that there weren't any pajamas for her, so I may need to make her some too now.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Production-Line Pajama Pants


Since I cut out six pairs of pajamas earlier in the week, I'd better get them finished. I managed to get a pair of jeans out of the UFO basket, and it would be nice to have less things in there than what I started with.

Yesterday, I didn't get much chance to sew during the day, so I spent a little time after the kids went to bed last night, getting these pajama pants to the point where they need elastic in their waists and a hem at the bottom. Hopefully the pants will be finished today. Oh, and then I have six pajama tops to finish....

Friday, 27 April 2012

Paperback Writer


As part of KCWC , I finally moved these jeans from my UFO basket and completed them. They have been sitting in the basket for months waiting for me to sew them together.


The pattern is Paperback writer, or design 31 from the Winter 2010 issue of Ottobre magazine. I really like the name, the song was playing in my head whilst I was making these jeans.

These jeans are made for boys with long, very skinny legs. It is recommended for those that have a waist size 4cm smaller than the charts in the magazine, so if you've got a skinny-mini, then this pattern is for you.

One thing I would do differently, is I wouldn't add a seam allowance to the curved edges of the front pockets pieces and facings. I did for this pair, but I've gone and chopped it off my pattern pieces because the pockets get in the way of the fly area.


I've added rivets to the top corners of the back pockets and to the side-seam corner of the front pockets as well as to the top corners of the coin pocket. One of the rivets on the coin pocket is completely hidden, so was un-necessary. I would recommend that if you plan to add rivets to the jeans, they can all be added at the end, anyway, so that would be the way to go.


Another point with the rivets is that I have used two kinds, only because I started with one type, and then realised I didn't have enough. So the two rivets on the sides of the pockets are different to the other rivets. I prefer the look of the other rivets, and they also have skinnier post, which means I can push them through a smaller hole more easily.


I used three sewing machines to put these jeans together; my regular machine for the seams, my over-locker for neatening the edges and also the industrial machine for the top-stitching. You could make these jeans on one machine, but by using my industrial machine for the top-stitching, it saved me threading and rethreading my machine over and over. I used Gutermann upholstery thread, in colour 968. This is a 100% polyester thread and is quite a bit heavier than the regular, sew-all thread. A 100m reel is about the same size as a 250m spool of sew-all. Sadly, I have heard rumours that Gutermann are discontinuing the upholstery thread, so I will be on the look-out for a suitable replacement.


I think the most exciting part of making these jeans is that I got to try out my new jeans snaps and dyes for the snap press. I really need to be making lots more jeans to make the investment worthwhile, but don't they look fantastic?!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Kid's Clothes Week - Day 3


As well as pulling zipper teeth yesterday, I was busy working on these jeans for Liam. The cut-out jeans have been sitting in my UFO pile for months, I really hope they will be big enough! I am hoping to get them finished today. I think all the tricky bits are done.


I have been well and truly exceeding my "at least one hour a day" working on kids clothes, as part of the  KCWC , but I have been getting a lot done. It's good to be able to focus on one area at a time. Perhaps I should pencil into my calendar some of my own week-long focus challenges? Like perhaps a "clothes for me" week?

I am still working on this  (it's the same denim as the jeans)


and this


...and will report back later when these are complete!  

If you would like to see what some other crafty people are up to this week, pop on over to Our Creative Spaces and click away.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

You CAN Shorten a Metal Zipper!


In my last post, I didn't think you could shorten a metal zipper. When you shorten a nylon zipper, you are left with teeth, which are fine to sew over, unless they are big chunky ones like in a separating zipper. You certainly don't want to be sewing over metal zipper teeth. Anyway, since the obstacle here is actually just a few zipper teeth, we just need to get rid of the teeth. Oh, and move the little stoppers that stop the zipper head from sliding off your zipper. We don't want that to happen. That might make us jump up and down and swear. A lot.


Some useful tools are some wire cutters. Now, I tried using my cute little pink ones that I have for jewellry making (ah yes, of course I've tried jewelry making, I try everything, remember), but they just didn't cut it. So I pinched borrowed these nice proper professional ones from my man's desk drawer.


Also, you should wear some eye protection. You might be able to have more control over the little zipper teeth, but when I did it, there were shards of metal flying everywhere. Since we don't want sharp pieces of metal in our eyes, put some safety specs on.


Also, put some safety specs on anyone else that is around, or even better, send them out of the room, because they might be distracting and touch things they aren't supposed to.


Just because I'm a little concerned that someone might zip my zipper head off during the process, I popped this safety pin on. To avoid potential swearing.


Anyway, the idea is, you snip off those zipper teeth using the wire cutters without cutting the fabric of the zip. Try to imagine that the teeth are sort of U shaped with the top bits of the U really close together, pinching the zipper tape. If you just snip off a part of that, right through the metal, the rest of the tooth will just pull right off. You need to measure the number of cm that you need to shorten the zipper by and remove the same number of teeth from each side of the zipper.


Measure from inside the stopper, not outside, or you will end up with a slightly longer-than-necessary zip. My zipper originally measured 13cm, and I needed an 8cm zip, so I removed 5cm worth of zipper teeth, or 20 teeth from each side.


Without breaking them, you need to prise off the metal stoppers and pop them down near the last zipper teeth. Squeeze them back together, and check to make sure they are secure. Chop the excess zipper tape off, using pinking shears and another jeans zipper as a guide. If you don't have another jeans zipper to guide you, mine measured about three and a half cms from stopper to end. Just going by the zips in my stash, jeans zippers have more tape beyond the top of their teeth than dress zippers do.


