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StickyBlog

Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my thoughts and pictures with you. You will find entries on a number of topics, including sewing and cooking and life in general. I have also attempted to create some useful resources in the form of recipes and sewing tutorials.

There will also be occasional guest bloggers.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Whilst you're here, why not visit my shop which offers unique, handmade (by me) ladies bags & accessories and children's clothing ?  Thank you !

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  1. Sorry, it's been ages since my last blog, but the past few months have been hectic with work and lots of Christmas sewing, and rather marred by a traumatic experience with a tooth abscess ( me), tonsilitis (Mr Stickytarts) and the death of our cat Amber.

    I have been sewing Pj/lounge pants for a while now - for myself, friends, my dad and Mr Stickytarts. They really are easy and once you get a hang of it can be completed in about 1 1/2 hours (yes really). No pattern is required and they can be made in any fabric that drapes well, ranging from flannels, to midweight cottons and even interior weight furnishing fabrics.

    The 3yr old LOVES PJs and if we let him would spend his life in them. I have been meaning to make him a pair for ages, and yesterday whilst he was watching Monsters Inc. (93 minutes long, so perfect), I was rummaging through my fabric remnants and found two that I knew he would love. Neither was big enough to make a pair of PJ pants, but I had enough for one leg in each fabric - so these are the Mr Tumble/Dinosaur pants, and  how to make your own PJ  pants.

    Running away   3yr old was not keen on having his picture taken

    MATERIALS

    • 1 x pair of well fitting PJ pants from the recipient
    • Enough fabric to be able to draw around the pants FOUR times when folded in half, with a 1" seam allowance round the sides & 3" allowance top and bottom. 
    • Matching thread.
    • Length of 5mm or 7mm elastic approx 1 1/2 times recipient's waist measurement
    • Sewing machine
    • Fabric pen/chalk
    • Fabric scissors
    • Embroidery scissors or similar
    • Ruler
    • Iron
    • Bodkin or large safety pin

    MAKE IT !

    Sketching round
    • Fold the PJ pants in half & lay out on the wrong side of your fabric, ensuring you follow the direction of the fabric.
    • Sketch a line around the pants which is 1” from the sides, but 3” from the top and bottom.  I have given an example of this on the left hand side of this picture. Remember to fully stretch out the waistband of the pants before sketching round it. This is easier with the help of another person. 
    • Cut out ( this will now be called part A)
    • Use part A as a template and cut out another part  (B) in the same way.
    • Now flip over piece A and cut out 2 more parts (C & D).
    pattern piece a

     

     

    sewing together leg

     

      • With right sides together, sew together the long straight sides of parts A & C with a ½” seam allowance.  This is now part 1.
      • Sew together the other side, but ONLY up to were the crotch curve starts ( I have marked this with a fabric marker on the picture).
      • Repeat above steps with parts B&D. This is now part 2.
      • Zig zag stitch all round the seams you have just sewn together to stop the fabric from fraying.
      • Turn part 2 right side out.

     

     

     

     

     

    • Tuck part 2 into part 1 so right sides are facing.
    • Sew together the two seams marked with arrows.
    • Zig zag stitch the seams you have just sewn.
    • Turn right way out.
    • THE HARDEST PART IS NOW DONE.

     

    sewing legs together  basic pants

     

    • Round up the intended recipient. Hopefully you will find this easier than I did, as my 3yr old kept shouting “Too big, too big” and running away.
    • Get recipient to put on pants. Measure where the waist should be. It should be 3” from the top as this is the extra you added to the original pants. However, this is where you can make fine adjustments if you want and alter the height of the waist.
    • Turn pants inside out.
    • Make casing in same way as the hemming stage ( see picture below). Each turn should be 1”, BUT if you have decided on a different measurement earlier, simply divide this by three and that gives you the correct measurement.waist
    • Secure casing by sewing it to the pant about ¼” from the bottom of the turn. Make sure you don’t go all the way round and leave 2” unsewn as this is where you will insert elastic.
    • Thread your bodkin  with , or secure large safety pin on, the elastic. Feed through casing. Turn pants right way out.
    • Recapture recipient.
    • Adjust elastic until recipient feels there is a snug but not too tight fit, tie a knot.
    • Now measure how much the legs need taking up. This should be 3”, but again you may make adjustments here.
    • Sew shut casing.
    • Turn pants inside out.
    turning up legs combo
    • Mark 1” from the bottom of trouser leg ( or use your adjusted measurement as discussed above), make first turn on this line.  Press into place. Turn over again. Press.
    • Secure hem to trouser leg, by sewing a seam about ¼” down from the top of the hem.
    • Go round all the seams and snip off any stray threads with the embroidery scissors.
    • Turn right side out.

