Spontaneous Sewing

At the moment, I am attempting to face my nemesis – the trousers (or pants if you are of the American persuasion) – and try to fit a pattern made for somebody with a bottom to somebody who hasn’t and that would be me.  I have  never been able to balance a wine glass on my generous behind like a Kardashian nor will I ever be described as ‘bootylicious’ but, back in the day, it wasn’t so fashionable to have a big bum so it never bothered me and these days nobody really cares about the size of my derrière apart from me and , even then, only enough to get a pair of trousers to fit it.

There are some sewing classes available locally which some of my friends attend regularly but I thought I’d go along for a couple to see if we could get my fitting problem sorted so I made a quick toile and took it along to the class where it was pinned and adjusted to the extent that I don’t think the pieces bear any relation to the original pattern any longer but do seem to fit me better now.  I will let you know how that turns out.

Anyway, last time I used one of the teacher’s spare machines but I thought I might take my own next time as I’m so used to it.

Here is my naked machine.

Sometimes, when I remember, I put the machine cover on to keep the dust off it.

You’ve seen the front of this before so here’s the reverse side – I had a garage in mind –  just for a change.

However, this is definitely a ‘stay at home’ cover as it’s big and bulky and there is no carry handle.

You know those times when you go into your workroom or workspace and have absolutely no idea what you’re going to do and then, suddenly, you do?  Well, that’s what happened here – time to make a ‘going out’ cover.

I basically followed a tutorial I found here and, although I debated making patchwork sides, I decided against it in the end and used some stash fabric I had lying about.  I lined the interior with plain green cotton, put wadding between the layers for a bit of protection and quilted the lot with a simple diagonal.

The tutorial includes a fairly ingenious way of making the slot in the top for the handle which took me quite a bit of time to work out (my poor brain) but, once I got my head round it, worked really well.  It involves some interfacing and a bit of tricksy turning and voila!  I can’t explain it any better than the original – can you tell? – so I won’t try.

I constructed the side pockets as per the tutorial.

I finished off the bottom edge in the same, ready made single fold binding I used for the pockets as I have a big roll of it in my stash.

I’m not sure I’ll put all the cables and foot pedal in the side pockets – too heavy and bulky – but they will be handy for rulers, scissors, rotary cutter, markers, etc.

So, I’m ready for my next session now .

I have another, ‘spare’ machine which sits under a plastic cover and, while it probably isn’t going anywhere, it would look prettier in my workroom for having a fabric cover so next time a bit of spontaneous sewing time comes round I know what I’ll do. Does that mean I won’t be able to call it ‘spontaneous’ though?

If only it were so easy to fit a pair of trousers.


I’ll leave you with some ladies who have my share of ‘jelly’.



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  1. #1 by Sara on March 17, 2018 - 12:33

    Good Luck! Any tips for a complete novice (who owns a machine, at least) on how to patch jeans that have worn along the bottom of one’s behind and top of inside leg (!) would be very gratefully received. I have countless pairs of otherwise good jeans … and many pieces of lovely materials purchased to patch … waiting for me to be confident enough to give it a go. I don’t mind stitching showing – happy to make a feature of it … just now to “get in” to that area … machine or hand (given the wear any repair needs to withstand). Now wear yoga pants to walk the dog, by the way and mourning all the jeans that aren’t being worn! xxx

    • #2 by katechiconi on March 17, 2018 - 14:45

      I repair my husband’s work jeans regularly when they have gone in that area. Would it be helpful if I did a tutorial on How To on my blog? It sounds as if it’d be handy to rescue some of those countless pairs of currently unwearable jeans 🙂 By the way, does your sewing machine have blanket stitch? I find this the best for adding patches neatly, but there are other ways which are perfectly fine.

      • #3 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 15:09

        Thanks for that Kate – probably would be helpful for lots of people.

      • #4 by katechiconi on March 17, 2018 - 15:28

        OK, I’ll have a go at it in the next day or so…

    • #5 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 15:14

      Thank goodness Kate has offered to help – I’m a complete wastrel with torn clothes and they would only get used as rags so I’ve no experience with patching.

  2. #6 by Jo on March 17, 2018 - 12:47

    Fabulous, now you have a cover for every occasion, and very pretty they both are too.

  3. #8 by yarnandpencil on March 17, 2018 - 12:59

    Your new cover is very pretty 🙂

  4. #10 by claire93 on March 17, 2018 - 13:30

    that’s a lovely cover, Lynn. Very “you”. Hope you get some help with trouser fittings.

