Thursday, 31 May 2012

Bits and Pieces...

Yes, I know, I've been saying for ages that I am going to make a quilt. But this time, I mean it. It's going to happen in June. I'm joining in with Ashley, from Mommy by Day Crafter by Night, for her Zig Zag Quilt Along.



Now, some of you serious quilters may say that Ashley is not an experienced quilter, as she herself acknowledges, but maybe that's why this quilt along appeals to me. Joining in with quilt alongs on quilting sites, was just a bit daunting for me.

Besides, if I get stuck, my copy of The Practical Guide to Patchwork, by Elizabeth Hartman from Oh Fransson! has arrived. I've previously made a zippered pouch from one of Elizabeth's patterns. At first glance, the book looks like it will be a great reference and just as easy to follow as the purse pattern. Thanks Fiona, from Celtic Thistle Stitches for recommending the book.


While out shopping the other day, I came across a new (to me) quilting shop. After asking the owner a million questions, I purchased some polyester batting for my first quilt. Now to make up my mind and choose fabric. I'd love to hear your recommendations for fabric and colours you would use for a quilt to be given to a male. To make it easier, I may go with a layer cake as recommended, even though I have more than enough fabric in my stash.

While at the quilting shop, I saw an absolutely gorgeous quilt for a little girl, which I would LOVE to make. The pattern for the quilt is made by an Australian company, Kookaburra Cottage Quilts. On visiting their website, I found lots of other amazing children's quilts. Somehow I don't think I'm quite up to it yet, but one day.

In June, I'm also joining in with Wendy, from The Crafter's Apprentice, for her Something Old, Something New Competition.

Crafters Apprentice


As the name suggests, you have to make an item that incorporates both pre-loved fabric and new fabric. I love refashioning, so this competition really appeals to me. You can enter as many times as you like and there's a prize!!!

Before I sign off, I thought I'd leave you with a funny picture...


This little pair of girl's undies was a definite fail... LOL!!! 

... Pam

Monday, 28 May 2012

Zumba Pants...

Garment Sewing Challenge: May 2012

This month I've joined in the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge, hosted by Rikka, from Ricochet and Away. This challenge was just the motivation I needed to make something for me.

Not long ago, I said that I would make three tops for myself before the end of the year. Originally, I thought that my first top would be made as part of the I Will Wear it in Public Garment Sewing Challenge. Somewhere during the month, I totally changed my mind and decided to make myself a pair of pants to wear to Zumba.

I knew exactly the design I wanted. I already have a couple of pairs of Lorna Jane 3/4 Flashdance Pants. However, as it's nearly Winter here, I wanted my new pants to be full length.


New Look 6055 was as close as I could find to the pants I wanted. Obviously I wouldn't be wearing my new pants with high heels. I found a black stretch cotton poplin, made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex.


The first modification I made to the pattern was to add knee pleats for ease of movement. This simply meant adding four small pleats at the knee: two on either seam at the front.




Next up were the pockets, where I added a line of blue topstitching. When doing the first pocket, my machine skipped a couple of stitches. Had I been using black thread, it wouldn't have been seen, but being blue, it was very obvious. I already had a ball point needle as the fabric was slightly stretchy. When sewing with bias binding a while ago, readers related experiences of changing the needle fixing a myriad of problems. So I changed the needle to a new ball point and the problem was fixed. 




Part of the sewing challenge was to attempt something new to us. My flashdance pants have flat felled seams, so of course I wanted these on my new pants. This was perfect, as I had never attempted flat felled seams before.


The New Look pattern used a regular seam. I have no idea what you call the seam that is most used on garments. Can anybody help me out with the correct name? 


A quick Google search and I found a great tutorial by oliver + s. Flat felled seams appeared to be easy enough to do. Begin by sewing a seam with the wrong sides of the fabric together. Why did I then sew the fabric with right sides together? Of course, I sewed the length of the leg before I discovered my mistake. Hmmm... black thread on black fabric at night is VERY hard to unpick. I was too impatient to wait till daylight, so I decided to have my flat felled seam on the inside of the pants, instead of the outside. And it worked!!! It looks fine and as the fabric is thin, it's not noticeable when wearing.


