Tracksuit pants hem tutorial

Ok, this is a tute for all those who would like to put up their hems of their trackie dacks (tracksuit pants) so that they look just as professional as before.  It is not as hard as it seems.

Step 1: First thing is to measure how much you will need to take them up.  You may need help from someone else with this.  A good general rule of thumb is that the bottom of the new hem should be the bottom of your heel.

Step 2: Now turn your pants inside out and measure that distance from the current bottom of the pants up.  This is where you will now fold the pants up with the outside of the pants folding toward the inside.  You should be seeing the inside out of the pants with the outside of the fold.  It is best to do this on your ironing board as you will be ironing this in a moment.

Step 3: With your iron set on the appropriate setting for the pants (check the label), iron the crease of the fold (which will be your new hem line) all around the edge.  Do this for both legs. (please ignore the cut on the pants in the photo - I took the photo after I had done Step 5!)

Step 4: Now measure the length of the current hem.  It is always a good idea to follow what has been done already, except in the cases where it is too small.  In these cases, allow for more fabric for the hem.

Step 5: Now with this measurement of the hem, cut that length from the ironed crease (toward the bottom of the pants) all the way around the pants - be sure to cut evenly.  Do this with both legs.

Step 6: Now with your overlocker, stitch around the edge in cotton that either matches or is neutral.  If you do not have an overlocker, use a zigzag stitch along the edge. Do this for both legs.

Step 7: Iron with steam to relax the fabric back and to set the stitches. Do this for both legs.

Step 8:  Pin the hem around (knob ends pointing down to the bottom of the pants. Do this for both legs.

Step 9:  Pop your Twin Needle (make sure you use the "Stretch" needles for stretch fabric) and thread up your machine with cotton to match the pants or slightly darker cotton (use either two cotton reels or make up two bobbins and use one bobbin up the top as your other reel).

Step 10: Making sure that you are stitching on top of your edge of your hem, sew on the right side of your pants.  Careful not to pull the fabric as it goes through the machine.  Keep it at a consistent width from the bottom edge.  Do this for both legs.

Step 11: Turn up the steam on your iron

and put the finished pants, inside out on the ironing board.  You will notice that they are all bubbly.  Don't freak out!  Hold the iron over the top, not ironing, just holding over, push the steam button and give them a shot of stem and watch the fabric reclaim its elasticity! 

Ta Da!

Step 12: Now turn them the right way and give them an iron and your job is done!

Busy Term nearly over

Here are three of my girls showing off their fantastic bags that they have spent their time making whilst I taught them how to use their sewing machines and the basics of sewing.  Brilliant girls!  Well done. 

One week to do where we will continue to work on zippers, centred, lapped and invisible.  Pop over to Lara's blog for a fantastic tute on invisible zippers - it has certainly turned my sewing life around (especially as I am moonlighting as Ink and Spindle's cushion girl). 

Good bye Edna

Yesterday one of my lovely old ladies passed away.  These are two roses from her garden.  I feel very sad as I have always had at least one lovely old lady in my life to share her stories with me and I feel a deep loss now at the stories untold.  I know that it was her time to go.  She was 96 years old.  She was tired.  She told me about 3 years ago that she always felt that she was about 21 years old.  I can't even count the number of times that she has shown me her dresses that she has kept from great memories, laid each one out for me to see.  Each dress preserved with memory and love - not every dress that she ever had, just the important dresses.  She would take me through her house to show me anything new that had come in, a card, or a bunch of flowers, a photo of her two grandsons. When I lived next door to her, we shared a vegetable garden so that she could have fresh vegetables still after Charlie had passed away and she would share her fabulous scones and her care.  I will miss Edna.  I will miss her calls to say that she needs help to fix something.  I love my old ladies.  Rest now, Edna, rest your weary bones, thank you for all your time you have shared with me and thank you for all those times you asked for our help.

Love Meccano!

This weekend I think that I might take the kids down to the Melbourne Meccano Exhibition in Brighton to provide them with a little inspiration for their project. I love meccano. The way it does up. The metal. The amazing things that you can make with it. Yay!

"I'm not tired!"

