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1  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Patchwork Jeans on: November 13, 2009 10:33:56 AM
I just bought myself a sewing machine and finally had a go at making "hippie jeans". I followed the tutorial here: http://thenewnew.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-to-refit-old-jeans-with-side-panels.html

But I made some modifications.

First, the jeans I reconned were about 3 sizes too small, so my patches were quite wide. The height of the patches was cut randomly, but usually between 2" and 4" per patch. [See Fig 1]

Fig. 1

Second, I have very curvy hips, so I had to reduce the patches by 4 inches to fit my waist (4 inches per side - total of 8 inches). So, I used a french curve to curve the top patch out to accommodate the hip/waist difference. [See Fig 2]

Fig. 2

Third, I messed up and made my patchwork panels too short, but didn't figure this out until I had sewed them onto the jeans. So, I had to improvise a way to finish the hems. This is what I came up with. [Fig 3]

Fig. 3

This was a lot of hard work, but now I have my very own patchwork jeans  Smiley

Also, I am not the world's greatest sewer, so this gave me a chance to learn the features of my machine and attempt to sew in straight lines.

Some more details: The inside is lined with an old sheet. [Fig 4]

Fig. 4

I serged the main seams, but pieced the patches on my regular sewing machine.

If I did this over again, I would make the waistband elastic MUCH tighter. I followed the tute (i.e. elastic length is one inch less than actual measurement), but the elastic is still not tight enough and I have to belt these pants. But, they are very comfy.

Here is me modeling the finished project [Fig 5]:

2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Serger, but no sewing machine on: June 23, 2007 11:12:06 AM
Hi all,

My MIL got a new serger and gave me her old one, a "BabyLock Proline BL4-428D." I have a sewing machine, but it needs repairs and I can't use it right now. I am also pretty unskilled at sewing and have managed to construct only one or two simple tied quilts. My sewing is pretty uneven and I am not sure of basics.

My question is this:

I hope to take lessons at some point, but I have no income at the moment. What I have available to me are: thrifted sheets and about 8 pairs of jeans. I would like to make something, using only the serger. Ideally I would like to make a blanket for my mom who is having surgery soon. Is it possible to make a quilt on a serger only without a sewing machine? If so, does anyone know of any directions? Could I make one of the raggy jeans quilts on it? I would also like to make shirts or skirts on it too.


3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Stitchalongs / Vintage kit/pattern stitch along on: January 22, 2007 01:29:49 AM
Hi all,

Do you have a vintage kit or pattern you would like to work? Please join me! I'll be working on three vintage owl needlepoints I got on etsy from morningK.

I am completely new to needlepoint, but I am trudging ahead anyhow.

Anyone care to join in?
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Neckline finishing via crochet? on: August 20, 2006 04:22:05 PM
Hi all,

I am a new sewer and I have been trying to make a top on my sewing machine (1950s era Kenmore). The problem is the machine is old and it needs a new bobbin winder tire/rubber ring. I haven't gotten one yet (anyone know where to get it?) and I want to keep going on the top I was making. Since my machine is out of commission, I need something that can be done by hand. I suck at hand sewing, so I want to finish the neckline by crocheting over the raw edges with a small hook and fine crochet thread. Is this a bad idea? Will this work? Do I need to zig-zag stitch the raw edges first? I may not be using the right terms for things, so any suggestions are welcome.


*edited to fix typo 8/20/06*
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / "Vintage" Sewing Machine Information on: August 09, 2006 06:51:54 PM
The Smithsonian has an online collection with some scanned images of sewing machine manuals and other literature associated with the manufacturer or the machine itself. I thought this might be helpful for those of you who need vintage manuals.

Here's the link: http://www.sil.si.edu/digitalcollections/trade-literature/sewing-machines/CF/index.cfm
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Newbie - hand sewing questions on: July 30, 2006 11:15:37 AM
HI everyone. I am new to sewing but in desperate need of some plain (ie simple) shirts for work. I would like to use this pattern, view 1 or 2: http://www.jalie.com/catalog/popframes/2005.html

I have a couple of questions. First, is it difficult to hand sew stretchy or knit fabrics? I am thinking it might actually be easier than sewing it on machine, but maybe not. I am large chested, but don't have enough skill to deal with darts, so I thought a strecthy shirt would work best.

Secondly, does anyone know a good hand sewing book for those new to sewing? I have a vintage hippie book called "The Hassle-Free Sew Your Own Clothes Book" but it is not super informative to technique and assumes you will be making caftans or turning pants into bellbottoms.

Third, do I need any special equipment for hand sewing? Or are needles, thread and fabric good enough?

I did try searching the archive, but I may be using the wrong search terms as I didn't find anything about these questions specifically. Thanks!
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Laura Jane Bear from MagKnits on: July 08, 2006 10:05:44 AM
I finsihed my first softie - it's for my baby niece. It's the Laura Jane Bear Pattern from MagKnits: http://magknits.com/May06/patterns/ted.htm

I used Bernat Cottontots, and some generic white cotton I had laying around. I decided to put the purl side out as I am bad at seaming and I thought it gave it an interesting texture. The tummy patch, soles, and inner ears are all in stockinette. I knitted the nose freehand out of some embroidery floss and made impromptu eyes and a mouth - I am bad at embroidery, but I don't think the baby will notice the errors.

