Hink for Ladies by MaeT

{June 4, 2009}   Still alive, but not sewing

Hello.  Yeah, I’m alive, but just haven’t been sewing.  I did not finish my HP dress, because I tried it on the night before I was leaving for the convention and it’s about 2 sizes too big.  Bah!  I got very frustrated and put it down and haven’t touched it since.  At least it’s too big and not too small, so it should be easy to fix.

Also, a winner has been decided in the Chicago Flag skirt:

chicago flag skirt 2

Design number 2 won with an 8-3 vote.  Thank you to all who participated, and thanks for choosing this design!  The more I thought about it, the more I liked this one, so I’m glad it won!  Hopefully at some point in July I can begin to work on it.

I have a project for a gift that I really need to complete by June 20th, but I’m not sure it’ll get done.  My husband and I are moving on the 27th (still in Chicago, just a different neighborhood).  Our whole lives have become packing.  My house is a disaster and we have 2 random people staying with us this weekend for a wedding we’re going to on Saturday.  Should be interesting…I gotta try to move the boxes around to make room for walking and an air mattress tonight!

Hope you are all well.  Happy sewing!


{May 11, 2009}   A future project…

So, every once in a while, I’m sitting somewhere and all of a sudden an idea hits me for a sewing project.  A couple of years ago I all of a sudden decided I needed a red and white polka dot halter dress.  I drew out the sketch using “paint” on my computer:


And I gave the image to my friend Kate who then made this for me (this was before I began sewing myself):

Erin and Mikes Wedding 5-25-08 (8) Erin and Mikes Wedding 5-25-08 (12)

I love this dress, and the inspiration hit me when I was sitting in church and one of the kids walked by wearing a really cute red dress with tiny polka dots and a white collar.  I quickly grabbed the nearest pencil and paper and sketch out my dress during the sermon (oops, don’t tell my pastor!).

Well folks, inspiration has struck once again!!!  I think this happened in church as well (yeah, I must REALLY pay attention well during church)!  I can’t remember why this struck me as something that I had to have, but it did.

I live in Chicago.  I LOVE Chicago.  Chicago has an awesome city flag (if you’d like to see the meaning of the flag, click here):

chicago flag

I’ve decided I need a Chicago city flag skirt!  So, I have 2 possilbe designs for the skirt.  This is where I need your help.  I’ve once again used the “paint” program on my computer, so it’s just a crappy sketch drawn with the mouse, but I hope you’ll get the general idea.  I’ll put up both the pictures I’ve “drawn” and then I’ll put in one of those poll things.  Please vote for the one you think I should make!  I’ll pick the one that gets the most votes.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get to this project sometime in July!  Okay, here you are…

Design #1:

chicago flag skirt 1This is more of a straight forward interpretation of the flag design.  The top white field would probably be in panels, and the bottom part would be one section.  The design would be repeated on the back.

Design #2:

chicago flag skirt 2

This is more of an abstract interpretation of the flag design.  It would work out to be more like a “cheerleader” skirt, where the blue fields would peak out from underneath the white fields where the stars would be.  I came up with this design because I really do not look the best in solid white, so this was a way to get some more color into the skirt.  The top panel would again be one section.  The design would repeat on the back.

So there you have it folks!  Help me pick my next original creation!  Who knows, if it turns out to be an easy project, I may be able to sell something like this!

Vote away!

{December 31, 2008}   A Christmas Skirt…

I walked into the local Hancock Fabrics one day and saw this awesome light weight black denim with embroidered skulls on it.  As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make something for my niece, Nicole, for Christmas!  The fabric was a bit pricy…luckily it was on sale that day, but I still only got a yard and a half.  It’s also very lucky that my niece is built like a twig, so it dosen’t take much fabric to get around her!

I found a pretty basic skirt pattern and decided to play with it a bit.


I ended up making “pattern C” with a twist.  Instead of just heming the bottom, I added some “80’s Lace” as I like to call it.  You know, that white fabricy lace with the flowers and eyelets?  It was on everything in the 80’s!  I was really embracing my hippie-punkness on this one.

I should have washed the fabric first, but I live in an apartment and it sucks to have to pay to do laundry and I didn’t want to spend $2.00 to wash a piece of fabric, so I didn’t.  I simply layed it out on the ironing board and got all the creases out.


Next I had to figure out what pieces of the pattern to cut.  That was actually a bit more difficult than it sounds!  A lot of the pieces I knew I needed (as the instructions called for them for pattern C) were not labeled as needing to be cut for pattern C.  I laid out what I could figure out, but as I got further along in the skit, I ended up having to cut 5 more pieces!  Luckily I had enough fabric left to work with when I got to that point.


Of course it was at this point that I forgot to take step-by-step photos of my progress!  I’m going to blame that on the pattern.  Now, I know I’m pretty new at this stuff, and I’m still learning the lingo, but one would think a pattern from Simplicity would be simple to read and follow…guess not!  It was actually a relativly simple skirt to make, and I had done all of the more technical parts on a tank top I had made earlier, but it was a matter of trying to figure out that what the pattern instructions were telling me to do was something I knew very well how to do.

One of those issues was with the pockets.  I’ve never done a pocket, but I have worked with bias tape before.  It took about 30 minutes, some screaming and a minor melt down before I realized that’s what the instructions were telling me to do!  All of the pieces labled “yolk” and “front” and “back” were very confusing as well.

Putting the waistline in was almost impossible to decipher!  Plus, at that point with all of the folding over of the denim, my machine needle did not want to go through it any more.  I ended up having to hand stitch a lot of the waist, which is fine.  I need to invest in some heavy duty machine needles though for the future!

This skirt also required a zipper, which my lovely friend Kate was able to help me with.  I didn’t have a zipper foot for my machine either, but that has now been remedied, and thanks again to Kate I even know how to use it for the next project I need a zipper for 😀

Putting the hook and eye in took some work as well.  The directions gave NO help in that department.  I mean, I know how to put in a hook and eye, but on that part of the skirt there was all this extra fabric sticking all over the place that the directions never gave and advice what to do with it.  I ended up getting creative and cutting and sewing and it all worked out.

I put in the last sticth on December 23rd at about 12:30 am, then of course I had to wrap it.  I finally got to bed at 1:30 am done with all things Christmas.  We then had to get up at 5:30 am to head up to my parents place in Minnesota for the Christmas festivities.


Yes, I did wrap the skirt in the box from my NEW Rowenta iron that I got from my mother-in-law for Christmas.  It works great btw!


You can see my dad in the background admiring my handiwork…


I think she liked it – look at that smile on her face!


It fit (thank God)!  I was actually pretty nervous, because it always looked too big.  And of course, pattern sizes are crazy.  It wanted me to make a size 14 for my size toothpick niece.  Of course, the front of the pattern said it went to size 14, but when you opened up the actual pieces, the biggest was a 12!  Hmmm…So I made the 12, and I probably could have even gone a size smaller.  I looked great on her, and she wore it all day long over her jeans 🙂  I hope she wears it a lot.

Over all, it took me about 3 1/2 nights to finish the project, which could have been shorter if the directions weren’t so goofy.  I’m pretty proud of myself on this project, I think it looked pretty good overall.  I’d rate this particular pattern by Simplicity (#3754): C+, difficult to understand, missing key information, but an easy enough project that I could figure out what was missing and fix it myself.  Also, pretty easy to modify to make it your own.

I welcome any of your comments, questions or critiques!  Hopefully at some point I can get a better close up image of the finished skirt, but until then you can click on any of the pictures to make them larger.

et cetera