Sorry, I know that I haven't really blogged for a little while. Life has gotten on top of me & I am am feeling a little like those cars about to be smashed by that Monster Truck (yes, I did find myself at this whilst looking at camper trailers...YIKES!!!!). Anyway, haven't really had time to spend on the computer except for the essentials (getting ready for the tax man, stuff for school, preparing for classes, making sure emails aren't too out of control...).

Currently searching for 8th day in week.

Or maid.

On an interesting note, my sister Sally Darlison showed me this today...Too cool

Danger in the kitchen

Ok, one of those kind of afternoons... I love this mixer. It's quiet, light, easy to use and we got it from Skip Shopper's Grandparents & May made plenty of sponges with this beauty. Special . It really whizzes a storm and we have it out all the time, until now. One birthday cake too many. Smoke. Yep. Smoke coming out. Luckily, it started to smoke when the cake had finished smoking, I did have to hand mix the colours for the marbling in.

It is actually the second appliance we have blown up today. The first one made me believe that there was a power outage with the rain storm. The boys were making toasties (baked bean) after school, and then the youngest one (6yrs) decided to make one too, popped it in the breville...and futt. Yep. There was a noise. That should have been the clue, but no, I still thought that the power has just gone out. Called the neighbour on the "stuck" phone (the one attached to the wall. No, she was right, decided that she was on a different grid. Had a lovely long chat. Got off the phone, answered a phone message from Edna (95) down the road about the postman leaving my mum's mail at her house, forgot to ask her about the power, spoke to my mum (her neighbour) forgot to ask her about the power... then rang the power people. No power outage. IS THE SWITCH DOWN???? Oh, you mean that one that is switched down? (I have never seen THAT one down before - only individual ones - yikes! Must have been a biggie!) Yep. Ok, comprehendo.... Yes, I won't use the toastie anymore kind sir....promise.... Now I look at it, the wires are a little melted.....................

Nice afternoon.

Cake is cooked now.

Let's hope I can do dinner with no hitches

Day 20 - Raindrops

The rain came last night. I love the rain. I love the way the raindrops pool in the nasturtium leaves. This nasturtium is incredible. The leaves are the size of dinner plates!
Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Day 19 - And the winner is... MissyP!

With the help of two of my sons and my lovely sewing basket, the draw was done, not at 8pm last night, but first thing this morning. If that is your name there, then you are the lucky winner of the giveaway! When I have your address it will be on it's way to you!
Today is an exciting day in our house with the school play - matinee & evening - all three boys in it...three tired little boys tomorrow! One will be a crocodile, another a teenager and the other a butler.
Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Day 18 - Time is ticking by

Today is one of those days that I watch the clock. Lots to do & not enough time...I love this clock. It came from Skip shopper's grandparent's house & sat on their mantel above the wood stove in the kitchen. It is a wind up & ticks really loudly. It has a wind up alarm too that I set for just before the boys fly in the door from school so I can remember to breath before they do. Tick tock.

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Don't forget that today is the last day for the giveaway, so if you want to enter, all you need to do is to leave a comment on the post below! Good luck. Gotta go.

Day 17 - Crisp & Clean

Today for me it was all about cleaning and of life's mundane tasks. I took my mind off it with listening to great vinyls on our record player that we have just brought back from my mum's holiday place with our great collection of records (all mainly from the 80's...) My 6 year old said this morning (first day of record player in the house) "You know, I'm really getting into this record thing mum." He played records before school and after school. Musical bliss!

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Day 16 - Still life from the beach side

This a still life that my middle son took yesterday (that is way it is day 17 still to come) We had a weekend at the beach and this was a collection that he found on a little walk & he wanted to take a picture of them. I like what he has done.

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Day 14 - Another day with Florence

I am not very good at this very organised photo a day thing (sorry to Meg from The Byron Life), as life does just get in the way here & there ... school camps, work, cleaning the house, etc...anyway, today after having a one on one with a pilates instructor trying to learn how to find my transverse abdominals again (eep), and then being pumelled by my wonderful osteo (who I tend to hate for up to 2 days after seeing him), I came home and made piping with Florence Broadhurst. Nice. Cutting strips. 2.5cm strips sewn together & then piped. I love the look of them.

