Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jeans Back Patch Pocket Tutorial

There was a question on my favourite sewing list about sewing on patch pockets. I'm making jeans for DD(16) at the moment and thought I'd take pictures and share my technique along the way. This is for a standard 5 straight sided jeans pocket as shown below.

Overlock the top raw edge of the pocket

Check the pattern for the placement of the fold line at the top of the pocket. Here the fold is 2.5 cm from the raw edge.

Fold the top edge of the pocket down 2.5 cm with right sides together.

Sew down the folded section at each side along the seam allowance (here I'm using 1cm)

and the other side (I like to see where the folded piece finishes)

Progress so far ...

Trim the threads and a little of the folded edge inside the seam allowance, just a little diagonal cut.

Turn the right way out and press, making sure the top corners are sharp and the centre of the fold is 2.5cm deep.

Using a long stitch mark the seam allowances around the edge of the pocket. I just sew 4 straight lines, so I don't have to worry about turning corners accurately with a long basting stitch.

Use these lines as a guide while pressing the seam allowances under

I like to stitch along the top hem at the edge of the overlock stitches, here I can see it is at the 2cm mark on my machine. Don't stitch yet!

Turn the pocket over so that the right side is facing up. I've changed the top thread to a contrasting orange for top stitching. I lengthen the stitch slightly from 2.5 to 3 on my machine. Sew a line 2cm from the top.

Here's the pocket ready to sew on to the back of the jeans.

I'll post more pictures next sewing/computer session
Happy to answer any questions :-).

Pants Modelled

DS is wearing his new pants today and he's quite happy with them, thinks the details are cool and he wouldn't mind another pair of the same design in the olive canvas. He would prefer a longer crotch so I'll have to find out how to make that kind of alteration before making the next pair. They're very long but we think they'll be fine worn srunched up over shoes.

Here's a shot of the fit at the back with DS using the hip pockets.

New Ottobre Woman

The new issue of Ottobre Woman is nearly here! You can also check out the Ottobre Blog for pictures. Some highlights for me are shown below :-)

A pretty frilly scarf

I'm a sucker for shirts!

there's some sensible looking underwear :-)

and a nice sporty outfit.

Stalking the postie!!

Black Cotton Drill Pants

Happy to say that I've finished a pair of black cotton drill pants for DS(14) this week. I've got some delicious olive canvas waiting to make up so I thought I'd try this pattern out in a practice fabric. This is pattern #32 from Ottobre issue 3/2004, made in the largest size 170.

I particularly like the triple topstitching on the back yokes and the back pocket detail.

DS likes to be able to use his hip pockets so the diagonal design was appealing too, shown below. The front leg is split below the knee to add interest with some more triple topstitching detail. I had a cute soccer ball button which I suggested using but for some reason DS chose this boring black one ;-).

Here's another shot attempting to show the details. DS usually doesn't approve contrast topstitching but agreed to grey this time (he even nearly chose red on black!). So glad, it made all the effort worthwhile :-).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hilarious Sewing Machine Ad

I noticed this ad today in the classifieds at work, honest!! It cracked me up - hope it gives you a good giggle too!! LOL

This thing is a Janome Mystyle 16.

Comes with instructions ,spare plate, pedal, unpicker,screwdriver, needles, 3 spare bobbins & machine vinyl cover.


I bought this for an old girlfriend to try to get her to do stuff. When we broke up a few years ago she used it to sew up the legs of all my jeans and sleeves of all my shirts.
It hadn't been used for a few years since but when but I plugged it in the other day it still runs perfectly.

Hardly used.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Go Burda Style!

I was very excited to read that Burda Style have embraced open source sewing. This means that they've removed the copyright from their patterns, sharing intellectual property. We can sew and sell our creations using Burda patterns!! For more details see the Burda Style blog.

Now I just have to resist the crazy urge to resign from my job and sew for a living, LOL ;-)!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ugly Duckling?

I finished one of my Ottobre SWAP 2009 garments today, Viscose Jersey Crossover Top design #17 in the Autumn/Winter 5/2008 issue of Ottobre Woman (size 44). I really thought it looked absolutely awful as I laid it out on the table for a photo. I thought it had been a total waste of time and fabric making this top :-(. See what I mean?

I was dreading the look of it on me but amazingly I was absolutely thrilled! The fabric feels gorgeous, a lovely soft stretchy viscose jersey, and the top looks alright after all (just standing a little awkardly I think, tired back after sewing and trying to keep my arm away from the side seam detail) :-). I think it'll look great with this skirt.

The side pleat detail is my favourite part of the top, 3 little inverted pleats giving the front a little 3D interest. It's also nice to have two layers of jersey fabric across the tummy, a little more forgiving of curves!


