Hink for Ladies by MaeT

{April 27, 2009}   I’m not dead yet…

Hey!  Yes, I’m still alive, and still sewing.  Finally getting around to posting.  First things first: the final finished project photos from my Easter dress.  I had my husband take them.  We were in Louisville, KY staying with his brother and sister-in-law and nephew for the holiday.  It was gorgeous outside, so that’s where we did the shots.  Look how GREEN the grass is!


It’s very light and flowy, and fun to wear!  The only problem is the stretch.  It keeps pulling lower, so I’m hoping washing it will tighten it back up again…we shall see.

Next, I thought I’d finally post up some pictures of the fabric I bought for my Harry Potter dress.  I’m doing Ravenclaw colors (blue and bronze).


Also picutred is the pattern envelope and the trim I’ve gotten.  I think I may have to get some bigger trim though.  Here’s a closer shot of it:


I like it, but I think it’s too small.  I found this awesome ribbon that had both colors in it, but when I took it up to be cut, there was only 1/2 a yard on the roll and they didn’t have any more.  Angry.  Maybe I’ll order it from the website?  We’ll see.

In other news, I thought I’d put up some patterns I’ve been collecting.  I have a ton!  I’m sure you all have boxes and boxes of patterns collecting, but I’m just getting started here.  Hancock was again having an amazing sale when I went in on Sunday: 99 cent McCalls patterns!  I’m including those that I got Sunday, as well as other ones I’ve been storing up for a rainy day.


These 3 are all from Butterick: B5052, B5262, B5193


Of the Simplicity 2938 pattern, I have made the tank (though not posted about it) and I have the stuff for the pants and jacket.

The McCall’s 5116 pattern has kicked my butt for the moment.  Need to buy new fabric for it.


Some McCalls from the sale Sunday: M5484 & M5145


A possible Halloween costume someday? McCall’s 4954


Some crafty McCall’s patterns I got to make gifts for people: M5826 & M5644.


And finally, some stuff to make for my husband! Butterick 6844 (He’s starting seminary in the fall to be a pastor) and McCall’s 4244, ’cause he needs some new jammie pants!

BTW – If anyone has good leads on mens clothing patterns, let me know.  The main companies (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick…) don’t have much to choose from, and many of the choices are very dated (think 1980’s tanks and short shorts on guys…eww).  Thanks!  Happy sewing!


{April 15, 2009}   And now…Harry Potter!

harry-potter-0036A few weeks back I put up this post about a dress I’d be making for the Harry Potter Convention, LeakyCon2009.  Now that Easter is over and I’ve finished that dress, I can focus on my new project!  Tonight my friend Abbey and I (who is also going to the convention and making a Slytherin colored dress) are going fabric shopping for our dresses!  Thanks to the wonderfulness of Hancock Fabrics, I have coupons galore to use tonight!  Also I signed up for the JoAnn Fabric mailing list and got a coupon for them, so hopefully all this fabric won’t cost me an arm and a leg!  I’ll also be picking up some notions for a present I’m making, so I have another project but won’t put it up until the gift has been recieved.  I’ll try to put up some pics tomorrow of tonights goods!  Hope you are all sewing well…Peace!

{April 9, 2009}   Finished?

frontOkay, so I “finished” my dress last night. That’s in quotes for 2 reasons, 1) I still have to hem the bottom and 2) as with most sleevles dress/shirts for bigger women, the arm holes are cut WAY TOO BIG!!!  Why the hell do they do that?  Do they think we WANT our bras hanging out??  Seriously, the arm holes extend below where my bra is.  I’m not really sure how to fix it.  Normally I’d take it to my friend Kate to help me, but I have a Seder dinner tonight, Good Friday worship tomorrow and early Saturday we’re heading to Louisville for Easter.  I may try to do it myself, but I’m worried I’ll ruin the dress since I don’t know how to fix it really.  Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated.

Until then, here are some more pictures!

fabric1This is the fabric all laid out before I cut it…it really is a neat pattern.  I wasn’t terribly thrilled with it when I bought it, as I didn’t have many choices at the store for prints, but it really grew on me 😀

hole Here is the hole I expertly burnt into the fabric when I put the iron on it on it’s highest setting.  Live and learn!  The hole is pretty close to the seam, so hopefully no one will notice it.  Also, the iron managed to “cauterize” the hole in a way, as the edges were burnt so that I don’t think it’ll get any bigger than it is now…I hope…

backAnd here is a shot of the back of the dress.  I was trying to be funny and “model” while I was in it.  My husband graciously took the photos, but most of them you could see my bra through the ginormous arm holes, so I’m not going to put them up and spare all of your eyes from seeing that, oh, and I haven’t shaved in a while, so I’m also sparing you my hairy armpits!  You’re welcome.  😀

{April 8, 2009}   Update on my project…

swo_157cSo I have been working on my dress. And here is the saga:

1) As previously mentioned, I was working on a muslin version first, as this is the first thing I’ve made for me and I wanted to make sure I got the sizing right. Boy am I glad I did that! I finish the muslin mock up, went to put the damn thing on and couldn’t get it down over my ginormous boobs. Man those things are always in the way! Now, I can’t remember if I stated this already, but I had 2 copies of this pattern accidentally. I tend to stock up on patterns when they are on uber sale at Hancock and I’d bought this pattern two separate times on two separate sales. Unfortunately, I had purchased the same size both times, so I had to go and buy the damn thing AGAIN in a bigger size! ANGRY EYES! Luckily, again, Hancock is amazing and Butterick was on sale for 99 cents a pattern! Huzzah!

