Saturday, December 27, 2008

I think it's safe now

Now that Christmas is over and presents have been unwrapped, I can finally share with you the projects that I made for my family! The ones below are items that got sent to my siblings (minus one because I forgot to take a photo before I shipped it. Der.)

My older brother and his wife got a set of hand embroidered pillow cases (nice ones, too, I might add) with each of their monograms. I sent them in a nice keepsake box, which I also forgot to photograph, with the saying "Always kiss me goodnight" on the lid.

For my younger brother and his fiance I made them this fabric applique portrait of their rat terrier, Molly, from a photo of when she was a puppy. It was kind of tedious and a little time consuming, but I think it turned out pretty well. Here's the tutorial that I based the project on.

My youngest brother got a baseball cap ear warmer from this tutorial. I was originally going to make him a custom camera strap from a couple of his old ties, but I later learned that he was no longer using the camera it was intended for, so I had to scrap that idea. I admit, it took me quite a while to come up with something else. 22-year-old boys are so hard to make stuff for!

The idea for my younger sister's gift came to me when I tried to lay down for a nap one day. I didn't have a tutorial to go by, so I had to wing it. It was pretty simple, aside from my stupid presser foot sticking to the leather with every blasted top stitch.

The awesome wood button came from this Etsy seller, and her initial I just scratched into the leather using a large upholstery needle.

Inside pockets for pens, pencils, iPod, wallet, etc. Just the thing for a girl who is always writing and/or drawing, but doesn't carry a purse.

And finally, my youngest sister received this hat and mitten set that I made from a thrifted wool sweater. I actually made a couple of these but this one seemed most appropriate for her since red and white happen to be her high school colors. Here's the tutorial I used.

Last shop update of the year!

Okay, so that title might sound a little more grandiose than it should, seeing as how a new year is only days away- but I couldn't resist. :)

Anyway, there are still a few hat/shoe sets available in the shop, and I've just listed more shoes for sale, including these cuties from last year.

It's not too soon to be thinking about Valentine's day, is it?

Monday, December 22, 2008

couple more...

Okay, so here are a few more items from my handmade gifts list that I managed to make, finish and/or photograph this weekend.

First up is a canvas market tote that I made a few weeks ago. I actually made 4 but only got handles sewn onto 2 of them. I wasn't entirely sure who I was going to give them to when I made them, but they turned out to be good gifts for a couple of gals from church. There are lots of tote bag tutorials out there, but I basically just used a store-bought tote as a template for mine. The apple stamping idea came from Martha with this tutorial.

For some reason when I heat set the fabric paint it caused the red to lighten and kind of puff up. Weird.

I mentioned in my previous post a jewelry-making kit that I was putting together for my daughter. Voila! Okay, nothing special, but I think she's gonna like it. Just a simple wooden box that I'd painted a few years ago and still had on hand, then I added a little cardboard divider to keep things inside neat and tidy. A bunch of colorful wooden beads and some craft yarn wound around an empty ribbon spool and she's got a box full of crafty fun!

This little fella was kind of a spur of the moment creation. I had this tutorial from Craftster favorited in my "projects" file, so when I realized that daughter had more gifts on her side of the list than son did, I thought I'd give it a whirl, you know, to even things up. The only real trouble I ran into with this was that the underbelly sections didn't even come close to matching up with the body sections. I had to do a lot of finangling (that's a word, right?) in order to get them pinned together, and the outcome ended up being a little lumpy underneath. Then when I got him all stuffed, the legs kept wanting to splay out like he was doing a belly flop off the high dive and not standing up straight like I wanted. I'm thinking that if the underbelly hadn't been so wide it would've kept the legs in better. I did a little tucking underneath to pull it in a bit, but I'm not going to show you that. Just the cute parts. :)

What do you think, is this too juvenile for a 2 1/2 year old? I'm wondering if I should stash him away for Baby Boy (due in March) and come up with something else for big brother?

