Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crafty Mamas ZEN yoga pants Sew-a-long Part 2

Ok! Ready to sew these babies up?!!! Or have you not got the pattern yet? There are paper and pdf versions available over at Crafty Mamas- or you can get your pdf instantly using thr BUY NOW button above.

So last tute we had a chat about sewing with knits and cutting out our ZEN pants and skirt.
I have marked my FRONT and BACK leg pieces so I don't get confused.
Here we have our two FRONT legs...

 And we are going to place on top of each FRONT, a BACK leg piece- right sides facing.
Easy right?
Now line up your inner leg and side seams, then SEW.
Repeat with other leg. This will give you two legs!! Turn them right side out, then run off and give them a quick press.
Now..turn one Leg inside out........
Now slide one Leg into the other...matching up the crotch seam and Front and Back markings.

Here's our both our Front notches,so we know our Fronts are matching.

Matching Centre Fronts
Matching Crotch seams
Now sew from one side to the other! ( Left- Right ie).
Turn pants right side out, and give a press.
Skirt pieces, with Front and Back marked with notches.
With ride sides together, sew up the sides seams of skirt.Hem  bottom if needed.
Stitch side of waistband piece, right sides together. This seam will now become centre back.
Fold waistband in half to enclose the seam, press. Divide into 1/4's
Lay finished skirt over pants if using, right side of pants to woing side of skirt. Match Sides seams, Centre fronts and Backs. If  not using the skirt, omit.
Grab your waistband.
Place waistband over skirt and pants, right sides together. 
Matching 1/4s with Centre front, back and sides. Pin .
The best way to get a super stretchy waistband on - is to baste first- stretching in front and behind needle as you go. Matching 1/4s as you sew around. I use a longer straight stitch for this. When done, I then serge/overlock to the left of these basting stitches.
Now turn right side out, and press and go!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crafty Mamas ZEN pants sew-a-long! Part 1 Cutting out

I hope by now everyone has their copy of our fab new pattern??
  Grab a paper or pdf ZEN pants now!
 Pdf available immediately!

I love this pattern! In 3 lengths - full, capri or shorts, AND with an optional over skirt!

ZEN pants is in ladies sizes XS-XXXL.

I thought I would start our Sew-along with a bit of  sewing with knits basics!

The ZEN pants are designed for knits, the pants require a knit with at least 20% stretch factor*, the waistband are best suited to a knit that has lycra/spandex/elastomeric in it. As the waistband has no elastic threaded through them, you are relying on a lovely tight yoga band or regular waistband to keep your ZEN pants up! ( *find out the stretch factor of your fabric chart at bottom here).
Our cotton/elastomeric knits are perfect for your waistbands.  Be adventurous with your pants, try velour knit, jersey, interlocks, have fun with them- try different knits!

If you are new to sewing with knits- don't be scared, I'll hold your hand all the way. I think the #1 comment I get from customers is " I love all your groovy knits- but am too scared to try sewing with them!" .
My honest advice? Just jump on in. We all make mistakes and in fact, mistakes are good- how else do we learn?? 

Facts about sewing with knits:

Knits are forgiving. They are on your side! You can manipulate them a little to get them to line up!

Knits need to be washed and ironed  before you use them; or else you run the risk of your beautiful garment shrinking. Mostly they shrink lengthwise- rather than width wise.  

You CAN sew knits without an overlocker/serger. Grab your sewing machine manual, and look for any specific stretch stitches your machine may have.  Why does a normal straight stitch not cut it? The movement knit fabrics experience cause the straight stitches to pop.

Some stretch/jersey stitches your machine may have: 

 Image source:

For hemming, use a stitch that will still allow your garment to s-t-r-e-t-c-h or you will get
popped stitches. A triple stitch, a serpentine ( 3 step zig zag) , or use a stretch twin needle to
great effect too. Or don't hem; just leave and as knits do not fray, they will gently roll over- which I think looks pretty cool.

You are going to need some stretch sewing or ballpoint sewing machine needles. Ballpoint needles are designed to prevent making holes in knits as you sew as by actually sliding inbetween the fibres cool huh?
If you used sharp needle it would cut the fibres and leave holes.

Threads magazines recommend using ballpoint needles on heavier, looser sweater types knits while a specific stretch needle is better for spandex/lyccra fabrics. But I suggest trying both and see which works best on your particular knit. If you get skipped stitches try the other. Use good quality cotton/poly thread ( can't beat Gutterman). 

When pre-washing, wash colours with like- as new fabrics may have colours run still.

When cutting out, ensure you have the greatest stretch running around the body, and that the
fabric is resting flat on the surface ie; not hanging off a table, that may distort your cutting.

Some knits with spandex can experience rolling along the selvage, which is jolly well annoying
when you are cutting out your pattern pieces. Carefully trim off the selvage and your fabric will sit flat.

More good info to be found HERE.