I am especially pleased that the arms and legs really turn as promised in the pattern! Yay!

Here she is posing on my husband's guitar:

* Front View*

* Side View*

8  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Peace Shawl/Lace Shawl Knit Along on: June 14, 2006 06:27:49 PM
Hi everybody,

I will be working on Evelyn Clark's Peace Shawl pattern starting next week if anyone wants to knit it or another lace shawl with with me. It's a lace triangle shawl and I am doing mine in black.

Here's the info about the pattern: http://www.fibertrends.com/viewer/patterns/S2001.html

I can't personally vouch for any of the companies below (I just did a google search), but you can buy it online at places like:

Here are some finished ones by other knitters:

Any takers?
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Beaded coffee sleeve/cozy with pattern on: January 16, 2006 07:57:19 PM
A couple of years ago, I added a pattern for a beaded coffee sleeve to my blog. I was originally inspired by the Java a Go Go (http://www.magknits.com/warm04/patterns/java.htm) pattern at Magknits. But I wanted to make my own that was beaded and done in heavier yarn. So.... here is my own coffee cozy pattern. Please note that I am a fairly lackadaisacal knitter, so I tend to do things "'til it looks long enough" or "near the middle", etc. If you want to be more precise, feel free to do the counting to 
place the beads, etc.

Here is the cozy in use. The color is very off, it's actually much darker:

Here is the cozy lying flat. This is closer to the actual color:

Photos are here if the above does not work: http://knittingmonkey.blogspot.com/

Here is the pattern:


(MC) 1 ball (or less) worsted weight yarn - I used Lion Brand Woolease in purple 147
(CC) small amount novelty yarn - I used Patons Cha Cha in Jazz 02006
set of 5 double pointed needles - I used approximately a size 7, but size is not important
1 crochet hook approximately the same diameter as the knitting needle s- I used F
28 small beads in colors to coordinate with yarn - smaller than pony beads, larger than seed beads
small amount of contrasting color worsted weight - I used Lion Brand Woolease in Forest Green
small amount of sewing thread or size 10 crochet thread
1 sample disposable coffee cup - I used a 16 oz. styrofoam cup from my local coffee place


You will begin by stringing the beads onto the main color. I experimented with several methods of this, but ended up using size 10 crochet thread to help get the beads onto the yarn. You tie the crochet thread to the MC about 4 inches from the end with a simple knot. Leave tails. Thread the beads onto the crochet thread and then over the simple knot and onto the thread. It is frustrating and takes awhile. Thread all the beads in random order.


In the supplies list I indicated that the size of the needles is not important. This is true because you will be crocheting a starting edge to match the cup itself so you won't have to guess how much to cast on. As long as your hook matches your needles, you should be fine.

With your waste yarn, crochet a chain until it is long enough to go around the width of the coffee cup 1 inch from the base. Make sure it is slightly stretched. For me this was 35 stitches.

Pick up the stitches evenly onto your knitting needles with your main color. I had a set of five needles, so for me this was 9, 9, 9, and 8. If you have fewer needles, the increases described below will not be as easy to follow. When picking up stitches from a crochet chain, insert the needle into the bump on the back side of each stitch.

Knit two rounds evenly.

Round 1: Knit a bead into the center of the first needle, immediately followed by an increase. I did this through what I believe is called a "Make 1", where I knit a stitch with a bead through the front loop, and then also knitted through the back loop of the same stitch. You can use any method you like for increasing. I liked having the increases next to the beads, because it made it easier to keep track of the increases, but you can also separate them.

Knit plain on needle two without increasing.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 2: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the center of needle two, immediately followed by an increase.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Round 3 and 4: Knit plain

Round 5: Knit a bead into the right half of needle one, immediately followed by an increase. Placement is not important - put the bead where you think it looks good. The overall effect will be random anyway.

Knit plain on needle two.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one.

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 6: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the right half of needle two, immediately followed by an increase.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Round 7 and 8: Knit plain

Round 9: Knit a bead into the left hand side of needle one, immediately followed by an increase. Again, placement is not important.

Knit plain on needle two.

On needle three, repeat the sequence for needle one.

Knit plain on needle four.

Round 10: Knit plain on needle one.

Knit a bead into the left hand side of needle two, immediately followed by an increase. Placement is not important.

Knit plain on needle three.

On needle four, repeat the sequence for needle two.

Repeat from * until piece is approximately one inch less than the desired length. Try it on the coffee cup as you go to make sure it fits right. You can end at any round you like.

When you are finished with the beaded section, you will need to get your novelty yarn. If it is thin novelty yarn knit it held together with the main color. If it is thick novelty yarn or worsted weight, cut the main color as you won't be using it again.

Knit one round evenly with the novelty yarn.
Purl the next round.
Bind off the next round loosely.

Flip the piece over.

Snip the crochet cast on and begin to unravel it, picking up the exposed stitches with your needles as you go. Distribute the stitches across the needles evenly (same as for round 1).

With your novelty yarn, knit one round.
Bind off.

Weave in all ends.

Go get a fresh cup of coffee and admire your handiwork. Smiley

*** Edited to try to fix the photos. Hope this works!
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