The pattern is able to be made with or without a collar and stand. I made it without the collar because I find jersey collars look a little limper than I like a collar to be and other members who have made this top commented on not liking the collar style. I may have tried using a woven for the collar if I had a suitable piece but couldn't come up with one!

I used pale pink ribbing for the neckline binding rather than self-fabric. I thought the jersey was too stretchy to support itself as binding. It peeps out a little but I can live with it, I'll just have to try to be a galloping horse ;-).

Being of shortish stature, as usual I had to cut 1" off the sleeve edges and 2" off the top length before hemming.

There are some funny lines under my arm, when I lift my arms it looks a little like the sleeve opening is a little too big. Surely my chest is not big enough for a bust alteration! Any hints ideas would be welcome, but be kind ;-)!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Two More Plans and a Super New Deck

Oops, I missed two more very important sewing plans yesterday!
- I have promised to sew some summer hats and belts for Crafters4Charity summer stalls.
- and (as blogged before) the really big project, sewing my niece's formal dress :-)
I actually got on the sewing machine tonight after days of tracing and cutting fabric, woohoo, feels good, LOL ;-)

Some very exciting non-sewing news is that our new deck is finished, yay :-)!

Here's the before shot of our old wooden deck, worse for wear and falling apart
And our amazing new bigger deck (4.8 x 7.5 metres), now roofed so we can sit outside to watch storms and stay dry, with metal frame and balustrades (so it doesn't rot away in the weather!). We also requested a wide top railing (great for leaning on and putting drinks down on) and the solution reached was to screw a length of hardwood on top, it looks absolutely perfect :-).
Great space for summer BBQs and family gatherings (and teenage parties with almost the same space available under the deck)
Hardwood plank steps, wide and gentle, perfect for easy access for all ages. I was very particular about the step design and love how they feel to use.
My favourite spot at home :-)
DH and I love to curl up here to relax and catch up with eachother

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sewing Plans

I have lots of sewing plans, I'm not sure how I'm going to fit it all in!

I'm participating in a Sewing With a Plan activity with my Ottobre-English group. Here are the first and second completed steps, choosing designs and fabrics.

What else...
- I have a big bag full of penne crushed velvet to make capes for the school's Spring Fair in November.
- I have 3 more Rail Fence blocks to make in August/Sept for a swap with my Quilting For All group.
- I have Pay It Forward gifts to create for two lovely on-line friends, by March 2010, already moving along.
- My 3 kids need new pants to keep them warm this winter (hopefully before spring arrives!). I've traced one pattern for each of them and have the right fabric to make at least one each. J prefers track pants, O prefers canvas pants and E prefers jeans, variety the spice of life :-).
- the dogs still need more bedding.

Now if only work didn't get in the way I'd be set ;-)!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cloud Appreciation

Totally off topic tonight! I just found the most wonderful website run by the Cloud Appreciation Society. I love unusual cloud formations and this site is full of amazing cloud photos.

Have a look at the spookiest clouds I've ever seen, Asperatus (taken in Scotland) and to make you smile again a Fumulus Snail (taken in Wales).

Thought I'd share two of my own favourite cloud photos.

This was taken at home in Canberra in 2008. I think it is called a tabletop cloud.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this cloud formation on a trip to Fraser Island in 2007. Now that I have looked through the Cloud Appreciation Society website I think it is called a 'Fallstreak Hole'. Awesome!

Hope you've enjoyed something a little different :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Catching Up

I made a skirt for myself recently which I'd like to share with you. The main fabric was given to me by a generous work colleague, leftovers from a skirt she made for herself, a very pretty embroidered fabric. There were quite a few wedge shaped pieces which worked really well for a 10 gore skirt design from Ottobre Woman.

Do you like the fun little secret touch inside, lining remnants! Feels like my own secret carnivale skirt :-). Would you believe DD(16) saw it and asked if she could borrow it and wear it inside out, LOL!!!

I would really love to make this skirt again but without the contrasting hem band. I much preferred the drape of the skirt before the hem band was sewn on, it seems to hold the skirt out making the biggest part of my body look more voluminous!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Spoiling myself - Sewing baby clothes

After spending some time with my mum over Christmas I was inspired to give patchworking a go for a year. I've finally realised 6 months in that I don't really enjoy it at all and I was found myself increasingly avoiding the sewing room (and blogging), sorry to all those fans who are addicted but I found it quite tedious!!

