Blue Jean Baby

This weekend I’m hoping to finish my jeans and I’m hoping even more that, this time, they’re going to fit me.  Despite making a stupid error along the way – which involved cutting excess fabric off that wasn’t actually excess! – I think I might have cracked it.

Here are the pocket linings I chose for fun even though nobody (or very few) people will ever see them but me.

I’m doing the top stitching using Gutermann’s top stitching thread in a silvery grey colour to go with the floral pattern.

I’m using the 1950s electric SInger my friend gave me which used to belong to her mother because life is much easier if you have one machine threaded up with the top stitching thread and another with the thread you’re using for basting and seaming and even easier if you also have an overlocker/serger for seaming or finishing or both.

So you end up with a set up a bit like this.

Sorry about using Babe for a pincushion but it was that or the charity shop.

Anyway, Bekki over at Dartmoor Yarns had asked to see my vintage machine top stitching in action so there you go.

There’s even a back view.

The machine is struggling a bit with the lumps and bumps of the various thicknesses but I think it probably just needs a new needle which I will sort out before I tackle the stitching on the waistband and pockets.

As for ‘Blue Jean Baby’ – obviously I’m far too vintage for that to refer to me any more but as this post concerns both jeans and baby stuff and, as they are the first words of one of my favourite songs, it just sprang to mind for my blog post title.  **

As you know, I’m not sending the Foxy Quilt I made for my niece’s June baby until I can make a label for it with date of birth, etc. so, in the interim, I had a rummage through my previous hand made efforts and made up a little parcel to start her off although, knowing her, she’s already got cupboards and wardrobes full of designer stuff.  I am reliably informed however – well, as reliable as my sister gets – that her daughter (my niece) loves hand made items so she will be inundated with my doomed plans to possibly add baby stuff to my Etsy shop.  Doomed because I am not dedicated enough to make the same thing twice so, even though I made some pretty baby dresses in Liberty tana lawn and Tilda fabric, I only ever made them in one size and, when asked by potential customers to make one up in a different size, I couldn’t be bothered quite get up the enthusiasm.

 They will be in a future parcel 🙄

So, this time round she’ll get this bunny basket …..

……. containing a little bonnet

and four little bandana baby bibs.

So, let’s hope my sister’s right.

Have you got a big project on this weekend?  I hear the weather’s not going to be up to much either here or in the U.K. so it’s the perfect excuse to stay cocooned and get creative.


** Just in case it was worrying you , ‘Blue Jean Baby’ are the first words of ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John.  Now, if you cared at all,  you don’t have to look it up.




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  1. #1 by itwasjudith on April 6, 2019 - 12:16

    It’s coming nicely along 🙂
    I suspect I may have the same Singer model (actually two of them) in need of some TLC

    • #2 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:35

      It’s a Singer model 201. I think my friend’s Mum had it from new and she took very good care of it. It came in its original (very hefty) case, still has the instruction manual, all the feet and the little light still works. I’m finding the foot pedal a little difficult to get used to but, apart from that, it’s fun to use.

      • #3 by itwasjudith on April 7, 2019 - 10:58

        I think mine is a 185k (I actually have two in storage.. both in need of some repair 😉
        Have a lovely sunday!

      • #4 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 11:15

        Ah, yes they’re the older ones aren’t they? I have two old Singer treadle machines and a Pfaff – you can pick them up for a song here and I do 🙄 My husband uses the Pfaff for some of his leather work but I can’t get the hang of the treadle motion so the others are sort of ‘home décor’.
        You have a lovely sunday too.

      • #5 by itwasjudith on April 7, 2019 - 11:46

        i think they may be contemporary but simpler models? I’m not an expert tbh. Luckily these have no treadle

  2. #6 by anne54 on April 6, 2019 - 12:22

    That lovely silver and blue material is going to be very stylish, and the silver is the perfect colour for the top stitching.

    • #7 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:38

      I’m quite pleased with my top stitching for the most part. I did make an ‘OOps!’ on the waistband but, rather than try to unpick the whole lot, I’ll be able to hide those few stitches when I put the belt loops on if I place them strategically.

  3. #8 by KerryCan on April 6, 2019 - 13:03

    I knew immediately where the title came from–were you the “seamstress with the band”? Lots of cool fabric in this post and I love your old Singer. My old Singer is a Featherweight–only stitches straight ahead and backward–but I love it, too. Your care package for the upcoming baby is wonderful–going to be a stylish little one!