The ZEN pants have a 1cm seam allowance included and a 2cm hem allowance already included.

You will need to cut 2 x pants back , 2 x pants front and 1 x skirt front on the fold, and 1 x skirt back on the fold. If using a directional print or knit with nap (ie;; velour) make sure you run your pieces the same way.

Once you have cut out your pieces, I like to :

1. Make two small double notches in the centre front ( in the seam allowance) of the pants fronts and skirt front.
2. Make a single notch in the centre back of the pants  backs and skirt back.

Just to keep us organised as we go!

And to cut our waistband strip, I am doing a regular one here, not the yoga style.

 So now you have all your pieces cut ! Next we'll start sewing!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

ZEN pants SEW-A-LONG!!!

I'll be holding a Sew-A-Long next week for the new Crafty Mamas pattern...

You can grab a copy over at Crafty Mamas. It's available in pdf or paper.

Get it straight away!

Care to join me? Simply leave a comment below and list your blog if you will showing and telling!

The ZEN pants are here!

Now available, Crafty Mamas ZEN Yoga pants, with optional skirt. 

In Womens sizes XS-XXXL. 

Pdf or paper pattern.

or immediately here!


Crafty Mamas  ZEN pants is a pattern you will LOVE.

Ladies XS-XXXL

Bringing you the comfort of yoga pants, with the options of  full length, Capri, or shorts, and a funky overskirt!

The ZEN pants are generous sizing, so do check your measurements first!
ZEN pants can be constructed with a fold over yoga style waistband or a normal stretch waistband. The fold over yoga style band is great for expanding tummies!

Suited to knit fabric with a min of 20% stretch, and the waistband required a cotton/lycra style knit ( our STELLA is perfect!)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Mrs Wishy-Washy- that's me!

I recently had a very trying few weeks.....with no washing machine. I actually have two- a commercial style top loader ( that rips fragile things apart!) and a German front loader. The top loader is brilliant for doonas, blankets, large loads of towels etc. Except they both gave up the ghost- within a week of each other.

Luckily the husband is very clever at fixing things- but working away limits his "fixing" time. So a new motor was ordered for the front loader and I was journeying to the laundromat. Let me tell you..I HATE the laundromat. The machines are tiny and they want $6 a load???  Just to wash?? Plus, you just never quite know what was in the machine before you..( I am sure serial killers don't was down their kill-room stuff at the laundromat- but you can never be too sure!).

So I took matters into my own hands- and a quick trip was made to Bunnings.

It took a brand new $4 toilet plunger...which I took to with a hole saw drill...

And a plastic water container, $16... for camping I think..this one is a heavy duty plastic, and hold 25 litres.
I then drilled a hole in the lid for my plunger handle to fit through. ( be sure and get a plunger with a long enough handle. It needs to fit all the way down your container, and still give you enough to grip onto when you plunge!).

There you have it, an off-grid washing machine. To use, simply replicate what your washing machine does.
Add laundry and water and detergent..agitate with your plunger up and down a minute or so...then let soak. Come back and give it a good agitate again.....then tip out into a tub and rinse ..etc.
If you are really keen, a clean mop bucket wringer can be utilized to wring out your washing

I used this to do all our whites, underwear, and even some jeans. It worked perfectly and you should see my biceps!! ;) I am happy to report the husband has installed the new motor in the front loader and I am  once again living in the 21st century. (kind of....depends who you ask;)). But this little beauty is being tucked away....just in case I need again! Or if we ever camp? Perfect!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Lovely Layers Top is here!

Get excited - you will love our new pattern!

Pdf here for instant download

Ladies sizes XS-XXXL

Available in pdf  now or pre-order your paper pattern!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Easy V Neck band TUTE

A simple tute for knit tops ( tees etc) with V necks. 

1. Before you sew up any shoulder seams, let's reinforce the "V" ...

Open out your FRONT piece.

 reinforce the “V”  by  stitching in the seam allowance a few cms in both directions- at the centre front. 

Then carefully slash the “V” down to the reinforcing stitches, being super careful not to cut through your stitches.

Now continue as you normally would, aligning FRONT and BACK, with right sides facing, sew both  shoulder seams together. Press.

Next  apply your neckband as you normally would “ in the round”, dividing the neckband and opening into 1/4s, and matching up pins as you sew, stretching the neckband ever so slightly as you go to meet.

Now turn your neckband right side out and press.
Fold your tee in half down the centre front, making sure it all lines up nicely...

We are now going to mark out where we will sew a small dart to create our V.
I use a pin or chalk it in...

 Sew your dart as marked stopping just as you reach the seam allowance. Trim and tie off your tail, then turn right side out and give it a good press.

Now continue sewing your tee!


About Me

Crafty Mamas SHOP blog. Aussie agent for Farbenmix, Studio Tantrum, Stenzo fabric, Ottobre design. Stocking Hilco fabric, Mamu design and other cool stuff!