    • #11 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 15:12

      Me too Claire. I tend to live in trousers so it will be worth the effort.

  5. #12 by Dartmoor Yarns on March 17, 2018 - 13:56

    Love the cover. Really should make one for my machine – but it won’t happen, so no point pretending it will. Pleased to see you’re focusing on converting trousers rather than having bottom implants 🙂

    • #13 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 15:11

      Bottom implants – now there’s a thought ;
      You should make the cover – it’d only take you a couple of hours.

      • #14 by Dartmoor Yarns on March 17, 2018 - 17:00

        You hadn’t thought of bottom implants?!!!!!
        Problem is all those couple of hours add up 😦

  6. #15 by katechiconi on March 17, 2018 - 14:40

    That’s a very pretty cover! I have a hard one for my Janome, which is good for protecting it, but it’s heavy, noisy and clunky, it takes up loads of room and it pinches my fingers when I’m holding the handle. I think it may be time to take a leaf out of your book…

    • #16 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 15:10

      It’s a quick and easy make and, if you fancy, you can go a bit madder and make the sides out of patchwork. Yet another scrappy project? 😉

      • #17 by katechiconi on March 17, 2018 - 15:29

        Oh lordy, like I need one! It’s not very high on the agenda, I must say, but yours is so very pretty.

      • #18 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 20:13

        It’s a really quick make – honest!!

      • #19 by katechiconi on March 18, 2018 - 00:20

        Despite the fiddly bit around the handle…?

      • #20 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 10:16

        Only if, like me, you had to get your head round the instructions and do it wrong the first time – which won’t happen with you 🙂

      • #21 by katechiconi on March 18, 2018 - 10:32

        Oh, I admire your confidence! But it’s the same process as making a bound buttonhole (sort of), isn’t it? I do have a very nice teeny weeny pair of very sharp scissors to help things along. Trouble is, my list of sewing jobs is very, very….very… long.

      • #22 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 10:46

        I know it is and yet, there you go making rash promises to write up tutorials for patching jeans 😉

      • #23 by katechiconi on March 18, 2018 - 11:29

        ‘Tis done, and will be posted tomorrow. I was mending them anyway, so I just took photos as I went along… The trick is to think of that first, before you start, because once the job’s done it’s too late!

  7. #24 by Kim on March 17, 2018 - 18:35

    I’m impressed with your industry. Anyone making anything at present is to be applauded in my book. The cover is not only pretty but will be very useful too.
    (I’m still in the sewing doldrums but I’m hopeful it shouldn’t last too much longer….)

    • #25 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 20:09

      You’ll get over it, I’m sure. Let’s face it though – you did it for a living so you’re bound to want a little break.

      • #26 by Kim on March 18, 2018 - 00:17

        That’s what I thought. I’m enjoying knitting but sewing still doesn’t really appeal. Not helped by the fact that I will have to refit my patterns 😉.

      • #27 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 10:25

        Best stick with what’s making you happy at the moment – the urge to sew will come back, probably when you least expect it. ‘Don’t force it Phoebe’ – as my Mum used to say.

  8. #28 by Hila on March 17, 2018 - 19:21

    Thatsa lovely cover. I need something like that too. As for derriers – we need to put them behind us!

    • #29 by tialys on March 17, 2018 - 20:08

      Haha! That’s all very well for you to say though – you have booty 😉

  9. #30 by cruisingblogger on March 18, 2018 - 01:13

    You’ve inspired me! I have cut out 28 squares from stash fabrics (as per the linked pattern you provided), ready to sew together tomorrow and make a cover for my machine. Yours is very pretty. Hope mine turns out half as well (I’ve never done patchwork before!)

    • #31 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 10:15

      Oh that’s great! You should be fine with some simple square patchwork – you might get addicted! Let me know how you get on.

      • #32 by cruisingblogger on March 19, 2018 - 12:28

        OK, I need help! I’ve done the patchwork main piece, and created the sides with pockets. Now the instructions become rather vague and just tell me that all I need to do is to sew it all together! What size of seams do I use? (I’m a novice on the machine)
        I screwed up the handle hole – have made it too big, as I misunderstood the dimensions needed. But otherwise, it’s looking good so far!

      • #33 by cruisingblogger on March 20, 2018 - 00:10

        I’ve finished it! Looks great – I’d post a photo if I knew how. Thanks again for the inspiration and links.

      • #34 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:21

        Oh, that’s a relief! I woke up in the early hours of this morning and remembered I hadn’t had chance to reply to you with some tips about sewing the sides on. Well done to you – are you going to indulge in any more patchwork projects now?