And finally, the felted sweater hat for big sister. Isn't that owl sooo cute? No, I didn't come up with him, either. He was an image that I'd saved in an inspiration folder on my computer, but now I don't remember where I got it. I like his round body and itty bitty feet and beak. (The hat was made using this tutorial.)

I'm relieved that I've almost crossed all the items off of my "to make" list, but it makes me kind of sad because I've really enjoyed it. As much as I like making shoes, it's such fun to be able to sit down with a brand new project that I've never tried before and see how it turns out. I've had such a good time making gifts this year. Hope you give it a try! Happy holidays everyone!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Handmade Christmas for the kids

It's been absolutely killing me to not be able to blog about the gifts I've been making for my family! Last year I went handmade by purchasing gifts from Etsy for most of my siblings and parents- and I did pretty well. This year with funds being somewhat more limited, I decided to make them all myself, using as much as I could from what I already have. I started well before Thanksgiving so I could get most of them done in time to take with me to my parents' house, where we all gathered to celebrate. Saved on a bunch of shipping that way. Only one didn't get finished, but that was only because I couldn't think of anything!

Anyway, I've also been busy making the majority of my kids' gifts this year as well. I'll share what I've got with you so far.

This toy idea came from a tutorial found on one of my favorite crafty blogs, The Long Thread. My finished rocket doesn't stand up very well on its own, but I did manage to make the inside sleeve long enough to fit 3 wooden eggs, which I still need to paint obviously. One will be the rocket boy, plus an alien and maybe a robot. I like that I was able to use scraps from my son's quilt to make this for him. 2 1/2 year old boys don't mind handmade gifts, do they?

This (I hope) will satisfy my daughter's Christmas list request for a robot. Granted, it doesn't move or beep or do anything, really, but she loves soft toys and I'm hoping she'll appreciate that it is made from her own design. I ran out of steam on him at about 1 a.m. this morning, so I still need to sew him up, but he's just about done.

Somehow, my son has but one winter hat, which he wears practically everywhere these days. It's been getting very, very wintry around here so I thought it necessary to build his collection a bit with a handmade beanie from a felted sweater (tutorial courtesy of CraftStylish). The cute little dog design is from Betz White, so please don't think I'm creative enough to come up with him on my own! The bouncing ball and tag in back I can take credit for. ;)

I've come up with a few other handmade goodies for the kids, a couple of which I've managed to check off my list. I made them each a Wall-E tee using heat transfers that I found at Joann and some inexpensive tee shirts bought at K-Mart and Steve & Barry. They turned out cute, but I wanted to wait and post photos of the kids wearing them, so that will have to wait. I've also assembled a sort of jewelry-making kit for my daughter using brightly colored wooden beads (also from Joann) and some string. Simple, but I think she'll like it. She loves doing projects, especially of the crafty sort (wonder where she gets that from?). I started on a felted sweater beanie for her, too. Not that she needs another winter hat, but I found an image that I really wanted to turn into an applique, so I'll have to post on that one when it's done. Think I'll have time to make them each the pajama bottoms that are also on my list?

I was tempted to add a couple of these to the list as well, thinking I could use the large amount of buckwheat hulls I have as the filling. I decided, though, that I don't have enough for two chairs, and if I can't make two then I'd better not make any. I mean, it just wouldn't be worth the fights. So that will have to stay in my "projects" folder for a little longer. That fabric still makes me drool. I used one on the above mentioned quilt a few months ago.

Aahhhh, that's better. Feels good to share some of my secret projects. :) Hope yours are going well and you're not spending too much time (and money!) in the stores!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shop update... at last!!

FINALLY I have been able to list some wonderful hat & shoe gift sets in my Etsy shop! I've been wanting to do this for weeks but, not surprisingly, I found it difficult to wrangle some time during my work week to eek out even just a few pairs of shoes for myself. I got some of the work done here and there during slow weeks, plus quite a bit over the holiday. Now, at last, they're allllmost done. Done enough, at least, to list the sets for sale in the nick of time for Christmas (I hope).

