All posts by Henrietta

Well hello there…

My goodness. I disappeared, as you may or may not have noticed. Life has been CRAZY!

Long stories short, I’ve become a mother, decided to take time off from college, sold or given away 5 sewing machines, gained a serger and a snazy new Viking, moved 3 hours away from everyone one I knew (and to a new state), and am trying to sell a house.

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Obviously, its been a year of changes. I have been sewing, made two dresses for myself and a couple shirts, done lots of “make do and mend” type sewing, and made a boat load of cloth napkins. I think that’s about it!

We have also moved the blog to wordpress. Hopefully it will work out well. We were hosting it somewhere else, but it became rather silly to be paying out so much every few months for a blog I rarely had time to update, and that I was no longer planning on using as a business website. Its certainly a work in progress, but at least its back online!

I have a couple of patterns to review here in the near future, and will hopefully have more time to sew because the little one has started preschool. Also, we have put ourselves on a pretty tight budget to be able to attain some financial goals, so my clothing spending is next to nothing. And I have thousands of dollars worth of fabric laying around waiting to become clothes. I’m also hoping to maybe get into refashioning some things. We’ll see how that goes.

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Hope to talk to you again soon!

~Henrietta

September Thoughts

What have I been up to? Lots of sewing in actuality. Lots of school. Lots of coffee drinking.

Curtains from flat sheets

I made some curtains from flat sheets from walmart. They were SUPER easy and quick. I made 5 panels for about 20 bucks, in an hour, while photographing the process to do a tutorial on it. Seriously quick.

Curtains from flat sheets

I bought fabric a year ago to make nice curtains for my whole house, and I got through two rooms. So these provide privacy, and I won’t have to worry about them too much as we paint the living room.

Tank into a dress 9/2012

This is one of those tank dresses you’ve seen a hundred times all over the internet. Its a black tank top that came attached to a jacket/cardigan thing I bought. Then I sewed on a yard of this neat fabric that I probably paid a dollar or two for on the Reg Tag table. Its not shiny and satiny on the front, it has a bit of a rough slub to it, but the back is shiny and slippery satin, so it will work with tights in the winter too I think.

Home decorating painting project

I’ve been doing some painting for projects.

Home decorating painting project

Newest addition to the hippo collection. Birthday gift from my momma. I think he’s going to be spray painted silver and hang out in the office.

Home decorating painting project

Before Shots

Home decorating painting project

Aren’t they just lovely?

Then I made a belt to go with the Jaime Dress:
Belt

belt

belt

MUCH better with a belt!

photo

I’ve even tried my hand at bread making. The only other time as an adult that I have tried to bake bread or rolls or breadlike items, they have had a strange resemblance to hockey pucks. That’s what happens if you only let it rise half the time. But not this time!

homemade bread that didn't turn out like a hockeypuck!

homemade bread that didn't turn out like a hockeypuck!

I made a simple elastic waist drindl skirt for a friend’s birthday. Loved this fabric. It was a lightweight voile from that Global something or another line at JoAnn’s.

Elastic waist drindl for a friend

Well that’s what I’ve been up to sewing wise. I’m trying to get my studio in order and organized so I can move it to a bigger room and shampoo the carpets. Its currently about half way done. School is keeping me super busy. I quit the regularly scheduled sewing job a while ago, it was SO not the right job for me. I’m glad I did that. I’ve got enough freelance work to keep me busy for the next few months, so that’s exciting. As always, my sewing to do list is a hundred times longer than the actual time I have to sew for myself. I find myself anxiously awaiting graduation. I’ve got quite the case of “senioritis” and I think mine is worse than all the kids I go to school with because I’ve been working at it for so much longer than them. This will pass, and I’m trying to enjoy it while its here.

Anyone have an interest in a tutorial for the curtains? Maybe it would be a good thing to increase readership.

Jamie Dress from Sis Boom Patterns

Jamie Dress from Sis Boom patterns

1st page of the pattern pdf

Jamie Dress pattern pdf at Sis Boom’s website

This is my second attempt at this pattern. The first one was a disaster. It was muslin, and once I tried it on, I took it off and threw it in the trash. That’s how awful it was.