Having done one flat felled seam on the inside, of course meant doing the other leg seam the same way. I still hadn't successfully mastered a new technique. When it came to sewing the two fronts together and the two backs together, I made sure I sewed my flat felled seam, beginning with the wrong sides together... a successful flat felled seam


The next modification to the pattern was to add a waistband from stretch ribbing and elastic, instead of the same fabric as the rest of the pants.

I also added a band of stretch ribbing to the bottom of the legs, instead of sewing a cuff with a button, as in the pattern.


I was a bit lazy and didn't add a flap to the external pockets.


I wore my pants to a class this afternoon. So... I have worn my garment in public. We had fun taking these shots before the class.


These are the most comfortable pants I have worn to Zumba. However, I'm not totally happy with them. When I first put them on at home, my immediate reaction was... clown pants. Compared to my old pants, they felt and looked too large, both width wise and from waist to crotch. Folding the waistband over has solved the latter problem and funnily enough, it hasn't altered the comfort.


Before cutting my fabric, I took my measurements and chose which size to make accordingly. I'm usually quite lazy with multi sized patterns and just fold the tissue paper to the correct size and pin it to the fabric. This time I decided I'd transfer the tissue paper pattern to a thicker paper in my size. I don't remember where I saw this, but I put the tissue paper on top of my paper and used a pin through the tissue to mark the cutting line. Worked like a charm.


Once I had my pattern cut out, I measured it against my old pants. Allowing for seams, it appeared like the sizing would be OK, except for the length, which is always too long. I adjusted the pattern and set off sewing.


Well... something went wrong, because the pants are much wider than expected and the waist to crotch was way out. Perhaps it's just me comparing them to my old pants. Perhaps they're meant to be that wide. Next time I will go down two sizes and there will be a next time, as I purchased enough fabric to make another pair.

Since returning to sewing in recent times, I've found that any patterns from Simplicity, Butterick, etc are all sized too large. However, as I'd taken my measurements this time, I thought I'd be OK. When I sewed for myself many years ago, I didn't have problems with the sizing of patterns. How do you find pattern sizings? Is it just me? Am I too picky?


When I look at the pants in the photos, they don't look too bad. Perhaps it was just my expectations, thinking they'd be the same as my old pants.

I'm pleased I joined in the challenge!!! It's given me the push I needed to begin sewing for myself. Thanks Rikka, for hosting yet another fabulous challenge. I look forward to the next one...

... Pam

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Threading Your Way ~ Shorts, Pants, Leggings, Trousers ~ Link Party

Welcome to the twenty second edition of Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way. Each ongoing, themed link party is steadily growing into a resource full of ideas and inspiration.

Remember, these linkys are ongoing, so you can continue to add projects throughout the year. Add as many projects as you would like.

Our twenty second linky for 2012 is everything Shorts, Pants, Trousers, Leggings for kids. If you have previously linked up one of these items in another category, feel free to link it up here again.

Shorts, Pants, Leggings and Trousers
Link up any family friendly posts that you have written on shorts, pants, leggings or trousers for kids. Your posts might (but don't have to) include any of the following:
  • how you made it
  • tutorials
  • photos
  • pattern reviews
  • tips for making
  • what you learnt
As long as YOU have made it, link it up and show it off. Link up as many posts on shorts, pants, leggings or trousers for kids, as you would like. Come back through the year and add more.

Guidelines for linking up:
  • Each post needs to be about shorts, pants, leggings or trousers for kids.
  • Link to a specific post (not the home page of your blog).
  • No direct links to shops or giveaways.
The fine print:
  • By linking up, you are giving me permission to use one of your photos in a feature. I will, of course, link back to your post, giving you full credit.
If you'd like:
  • Subscribe to Threading My Way (GFC, RSS, Linky Followers, email), to keep up to date, to see if you've been featured and to know when the next themed party starts.
  • Grab a button to spread the word about Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way and put it somewhere on your blog. 
  • Visit some of the other links. Everyone loves comments.
I usually post Features each Saturday on Threading My Way. Features are chosen from all of the linkys, not just the most recent.