2) Okay, so got the next size pattern, found the size I needed and began the process of cutting and sewing again. This time the muslin fit (even though I had sewn pieces together in the wrong places and the seams on the top were messed up – 2 inside the dress, 2 outside the dress). It was just a mock up so it didn’t need to be perfect.

3) Now have set to the task of making the actual dress. It’s matte jersey and difficult to work with. Also, lesson learned the hard way – don’t set your iron on the highest setting and put it on matte jersey. It burns a hole in your nice beautiful fabric.  Balls. Hopefully the hole will not be too noticeable, as it is right by where the seam will be and it’s pretty small. Still very angry I did that though. Ended up doing the rest of the ironing on a low setting and put some muslin on top of it. My husband suggested the muslin bit, and I thank him for it!

4) The pattern calls for a “narrow hem” on the neckline, arm holes and bottom of the dress. Let me tell you, it’s a pain to do on muslin and worse on matte jersey. You basically end up ironing and hemming the same bit of fabric 3 times. The matte jersey does not liked to be ironed, it won’t stay down. I’m using lots of pins to hold it.

5) Okay, so I finally go the neck line hemming done and went to so the top bits all together. There is some gathering on the cross over top pieces to give it a “wrap dress” type of look. Easy enough. So I do all that, pin it all together and sew the first hem. You have to “double stitch” all seams (sew the seam allowance, then 1/4″ over sew again). I’m assuming this is because of the fabric I’m working with. So, not only are all the hems ironed and folded 3 times, the seams are sewn twice! I do the right side, both times. Then realize that I had just put the damn seam on the OUTSIDE of the dress instead of the INSIDE. Again I say – Balls. This was at about 9:45 pm last night and I decided at that point to just leave it and fix it tonight. I did manage to rip the first seam this morning before work though to save me some time tonight.

6) All in all, I really am enjoying this dress, don’t get me wrong! I’ve had a lot of crappy misfortune, but the pattern is very easy and there are only 5 pieces and 2 of them are the skirt that you just stitch up the sides and then attach to the top. All of the main work goes into the top. I have a few pictures and *fingers crossed* I’ll be able to show the finished project by tomorrow!

{April 2, 2009}   A new project…

I’m finally sewing again!

Every Easter Sunday morning I go to my closet and am disappointed that there is never a new Easter dress in there.   I then spend the next half hour wearing nothing but my under-roos and pantyhose, sitting on the bed pouting that I have nothing to wear.  I’ve decided to end that this year and am making an Easter dress to avoid my naked escapades – especially since I’ll be at my brother-in-laws house, and I don’t think his family would enjoy that too much!

To this end, I’m using a pattern I bought on sale at Hancock months ago: Butterick 5001


I’m making the sleeveless version of the dress, because I hate 3/4 sleeves and short sleeves.  I’ll only wear cap sleeves, long sleeves or no sleeves.  Unfortunatly, for the first time, Hancock Fabrics failed me in the fabric department!  This pattern has to be made with Matte Jersey or another Knit style of fabric.  Hancock only had solids in that type of fabric, and in eye blinding bright colors.  I decided neon yellow solid was not right for me, or for Easter Sunday at church!

I ended up going to Joann Fabrics to see what they had.  Once again, not much.  They did have prints, but only about 5 or 6, and I didn’t like the prints at all and they were not very “easter-y”.  I found one that would have worked, but it was $18 a yard!!  I only need 2 1/2 yds for this dress, but that’s just rediculous.  I ended up finding 2 on the sale rack that I liked, and actually, I also found the blue print shown above in the 3/4 sleeve version!  But I wanted something a bit more spring like.  I ended up going with this print:


Kind of reminds me of a monarch butterfly…it’s not as bright as I wanted, but it’ll have to do.  It was $8 a yard, so after buying the pattern, thread, “stay tape” (which I had never heard of and had to have the nice lady at Hancock show me where it was) and fabric the dress will cost me just a bit over $25!!  I could not go out and buy a nice dress that cheap so I’m pretty happy over all.

Last night I started working on a muslin mock up of the dress.  This is the first thing I’m making for myself.  I’m not really sure how the measurements and sizing work yet, so I wanted to make a practice dress first before I cut up the expensive stuff and it ends up looking awful and not fitting.  I burnt my finger on the iron (ouch!) and had to stop sewing around 9:30, as I have basement neighbors, but I got the whole top done.  Tonight hopefully I can get the skirt done and put it all together.  I don’t have any pictures, but I’ll try to get some up once the mock up is done.  If the muslin ends of fitting okay, then I’ll get started on the real thing on Saturday!  That pattern is very easy to follow and it sews up pretty quick, so I’m confident I’ll have it done well before Friday when I have to pack to go to Louisville, KY.  I’ll keep you all (4 or 5 of you) updated on the process!

