Author Archives: Thunderpaws Threads



This bracelet was an experiment in free-form weaving.  Not free form as in absent warp and weft, but free form as in design.  I had no plan when I started, other than it should be dark and goth-like.

It was intended as a gift for someone, but alas, I have not yet perfected sizing my loom pieces, and it fell short of her wrist.  Pooh!

That said, I remain pleased with it.  The clasp is pleasantly hefty and solid, the woven band is nicely tactile.  With the sizing exception, it turned out well.

The black background highlights the Mardi Gras colored design, with it’s peaks and ogees.

Jalie 968: Shorts


As has been previously mentioned, it’s become quite warm here. Warm enough that more shorts are in order.  The current batch in the dresser have truly seen better days.  Stained.  Stretched.  Torn.  and otherwise abused.

It was time to make more.  These are from fabric acquired I-don’t-remember-where, which is apparently a store I frequently shop, because I have acquired a lot of fabric from them.  It’s mostly cotton, which makes it perfect for warm weather.

The pattern is my TNT pants from Jalie, alas long out of print.  The sewing was pretty straightforward.  I even remembered that the seams are 3/8 rather than 5/8 inch, which corresponds the width of a 4-thread overlock.

For once, I’ve finished apparel appropriate to the season, and should get a lot of wear out them.

Style Arc: Violet


It’s over 100 degrees outside, which means I am indoors working on a jacket made from felted fleece.  For Winter.  Yes indeed, sports fans, I am once again working at cross seasons, sewing something totally unsuited to now.

There is one redeeming factor with this project, that being I started the jacket at Sewing Camp in April, when there actually was snow on the ground, and I could have worn it.

Several iterations of trial and error on the finishing method delayed the actual completion.

The original plan was to use a faux leather as the binding, creating high contrast with the felted fleece.  The faux leather did not cooperate.  Next I tested a more mundane edging, which made things look too generic.  The primary fabric really did need something with equal pizzazz.

The winner was a black organza binding, which of course was a #($&#?@ to sew.  Slippery?  Yes.  Ravelly?  Yes.  We agreed to disagree, and it was hand sewn into submission (and readers of this blog know how much I hate to hand sew garments).  In fact, this jacket has more hand sewing than I have done on any garment in years.  Years.  Decades.

There were a ton of things I did differently from the pattern recommendations.  The Violet pattern suggests using a stable knit like ponte.  I did not do this.  The pattern does not have instructions for making the jacket reversible.  I wanted it to be reversible, so both side of the primary fabric would be usable.  The pattern does not have directions for having pockets on both sides if you do decide to make it reversible.  Lastly, the edges are supposed to be turned under and stitched.  And of course, I did not do this.

Given all these deviations from the pattern recommendations and suggestions, I don’t feel I can easily say how good or bad the pattern itself is, since I basically thumbed my nose at it.  All I can say is “I did it my way”, and in the end, it worked.

As you can see from the above photos, one side is a lovely marbled grey and the other a colorful riot of felted ribbons.  Both sides have usable pockets which do not connect internally.   It took a bit of thought, as well as a lot of hand sewing to get everything lined up and working properly.

The organza binding was hand sewn to the garment.  And since I was hand sewing, why not make it even more interesting by adding beads?  So I did.

Now that all is said and done, I think the organza and beads add just the right elan.   Perhaps even more than the faux leather would have done.

Now I look forward to cold weather.

Under the Sea


While wandering around somewhere or other, I came across these lovely little fishies, and knew I had to do something with them.  They weren’t my usual type of bead, being a fired ceramic, but what the h*ll.  Time for something completely different.

I remembered Nevermore and thought perhaps a similar technique might work.

So, it was into the bead boxes to see which colors and sizes worked with Cleo and Clara and Clovis.  What’s that?  Doesn’t everyone name their fish beads?  Of course they do!

The end result is a lovely spiral of seaside and mist colors in various bead sizes (15°, 11°, 8° and 6°) as the focal.  The spiral comes in and goes out, just like the tide.  The necklace is strands of milky white beads sealed with a slide clasp.

Penchant for Pods


I’ve been looking for sewing projects that would use up all the bits and pieces of fabrics I’ve accumulated.  You know those fabrics you like too much to toss, even though there’s not enough left to make a pocket lining.

I stumbled on these critters while cruising Craftsy, looking for ideas or patterns or… something!

These little cuties were just the ticket!

The instructions are very good, including how to create a franken-zipper of your very own.  That means separating a zipper and removing the zipper head on purpuse which is something I had issues with.  It’s one of the Seven Deadly Sewing Mistakes – zipping a zip only to come completely off the teeth.  Eek!

These little pods are about 4 inches on a side.  Large enough to hold whatever may need holding, but small enough to not be cumbersome.  Some of them are stiffened with quilt batting (more scraps put to good use) while others have heavy duty interfacing.  I haven’t yet decided which I prefer.  Both support media allow them to stay open when unzipped.

Two 10 inch (or smaller) pieces of fabric create two pods.  Not bad!  I can see these as gifties for the holidays.



It’s July.  It’s Hot.  Hotter than it’s been in previous summers.

Thankfully while the days are warm (warm by Cactusville standards, which I still use to judge how hot the days are) the evenings cool down 20 or 30 degrees once the sun sets.  Cool enough so that if one is up early, you can open the windows and let the morning breezes in.

The cats are mostly puddles of fur at this time.  Sir Puck decided this window was just the ticket to cool down before the house was closed up.  I think it’s his second nap of the morning.  Second Nap?  Second Breakfast?  He prefers the nap.

Forget Me Not


This bracelet reminds me of the small forget-me-not flowers I used to see as a child.  They were always one of the first harbingers of Spring, popping up to remind one there was sunshine and warmth and longer days ahead.

The green base is bead woven on a loom.  I liken it to the stems and leaves of the flowers.  It was then enhanced with matte periwinkle circles, each one dotted with a yellow center.  A tiny blue picot surrounds the edge, and protects the warp and weft from wear.  (Try saying that three times fast!)

Shhh!  Don’t tell, but this is a birthday present for a dear friend who is an awesome gardener.  I hope she likes it.