    • #9 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:41

      I was not the ‘seamstress for the band’ – perish the thought. I lived with a drummer for year once and that was as near to the rock and roll life style I’d ever wish to be if he was anything to go by. It is, because of him though, the song has some meaning for me (although not all of it good).

  4. #10 by CurlsnSkirls on April 6, 2019 - 15:56

    Those jeans pockets & top stitching are looking super grand, and what lovely things to send to your niece! Sorry, most of non-classical music was off my radar (🤓 nerd that I was) but well done you for a great connection!

    • #11 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:52

      I am a complete philistine when it comes to classical music I’m afraid. The closest I came to it at home was my Dad singing ‘Tit Willow’ from The Mikado when the mood took him. My music teacher was about 90 years old and used to bring her pug to school with her. It used to sit like a shrunken old man, under the piano whilst she regularly went into rants about things, including how terrible it was they used ‘Air On A G String’ to advertise cigars on T.V. She used to get us to put on a little show a couple of times a year so when I tell you I sang ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat’ for my ‘turn’, you won’t be surprised.
      I once described Brahms Lullaby to a rather posh friend as the ‘Tiny Tears’ music.
      I blame the parents!

      • #12 by CurlsnSkirls on April 7, 2019 - 14:17

        Lol! I sincerely hope you were not told by this person that you could not sing, thereby ruining your whole life that should be spent singing??
        So many children are told this and it always makes me quite fierce. 😤 I cannot tell you how many adults have told me, whilst I was encouraging them to open their mouths and SING OUT, that a teacher(s) or other adult(s) told them to be quiet.
        Nothing discourages a child more, and it stays with children in ways we do not yet fully understand.
        Make no mistake–I am not encouraging screaming! Just that we need to teach the proper place and time and volume in which children and adults should feel free to sing.
        Sorry. Off my soap box now. 🥴

      • #13 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:48

        No! I am a wonderful singer. Just ask anybody. Well, O.K. just ask me 🤣
        No, I just meant that, being a bit of a cockney guttersnipe who ended up in an all girls grammar school, my rousing rendition of ‘Paddy McGinty’s Goat’ sat strangely amongst other performances including a cello player and my best friend’s sweetly sung offering of ‘Where The Bee Sucks There Lurk I’. Everyone enjoyed it though.

      • #14 by CurlsnSkirls on April 9, 2019 - 01:50

        Delighted to hear you were not chastened whilst young. Sing on! 🥰

  5. #15 by kathyreeves on April 6, 2019 - 16:39

    That is a lucky baby! I think the old machines handle the heavier fabrics better, so they are perfect for topstitching. This weekend we are going to at least make a planting plan for the garden. Still possible snow next week, so we may not plant anything. Hope to do some sewing, etc. too.

    • #16 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:55

      I was expecting snow here this weekend actually as everybody kept saying what a horrible weekend it was going to be. So far, nothing. The sun hasn’t been much in evidence but no rain or snow. A planting plan is good though – at least you’ll be ready when the weather settles down.

      • #17 by kathyreeves on April 7, 2019 - 14:37

        We planted sunflowers and peas in the ground, beets too! DH prepped the herb pots and I got those done. We actually had real rain last night, which was lovely to hear, especially since now we no longer worry about a leaking roof!

      • #18 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:43

        We have had sunflowers for the last few years but never planted them – they are self seeders from the bird table. When I was over in the U.K. I discovered pea shoots for salad leaves and love them. Of course, rural French supermarkets haven’t caught up with that innovation yet so I did plant some in the greenhouse but you have to be quick to get the young ones and, like all salad, it all tends to come at once unless you faff about with staggered planting times.

      • #19 by kathyreeves on April 8, 2019 - 13:49

        Pea shoots for salad, I’d never thought of that!

  6. #20 by Lynda on April 6, 2019 - 18:21

    You are an amazing seamstress! Such wonderful gifts and your jeans are going to be so lovely ! I like Babe as a pincushion he’s just so cute. Your vintage machine is very well maintained, and looks to be a master for the heavy duty jobs like jeans top stitching. Lucky you! My big project is an outdoor project… Pulling together my raised vegetable garden beds. (They’ve sat fallow for over 5 years)

    • #21 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 08:56

      Have you got lots of nice home made compost to dig in?

      • #22 by Lynda on April 7, 2019 - 17:20

        Yes! Composting never stops even if I lag behind in my garden. 🙂

      • #23 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:36

        I miss my chicken poo 😢🐔

      • #24 by Lynda on April 8, 2019 - 12:59

        Then, you know what you need to do.