    Recapture recipient to prove to him/her how marvellous the fit is - even if they frantically try and get away from you and refuse to have their picture taken.

    pyjama pants combo

    There is just enough time before Christmas to make one or two of these PJ pants before the big day - so I hope you find this tutorial useful. Please remember, especially when making these for children, that some materials are flammable ( e.g. the cotton I have used here ) and as such care must be taken with open flames or sources of ignition.

    Please do not reproduce this tutorial or parts of it in any way. Instead, if you would like to refer to it, please link to this page. Thank you. Here is wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas !

  2. Please welcome @fishtankfairy (and follow her on Twitter), the first Stickytarts guest blogger. A busy working mum, and ex Britney Spears impersonator - yes really, Fishy shares her experiences of painting wall murals for her children's bedroom. I think you will all agree that she is a very talented individual !

    "Sticky has kindly asked me to be a guest blogger on her site and write a bit about the murals/drawings/scrawls (I’ll allow you to decide for yourself), that I did for my children’s bedroom walls.

    Let me tell you a little about myself first – I am a 28 year old mother of  two and wife of one, with a strange and quirky sense of humour. I enjoy anything arty and crafty, and love gardening, not only because it’s part of my job but also because I find it to be a good destressor. I am an animal lover, with elephants being my favourite, but as it is probably illegal to own one in Scotland, I’ve settled for being animal-mother to one very crazy dog and two equally bonkers  house cats.

    I have been married for five years now to, what must be, a very patient man.  After a few months of marriage we decided we should do the children thing, which resulted in discovering on our one year anniversary that we were expecting our son, Mk1 (now three).  We are obviously a silly lot, because once we moved to a bigger house we thought another one would be a good idea, thus resulting in Mk2, our daughter (now one).  Our house only has two bedrooms so this means the two have to share.

    When it came to decorating their bedroom, I wanted something bright and colourful. It also had to be something that would grow with them and would mean not having to redecorate every couple of years.

    I decided that my original idea of a striped wall of ‘boy’ colours and one of  ‘girl’ colours would be too difficult (!?1?!), so I spent hours on the internet searching for inspiration and ideas.  I eventually found a site specializing in wall art stencils, but with the size of the wall mural and being on a tight budget this proved to be too expensive.  Being quite arty and loving a creative challenge, I therefore decided to create my own wall mural using the site for inspiration.  This way the end product would be totally unique and exactly to my taste.

    Mk1’s wall had to be something that was not too flouncy or flowery for a little boy, but I didn’t want it to be too simple either. So I decided on a tree with swirls and leaves detail. Mk2’s wall had to be really girly, but not too stereotypically girly, so for her  it was a tree with flowers and butterflies.

    I started by creating 3” x 3” pencil sketches of the trees I envisaged and then armed with pencils, rubber and sharpener I went about recreating these on a large scale. First were the outlines, which consisted of a lot of pencil scrawls and rubbings out, hence a few dirty marks on the walls that show up in the pics.  

    mk1 sketch mk2 sketch
    Mk 1's sketch Mk 2's sketch

    The actual painting was the time consuming part, which I mainly completed using matt emulsion in three coordinating colours - blue, lime & Jazzbury purple.  The details of the leaves, circles, flowers and butterflies were all done with little tester pots.  Using little rollers and little paint brushes proved to be best for this, but getting into all the little nooks and crannies was a nightmare.

    I lost count of how many hours it took me to complete the whole project as it could only be completed  in my sparse free time in between breastfeeding, usually on a Sunday afternoon when hubby was around to watch Mk 1 & Mk2  leaving me to concentrate.  I started it in July and finished in December!! 

    finished mk1 finished mk2

    I would, however, do it all again.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting creative and am really pleased with the results. Best of all the kids really love their trees ."

    I hope you have enjoyed this guest blog. If you have, please leave a comment or tweet Fishy ! If you would like to feature as a guest blogger yourself and show off one of your creative projects (whatever it might be) then please contact us.