So I needed to get back in the saddle and spoil myself with some fun sewing, what better excuse than sewing for new babies :-)!!
Here's one for two work colleagues who knew they were expecting a baby boy, this one was made for the dad using cute 'Daddy's Little Boy' fabric :-). I made a 'Where's Wally' style baby outfit to make the mum smile, as we joked around about her clothing being in that style, LOL ;-). Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished outfit but he wore it when he came to visit us all at work :-).
I loved the design feature of an invisible zip in the front raglan shoulder seam, and the cute little patch.
I also made a sporty little outfit for my first nephew who is now just over 6 months old. I was lucky enough to see him wearing it yesterday at a family gathering :-). My husband and his twin brother are avid soccer fans so this fabric was just perfect for my DBILs little boy (who has 5 big sisters!).
The only oops in this top is that the zipper is not a separating one, LOL. It was a black chunky zipper in my stash of the perfect length. I only realised it didn't separate after I'd finished sewing!! DSIL thought it was a great idea, so much easier to manage than trying to join the bottom of a zipper up on a wriggling baby. I'll have to remember this mistake, could be the start of a whole new trend :-).

Happy to be back in the sewing room :-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Inspired to blog again

Look what arrived in the mail today, an awesome Pay It Forward package from Marina!!! We both love Curly's and sew, couldn't find a more perfect friend ;-). First the pretty package.

Look at this beautiful soap sculpture, which came in a cute paw print bag!

and a magnet, what a regal head our dogs have :-)
and beautifully sewn bags in divine fabric, wow!!!
Thank you Marina, you're package makes me feel very special :-)
I owe you one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Eurovision Family Fun

We've been watching Eurovision as a family together since 2004, it's great fun!! We prepare comment and scoring sheets which we fill in as we view the performances. There are many disagreements regarding scores and comments which can get somewhat heated but it's all in fun ;-). Aggregating our scores these were our top 5:


My favourite songs were
Estonia - beautiful combination of voice and cello
Norway - cheeky lad, cute song with character
Albania - catchy tune and I enjoy songs in the lower range.
Please ctrl click on the links to listen :-)

Seeing as I love to sew clothes I thought it might be fun to award some unofficial Eurovision 2009 Costume Prizes!!

My Favourite and the Most Co-ordinated Ensemble
Estonia - the beautiful blue fabric looked great as a feature fabric in each outfit, all different styles

The one I'd most like to study close-up
Armenia - with it's layers of velvet and silver detail

Most Beautiful Fabric
Cyprus - white with delicate gold detail

Prettiest Feathers and Frills
Iceland - tastefully frilly

Most Leg Flattering
Albania - pretty prom feel to this one

Best Corsetry
Germany - I'm sure I've only ever seen that shape in cartoons before!

Most Scantily Clad
Ukraine's Roman Gladiators - couldn't get any shorter could it!

Easiest Costume To Make
Russia - rectangle of fabric gathered with elastic, what the ... !!

Put On Your Sunnies!
Netherlands - wow, glitter suits

Wardrobe Malfunction
Greece - looked ridiculous with his hairy belly popping out as he gyrated ;-)

Wooden Spoon
Czech Republic - I just don't get the caped crusader look

On Stage Costume Changes
Hungary - from suits to barely anything ;-)

Feel free to share your favourite songs and costume prizes :-)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Canine Appreciation!

Spotlight is having an end of bolt fabric sale for 4 days, and although I'm not a big fan I made it in this morning to look for some new bedding material for the dogs. Kaeli still chews it up and I've run out of old sheets to use ;-)! I found some thick chocolate brown polar fleece (non pill) and some pretty green and pink striped flannelette and bought both bolts, 15m of one and 17m of the other.

I was a bit worried that the dogs wouldn't like sleeping on polar fleece until while cutting it up I returned to find this, LOL! It did go down well after all, what a hoot :-D

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

New Blocks and Some Cooking Fun

I love the greens in these blocks I received today. Thank You!

Just had to share tonight's cooking story :-). DS (11 yo) decided to cook a cake tonight. I offered a basic cake recipe as a guide but he was adamant he wanted to create the best cake ever by making up his own recipe! He came up with the following combination:

Chocolate Banana Cake
3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa
2 bananas
Mix all the ingredients together. Bake in oven until cooked.

Well I did eat one whole piece but after a couple of nibbles DS crumbled his piece and fed it to the dogs ;-)

This is his cooking motto as written by him tonight (think Star Trek!)

Food the final frontier
These are the voyages of the star cook J
His continuing mission
To explore strange new foods
To seek out new ingredients and new ways of cooking
To boldly go where no man has eaten before

He's such a character, LOL! He even assured me on Sunday that it couldn't possibly be Mother's Day because they hadn't made anything at school for mums!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Final Round of Voting for Spring Top

The Top Ten Spring Tops have been chosen at MadeByRae. You can vote for your favourite until Friday 11pm (eastern time), whatever time that is for you ;-) I know which one is my favourite!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Blocks

Some more beautifully sewn blocks arrived today from Canada and USA.

Thank You!