This one is much more of a success! I even wore it out in public today!

So next time, the things I want to change are raising the neckline by 2″, raising the back neckline by a good 4-6″, and taking a WHOLE lot out of the center front of the bodice. I had altered this pattern, more than a year ago. And did not do a very good job evidently. There is just a ton of excess fabric at the center front of the bodice. From strap to strap its only 9″ the way I’m wearing it, but I could very seriously fit a cantaloupe or two in there as well. So that needs fixed. You may notice that mine is not exactly like the pattern, I could not for the life of me get my 3 basting lines to gather the two layers of fabric in the bodice. Broke all three threads. At that point, I was frustrated, said forget it, and made little pleats to attach the bodice to the midriff band. And I didn’t do the ruching on the band either. Too much gathers and ruching going on in a busy print. Oh! And for me, a zipper was pointless so I just sewed up both side seams. Just for reference, I used 35 cm of 5/8″ non-roll elastic in the back, and 31 cm in the front, and started with 11″x4″ straps. Also, I was trying to make a tunic, and once it was done and I tried it on, I said, “Huh. I’ve made a dress.” It was longer than the capri pants I was trying it on over! Oops!

I got to practice a new skill I learned the other day with the hem, so thats snazzy. (PS, I got a “real” job sewing! Its pretty cool!)

Jamie Dress

I love this fabric. Its pretty quirky. My best friend’s mom when I was in elementary school always had bleeding hearts growing at her house, and I thought they were the coolest little flowers ever. Super delicate and dainty, and I always wanted to squeeze them and see if juice came out. (It doesn’t.) Makes me wonder how they’re doing. At some point in the last few years I saw this fabric at Jo-Ann and bought it, having NO idea what I would do with it. I thought it looked a little like something my mother would wear, so it sat on a shelf. Until I recently decided to stop “saving” fabric. I’ve got a huge stash, I need to sew it! So what it a project with beloved fabric doesn’t turn out perfect? I don’t care! That is now my philosophy on sewing from the stash, basically, the money’s already spent, lets make something!

Jamie Dress

As all the reviews I’ve read have said, the instructions are very well written with lots of good photos. I give them props for expanding their size range up to 3x or 26W, we fat chicks appreciate having options. I love pdf patterns as I am AWFUL at keeping track of patterns. My favorite shirt pattern, that I’ve made up about 6 times, has been lost and repurchased at least 3 times. Basically, I really appreciate being able to just reprint that one page of the instructions that misplaced, or whatever piece I’ve lost. On the flip side though, I hate the lack of line drawings and back view. For me, the back is WAY too low. It just is not practical for my life or my comfort. And you have no idea that will be the case since there aren’t any back views. Or line drawings. What pattern doesn’t have a line drawing?! I’m not a huge fan of the neckline. To me, it looks very Becky Home Ecky. I’ve never seen this kind of neckline in ready to wear, so that’s kind of a turn off for me.

Jamie Dress

Jamie Dress

I’d say its a pretty mixed bag on this one. Its ok, not great, and not bad. Very easy to sew and quick to cut.

All that being said, I don’t hate it. It is a breezy, cool, summery, sundress. I’ll probably wear it again. Also, funny how much a cardigan improves it! I think it needs a belt.

Jamie Dress from Sis Boom patterns

Jamie Dress from Sis Boom patterns

I have only one burning desire

And that is to sew. Right now. I have three things cut out upstairs that I could jump right into. And I don’t feel like it. I just bought this pattern for the Two Zip Hipster bag.

Two Zip Hipster Bag

I resent the fact that it is called a hipster bag.  Hipsters are lame.  But, it looks like a cute bag, and quick and I think I can fit it in the front pocket of my backpack.

(I refuse to carry a purse and a backpack at the same time.  Screams junior high to me.  Betcha can’t guess why.  Certainly not because that was what my friends and I did in junior high… Point is, I need a smallish bag that I can keep essentials in, that can be used alone or thrown into backpack.)

