Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing


Off to the UK…

I actually have been working on a few sewing projects, however I’ve been too busy preparing for my upcoming vacation to blog about them.  Included in these projects is a me-made skirt that I just whipped up last night so I could actually take it with me.  I’ll try to get some action shots on the trip.

I love to travel, especially to new places I have never been before.  This time I’m off to…..any guesses?


Right!  I’ll be flying into Edinburgh, Scotland and I’ll even get to see some of the highlands too.  I’m hoping for good weather and also a possible side-mission to maybe get some tartan or some sort of plaid fabric.  If anyone has any advice on this, please feel free to comment.   It would be great to bring something back – perhaps to make a “there-can-be-only-one” kilt skirt.  What do you think?

I can’t wait – just a few more days!!

Bra cups


One Suit, Two Cups

Pattern: McCalls 3566

McCalls 3566 Suit YourselfWell I thought this post would be about my issues with putting bra cups into a bathing suit for the first time, but that was actually one of the easiest parts of this pattern.  Since my first attempt at a bathing suit was so successful, I thought I would try a different style from this pattern.  I thought the triangle top would be a good one to try, but I felt it would need some cups…for shape.

Bra cups

Unfortunately, this pattern did not provide an easy adjustment to add these.  There was an option to add foam, but that is not something I have seen or could find online.  The directions called for sewing each piece of lining to each of the separate front pieces.  This was not an option since I needed to sew the cups between the material and the lining.  Sewing the two lining pieces together was a bit difficult, but I got it to work.  And with a few stitches, I secured the cups in the right spot under the lining, and being careful not to let the stitches show on the front side.  I could use that front seam to my advantage – no stitches showed and the cups were securely in place.

Now the real hard part of this suit was the straps and that darn drawstring.  I spent hours flipping those inside out.  My fingertips were completely red when I finally pulled the last bit of material out.  I’m not sure I will be making another one of these – unless I can figure out some sort of device that can easily flip stretchy spaghetti straps.

Bathing suit bottoms

I decided to serge the exposed end of the crotch this time in order to avoid the raw edges. This piece is stitched at the bottom seam and the pulled to the front.

My second attempt at the bottoms were a big win.  However, I would not be upset if I never saw another piece of elastic after this.  I also decided to use my own sewing machine on this project after locating the stretch stitch.  The stretch stitch on my mother’s super machine is definitely a lot nicer and has a much better finished look on the top stitch.   I may have to use it again if i decide to make another bathing suit, which bothers me a little as I like to use my own tools.

About This Pattern

So I mentioned this briefly in my other post, but I am not too impressed with the directions on this pattern.  It is definitely not a great pattern for beginners.  The first suit I made was confusing enough, but the directions on this top would have been extremely difficult for a beginner to follow.  It was unclear how to form the triangles and I still feel like there was some missing directions on how to finish the back section.  I ended up just making it up as I went and doing some hand sewing to tack things and finish edges off.  I also got a bit turned around with some of the pictures and I feared at one point I was sewing the whole thing sideways.  Anyone with sewing experience (especially working with knit fabric) could definitely move through this with good results, but if you are unsure about reading patterns, you may have some difficulty.

Well I have another bathing suit to welcome the summer in!  Luckily I have a bit more color this time.   So let me know – any tips you can share for your own experiences with swimwear?

Bathing Suit triangle top



The Dress-for-Wedding Challenge: Epilogue

Pattern: Vogue Patterns American Designer, Kay Unger New York #V1353….continued from part 3part 2 and part 1

I thought it might be nice, since half my blog is about this one dress, to post a picture of the final dress in action.  Here is the dress I wore to my friend’s wedding over the July 4th holiday:


Me, having a conversation with a mystery person. I cropped her at her request.

A few days before the wedding, I added the thread belt loops and a fabulous gold belt from TJ Maxx ($9.99).

Belt loop






The wedding was wonderful – everyone had a great time.  I was so happy to see my friends take this next step in their relationship. I also couldn’t believe that I got a few compliments about my dress, from people I didn’t know and who didn’t know I made the dress.  It gave me a great ego boost – and I was ready to dance up a storm at the reception (not pictured).

Dress for WeddingOne final picture, then I swear I will never speak of this dress again!  Haha!  But seriously, I would use this pattern again, I especially liked how the bodice fit and I didn’t need to make too many adjustments on the skirt.  It would be interesting to see it made with a different print, so if anyone out there attempts this dress, let me know!


Seriously who is that mystery person?? I know you all want to know!



No Sweat! Workout Pants

Pattern: Papercut ooh la leggings

Ooh la leggings complete

I was inspired to make these leggings by Karen’s Sporty Summer Sewathon, and also in an attempt to get me back on track with my own exercise routine.  This past year, my active-ness has ranged from triumph – running my first half-marathon (Yay!) to disappointment – having to drop out of my second half-marathon due to injury (Boo!).  But I’m ready to put all that behind me and get back to work!  Oh look a button!


I immediately liked the Papercut  pattern, because the seams are actually quite flattering and more interesting than your normal boring leggings pattern.  In order to make these leggings into a pair of practical running pants, I knew I had to add a back pocket.  Often for races, I need a spot to hold a car key, license, and maybe even some cash.  Instead of constructing an actual pouch, I thought it might be easier to just double up the waist area and create a pouch that way, similar to another pair of running pants I already had.

Making a pouch

I cut two panels of each and serged the front and back of each separately.  I then stitched the waist pieces together, seams on the inside, and used it as one piece when attaching the legs.  I used a serger on all the seams, because, you know…knit.  I decided to use an invisible zipper for the back pocket, in order to keep that clean, legging-like look.  I cut a slit on the back panel, sewed in my invisible zipper (cut to fit), and sewed a seam on either side in order to make the pocket a reasonable size.  Oh, and if you are wondering, I did install the zipper before sewing all the pieces together.  Much easier working with one flat piece.

Slit for pocket

Ever so carefully cutting a slit for the back pocket.


Invisible zipper in order to have that “what pocket?” look and feel








Adding the elastic waist was easy since I didn’t have to maneuver the elastic through a slit, which I hate!  It was sewed on with a zig-zag stitch, the pulled around creating a waist-band.  I tried to make the seam look as finished as possible.


There was a little bit of top stitching around the hip area, which gave it a sleeker look.  I’m so glad I attempted this project, especially since this year, running pants were the only clothing items I had been buying.  Now I don’t need to – I would be proud to run my next race in these.

Well time to start training I guess.  I signed up for another half-marathon in October.  Here’s hoping these pants will continue to be an inspiration to keep at it.  I’m so happy to participate in my first sewathon as well!  Hope everyone is having an active and fun summer!