So, go have a look! Only 13 sets available in various styles and sizes. You don't want to miss these awesome hats from Etsy seller CiteFuzz, either!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Reverse applique on a tee

I have a new obsession- reverse applique. I came across this tutorial recently and have tried it three times, each time with wonderful results! There are other tutorials out there for this process, but this one is clear, concise and not at all confusing (unlike some of mine).

My first effort was in making the hand-turkey shirt for Hakan (my 2 1/2 year-old son) for Thanksgiving, which turned out embarrassingly similar to the original from the tutorial. Hey, I openly admit that I am an excellent copy-cat! I was pleased, though, that I was able to use the turkey to cover an ugly grease stain on the front of this tee, which had kept me from putting it on him unless we were staying at home all day. Would it be weird if he wore this other than on Thanksgiving??

Does this bird silhouette look familiar? My second attempt was a little (okay, a lot) trickier because I was stingy with the printed fabric. The scrap I used was juuust big enough to fit the silhouette, but it was a nightmare to get it positioned perfectly underneath the bird design on top. More than once I thought I had it, would start to stitch, then realize I'd run off of my woven fabric and would have to unpick what I'd done and reposition the printed fabric. SO! Heed the advice to use a piece that's plenty big enough for your design!!!

Finally, I spruced up a 25 cent turtleneck for my five-year-old and am in love with how it turned out! This little top was kinda boring, so I thought I'd use this new found technique to add a little bit of flare to it. Originally I was going to put the birdy on the chest, off to one side. But when I noticed a stain towards the bottom I just knew it was meant to go there. :)

A little hand embroidery adds some more detail.

The back doesn't look pretty, but who cares about that?
Just a couple of things I did differently after my first try-

  • I'd suggest tracing your design with washable ink or chalk rather than pinning the paper template to the tee. Fewer pins to negotiate around is always a bonus, and you won't have to worry about the template shifting as you stitch around it. I stitched slightly outside my drawn line as well.
  • If you have them, use pinking shears to trim away the excess woven fabric from the back when you're finished to eliminate fraying in the wash.
  • For my hand embroidery I used a sturdy interfacing pinned to the inside of the tee to stabilize it as I stitched (because that's all I had), but you could probably use a dissolving stabilizer or something more lightweight if you wanted.
  • Try to pre-shrink your woven fabric (and the tee if it's brand new) before you create your applique. It's never fun to go to all that trouble just to have the applique shrink and pucker after it gets washed and dried for the first time. I didn't do this for my last applique and luckily it still came out okay, but it's better to be on the safe side.

I have a few more thrifted shirts that I want to try this on for the kids. This really is an easy technique- give it a try!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Something of a tutorial

Why is it that the urge to try something likes to hit me when it's almost time for bed? Last night I decided to attempt turning a funnel-neck wool pullover into a cardigan- something I've wanted to do for a while but just didn't have the courage. Why I finally decided give it a go at 10:30 last night is a mystery, but I'm glad I did!

Unfortunately I didn't take photos of the steps as I went (I hate taking pictures at night in artificial light or with the flash), but the process was simple enough that I think I can explain it pretty well using the "after" photos below.

-I started with a 100% wool pullover that had been slightly shrunken and a bit felted in the wash (woops). Find the exact center of your sweater at the neck, then follow the row of knitting and place a series of pins vertically down the entire front to show you where to cut.

-Carefully cut the sweater open along your marked line, pulling out pins as you go.

-Next you'll need enough grosgrain ribbon for each open side, plus a little. Decide which side you want the buttons to be on (ladies' tops usually have the buttons on the left when the garment is on, so on the right when it's laying on the table facing you).

-(I started with the button hole side of the sweater.) Lay your ribbon along the outside edge of the sweater, matching your edges evenly and leaving about an inch of extra ribbon at the top and bottom of the sweater.

-Fold down the excess so that your fold is even with the top and bottom edges of the sweater.

