lemons are for licking


A new year brings new things.

The name and place of this BLOG has changed.

Please go check out my latest post. Its the first in a  new series.

                                lemons are for licking



busy christmas season


Well it sure has been a busy Christmas season so far. Lots of visiting and shopping and prepping. And even though I have been sitting down at the sewing machine every project is top-secret!!!

I will say that I have been working on some “super” stuff and improving my abilities to applique.The use of fusible interfacing has made the applique of knits so much easier. I also tried making a patch first instead of messing with multiple layers on the actual garment.

Also I think in the new year I will be making some changes to my blog so stay tuned for that.

A very happy holiday season to all of you out there. May you get to enjoy the happiness and company of all those you love.

Merry Christmas!!

Stripes for Momma


I recently bought some fabric from Sundrop Textiles a really neat fabric store and sewing studio here in the lower mainland, they specialize in active wear fabric. The cloths in their window always inspire me. And I found some time to make something for me, using a striped fashion knit. The pattern was copied from a brand name shirt of my daughters, with a few modifications. The idea is a to have the shirt kind of drape a bit with the bat wing style arms.

I like the way this garment drapes, its very comfortable because of the stretch and silky texture of the fabric. I gathered the bottom and added the extra wide waist band so it could be worn lower on the hips or up and bloused.

It was sewn using a ball point needle and a zig zag stitch, and still some of the stitches skipped. On the cuffs and neckline I reinforced the sewing with a second seam.

It was a bit tricky to get good snapshots of the shirt, so I took a few to show the bat wingness and the over all look.

wonder woman costume


I was hoping I could get this post out before Halloween or on the day at the latest. Nope … I’m late 😦  there were times this week that I wasn’t sure if the costume would get finished. But it did very late at night on oct 30.

You all know my boys are super hero obsessed, so naturally they are dressing up a their, favorites. Usually  I go as a witch or other classic  spookiness, but this year we are all going to be super heroes. And I will be Wonder Woman !

The fabric is this awesome sparkly lycra with 4 way stretch. It is actually nice to sew with, it only looks intimidating. I used a ball point needle,  a  zig-zag stitch set at L=2.5 W=2 and eased up on the tension by 0.5.  The design is a mix of old school and new school DC comic designs. I went with the new school long pants costume since we live in Canada brrr, time permitting the little jacket may get made. The top keeps the old school logo with the W’s, there was no way I could do the bird. I’m still up in the air about the belt if it will be a diamond or a v type design.

The pattern was drafted off my own leggings and a tank bra. The bottoms came together so fast I started wondering why I buy leggings. The fit on the top was tricky though. The top had to be remade and sized down, due to the extreme stretch of the fabric. The back close was originally going to be hooks and eyes like on a bra. What a mess the back got all bunchie so I ended up putting a zipper in.

The logo was drafted by tracing the top of the bodice, and superimposing wonder woman W’s over it. Now the red and blue fabrics were the yummy lycra, the gold was a nightmare! It was a metallic sheen type fabric with only one way stretch, it kinda lost its shape if stretched too far. My machine thought it was yummy and kept eating it. Ugg that stuff slowed the whole project down. When I finally finished the gold W emblem I almost hated the whole thing.

In desperation I used iron on interfacing for the head band and belt diamond. It gave the fabric some stability making it much easier to work with. It was just a bonus that the head band and belt gained some stability.

The boot covers are two separate pieces. A leg piece and a little bootie that I slipped over a ballet flat. There are no pictures as it was all done on the fly late at night. Which is also why the mirror was not cleaned before my self portraits, lots of little smudges in these photos.

Time was so tight I cut some corners.  One of the great things about halloween sewing is that it only has to last one day. Plus lots can be hidden in the dark of night like slightly miss alined zippers and raw hems. I need to say a great big thank-you to my lovely daughter who chipped in and ripped out the waist seam for me on, so it could be re-sewn snug enough to keep my pants up. Her company also made the evning so much more enjoyable. Thanks kiddo!

trucks in my pocket


I’ve been feeling the love for pockets lately, especially as a detail for the little men. So I decided to try my hand at adding some pockets to pants. There was some great yellow cotton with trucks on it in the fabric stash, and some heavy up-cycled curtain material. I’ve used the curtains before, and love the weight of the fabric it is similar to denim.