I look forward to seeing your shorts, pants, leggings or trousers for kids...

Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 



Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 
  1. Bags and Totes
  2. Dresses for Girls
  3. Dresses for Women
  4. Hair Accessories
  5. Pillows and Cushions
  6. Boys' Clothes
  7. Skirts for Girls
  8. Aprons and Art Smocks
  9. Purses, Clutches, Pouches
  10. Dolls' Clothes
  11. Women's Skirts
  12. Baby Clothes and Accessories
  13. Children's Tops and Shirts
  14. Women's Tops and Shirts
  15. Softies, Dolls, Toys
  16. Sewing Tips and Techniques
  17. Sewing with stretch fabric
  18. Quilting and Patchwork
  19. Embroidery, Stitching and Appliqué
  20. Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Ponchos
  21. Hats, Bonnets, Beanies and Scarves
  22. Pants, Shorts, Trousers for Children
  23. Drawstring Bags and Fabric Baskets
  24. Pretend Dress Up Clothes
  25. Clothes for Men
  26. Kitchen Accessories
  27. Swimwear
  28. Sleepwear
  29. Gift Wrapping
  30. Electronic Gadget Covers and Cases
  31. Blog Tips
  32. Refashioning with Denim
  33. Pants for Women
  34. Sewing Accessories
  35. Home Decor

... Pam

Threading Your Way ~ Features

Did you all have fun during Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Week? WOW!!! So many wonderful giveaways. I've found some new (to me), creative blogs and I've just had an email telling me I've won 10 fat quarters of fabric over at Mama Love Quilts. How cool is that!!! I'll tell you more about my win later.

With everyone busy entering giveaways this week, I had thought there may be less posts linked up to our ongoing link parties, but this hasn't been the case.

For those of you who are new to Threading My Way, all of our 21 link parties are themed and ongoing. You can add links to any party at any time. A new ongoing party begins each Sunday. Features, which are usually done each Saturday, can be chosen from any of the parties. There's a list at the bottom of the post.
    Our features for this week...


    The most viewed Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Ponchos post from last week:
    • Velvet Jacket by Sherry, from What I Made Today. Sherry has been featured several times on Threading My Way, with her gorgeous children's clothes.
    With Winter fast approaching in Australia, I'm keen to find good jacket patterns. Both of the following jackets not only look fabulous, but appear to be warm and comfortable, too:
    Some amazing heirloom embroidery:
    A man's shirt refashioned into a stylish top for a woman:
    • Summer Top by Lovenicky, from Frou Frou by lovenicky
    An exquisite hair accessory :
    An ever so lovely knitted bag. I haven't knitted for many years, but this bag makes me want to start again:
    And a tutorial for a beautiful frame purse:

    Head on over and visit these talented ladies. 

    Each week, I will place a blog button, belonging to the blog which was most viewed, in my sidebar. This week the most viewed link is the Velvet Jacket. Sherry, look out for your blog button in my sidebar.

    Feel free to grab a button if you've been featured...


    You can find the Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 

    I look forward to seeing more of your creativity...


    ... Pam

    Sew Mama Sew Giveaway ~ Winner

    I hope you all had fun during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. I certainly did!!! I've found lots of new blogs that I'll now be keeping up with. I loved reading your comments about your plans for 2 yards of Amy Butler fabric.


    Unfortunately, there can only be one winner and Mr Random Generator has chosen comment #318...



    Congratulations, Stephanie!!! I've sent you an email. Thank you to everyone who visited Threading My Way during the week of the giveaway.

    Monday, 21 May 2012

    Cinderella is off to the ball...


    I thought it was about time I added to the Dress Up box. I was thinking a fairy outfit or maybe a princess outfit, but it was decided that a Cinderella dress was the way to go.