-Pin the length of ribbon to the sweater.

-Stitch along the edge using a 1/8" seam allowance. Reinforce your stitching at the beginning and end of the ribbon.

-Turn the ribbon to the inside of the sweater and press your seam.

-Pin the turned ribbon down (the folded raw ends of the ribbon should now be underneath itself) and stitch along the inside edge of the ribbon, as well as along the top and bottom edges. On this step I sewed with the sweater facing up so I could follow a row of knitting to make a nice straight line of stitching. Just be sure that the row you choose to follow will catch your ribbon underneath all the way down.

-For the other side of the sweater simply match the edge of the ribbon with the edge of the sweater as before, but this time fold your excess ribbon under itself, so the raw ends of the ribbon are hidden.

-Stitch along the very edge, and when you come to the bottom just turn and stitch down the fold, then stitch your way back up the other side of the ribbon, again on the very edge. Stitch down the top fold as well.

In this photo you can see that the ribbon hides the raw edge of the sweater nicely, and because it's slightly felted it won't unravel.

- You can now choose the type of closure you'd like to use- buttons and holes, toggles, frog closures, etc. and add them to each side of the sweater. I decided to go with one strategically placed button and a thin loop of leather for mine. This keeps the cardigan closed, allows easy on and off, and gives me plenty of room for my growing belly. After my pregnancy I may go back and put buttons and holes along the entire length, but I kinda like the way it is for now.

I secured the leather with just a couple of rows of stitching...
...and a chunky button stitched to the ribbon on the other side completes this simple closure.

I'm thinking I'm gonna get a lot of use out of this new sweater. I never wore it much before because the wool was just a bit itchy on my neck, but now that the neck can fold down it's just right for throwing on over a tee shirt. This project would be really cute with a full turtleneck sweater as well, giving you a nice big shawl collar. Hmmm... do I have any wool turtlenecks I wanna cut open? Ooo! You could also try cutting the opening off to one side like those chic assymetrical cardigans I've seen- love that!!

Anyway, if you decide to try this let me know if you have any questions. I realize my "tutorial" may have been a bit confusing. Hope it turns out for ya!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just got home from a week-long Thanksgiving vacation and instead of unpacking I decided to sit down to my Google Reader to try and get some blog reading done. (We spent the holiday in an area where only dial-up internet is available, so I didn't want to hog the phone line reading blogs.) I had about 160 new posts waiting for me- yipeee!!! Well, after reading the friends and family blogs, next on my list was one of my new faves, 30days. Do you remember the shoe giveaway in October? Right now Mique happens to be having a giveaway for a lovely baby sling from Modmum, and being a big baby wearer myself, I had to spread the news about the chance to win something so pretty and practical!

This is my favorite- the "Olivia" sling. Is that print to die for or what??? I think I've mentioned my affinity/obsession for polka dots. I could get away with wearing a boy in this, don'tcha think?

Hurry over to 30days to enter the giveaway. Pretty much all you have to do is visit Modmum and take a few minutes to drool over all of the gorgeous prints, decide which one is your fave and then post a comment on the 30days blog. The winner will be chosen on Thursday, so go on over!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A weekend of craftiness

Do you ever get the urge to craft, but not the things that you should be crafting? That's how I was this weekend. I usually spend my weekdays working on shoes, then taking the weekend off for family time. This week I enjoyed a long weekend since Friday was my birthday, offering me the justification I needed to take the day off and leaving a few pairs of shoes unfinished. Saturday I went thrifting for the first time in quite a while, with my main goal being to find as many nice wool sweaters as I could to use in some Christmas crafts I've been thinking about. I came home with a few and immediately had to try out this tutorial from Alli at One Pearl Button. (This is Alli's set, made using a lovely cabled cashmere sweater.)

I whipped up two sets (using wool sweaters instead of cashmere- no luck finding any at the stores) and they turned out pretty great! I had to do some trial and error in getting the sizing right, but eventually they looked dang cute. The ones I made are going to be gifts, so I can't really show them to you quite yet- but you really should give this a try. SUCH a great idea!!

