Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to shorten a metal zipper.

If you want to add some interesting details to a design one of the easiest ways is to add an interesting zip. I love metal zippers, they just instantly change your garment from dull to fabulous! 

The Pin Pegs mini skirt looks fabulous with a metal zipper.
The only problem is they are very hard to find in the right size or colour, unless you want to go online and buy about 50 in a bulk lot!  Also, unlike nylon zippers you can't just sew over the teeth without breaking your needles. I have found the best way to get the correct length is to shorten a longer zipper. The longer metal teeth zippers seem to be more readily available.
Metal zippers can be shortened by removing the metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing into your garment. Once you get the length right you don't have to worry about breaking needles when sewing across the zipper. All you really need to do this is a set of pliers and some patience, but totally worth it to get that funky look.
Here is how I shorten a metal zipper.
Measure the zipper to the length you require and mark the zipper tape. It is tempting to cut the zipper to this point so you don't have to remove so many teeth but believe me it will be a lot more work. I tried it once and ended up with the tape fraying and a compete mess!!

Remove  the zipper stops with your pliers. 

Be very careful not to cut through them completely as you will be putting these back on. You just want to slightly open the stops and then gently remove from the zipper.
Now remove the zipper teeth one tooth at a time. Don't be too rough otherwise you'll end up with a frayed zipper tape. Remove one or two teeth just below your marked line.

Using your pliers, put your stops back on just above the teeth. If you are having difficulty putting the stops back on you may have to pry them apart a little bit more. Just be careful here you don't want to cut through them completely otherwise you'll be off to the shops to buys some stops. You will squeeze gently to crimp them back on.

There you go!  Pretty easy really and you can make the length exactly as short or long as you want and be much more flexible with your design.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free Pattern to celebrate the launch of Sew This Pattern

Sew This Pattern is now one week old! It's been so exciting to see my first pattern release sewn up by so many talented sewists.  I particularly love the different fabric choices. It is amazing how much of your personality shows through with fabric choice. Keep the photo's coming in and I'll add them to our website.

To celebrate the launch of Sew This Pattern you can get a free download of the Pin Pegs mini skirt this weekend. So, get on it!

I really want to see your finished Pin Pegs, so don't forget to email or hashtag #sewthispattern  #pinpegsmini 

Get the pattern here for Free! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Launch of Sew This Pattern and Pin Pegs Mini Skirt.

How exciting! My new years resolution has actually come to fruition. I have released a new sewing pattern called Pin Pegs Mini and started a new venture called Sew This Pattern

After studying Fashion Design many moons ago and working in the rag trade for most of my working career, last year I decided to develop a sewing pattern in the hopes I could start up my own line of sewing patterns.

Having two school age boys and working part time as a fitness instructor (not to mention training and racing my bike) didn't leave me a lot of time for sewing let alone making this dream come true.

I am more of a pencil and paper type designer so when it comes to computer design, I need a lot of help. Luckily my partner is a guru in this field and has helped me with photography, website design and illustrator. Thanks Tone!

The vision for  Sew This Pattern is to offer patterns that are not only on trend, but a bit of fun and give the sewer plenty of inspiration to add some of their own personality.  Most of the patterns will be for the advanced beginner to intermediate sewer, perhaps a little challenging at times for some but helping you improve your skills and techniques. 

So here it is the Pin Pegs Mini Skirt.

The Pin Pegs Mini skirt is a pattern that you will love sewing and love wearing. It’s all about showing off those Pin Pegs, Bacon and Eggs, Mystic Megs, Legs!

It’s a mini skirt but how short depends on how tall you are. Make it a micro mini by shortening it or lengthen it to make it a more conservative knee length. For those of you who want a longer skirt in this style but don't think your skills are up to lengthening it yet, don't worry I will include a tutorial shortly on how to lengthen it on my blog.  Also, I will have a Pin Pegs long skirt pattern coming soon to take all of the work out for you.

