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 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 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!

et cetera