    • #35 by cruisingblogger on March 20, 2018 - 11:39

      Just realised I could show you my finished cover – I’ve added photo to my Pinterest… https://www.pinterest.co.uk/janetcee52/my-stuff/

      • #36 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 11:48

        It’s lovely! Gorgeous selection of fabrics and colours. Thank you for the link.

  10. #37 by KerryCan on March 18, 2018 - 11:40

    I like that you just got an idea and took off with it! I’m more the type to hem and haw and ponder and worry an idea to death. I should follow your lead and just jump in!

    • #38 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 12:42

      I do plenty of hemming and hawing too but then, just occasionally, something occurs to me and I want to get it done on the spur of the moment. Instant gratification!

  11. #39 by Beads and Barnacles on March 18, 2018 - 12:27

    This looks great. I should probably make one for my machines but its not going to be near the top odd the list any time soon…

    • #40 by tialys on March 18, 2018 - 12:44

      It wasn’t even on my list until it suddenly appeared at the top 🙂

      (still having trouble commenting on your posts btw – I am reading them though and the ‘Like’ button lets me press it so I can let you know I was there at least.)

      • #41 by Beads and Barnacles on March 18, 2018 - 12:54

        Oh stupid blog. I don’t know what is causing that 🙁 we will have to try and sort that out soon

  12. #42 by Born To Organize on March 18, 2018 - 19:22

    What fun to be taking a sewing class! I’m glad you’re getting help with your trouser fitting. Once you get the sloper sorted out, you’ll be set for future patterns. I think I’ll add sewing machine cover to my future projects. I’m gathering ideas for next fall when my second son leaves for college and I’m feeling at loose ends. I also get to claim some sewing space for myself at long last, instead of setting up temporary tables when I want to sew.

    • #43 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:35

      There is usually at least one upside to seeing your kids off to college or university – if you search hard enough 😉

  13. #45 by poshbirdy on March 19, 2018 - 13:30

    Lovely job on the machine cosy. Mine folds back into its table (1957 Singer) so I have no excuse to make one

    • #46 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:33

      I have several old treadle machines with their lovely wooden lids but I just can’t get the hang of the treadle rhythm. My husband uses one of them for his leather work and gets on fine with it.

  14. #47 by dezertsuz on March 19, 2018 - 22:53

    Great looking cover. That handle place looks a little like a bound buttonhole, but not really. =) I’m lucky both my machines came with plastic covers which also hold the foot and cord. I rarely take a class any more, though. Can’t remember the last time, actually. So the pants are still waiting, eh?

    • #48 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:30

      I’ve never done a bound buttonhole but I’ve looked at a couple of tutorials now and, yes, it’s a similar method I think. The pants are re-seamed with a basting stitch ready for the teacher to check fit on me tomorrow – if I can get there as we are having snow at the moment again. If the fit is good, I can alter the pattern and make pairs for ever more that will fit me if I don’t eat too much cake 😉

  15. #49 by Emma on March 20, 2018 - 00:50

    Such a cute cover! it’s good that you got your pants fitting sorted, and hopefully that means you can adapt other patterns too now 😀

    • #50 by tialys on March 20, 2018 - 09:24

      Well, you would think so but I’m still not sure how I can translate this pattern to one of a different style or to a fabric that has stretch in it. It’s (yet another) learning curve for me – makes a sewing life more interesting I suppose.

  16. #51 by sewchet on March 21, 2018 - 14:38

    For some bizarre reason I made my machine cover without a handle opening, too, as I just blindly followed the instructions so it serves me right. Still, I could always put one in retrospectively, I suppose, if I ever get around to it. I’ve never really considered my bum shape as I don’t wear trousers that often. Must be nice to be in tune with your figure, even if it’s a pain in the ass (pun intended) to fit trousers!

    • #52 by tialys on March 24, 2018 - 09:00

      I’ve always been the classic British pear shape – only inverted – but despite pilates etc., my bottom half seems to be getting smaller as I get older. I wear jeans a lot and have to wear quite tight fitting ones in order to make the most of what I’ve got so, if I’m going to be making my own trousers, it’s important I get the fit just right. I think ‘resigned to it’ is probably nearer the truth than ‘in tune with it’ though 😉

  17. #53 by thecraftersapprentice on March 22, 2018 - 12:48

    what a brilliant idea! I take my case off to carry my machine to guild, but it would be so useful with the pockets!

    • #54 by tialys on March 24, 2018 - 08:51

      It gives it a little bit of protection too.

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