I’ve got several posts in draft form for you.  I need to put the pictures in mostly.  I’ve actually sewn a bunch since the last post about Me Made May, and have even photographed most of it.  And written about it! But have yet to combine the too.  I’m a horrible sewing blogger.

Back to what I was saying before I got off onto that tangent, I am all sorts of jumbled right now.  And all I want to do is sew, but I don’t want to sew the things that are ready to be sewn or that need to be sewn.  And the things that I DO want to sew are not printed yet (like the 2 zip bag) or are not cut out like this Connie Crawford number, or any number of other things floating around in my head.

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Whatever.  Its one of those days. I know I would feel better if I sewed, and yet, I’m not sewing. I have decided to write about my sewing when I feel like it, even if I don’t have a project completed or pictures of any projects. I never update the blog, and I think sometimes I get too serious about it. Like, I CANNOT post unless I have a project finished and documented! Well I think that’s bologna, and I’m gonna try this for a while.   I’ll leave with a picture of my cute shoes that I wore with the dress I made a week or two ago. The dress post is coming. Some day.

My new pretties!

ME MADE MAY 2012!

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‘I, Amy Jo of http://www.BlueHippoArts.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear something I have made or refashioned each day for the duration of May 2012, with as many thrifted items as possible.’

I didn’t make it the entire month last year, so although its the same pledge, I feel like it will still be a challenge!

Well, we’re almost through the month, and so far its a challenge!

MMM12 week 1

Not sure why the colors are so wonky looking. Oh well.

MMM12 week 2

On my flickr photostream, I’ve commented on almost all the daily shots and mentioned what about the outfit is me made, and what is thrifted.

MMM12 Week 3

Two days I’ve missed. Both were SUPER hot and I wore running shorts and a non me made tee shirt. Such is life.

If you’d like to see the full pix, click on over to the Flickr set.  Check out the full flickr group with everyone’s contributions too!

I’m not doing well about documenting my outfits nicely.  Most of my pictures are crappy and taken in a mirror, with my iphone, in my disaster of a family room, in the middle of being painted.But there isn’t much to do about it, if I want to document it, this is how it’s going to be right now. and that is OK!

I’ve gotten some sewing done for myself, and some for a client, so things are moving right along. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you with next week’s wrap up what I’ve sewn for myself! We shall see!!

1.5 Inch Wide Hexagon Quilt Printable Template!

So I’m working on a hex quilt pillow.  And I’m like, I’m sure there are a million printable templates on the interwebs, I’ll go find one!

And there are a million,  but none of them really suited me.  I think its kind of tedious to cut so many out, especially when you’re only going to have to cut them out again in fabric and none of them had connected hexagons.  My template’s are all connected, allowing me, or you, to make the fewest cuts possible to get the job done.

You can use them for English paper piecing if that’s your thing.  My plan is to print them onto freezer paper, then cut them, and then iron them onto my fabric! That way while I’m tracing the outline with pencil, I won’t have to worry about the pencil pulling my fabric to and fro under my pattern.  Go me!

So since I went to all the trouble of making them for myself, I thought, “Well heck! You should share the wealth! Help a sister out who doesn’t have the computer skills to whip one up for herself! Put ’em on the blog!”

Here is the link to download the pdf from google documents!

hex screenshot

McCalls M5976 aka Dang Pin Tuck Shirt

McCalls M5976

McCalls M5976

After much stewing and being angry, this shirt finally got finished.  Its a mixed bag.

Pros:

  • Everyone always compliments it.
  • The pin tucks look nice and allow for a blousy effect.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • The shoulders and body of the shirt fit really well and are very comfortable.

Cons:

  • I made the elastic in the cuffs too small, so its not really very comfortable to wear with the sleeves scrunched up.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I had to hem it twice to get the length right and I’m not sure I love the length yet.
  • The collar.. . URGH!  It is completely not right.  Since I had messed with the width of the neck, I didn’t want to just cut the collar stand straight from the pattern.  In my infinite wisdom, I thought, “Eh, I’ll just make it using bias tape.”  Its super wonky and lays all wrong, and I really really should have just laid the neck out and drafted a new collar stand.  I didn’t know how to do that at the time.  I learned how to later and haven’t had the patience to rip it out and re do it. But that is exactly what needs done.
  • The placket: I didn’t sew it very well so part of the raw edge sticks out on the front near the hem.  I just zig zagged over it with a short stitch in black thread.  I’m sure no one else would ever notice it.