  7. #25 by thecontentedcrafter on April 6, 2019 - 20:32

    Your sewing room looks like it means business! You can always tell a serious sewer by the amount of machines they sport. Those old singers just keep on keeping on don’t they. It’s one of the very few regrets I have that I disposed of my antique Singer as a keen young thing for the latest model with all the bells and whistles which was a complete dud in the end. I still drool over them when I stumble across one in an antique store 😀 I can attest to your prowess with those machines too – I was showing off Siddy’s collar and bandana to a doggy owning friend the other day and she struggled to believe it wasn’t made ‘in a factory’. By which she meant not made by a home seamstress……. I feel I should have your Etsy shop address written on a card I can distribute. I love those bandana bibs that is so cool and the bunny bag was one of the first posts of yours I read and I still think it is really cute. I’m like you on the repeating of things – once is enough – sussed that now onto the next challenge. Life’s too short not to be a dilettante 😀

    • #26 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 09:05

      I’ve actually got another Singer which is around 20 years old – I bought it when I started sewing again when the girls were a little bit older – it’s quite basic and I don’t think it will age well. When I got ‘more serious’ I invested in a Janome which I love even though it’s not one of the top end models but it does everything I need and has never let me down. The overlocker, on the other hand, cost me a small fortune and is capable of much more than I use it for. One day I’m definitely going to sit down with the manual and YouTube and learn about all those things it can do.
      I’m so pleased Siddy’s collar is attracting compliments from his fans – I wouldn’t have wanted to let him down with a wardrobe malfunction.

  8. #27 by Beads and Barnacles on April 6, 2019 - 22:38

    Lovely jeans fabric and awesome lining. Fingers crossed that these ones fit you. I need to get round to making myself another pair of jeans with a lower rise to see if I actually end up wearing them…

    • #28 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 09:09

      This fabric has good stretch – which is a good thing as I did cut off some ‘hippage’ that I shouldn’t have at one stage. I do plan to make a pair with ‘proper’ indigo denim and gold top stitching in the end but I need to find the perfect denim for the job – the really good ones I keep reading about on blogs are from the States and expensive because of the shipping. I wouldn’t mind trying a different pattern to the Gingers too but that would mean doing the fitting adjustments all over again and I’m not sure if I want to go down that road.

      • #29 by Beads and Barnacles on April 7, 2019 - 09:26

        Yay for stretch. I can’t remember how long it has been since I’ve worn a ‘proper’dark denim and good topstitching pair of jeans. Even the commercial ones I get are pale denim and pale ish top stitching.

        Well fingers crossed these fit then. Trouser fitting can be such a pain.

  9. #30 by katechiconi on April 6, 2019 - 23:46

    I’m thinking you need a giant Lazy Susan with your machines set up on it, so you can just rotate it to bring the correct one to your seat! I’m having a major pine for my sewing room, but it’ll probably be the very last thing that comes over, since a) the new room is very big and therefore a perfect dumping ground for all the stuff that hasn’t found a permanent home yet, and b) I’m being kept very busy finding permanent homes for everything else!
    Gorgeous bunny basket gift pack for Tialys the Smallest (if one may stretch the association that far), I think your niece will be thrilled.
    Oh, and if a denim needle doesn’t cope with the biggest bumps in your jeans fabric, I’ve found a leather needle works a treat, but it does leave a fair hole, being chisel-pointed, so you wouldn’t want to unpick at all…

    • #31 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 09:14

      A giant Lazy Susan would stop me playing musical chairs wouldn’t it? – although the cables might get in a bit of a tangle.
      I suppose being without your sewing room is probably a good incentive to getting everything sorted out as quickly as possible so you can get in there and sew in comfort. Have you plans to kit it out with sewing room ‘stuff’ or will it serve as a spare bedroom too and have to have a bed or sofa bed taking up valuable sewing and stash storage space?

      • #32 by katechiconi on April 7, 2019 - 13:27

        Cables would run through a hole in the middle down to a power board below. Can you tell I’ve actually considered something like this…?
        I wish I thought the sorting out would end soon; but things are taking forever. The sewing room is strictly sewing at one end and library/sofa lounging at the other. This means I can sew and still have the Husband keep me company while he plays with his laptop or watches a bit of TV. We have a very nice guest room, so no need to add a third 🙂 One of these days, things will be up to scratch enough that I can actually show ‘after’ photos.

      • #33 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:49

        I used to have a sofa in my sewing room but it kept getting covered with patterns and fabric. However, it’s a nice idea.