Another tutorial I had to try was this one from Betz White for a Pomander. Isn't hers to die for??

Below is the (almost) final result of my first attempt. It turned out pretty huge (about 5" in diameter I think), but I still kind of love it. I need to go get some pearly pins for the centers of my rosettes, then I think it'll look a little better. I definitely need to beef up my wool sweater stash, though. I love how Betz's looks with 5 or 6 different colors of rosettes that are all cohesive and interesting. For my center I wadded up some polyester fiberfill into something of a ball, then used a long 1" wide strip of ribbed knit scrap to wrap it. This gave me a nice round shape and didn't weigh a lot. The final result does weigh a lot, though (lots of felt rosettes will do that), so instead of hanging it on my tree like I'd planned, this one will have to go on a doorknob or something like that instead. I'll definitely be making more, though. Won't you give it a try, too? I mean, who doesn't love a no-sew craft project that can be given to just about anyone as a gift, or kept to decorate your own house?!

Hmmm, I wonder if you could somehow make the center scented, using potpourri or lavender or something... ?

Friday, October 24, 2008


That's right- the lovely Mique from 30days is hosting a giveaway for a free pair of Diddle Dumpling shoes on her blog, just for entering a comment there between now and Sunday! The winner will get to choose whatever design and size they'd like from my Flicker photostream, so head on over and leave her a note if you haven't.

By the by, her blog is absolutely terrific, so be sure and add her to your Google Reader subscriptions!! Good luck in the giveaway!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My new old chair

I discovered this rocker on Craigslist after many weeks of keeping my eyes open for the perfect antique (or antique-looking) rocking chair to take the place of the big armchair that is currently in our bedroom. I had many criteria and am quite picky when it comes to furniture, and this one is just right! It's really well made and I think is an authentic antique. There isn't a nail or screw in the entire thing, just well cut wooden joints. It's oak (I think) but has this nice dark stain that I really like, and there's just something about it that makes it look a little classier than a lot of rocking chairs I've come across. I also like that it's kind of low, so I won't need a foot stool to feel comfortable sitting in it.

The seat cover had to go. It was this yucky beige moleskin fabric that was covered in cat hair. As I began removing the staples to take it off, I discovered that underneath that was the ugliest, filthiest pillowcase I'd ever seen encasing the non-original plywood seat base and a feather pillow. Yeah, someone had actually used a regular old feather pillow as the cushion for the chair. Weird. Anyway, I polished it up with some Orange Glow and got it nice and clean, ready for its new seat. Next I purchased some 2" high density foam from my local fabric/craft store and some polyester batting to cover that. Finally I used a big hunk of one of my chocolate brown leather shoemaking hides for the last layer.

It's clear that the original upholstery was attached directly to the chair (the seat is a drop-in that is easily lifted out), which leaves this strip of not-so-nice-looking wood around all 4 sides where the tiny nail holes are visible. I'm not quite sure if it bothers me enough to come up with a solution for it, but at the moment I think it's fine. One other thing I think I'll need to do is drill a few holes in the plywood base. Since the leather is non-porous, the air in the foam needs a place to go when it gets sat on. Right now it makes a "psshhhh" sound as the air squeezes out between staples. Hopefully a few holes will take care of that.

And for the finishing touch- a soft sheep skin purchased on eBay to add a little more tushy coziness, inspiration taken from this sweet lady's new favorite place to sit.

So here it sits in the living room, waiting for Daddy to get home and carry it upstairs to its new corner. I was naughty and brought it in from the garage to put it together (it weighs quite a bit), but I'm not going to attempt carrying it up the stairs. I forgot how much physical effort goes into just upholstering a seat. I think that's enough rule-breaking for today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Check it out!

