Hink for Ladies by MaeT

{October 13, 2009}   Give away

Grosgrain is doing a give away of the “How Much Fabric?” cards…I’d love to have one of these! Head on over to check it out, or visit GwynHug to buy one of the cards!


{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 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!

{January 3, 2009}   Tour of my “Sewing Room”

I thought I’d give you all (well, that would be about 10 people according to the stats) a tour of my sewing area.  Also to show off my stash I just got from Hancock Fabrics.  Lovely, lovely Hancock Fabrics!  Let me tell you why I love them so much – it seems every time I step in there everything I want is 50% off!  There is always a sale there, and I love it.  I got a $50 gift card for Christmas so I went in and went crazy the other day!  I got about $100 worth of stuff for only $53!!!!!!  That’s with 10.25% tax even (yeah, Chicago sales tax is rediculous).  So…here’s what I got:


Look at all my loot!!  Of course, when I WANT to take a picture of Malcolm, he turns his head or runs away.  When I’m trying to take a picture of my sewing stuff, he jumps right in the shot and won’t move…but he’s pretty cute, so I forgive him 😀

So, I got a big cutting board, and cutting matt for my new rotary cutter I got for Christmas, sewing ruler, machine needles, iron rest, bobbins, dress makers tracing paper, tailors chalk, tracing wheel, organic bamboo filler fiber and 4 yards of fusible interfacing.  Oh yeah, I’m all set!  It’s nice to have most of the starting basics.  I don’t have to beg from my friends anymore now – yay 😀

Of course, now I need a new project…I’m thinking I’ll do this free pattern for a blue jean skirt I found.  I’ve got lots of old jeans lying around, and I love blue jean skirts, plus, I get to recycle stuff, so I don’t have to buy anything else 😀

Anyway, on to the tour of my sewing “room”.  It’s actually just the bit of room behind the couch in my living room, but it suits the purposes right now.


This is what you see when you first “walk in” to my studio.  My new cutting board and my sewing basket that my mom got me for Christmas.  The chair was made by my husband grandparents.


Here’s the other side of the area.  You can see my “idea wall” in the background (close up later) and another sewing basket.  A few random projects are on the other chair, and my new 3-in-one printer/scanner/copier which comes in very handy for sewing occasionally 😀  I’ve also gotten some iron on transfer paper so I can make my own labels for the clothes I sew.

dsc05385Here’s the close up.  It’s just a bit of wall that I’m using to put up inspirations and things I’d like to someday make.


My plant shelf doubles as fabric storage.  I don’t have much yet, but I have TONS of muslin, thanks to my lovely husband (Christmas gift).



Next is my sewing table and a close up of my machine.  It’s a Singer Athena 2000.  It used to belong to my pastor’s mother.  She has another sewing machine, so she’s allowing me to use this one.  It’s a really great machine and has served me well.  It’s from about the mid-70’s, so it dosen’t have all the fancy bells and whistles that newer machines have, but I’d rather learn on a machine that can’t do everything for me so I have to learn to do it myself.

dsc05392I also have a small crafting corner in the living room where I keep my sewing books, scrapbooking and knitting stuff.

Well…that’s it for the tour.  Hope you enjoyed it!  I hope to have up a post about the blue jean skirt by the end of next weekend, but we’ll see how the week goes.  Peace…

{October 23, 2008}   A nerdy bucket hat

A favorite author of mine, John Green, is coming to Naperville on Friday and I’m going to meet him and get my book signed. He just came out with a new book, Paper Towns, and has written 2 others: Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines. All three are amazing and I highly recommend them. If you want to hear more about what I think of his books, you can read the post on my main blog.

So, in celebration of meeting John Green, I decided I needed to make him something. I had found a free pattern for a bucket hat on the Simplicity website, so I decided to try it out. I went to Hancock Fabrics and started looking around for some good fabric to make into the hat. I wandered around a bit to see if anything caught my eye, and boy did it!! I found the most perfect material for a NERDFIGHTER!

Yes, my fabric DOES say “NERDS ROCK!”  Thank you for asking!

I couldn’t have found something more perfect for this hat!  I grabbed 3 1/2 yards (gotta save some for some future nerdy project you know…) and was on my way.

After printing out the instructions and pattern, then spending 10 minutes taping the damn thing together and cutting it out, I assembled my materials and was ready to begin.

The first step of any project is to cut out all the pattern pieces.  While it only takes about 1/2 a yard of fabric folded to make the hat, there’s a LOT of cutting.  Each pattern piece is for 2 pieces of fabric, plus interfacing for each piece.

Of course I also wanted to make sure I got the pattern on the fabric lined up nice with the piece, so it took some jiggling and angling to get things where I wanted them.  Next was the ironing.  There is LOTS of ironing when it comes to sewing.  Who knew I would actually be asking for an IRON for Christmas one day???  I am not one to iron my clothes…ever…maybe once every year I’ll iron something, but for the most part, I’ll just wear it wrinkly!  With sewing you’re usually ironing something 2 to 3 times or more!  Plus, if you do iron on interfacing, there’s even more to do…but I digress…

This is me attaching the interfacing to one of the pattern pieces.  This project really doesn’t have much to it and is a relatively fast project – that is, once you’ve gotten all the cutting and ironing done!!!!

Okay, so once that was finished I was ready to assemble.  For this hat, you’re really making 2 identical hats and then sewing them together.  there’s only 3 pieces to the hat so like I said, it goes pretty fast.

Pretty good shot, huh?  I used the timer on the camera so I could sew and it could take the picture.  I’m cleaver like that sometime, and humble!

Anyway…I stitched up the “first” hat:

and then the “second” hat.  With the 2nd one, you leave a bit of an opening at the brim so that you can turn the 2 pieces inside out to sew together on the edge of the brim.

Once the 2 pieces are together, flip so the right sides are out and then you’re left with just the opening to hand stitch shut.

And then you’re all set with a kick-ass hat!  Well…after a bit more ironing…

et cetera