Dang pin tuck shirt

  • I added a lot of width to the sleeves to make them flowy and blousy, and that turned out alright, but I should have added a good 3-4 inches in length.

Most of everything that I don’t like about it was my fault, stemming from inexperience.  I finished this months ago, so thankfully I have moved on and learned from my mistakes.

Dang pin tuck shirt

McCall’s M5893 Jersey Maxi Dress

M5893

All reviews on PR for this dress!

sewn Aug 2011

Pattern Description: “MISSES’ AND WOMEN’S DRESSES IN FOUR LENGTHS: Empire waist dresses A, B, C, D have hemmed, scoop necklines, side seam pockets and elastic casing at waist; dresses A, C and D have hemmed armholes; dress A has contrast bodice and hem band; dress B has sleeves gathered to sleeve band.” I made D with the sleeves from B

Pattern Sizing:18 – 24 W

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It absolutely does!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Don’t know, its really basic construction, so I just winged it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Its a nice summer maxi dress.

Fabric Used: Rayon Ikat jersey from fabric.com, summer 2011

Rayon Jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I did view D, but added the sleeves included for B. But I didn’t gather them at the bottom. Just did a narrow hem. I also had to make my usual grading changes to the pattern to fit me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would sew it again. The problem for me, as a person without a serger, is that it MAY have taken someone 2 hours to sew with a serger, but it took considerably longer for me. The hem, sleeve hem, neckline, and shoulders all needed some special treatment that may have been negated with a serger. Also, I’m silly and cut it PLENTY long, and had washed the fabric once, but it shrank up a good 2-3 inches. So beware.

Conclusion: I like it! Its breezy and easy to wear. Simple to construct. I think next time I’ll line the bodice with a sturdier knit because the weight of the skirt on it is a lot. It could use a little more stability.

Pattern Review (Its the same thing as you just read. But if you’re a PR’er you might care!)

McCall's M5893 Maxi dress

Living in the land of windmills

I find them completely fascinating. They always remind me of some strange post-apocalyptic landscape, and I love it. There’s a gigantic wind farm near my home and these were taken there earlier this fall.

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

Land of Windmills

I also think that its very “typical” Indiana in the fall weather in these pieces. Yes, we have beautiful leaves and foliage, but the sky is very grey from October until March.

More photography and sewing coming soon, stay tuned friends and neighbors.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Hey pal. Long time no see.

Sorry to abandon the blog for so long, the last two months have been full of changes. We’ve moved to the house I grew up in, tried to buy two houses, bought one, painted inside the new house, and moved again.

Check out the lovely (sarcasm) butterflies in my new sewing studio! Fortunately they’re just heavy duty paper stickers & came right off.
Our First House

Here are the colors in the kitchen before we steamed off the wallpaper and painted it all.
Our First House

Our First House

Here’s what it looks like now. We love love love it!

Kitchen - post paint

Kitchen - post paint

And a gratuitous shot of the family room. I am SO in love with this color. Its called Himilayan Poppy. Looooove it.

Family room

Since these pictures, we’ve actually put furniture and stuff in the house, so it looks a lot different. But you get the idea 🙂

How about a me made June wrap up?

It was great! I’m so glad I did it. There were two or three days I didn’t wear anything me made, but all the other days I did. Also didn’t take pictures everyday, and clearly didn’t blog about it.

So I have to call my Me Made June a success, but as a blog thing, not so much. And that’s ok!

Side note, you can follow us on Twitter at BlueHippoArts and on Facebook

We’ve been revamping the website. Really, its more than a revamp, I’d say its a complete overhaul.

We’ll see how soon that gets done! I’m not highly motivated to do my part of it at the moment.

More to come soon!