I discovered the blog The Long Thread just a couple of days ago, and this morning added it to my subscription list in Google Reader. Then just now I sat down to nibble on some lunch in front of the computer and what pops up before me, but this! I clapped and smiled and laughed, which made my five-year-old question what on Earth had just changed my sour mood so quickly. I pointed to my shoes among the lovely montage of Fallish Etsy finds, but said five-year-old was still bewildered. Ah, well. Guess it doesn't take much to make me happy after all- and this really did! It's always nice to know that someone else likes my shoes, especially on a day like today when every stitch feels like a chore and every time I lift my scissors I want to groan. So, thanks Ellen, if you read this! I'm totally writing down her pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and will be making a ribbon wreath one of these days.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still around

Did you think I was gone? Nope. Just feeling sick, keeping busy and trying to be a good girl and obey the "semi-bedrest" order from my midwife. *sigh*

Anyway, just wanted to quickly pop in and show you some new Fall and Halloween shoe designs I've finally made and listed in the shop. A few have sold already, but I'll be relisting them... sometime...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tutorial: Turning Regular Jeans into Maternity Jeans

I realize I haven't posted in a while, but when I dug out my maternity clothes recently and rediscovered my favorite "maternity" jeans, I thought I'd share how I came to own them.

During my last pregnancy I had a hard time finding inexpensive, well-fitting maternity pants. I live in jeans and own way more pairs than I need, so when I'm pregnant it's hard to be satisfied with just one or two. Luckily I found a way to turn non-maternity pants and skirts into ones that would work when I'm pregnant, and for lots, LOTS less than buying actual maternity wear. So raid your drawers and closets, hit the second hand stores and get yourself a few pairs of pants that you'd like to be able to wear during pregnancy.

Here's what you'll need:
o Sewing machine
o Pair of jeans/pants/skirt (you should be able to pull the pants on and then zip them up a little bit.)
o 2 Jeans (not Standard) sewing needles
o 3-4” wide elastic (enough to go around your waist, below your belly button, plus about 3")
o thread that matches or is similar to elastic color
o thread that contrasts your jeans
o sharp sewing scissors
o pins
o seam ripper

Useful Tips:
o If your elastic has different textures on either side, make sure the softer side is placed so that it’s to the inside, the side that will be against your body.
o For the guide line (#11), use a thread that contrasts with your pants so that it’s easy to see.
o Use thread that matches or is similar to your elastic, not your pants, when stitching the elastic & jeans together (#21).
o Make sure you use a jeans needle, not a regular one. A standard needle will break when sewing through the seams of your jeans.
o If you are not pregnant or showing much when you do this project, use jeans that are comfortable or slightly roomy. Measuring your elastic waistband will involve some guesswork. Wrap it around your waist as described (#12), but leave a little slack between it and your body. Again, you're just guessing on how much slack you’ll need, but don’t pull it tight against yourself or these pants won’t last you through more than the first or second trimester.
o This project can be done with any kind of button and zipper pants or skirts- corduroys, trousers, khakis, cargos, etc.

Let's go!

1. Put on your jeans; zip them up as high as you can if you are very pregnant, or about halfway up if you are not.

2. On the outside fly, mark with a straight pin where the zipper pull is.

3. Take off the pants and zip up the zipper all the way.

4. Lay the pants flat and pin the front pockets shut.

5. Unstitch any belt loops that go below the waistband in the back.

6. Using white chalk or other visible pen, draw an even curve starting at the pin you placed at the zipper, up to the sides of the jeans and across the back, between the yoke and the waistband. *Try to make sure your line is smooth and hits at the same point on both side seams and is straight across the back. It should not make any dramatic dips or peaks.

7. Make sure your drawn line doesn’t go through any rivets; adjust the line by moving it slightly up or down if necessary in order to miss them. If your line cuts across any front belt loops, unstitch those as well.

8. Cut along the drawn line, being very careful not to pull the zipper open once you’ve cut through it. *It’s easiest to make this cut if you have the pants on a flat surface, such as slipped over one end of an ironing board.