    I interpreted Cinderella dress rather loosely and thought a skirt would be OK, so I dug out an old skirt that my daughter wore in a dance concert when she was a teenager. I know, I should have taken a photo of the old dance skirt, but I didn't. It was just three panels of sheer fabric sewn onto a waistband, with a velcro closure and one seam left open. Each panel was slightly narrower at the top than the bottom.



    You may remember the outfit to the left. I used it to make a girl's dress and was left with the two stretchy tubes: perfect for Cinderella's waistband. Add the new waistband to the old dance skirt:

    • Cut off excess fabric from the dance skirt.
    • Sew up the seam.
    • Sew the skirt to the waistband using a three step zig zag stitch and stretching the waistband slightly while sewing.
    Cinderella is nearly ready for the ball.

    I was tempted to make the excess fabric from the skirt into a blouse, so the outfit would appear to be a dress. The teacher in me prevented this. A child's imagination is a wonderful thing and allowing the child to improvise while playing dress ups, is a great way to develop their imaginations.

    A blouse can only be a blouse, but a long piece of fabric can be a shawl, a scarf, a belt or perhaps draped around the waist and tied in a bow at the back. The possibilites are only limited by the child's imagination.



    Cinderella is almost ready. Maybe we could add something to her arms. Yes, they look a little odd in the photo below, but I've attempted to make some armlets that could be worn as sleeves.





    Here is one on my arm. It's part of the sleeve from a long sleeved t-shirt, with a tube of material from the skirt attached at the top. I was lazy and just sewed the sheer fabric to the t-shirt, stretching the t-shirt as I sewed.

    I really should have used elastic, as the t-shirt stretched. I don't think it will fall down, as only the top of the t-shirt has stretched, so the rest should hold it up. If not, I'll add some elastic.

    Cinderella is now ready to go to the ball.
    Whilst we want to develop children's imagination, they sometimes do unexpected things. Children should always be closely supervised when playing dress ups.

    Have fun playing with your children as they role play and enter the world of make believe...


    ... Pam

    Fabric Giveaway

    Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

    This is my third time participating in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day. Last year I won a pattern of my choice from Little Lizard King and a fabric bundle from Hopeful Threads.


    Giveaway day actually runs for the week and I know I'll be like a mad woman, reading, commenting and crossing my fingers that I'll win something again. Whether I win something or not, I know I'll also find lots of fabulous blogs.

    With further ado, here's what I'm offering to one lucky reader......



    - 1 yard of Fuchsia Tree and 1 yard of Twilight Peony, both by Amy Butler.


    That's right, one lucky reader will win two yards of fabric from the Soul Blossoms collection, by Amy Butler.



    What do you have to do to win?
    • Leave me a comment telling me what you would make from your 2 yards of Soul Blossoms fabric, if you win.
    • I'll need a way to contact you if you win. If you are a no reply blogger, or if you don't have a blog, leave your email address with your comment. You can write your email as...
    That's all you have to do... leave me a comment and a way to contact you if you win.


    Bonus entries (not mandatory):
    • Follow Threading My Way and leave me a separate comment below telling me how you follow. The GFC and Linky Followers boxes are in the sidebar at the top of the page.
    • Like Threading My Way on Facebook, then come back and leave me a separate comment below.

    Three chances to win!!! Leave separate comments for each.

    • Giveaway is open to international readers.
    • Giveaway will finish at 5pm PST, Friday 25 May (That's about 9am EST, Saturday 17 December in Australia.)
    • The winner will be chosen by random.org

    Have fun during the week of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. I hope you find lots of blogs that you will want to follow and good luck winning something.

    Sew Mama Sew


    Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to reading your comments and I hope to see you again.

    ... Pam


    This giveaway has now closed. Winner announced here.


    Congratulations, Stephanie!!!

    Saturday, 19 May 2012

    Threading Your Way ~ Hats, Bonnets, Beanies, Scarves ~ Link Party

    Welcome to the twenty first edition of Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way. Each ongoing, themed link party is steadily growing into a resource full of ideas and inspiration.