I wanted the pants to look kinda like a jean, with some double stitching details and hip pockets. Since I am a novice sewer, I have never done this kind of pocket before, with the help of google I found this great tutorial for all my pocket needs. No really, it covers everything !! more than 15 pocket styles !! thank-you so much LiEr from ikatbag.com, !! There has got to be a way to incorporate that cute gathered patch pocket into boys cloths. Could become a mission here at pins and needles.

Any way the pattern is the basic kid pants by Dana of Made.  With some modifications, the addition of front pockets of coarse, plus my attempt at a mock fly. Which is just a overlapped waistband with a working snap on the front. I modded the waistband to make it adjustable, by putting in the button holes and elastic that is found in so many kids pants these days. Lastly I decided that a cute pocket detail deserved a matching inside roll. That way the pants could be made long and have some grow into room

So I thought long and hard about how to do the cuff thingy so no seams showed. Even thought about hand sewing a hem *gasp to hide the outside stitching on the leg. Instead I decided it didn’t matter and used thread that matched the pant leg. I was so worried about the outside and bottom seams that I lost sight of the side seams. After everything was sewn up and almost done I noticed that the side seams on the inside roll up cuff were all raw and ugly. Solution trim them short and semi serge them, using a close zig-zag stitch and this crazy handy little foot that came with my machine called a over-edge foot (sadly no serger here at the house of pins.)

The back pockets were just drafted up by me. A basic patch pocket with that cute yellow truck detailing. I used my bias tape maker gizmo on a strip of the truck fabric. I really love the way they turned out.

The best part is little boy 1 loves his new pants, they have trucks in the pocket ! He approves so much that all the photos were taken as he jumped on the couch.

Super hoodies – epic conclusion


Wow what a great week last week. KCWC totally inspired me! I also completed more garments than I thought possible in one week. The key for me is the prep work, as soon as I had stitched up the pre-cut cloths I slowed down. The ideas were rolling around in my head faster than I could get them out. The great part about that is that I have tones of inspiration and ideas to work on.

So now back to our previously scheduled program Super Hoodies…When I left off this series I had just sewn together the major parts and was ready for the trickier stuff like linings, zippers and appliqued logo.

The funnest part of the project was making the GREEN LANTERN logo. Using household Tupperware for circles, I drafted the logo’s template. Then retraced it so it could be cut apart and used for a pattern. Using corresponding T-shirt material I cut out the logo. Although the symbol is quite simple I wanted it to be done right so that it was recognizable.

I’m not sure what would be a best method for applique on a zippered garment. Adding the logo before the zipper would go smoother; but then you risk the two sides not lining up…. I had already ripped out the zipper’s top stitching during my fight with the lining. So I didn’t feel like re-doing the whole zipper. Since my zipper was on I could choose my placement and checked the the alignment.  It was still a bit tricky working around the zipper edge. Good thing I was able to hide my mistakes when I top stitched the zipper.

Applique with knits can be tricky. There are probably way better methods than mine, which is just slap it on. In hind sight, the best thing to do would have been to use fusible interfacing.  Stick the two pieces together, sew them; and then using more fusible interfacing tac the logo in place to reduce warping. My lack of patients prevented that.







I just used a 0.5 length zigzag with the widest width available on my machine. Taking it slowly to reduce warping, and tucking in the stretchy bumps as I went.  Once the logo was stitched on, I tucked the lining under the zipper edge and top stitched the zipper and lining in place. Sounds strait forward enough right? I fought with it the whole time. I have never lined a sweater before so the learning curve was quite steep. thinking I may need to do some more research before starting the BATMAN hoodie for my littlest

Overall I’m really pleased with the hoodie as a whole. It does look home made but according to the teen its home made good, not home made in bad way lol she is my toughest critic. It has even survived the washing machine despite the awful lining job. Most importantly my boy loves it. and chooses to wear it a lot.

KCWC day 5


Quick KCWC Update


Well I’ve been just sewing away and having a great time. Yesterday brought a new pair of pants for boy 1 as well as the finishing of his super hero hoodie (I’ll do a full post on that next week.) Feeling as though I’ve really hit my stride. And can hardly believe how much a girl can get done in only one week !! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to post some photos today.

Over the next 3 days I plan to get out a second pair of pants for boy 1, plus one pair for boy 2. The design idea is to mismatch them again. The inspiration started forming last night while flipping through the flikr pool.

And it just has got to be said, that there are some truly adorable and beautifully sewn kids cloths being created this week.