{March 26, 2009}   Sorry…

Hey all…sorry I’ve been so lame on the posting. I’ve not been sewing much the last 2 weeks, as I’ve been dealing with some life stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to put something up next week. I did purchase the pattern for the Harry Potter gown, but haven’t been able to get the fabric yet.

{March 12, 2009}   An ambitious undertaking…


My frined Abbey and I will be geeking out this spring, attending LeakyCon 2009 – a Harry Potter convention being held in Boston in May.  While there, we will be attending the Ball so we’ve decided to both make dresses for it!  After much searching through Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick and McCalls I’ve finally found the PERFECT dress for the ball!  It’s Butterick 4571 from their costume collection.  My goal is to make it in Blue and Bronze for the Ravenclaw colors, as I claim myself to be in the Ravenclaw house.  I thought this dress would be perfect for it because 1) it’d be easy to work the 2 color scheme together and 2) it reminds me of the Grey Lady who is the Ravenclaw ghost in the books.

I’m going to have my friend Kate help me to do a bit of resizing of the pattern and to move the waistline up to an empire waist, as that is more flattering on me!

Wish me luck on this endevor!  Hancock is having a sale on special occasion fabrics right now, so I’m hoping to get it this weekend!  I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  I may get some pics up of the dress Abbey will be making, too!

{March 6, 2009}   I got an award!?!


Lisa over at The Hem Line nominated me for a blog award!  I’m very honored and surprised!  I wish I could update my blog more often, and hopefully given time I’ll be able to, but for now I only update when I’ve finished a project.  Thank you so much for this award!

So, now it’s my turn.  I’m supposed to nominate 10 bloggers, but I just don’t know that many yet, so I’ll do the best I can.   With that, I nominate the following awesome bloggers:

1) Elania at Sew Ducky, for being my guide and inspiration in this new sewing/blogging world!

2) Erin at Dress a Day, for showing me inspiration!

3) The Slapdash Sewist, for having amazing style!

And here are the rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

{February 13, 2009}   Size 2T Jumper

As promised, I am still alive, and I finally have a project to put up here to share!  As I mentioned, this was a gift, so I had to wait until the intended recipient got it to post on here…and she did!  This is a jumper that I made for my goddaughter, Jannah.  The pattern was a free one I found on Burda StyleClick here to get the pattern!

It was a very quick sew and very cute! I made the shell out of an adorable brown floral corduroy and the lining was a lime green and orange mushroom cotton print. Here are the materials I used to make the jumper:


The pattern only required 1 yd of each fabric, so it was also very cheap to make, not to mention that once again I went shopping at Hancock Fabrics and everything was on sale, plus I had lots of coupons.  I love that store!

Everything was cut on the fold, so they recomended folding in the sides so you’d have 2 folds to work from, which I did.

b d

(You can see my fancy new Gingher scissors that my lovely husband Justin got me for Christmas…they’re amazing!)  Once the pattern pieces were cut out, the jumper was very easy to assemble.  Just attach the two top pieces, then sew the back and front together.



After you do this with the shell, repeat with the lining.  The next part was still easy, but because of the cordory was a bit more difficult.  With right sides together, I had to stich the tops of the shell and lining together.  I took a little work and adjusting to get them to match up because cordory dosen’t like to roll on itself very well!


I did get it to cooperate in the end – no floral patterned cordory is going to defeat me!!!  After that was all stitched together I hemmed up both the shell and the lining.  Fold 1/2 inch, then again and stich.  I probably should have hemmed  them BEFORE I stiched them together, but live and learn.  It really didn’t make much difference in the end what I did first.

I was originaly going to put buttons on the jumper, but I’ve never done button holes before, so I decided to learn how to do that first and opt for snaps.  Really, that was probably a better choice anyway, as this outfit was for a 1 1/2 year old, and snaps are probably easier to handle when you’re chasing her around!  I did still attach the flower buttons I bought on the outside though, purely for decoration.  I wish I had sewing the snaps on to the fabric before putting the shell and lining together, but I made it work and you can see very little of the stiching.


I just love the fabric, and I wish I could make a jumper my size out of it!  I do have enough left over that I may try and make my bucket hat pattern out of it for myself.  Here’s the finished project just before I mailed it out:


I think I did a pretty good job on it :-D.  And Jannah likes it, too!  It’s too big for her right now (I don’t know much about what size clothes fits what age kid…) but her mom, Susie, says it should be perfect for her next fall!  She was nice enough to email me some pictures of Miss Jannah modeling her new jumper, too.



What a little ham she is!  Justin and I will be heading up to visit Susie and family this weekend, and I can’t wait to see them all!  It’ll be a fun visit.


Especially with this little girl there to entertain us all!  Goodbye for now!

Ps…my next project is probably another gift, unless I get my bucket hat done first!

{January 28, 2009}   I’m still here…

…I didn’t disappear. I’m working on a really fun and easy project right now, but it’s a gift for someone, so I can’t post it until they get it! But don’t worry, It’ll be up soon!

et cetera