I have managed to finish the throw cushions without too much of a hitch...
Oops, forgot to leave the zipper open... I always tell myself to remember, then on the last one...I forgot...

The 3 cushion covers for the throw cushions which I have finished now.

I also put a zipper in one of the large sided cushions before picking up number one son from his first school camp. He is now very very tired and there is lots of crankiness going on here, but he did have a really good time.

Stitch the zipper to the folded over fabric on right hand side of the zipper.
...leaving the top of the zipper 10mm from the top edge & the top stitching to be 7mm from the edge of the fabric.
Lay the other folded piece of folded over fabric so that the entire width equals the width of the cushion sides (make sure that you have enough to overlap the zipper on the outside so that you will not be able to see the zipper once the cushion has be finished) and pin the zipper to this piece of fabric, keeping it even the whole length.
Top stitch this on the underside (the zipper side) keeping the zipper foot to the edge of the zipper fabric.

Finish the bottom of the open ends of fabric off neatly so that they will not open and that the zipper cannot undo any more.

I hope this is helpful & makes sense - let me know if it doesn't

A photo a day in August - Day 12...Florence Broadhurst

Today I am spending the day with Florence...Here she is drapped over the knitting machine that I haven't yet worked out how to use : ( ...that is another story. This fabric is going to be cushions for a friend of mine who has commisioned me to make them for her. Lovely to work with gorgeous prints.

For some much better artistic photos, head to The Bryon Life and see all the photos that people have been taking during August.

Don't forget to leave a comment in the post below if you want win the giveaway!

A photo a Day in August- Day 11 - 100th post giveaway!

This is my photo today, it is a glimpse of what I am giving away!

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Yes, it's giveaway time...I have been blogging 100 blogs today on this blog - Wow! Well, probably more, because some I have started, and then forgotten about and then deleted, but, ANYWAY, that is beside the point, but getting back to the point, I am giving stuff away and as they always say, you have to be in it to win it.

I am going to follow Little Diva's lead because she is having a fantastic giveaway as well, & I love her idea and, so if you want to enter in this surprise stash giveaway, all you have to do is to follow my blog, follow me on Twitter, or become a fan of my Facebook page. You'll get one entry for each so make sure you leave a separate comment for each and if you already follow me, that's great, still leave a comment for each one putting your twitter & facebook names in the comments. So you could get 3 entries! Yippee!

You have until next Tuesday 18 August 8pm to make a comment when I will draw the winner.

Without giving too much away the giveaway will be full of special treats from my stash and drawers, some things that I have collected (lovely old trims, fabric, book....), and a couple of things that I have made. I hope that you will enjoy.

a photo a day in august - day 10

Ok, I know that I have missed a few... but I have to confess that I suffer from migraines a I got a really bad one last week that took me off line & then my "real" life (ie family) needed some attention after that... so no blogging... So, here are some celebratory cupcakes on Granny May's cake plate.

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

Next blog will be my 100th post, so get ready to make a comment on it if you are wanting to win the surprise giveaway... Watch this space

A Photo a Day in August - Day 4

Ok, I feel like I might be cheating here, but running out of time... anyway, here is my still life photo of my buttons, scissors & thread..... which I used on my facebook page to create the event to tell anyone who needs to / wants to, that the Kensington Neighbourhood House is offering Basic Mending (run by me) on 5 Sept from 2.30 -4pm where I will teach people how to sew on a button, (even thread a needle), simple hemming, simple patching... If you, or anyone you know, needs this, it really is very, very cheap at only $10/$8 (concession) , but you do need to book in by contact them:
89 McCracken Street, Kensington VIC 3031
Ph: 03 9376 6366

There is also the UFO Workshops that I will be running. The first one coming up is 29 Aug, then at this stage 7 Nov, 5 Dec. The purpose of these is to bring along the sewing projects that you are stuck on, or need some inspiration on, or would just like to be in a creative environment with other sewing types. Sit & sew, swap ideas, help each other, give tips on sewing, haby & fabric haunts, have a lot of fun. I think that the 2 hours will probably go pretty fast.