Voila! A shorter zip!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Zippity Doo Dah


I have had these jeans cut out for Liam for ages. As part of the KCWC I plan to complete them. The pattern calls for an 8cm zipper. I went through my stash and the shortest zipper I have is 13cm. I don't like my chances of shortening a zip with metal teeth. I'm not sure I've ever seen a zipper shorter than 10cm. Do they exist? Should I just go with a nylon zip, because I can just shorten a nylon zip? Can you actually shorten a metal toothed zip? What do you prefer to call them, zips or zippers?

PS. I spent more than an hour today cutting out more pajamas and fusing interfacing to collars and facings.Hopefully I don't spend the whole Kids Clothing Week just cutting out...

PPS. Today is the birthday of Gideon Sundback, the inventor of the zipper. Google pays tribute to him with a Google Doodle today.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Pajama Pattern Tetris


I've been playing Pajama Pattern Tetris this afternoon. Trying to squeeze two pairs of pajamas out of this piece of flannelette. I only just made it. I'm playing along with the Kids Clothing Week Challenge, but I spent way more than an hour today. I've got one set of pajamas and an extra pair of pajama pants cut out, and this lot of two sets ready to cut. Now that the kids are in bed I might try to do some more pattern tetris and cutting...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Kids Clothing Week Challenge

 1. DSCF1268, 2. DSCF1217, 3. Pajama boys, 4. retro rocket tee, 5. Liam's B&W shirt, 6. DSCF1315, 7. DSCF1658, 8. DSCF1548, 9. DSCF1742

I always find out about this at the last minute.
I always decide not to do it.
It's an hour a day.
For seven days.
Sewing clothes for the kids.
I can do that, right?
It starts tomorrow.
I'm in.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Variagated Concentric Circles


I've started using some of the variagated thread that I bought at the AQC, last weekend. Here's a little taste of what is to come. Of course, this kind of stitching allows lots of thinking time, so I am getting lots of new ideas while I am stitching away on this. More should be revealed next week...

Following along with Our Creative Spaces.

Monday, 16 April 2012

AQC 2012


I was lucky to attend the Australian Quilt Convention on Saturday with my mum. We traveled to the convention by train. As mum is further away from Melbourne than I am, she got on a couple of stops earlier, and when I boarded the train, the train that is supposed to be an hour earlier was running so late, that I got on that one. When I eventually managed to get in touch with mum and confirm that we were indeed on different trains, I got off, and momentarily panicked because not all trains stop at the station that I got off at. But it was okay.... phew! About ten minutes later we were on the same train, traveling to the same place.

Anyway, I took my camera with me, and carried it around in my bag all day, but I didn't bother taking any photos. Not that there wasn't anything worth taking photos of, but according to the exhibitor list, you weren't supposed to, even though people were. I took photos last year and never blogged them. I didn't take any photos at Tessuti either, nor at Cleggs. Perhaps I just wasn't in a photo-taking mood?

Anyway, I managed to grab myself a copy of A Field Guide to Fabric Design, which I have had on my Fishpond wishlist for ages. I see now that it would have been far cheaper to buy it from Fishpondthan from the Can Do stand, but seeing it there, right in front of me, made it difficult to resist. I also grabbed myself a copy of Mollie Makes from the Ballarat Patchwork stand, that everyone is raving about. It's lovely, but I don't think I will be subscribing or anything... although I am a little bit excited to try out the crocheted flower on the cover. I have some crochet learning hurdles to overcome first though.

I also grabbed myself a couple of variagated Pearl (Perle? Is there a difference or are these the same thing?) cotton balls. Hopefully I will have an update as to what I am doing with those within the week. I have big plans, I hope they work!

Thursday, 12 April 2012



I was hoping to get started on this today, to match the other one. Something I can do whilst keeping an eye on the kids, or sitting in front of the TV, or maybe on the train on the way to and from the AQC this weekend.


But then things got a bit messy.....

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Don't Look Now! I finished my cushion!


I finally finished my cushion from Kellie Wulfsohn's work-shop from oh-so-long-ago.


The free-motion appliqué on this, is actually my first ever attempt at it, and I'm thinking, not so bad. Yes, it is a little wonky in places, and I would like to think my skills have improved a bit since then, but still...


The free-motion quilting is a mixture of early and recent quilting, but it seems to blend okay.


I couldn't remember what I had set aside to bind and back this cushion with, so I dug these out of the stash yesterday. I didn't have a cushion insert, either, so I kind of made one using some sew-in interfacing (which is already splitting in places) and some poly fill I had on hand. I may yet get a proper insert.


It's good to have it finished and out of the UFO basket at last!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

My Creative Space - Sunny Works in Progress


I'm enjoying sitting at the machine with the window open in this beautiful weather. I decided that it was high time I pulled these two UFOs (unfinished objects) out and turn them into WIPs (work in progress). They are from when I went to a Don't Look Now workshop.


Once a UFO is being worked on again, it is no longer a UFO, it is a WIP.


Before I do any quilting, I always check my tension and do a little practice on my practise sandwich.


I think I may need to make a new practice sandwich soon, as this one is getting a little full.


Does anyone else over-lap their practices like this?

See who else is playing along with Our Creative Spaces over here.
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