The Pin Pegs downloadable sewing pattern is perfect for an advanced beginner or intermediate sewer as the design has a zipper which is easy to insert and a buttonhole which could be replaced by a snap. You can dress it up for evening with a pair of pumps or grunged down with a cool pair of boots for day.

It’s asymmetric hem design and zipper closure give it an edgy look that really stands out in the crowd. Choose a fabulous floral, a bold digital print or a bright solid to add your own personality. Add extra interest by using a contrast colour, metal or chunky zipper. Make this skirt yours!

Here are some pics of the skirts I have made so far and some pics from some fabulous ladies who have kindly tested the pattern for me. Thankyou ladies!

Thanks to Kate for the modelling. Those pin pegs are looking great.

Big shout out to these amazing ladies. Thank you for  testing the pattern for me. You're Pin Pegs look incredible!


You can purchase the pattern at

Please feel free to hastag on your instagram feed #sewthispattern @sewthispattern so I can see all of your amazing designs.

Annie x

Friday, May 8, 2015

Me Made May '15 Week One

Day 1. Made this blouse for the Burdastyle competition

Day 2. Girls night out! Had to rock the Stop Staring knock off

Day 3. Chillin' on a Sunday in my Staple Dress

Day 4. One of my favourites this week. Ready for School drop off in my Zebra Bomber

Day 5. Mixing it up in my red pleather jacket with self drafted Petal Pushers 

Day 6. Rugged up in my Summer Rose skirt. 

Day 7. Worked on some UFO's. 

Me-Made-May'15  is a challenge to encourage crafty folk who sew, knit, refashion and create stuff to actually wear their beautiful creations during the month of May instead of letting them pile up in a draw or wardrobe. It's fantastic as it forces you to look at your diy wardrobe and be a bit creative with it. I have dresses I love but think that they are too "nice" to wear during the day. But since starting the challenge I have thrown a dress on , layered it up with a jacket and scarf and voila an evening dress turns to day! Have had a few compliments at the School gate too!

Participants can come up with their own challenge pledge so that it is appropriate and also challenging for them. One of the most common pledges is to try and wear one diy or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2015. It's purely up to you as to what your challenge is. For example, a challenge might be to finish some of your UFO's (unfinished objects). I particularly like this challenge as I have a few projects on the go including a couture jacket (must get on it).

Check out Instagram #mmmay15 for some inspiration it is unbelievable how many talented diy fashionistas and crafty people are out there. I also love pinterest.

Here is my pledge

 'I, Annie, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a diy garment at least 5 days of every week and work on UFO's on the other 2 days for the duration of May 2015'

Friday, May 1, 2015

Daisy Duke Blouse

This is my "Daisy Duke Blouse". A little bit country and little bit grunge. 

I made it for the Burdastyle Ultimate Member Model challenge.  The deadline for the challenge is today and I just finished sewing on the buttons this morning. Nothing like leaving it all to the last minute!

You can vote here if you like it.   Burdastyle Ultimate Member Model challenge

The pattern is Burdastyle 109 Gathered peplum Blouse. I got some inspiration from pinterest for the fabric choice and style.

The fabric is a soft cotton plaid from The Fabric Store in Fitzroy which I have fallen in love with. Their fabrics are gorgeous and not too expensive. I don't get over there often as I live on the other side of the river and it's a bit of a trek to get over there, but so worth it!

When I first started sewing the shirt I thought I'd have it done in no time but then things started to go wrong. More time unpicking than sewing with this blouse.

The back is way too baggy and I made this in the smallest size. I added a couple of darts to fix this. In saying this the pattern does look baggy it's just not my style.
Also, the peplum has too much fabric for my liking so I reduced the amount of gathering.

The placket on the cuffs and the collar instructions were a little hard to follow so I referred to my sewing book funnily called The Sewing Book for instructions. This is a great book if you can get pick up a copy of it.

I rumbled around in my sewing room for some buttons and luckily I had some in the same colour wave and the right size. 

If I were to sew it again, I think I would make the sleeves 3/4 length. 

Pretty happy with the end results even if it did frustrate me at times.