Head over to The Byron Life to some great pics & links to others joining in A Photo a Day in August

A Scarf a day - brown & orange in the hair

This is a lovely brown & orange paisley scarf from Skip shopper's granny May that I was lucky enough to inherit. They were all nicely folded in a drawer all very neatly. I wish that I was that neat with my scarves...
I love my neck piece that Skip Shopper made for me from a found box of Singer bits. I just had to show it off!
Did I mention that on Saturday I went to Yarraville Market & saw Sew Hum & her gorgeous crochet work & lovely bebuska dolls & pencil cases, met Beccasaurus & saw all the fantastic baby mats that she has been making, pencil cases, tee shirts, and purses. Their stalls looked really good & their stock looked fantastic. I also saw Glenda from Reaburn who makes gorgeous retro fabric cushions & lampshades who said that she will be opening a shop over summer down at the peninsula (watch this space). The girl who did watercolours next to Sew Hum was amazing & I also met some locals from Kensington/Flemington who quilt and knit. And then I bumped into Curly Pops & met Tinnygirl! What a small world it is.
Must get on with the day...class to plan for the girls - 7 girls cutting out fabric at once. Should be fun.

A Scarf a Day - Coral

I picked up this gorgeous piece of fabric at Clear It in Brunswick St. It's an Alannah Hill offcut & they often have pieces of hers & other designers upstairs & zips & other habby. I love the colour & texture.

A photo a day in august - day three

This is part of our collection of tins that we inherited from Skipshopper's grandparents. I really love tins to hide things threads, scissors, buttons, knick knacks... and all sorts of other things! I especially love tins that already have stories to tell. I am sure that these tins could tell a great many stories.
You can head over to The Byron Life to see who else is playing along with A Photo in a Day in August or join in.

A photo a day in August - Day two

Moss , originally uploaded by megs threads.

The Byron Life is hosting a photo a day in august, which I jumped on as I hope that I may improve on my photography skills...unfortunately, I have already missed a day...however, we had a really lovely day today which provided a some opportunity for photography (see my flickr for more). We decided to go on a picnic, inspired by my neighbours doing a similar soujourn, and put our finger on the map to Sugarloaf Reservoir in Christmas Hills, via the Kangaroo Grounds Memorial Lookout. A race to the top of the lookout, an amazing look around each and every way, and then the slow (scary for some) climb down. Sad to see the reservoir so empty, however we were so blessed to have 3 mobs of kangaroos bound past us whilst we were walking around. This picture is of the moss that was around there, I love moss & there was plenty there, and many varieties to see. I love the different textures and colours.

Always great to get out and see the bush. It was a sad drive home the long way through the Christmas Hills, seeing for the first time, first hand the severity of the February bush fires, the tears well up as I felt the people's and the place's pain and I didn't feel right to pull out the camera there.

A scarf a day

Today I needed a knitted kind of a scarf because we were going on a little trip to the Chrismas Hills for a picnic, so I pulled out my long grey & black lacy knit scarves & wore them. (sorry about the colour of the pic...) I also have a red one that I wear sometimes with the black or the grey and am making a yellow one.
Don't forget, if you want to play along with scarf a day, leave a comment with your link so that I can do a link list & pop your link in.

a scarf a day

Today is an orange kind of day. This scarf I have had forever & for a while it went into the dress ups, then out again (I think that I actually got it out of mum's dress ups). I just love the orange & it really goes with the orange in my skirt & I don't mind a bit of a matchy-match

BTW, a big link to Curly Pops who made a great bag & I loved it so much (and have such bad eyesight & really should remember to wear my reading glasses more) that I clicked on the what I thought was the "Like" button in network blogs in facebook.... apparently what I have actually done is link my blog post to hers.... Sorry Curly Pops....I am not trying to shamelessly promote myself, I actually really like your bag.

a scarf a day

I have a lot of scarves, so have decided to do a scarf a day whilst it is still cold. Care to join in? Comment if you will.

doodly-doo, oh, doodly-do

I must confess that I am an obsessive doodler. It started at a very young age when I would watch my mother when she was thinking or talking on the phone doing these amazing drawings. I used to think that she should be an artist with the drawings that she she did. She told me that they were doodles. I now do it when I need to think, relax, form thoughts, pass a moment by. Do you doodle?