Friday, September 21, 2007


Thank you so much for all the sweet comments on the jeans tute! I've got a full-length Halloween pair in the works too, so I'll post a pic when they're finished.

Lu grows so fast right now I don't feel wasteful making her a holiday outfit that realistically won't get a ton of wear. The fact is NOTHING gets much wear in her closet right now! I almost can't keep up with her!

I'm participating in the Loes Hinse & Textile Studio's Sew Along on PR. If you're a fan of these patterns, or just want to try one out, come join us! I'm making these first:

The pants are from the Japanese craft book "Everyday Pants & Culottes". I love the flippy little ruffle on these pants. Plus...cotton print! Woohoo! Ya'll know this is my weakness and I almost never get to use it for me. I'm using the LH Cruise Pant pattern. I widened the legs and added a drawstring waist.

They would technically be finished except that I tried them on and they were too long. Guess I shoulda tried them on BEFORE adding the ruffle!! I also doubled the ruffle for a finished edge, and I think it's too "heavy". It seems to weight down the pant leg and they're not as flow-y as the photo above.

SO I have to whack off the ruffle and make it a single layer with a tiny hem. That will work better, I think.

Have to go to work now. Bummer.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hippy Chic

Back in the 70's my uber-crafty mother made my sister (desperate-to-be-a-hippy) and I (follower of-all-things-my-sister) a pair of jeans like these. If my memory serves me, mine were Holly-Hobby calico. I think my sister wore hers until they fell apart.

Here's a quick & dirty tutorial on this shabby patchworked blast from my past!

First you need an assortment of fabrics. I used quilting cottons, because woven cotton ravels well. Cut your fabrics into random shapes & can always adjust later when placing. I like to use fabrics with a "motif" because those can be cut out and layered for a fun look!

Next, you need to remove the inseam stitching of your jeans.

Lay out your scraps and patches until you like the arrangment. I like to tack mine down with Sulky KK 2000 spray glue or a temp glue stick. You don't want to fuse the patches down because they won't ravel nicely (which is kinda the point.)

I work in "layers", one leg at a time. When my first layer is arranged nicely, I take the jeans to the sewing machine and sew down these patches. Since the KK2000 is repositionable (limitedly) you can lift your patchs & motifs to get the perfect arrangement!

You can use whatever stitch you like, but I like a zigzag or featherstitch...and a straight stitch for those little pieces. Leave about 1/4 inch outside of your stitching (to fray).

When your patches are stitched down, you can further embellish with all the little motifs from your fabric :

When both legs are all finished, you're ready to restitch the inseam. I chose to crop these jeans for Lu, so I featherstitched around the bottom of the jeans to prevent too much fraying at the hem.

After all the stitching is finished, throw them in the washing machine & dryer. And voila! Truly adorable one of a kind jeans!

Here's the back:

and a close up:

You could add machine embroidery, bits of lace & trim, pieces of vintage linens...Use your imagination and make your own hippy chic denim!

...this tutorial compliments of my mother. Thanks mom!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Head. Hurt.

I've had a migraine since Tuesday. I'm grumpy.

No sewing here this week...but my Gorgeous Fabrics came! And I traced my Ottobre button front top.

That's progress, dangit.

I haven't even had the time or energy to peruse your lovely blogs. My apololgies for that. At least I've got a whole weekend to peruse & sew & peruse & sew.

Meanwhile, check out Shannon's prettty blue NL top...I have this pattern staring up at me every time I open my pattern drawer. Cheeky thing.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ottobre Woman

I got my new Ottobre Woman in the mail Saturday! WooHoo!!

Once again there are several things I want to make right away out of this magazine! I went straightaway to Gorgeous Fabrics and placed an order. (That's how you know it's a good magazine, when you immediately fabric shop with one of the pieces in mind.)

It was the cover top that sent me fabric shopping and I found this very MOD dotty knit:

But I also picked up a snazzy ssssnakeskin print for the trench coat! (Which has raglan sleeves so will whip up in NO time!) Itty bitty pic of the snakeskin overlaying the mag pic...

And look at the gorgeous white blouse above too, with beautiful sleeves & cuffs...everyone needs this blouse.

And this adorable bow-front skirt is a must-have too:

I also love this simple black knit top (with cute gathered sleeve hems) AND the jeans. You gotta love a jean with a substantial pocket, especially when you've got an ample backside.

That's one disappointment in commercial patterns that's an easy fix, but can be hard to identify. Sometimes you hate the way your newly made & painstakingly topstitched jeans look on your booty trial. It's probably the pockets. 9.5 times out of 10 the pocket pattern is WAYYYY too small. (This can be true of purchased jeans too. But why purchase them when you can sew a fabulous, well-fitting pair yourself?? Not us. Right?)

Solution: Small pockets make your butt look big. Enlarge your pocket pattern until it's proportional to your cheekiness.

I lost my train of thought. Oh yea. I'm So going to make those jeans. And the gathered front top, AND the long sleeve tee. AND the gorgeous white blouse. AND the sweet bow-front skirt.

Gotta get cracking now. That's a whole lotta tracing!