    Remember, these linkys are ongoing, so you can continue to add projects throughout the year. Add as many projects as you would like.

    Our twenty first linky for 2012 is everything Hats, Bonnets, Beanies, Scarves for kids and adults. If you have previously linked up a hat or bonnet in another category, feel free to link it up here again.

    Hats, Bonnets, Beanies and Scarves
    Link up any family friendly posts that you have written on hats, bonnets, beanies or scarves. Your posts might (but don't have to) include any of the following:
    • how you made it
    • tutorials
    • photos
    • pattern reviews
    • tips for making
    • what you learnt
    As long as YOU have made it, link it up and show it off. Link up as many posts on hats, bonnets, beanies or scarves, as you would like. Come back through the year and add more.

    Guidelines for linking up:
    • Each post needs to be about hats, bonnets, beanies or scarves.
    • Link to a specific post (not the home page of your blog).
    • No direct links to shops or giveaways.
    The fine print:
    • By linking up, you are giving me permission to use one of your photos in a feature. I will, of course, link back to your post, giving you full credit.
    If you'd like:
    • Subscribe to Threading My Way (GFC, RSS, Linky Followers, email), to keep up to date, to see if you've been featured and to know when the next themed party starts.
    • Grab a button to spread the word about Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way and put it somewhere on your blog. 
    • Visit some of the other links. Everyone loves comments.
    I usually post Features each Saturday on Threading My Way. Features are chosen from all of the linkys, not just the most recent.




    I look forward to seeing your hats, bonnets, beanies and scarves...

    Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 



    Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 
    1. Bags and Totes
    2. Dresses for Girls
    3. Dresses for Women
    4. Hair Accessories
    5. Pillows and Cushions
    6. Boys' Clothes
    7. Skirts for Girls
    8. Aprons and Art Smocks
    9. Purses, Clutches, Pouches
    10. Dolls' Clothes
    11. Women's Skirts
    12. Baby Clothes and Accessories
    13. Children's Tops and Shirts
    14. Women's Tops and Shirts
    15. Softies, Dolls, Toys
    16. Sewing Tips and Techniques
    17. Sewing with stretch fabric
    18. Quilting and Patchwork
    19. Embroidery, Stitching and Appliqué
    20. Jackets, Coats, Raincoats, Ponchos
    21. Hats, Bonnets, Beanies and Scarves
    22. Pants, Shorts, Trousers for Children
    23. Drawstring Bags and Fabric Baskets
    24. Pretend Dress Up Clothes
    25. Clothes for Men
    26. Kitchen Accessories
    27. Swimwear
    28. Sleepwear
    29. Gift Wrapping
    30. Electronic Gadget Covers and Cases
    31. Blog Tips
    32. Refashioning with Denim
    33. Pants for Women
    34. Sewing Accessories
    35. Home Decor
    ... Pam

    Threading Your Way ~ Features

    There were lots of lovely posts linked up to our ongoing link parties this week. I really do enjoy seeing each email telling me there's a new project linked up, waiting for me to have a look.
      Our features for this week...


      The two most viewed Embroidery, Stitching and Appliqué posts both featured hearts:
      And two awesome hand embroidered appliqué projects. I have only appliquéd by machine. One day I'd like to learn to hand appliqué like these two ladies.
      A terrific tutorial showing how to do the Maths to make a Scallop Skirt:
      A sweet, little dress made from two pre-loved t-shirts. You know how I love refashions!
      And two ever so pretty little dresses.

      Head on over and visit these talented ladies. 

      Each week, I will place a blog button, belonging to the blog which was most viewed, in my sidebar. This week, there was a tie for the most viewed link: Heart Potholder Tutorial and Heart Shaped Reverse Appliqué. Deana and Tanya, look out for your blog buttons in my sidebar.

      Feel free to grab a button if you've been featured...


      You can find the Master list of ongoing link parties at Threading YOUR Way with Threading My Way 

      I look forward to seeing more of your creativity...


      ... Pam