9. Once you’ve cut the top off your jeans, take them to your sewing machine and do a wide but short zigzag stitch over the very top of your zipper to keep it shut for good. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS ZIPPER TO EVER OPEN! *Be very careful not to actually let your needle come down on the teeth of the zipper. It WILL break. Just make your zigzag wide enough that it jumps over the zipper and catches on either side of it.

10. Go back to your regular length straight stitch. Lay the outside and inside flies down flat over the zipper, the way they’d normally lay. Pin if needed. Stitch down the fly, close to the top raw edge, to keep it closed over the zipper.

11. About ½” away from the raw edge, stitch a guide line (using your contrasting thread) all the way around the top of your jeans, being very careful when going over the zipper. *When you come to the zipper, you may want to lift your needle out of the fabric and raise your presser foot so you can slide the pants forward a little, until you’ve gotten to the other side of the zipper. You don’t actually have to make stitches over the zipper itself here.

12. With just your undergarments between the elastic and your skin (a shirt and pants will add bulk that won’t be there when you’re wearing these pants), take your elastic and wrap it around your waist, placing it under your belly and where it feels comfortable in the back. *This is a very important step. Your new elastic waistband will get you through to the end of pregnancy, as long as you don't pull the elastic tight here. The elastic itself has enough give to accommodate your growing belly because it will rest below it, not right on the largest part. Making sure the elastic sits high enough in back will ensure that the pants will stay on and be comfortable even in your early months.

13. Pull the elastic so it’s snug, not tight, and make a mark with a pen where you want to cut the end. There will be no seam allowance or overlap, so don’t include any when you are making this mark.

14. Cut your elastic as straight as possible at the mark.

15. Butting the 2 cut ends of elastic together, use a wide, short zigzag stitch to join the two, creating your new waistband.

16. Fold your elastic in half, with the seam you just made at one of the folded ends. This seam is now Center Back (CB) of your elastic. The opposite fold is Center Front (CF). Mark this fold with a small pen mark.

17. Fold the elastic the other way, putting CF mark & CB seams together and marking the other 2 folds in the same way. This will help you place the elastic on your jeans evenly.

18. Place CB seam of elastic on the back seam of your jeans, placing the edge of the elastic on the guide line you stitched on the jeans earlier. Pin in place. Place CF and side marks of elastic on guide line of jeans at front and both sides then pin, same as CB.

19. Spreading the fullness of the jeans as evenly as you can, place more pins between the 4 you have, all the way around your pants. Placing a pin halfway between 2 pins, then halfway between the next 2 and so on will help you place them evenly. *This step does not have to be perfect. We’re only trying to avoid major lopsidedness by getting the jeans and the elastic basically matched up. **Your elastic will not lay flat on top of your jeans when you’re done pinning. Your jeans may be a little bunched.

20. Begin stitching the elastic to your jeans by sinking your needle & lowering your presser foot at CB. Pinch the elastic and jeans behind your needle with one hand, and a few inches in front of it with the other and pull the elastic taut.

21. Stitch close to the edge of the elastic, pulling jeans & elastic taut as you go.

22. Stitch all the way around your jeans. Be careful going over the zipper! I suggest you use your hand wheel to move the needle up and down when you get there, and when you feel the needle hit the teeth, slide the jeans forward a tiny bit in order to avoid the zipper. *Each time you stop sewing to adjust your jeans, make sure you stop with the needle down. When you go to pull the jeans and elastic taut to continue sewing, your jeans won’t move out from under the foot.

23. When you’re done stitching, take out all the pins. Check that you caught the elastic and the top of the jeans in the stitching all the way around.

24. Cut any loose threads.

25. Ta Da! All done!

In the above photos I am only about 12 weeks along- thus the "chubby-but-not-very-pregnant" look. But already regular button jeans have become uncomfortable, and my elastic-waist jeans are a lifesaver. During my last pregnancy, I wore the other pairs I made myself through to the very end.