      • #34 by katechiconi on April 8, 2019 - 11:28

        Mine is right down the other end of the room, 12 metres away, so it’s a bit of a trek to use it for dumping stuff. I just like the idea of a huge stretch of book cases with a sofa in front for serious lounging and snoozing.

  10. #35 by Dartmoor Yarns on April 7, 2019 - 09:17

    Thanks for the 50s machine pics – that’s exactly what I was picturing in my mind. Although your home didn’t look quite so much like a machine factory in my imagination.
    Loooooooooove the Bunny Basket! Not sure who to make one for though.
    When I saw the bandana baby bibs, all I could think was how they look like Harry’s and wondering if the baby wears a collar to slip them on as I see no attachment mechanism 😉

    • #36 by tialys on April 7, 2019 - 09:26

      Luckily I have an upstairs room all to myself which is just for sewing so I can leave the machines set up in that corner all the time. The rest of the room is lined with shelves full of fabric, yarn, haberdashery, various other crafting materials, finished projects waiting for a new home and books of all descriptions. We will probably never be able to move house.
      I did think of explaining the mechanism in case anybody thought a collar needed to be worn by the baby in the way our dog bandanas do. These more ‘baby friendly’ ones do up with a Kam snap on the pointed ends at the back (some people use Velcro) and I’ve lined them with some soft white flannel stuff all the better to soak up baby emissions.

      • #37 by Dartmoor Yarns on April 8, 2019 - 12:30

        Ha ha! We’re never moving either. I have a sewing room – although there’s no shelving and big windows, so more a machine room – and an office – which is more a desk and a bookshelf and knitting kit room. And then there’s the room upstairs with all the wool shoved in it.
        Shame about the baby collars – I really liked the idea of being able to a put a baby on a lead.

      • #38 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 12:42

        I laugh but do you remember seeing tots on those harness thingies – I think they were called reins – you don’t seem to see those anymore.

      • #39 by Dartmoor Yarns on April 8, 2019 - 12:54

        Oh my goodness, yes. Might not see them any more, but I’ve seen a few kids who could do with them. And a few adults 😉

  11. #40 by Wild Daffodil on April 7, 2019 - 15:46

    I love the look of your work space!

    • #41 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:39

      When we first moved in that was supposed to be a guest room so, to show willing, I put a sofa bed in there which soon got covered in pattern sheets and fabric. We do have another guest room which is sufficient so, eventually, we ‘lent’ the sofa bed to a friend and I’ve taken up the whole room. If we ever move, I’ll need one lorry just for the contents of my sewing room/library.

  12. #42 by claire93 on April 7, 2019 - 23:09

    lots of lovely baby goodies, and your jeans are coming along well!
    I ordered in some fabric from Coupons de Saint Pierre, including two 3m lengths of a stretch cotton gabardine (only 15€ the “coupon”) and it’s gorgeous! Plan to make myself some stretch trousers too, but may need to do a trial run on less pretty fabric first.

    • #43 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:35

      Did you buy the plain coloured ones? I noticed they had plains, textured and a couple of patterned ones too.
      I did an order with them the other day – I was seduced by Deer & Doe’s new jumpsuit pattern so I bought some floral cotton elastane to make the shorts version. I’ve never made a combinaison so there’s another challenge for me.

      • #44 by claire93 on April 9, 2019 - 14:13

        I bought 2 gabardines that have a very tiny print, and in quite dark (sensible) colours. And spent 5€ on a 3m piece of polycotton too. Haven’t dared cut into any of them yet lol.

      • #45 by tialys on April 10, 2019 - 11:26

        5 euros! You extravagant devil!
        Looking forward to seeing your trousers (I was going to come over all American and say ‘pants’ but we both know that just wouldn’t sound right 🤣)

  13. #46 by Nanette on April 8, 2019 - 01:59

    Sweet little baby gifts, I made quite a few of those little bonnets in ever-increansing sizes when my daughter had the twins….pilot caps she called them…..and perfect to keep little heads warm in mid west USA winters. You’ve done yourself proud with all your lovely stitching. Oh and I’m in awe of how large your sewing space is, no wonder you can fit so many machines.

    • #47 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:31

      I’m lucky enough – well, bossy enough – to have commandeered a whole room to myself and then expanded into it.

  14. #48 by Laurie Graves on April 8, 2019 - 04:46

    Utterly adorable! And I was hoping you’d tell us the name of the singer. 😉

    • #49 by tialys on April 8, 2019 - 08:29

      Thanks Laurie. I’m not Elton John’s biggest fan but I do love that song

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