Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vogue 1387

I almost always love Rebecca Taylor's designs. In fact, I've only made a handful of Vogue patterns and I think they've all been Rebecca Taylor.

I mentioned that I recently found where my fabric store here hides the little shelf of rayon prints! This is one I snatched up. A downside of fabric shopping here is that coupons don't exist for fabric stores and things don't go on sale either. Halloween costumes were much pricier to make this year, to say the least! I told Casey to slap me if I ever complain about JoAnn's on the mainland again, haha! But these rayon prints are $5.99, which is pretty great, I think.

I think it turned out nice! I will say, there's gotta be a lot of pins on the pattern envelope model to keep that neckline where it's at. It gapes A LOT! I ended up topstitching the wrap part to keep it in place. I do not do camis here in Hawaii. Even so, the neckline is shifty. But, the top is very comfortable and I feel pretty in it.

On a different topic, I realized in recent months that I have hardly taken any photos with my big camera this whole year. It's partly because iphone tech has gotten so great that I don't always find it necessary to take my camera with me places. But, it's also because my D90 just hasn't been on it's best behavior. It got slightly damaged on our road trip from Virginia to Colorado last Spring and it just hasn't really been the same since, making it not really fun to take pictures. It has a really hard time focusing and the colors come out really off, no matter how I tweek the settings. I really feel like this has contributed to my lack of blogging lately, since part of the fun for me has always been practicing and improving my photography!

So today I pulled out my old D50 and charged it up to try some pictures. They came out so much better. So now I know it's not just me, there really is a problem with the camera! So now, I can't decided if I want to spend the money on repairs or just use my D50 for awhile while I save for an upgrade. I borrowed a friend's spare D200 once and can't get that camera out of my mind. It was lovely. Maybe said friend still has it, doesn't use it, and would consider selling it to me ;)

At any rate, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Enjoy again this video I posted last year of a song that I could listen to over and over at Christmas time and never be tired of it :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

T minus 6 days

My kids are daily reminding me how many days are left before Christmas. They've been doing this for weeks. Now that all my gifts are mailed, I don't get the same heart-restricting feeling I did a few weeks ago every time they gave me the number, ha!

I wasn't able to do a lot of Christmas sewing this year, unfortunately. I did not make ornaments this year *gasp*! The few people I told acted really bummed, so I didn't tell anyone else. Christmas really snuck up on me! Not only have I been really busy with essential oil classes and things, the fact that it still feels like Summer here just was not giving my brain the necessary indicators to get on the stick about Christmas prep!

At any rate, I did sew a few little gifts for my own kids and a few others. And I've sewn two tops over the last month and a half. That's pretty much it!

The first is out of a beautiful vintage print that I found at a thrift store. It feel like a cotton sateen and I'm pretty sure it has silk in it, it's just gorgeous.
 The pattern is McCall's 6755, which most people probably picked up for the awesome skirt pattern, but I had my eye on the top too. I really love the button detail in the back.
 That black scalloped skirt has been one of favorite things to wear since I made it!

The other is another of my new favorite t-shirt pattern. I grabbed this leopard print knit in a remnant bin at Fabric Mart Hawaii. In general, fabric shopping here is pretty hit or miss, but sometimes I find a gem. I just last weekend found a tiny shelf of great rayon prints! My favorite fabric to wear, by far. I already sewed up one dress, but I wanted to do some shirring at the waist rather than elastic and my elastic thread has gone MIA (because I'm pretty sure Natalie thought it would be great as jewelry string). Hope I can find some more soon!

I hope you all are having a relaxed week-before-Christmas!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A perfect tee for mee

You wouldn't think it would be so hard to find the perfect t-shirt pattern! I've been trying since the Sewaholic Refrew came out. Her patterns aren't great on me, probably because she designs for people who are narrow on top and fuller on bottom. I am not narrow on top. I think we need a pattern line for buff chicks, how bout you?

I picked up some nice, but inexpensive knit pieces at FabricMart a few weeks ago and decided to give New Look 6246 a try.

After wearing it once, I decided it would look less frumpy if I took the side seams in. I took about 5/8" in on each side, from sleeve to hem and now it's perfect!!! I'm so happy with this pattern and that I finally have a go-to comfortable t-shirt pattern. Yippee!!
This little skirt is something I've made twice now. It's nothing special, it's just a knit rectangle skirt with a wide knit waistband. No elastic even. Super comfortable for the weather here. Whenever I have a half yard or so of knits leftover, I make one of these. 

My sincerest apologies to my Colorado and other mainland friends who are enjoying below zero temps this week. It's been a beautiful 80 degrees in Honolulu all week. Can't say I'm missing the cold weather!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Halloween ... only a little late.

Ha! I think I'm gonna stop making excuses for my lateness or lack of more frequent blogging occasionally and just say that I'm busy. And I'll blog when I can. So there's my blanket statement for all future stints of radio silence, hehe.

But, it's better late than never, right? I had to share my kids' Halloween costumes because they were pretty darn cute. Kelby's been wearing his almost every day so the cuteness is wearing off of that one, haha.

 The girls wanted to be these Monster Girls. I've had this pattern for a couple years. I quickly looked for it online, but didn't want to waste time finding it and I'm too lazy to go up my 17 stairs to get it. If you're dying to know, I'll find it ;)

 Kelby wanted to be The Flash!! I couldn't find red knit fabric anywhere on the island, but I got the brilliant idea to buy a twin-size jersey sheet set from Target. I used the flat sheet for his costume and the fitted sheet is perfect for our air mattress when we need to use it :) I used a basic pants/shirt pattern and then made the hat, mask, belt, gauntlets and applique myself. I love doing stuff like this!
 These are the kids with some of their neighborhood friends. Lots of girls, poor Kelby. He's been playing with the little boy next door a lot lately, so don't worry, he does have a buddy. There are 11 kids in our three attached houses alone! And all but two are girls!
 I really wanted to be the Chiquita Banana Lady!! So bad. But, alas, I ran out of time and I hodge-podged together a cowgirl costume. I did happen to make my denim dress and the plaid shirt, though, so it counts as a handmade costume ;)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween :)

I thought I might as well snap a few photos of that Halloween bunting I told you I made for our front door. I picked up the cutest Halloween fabrics at my little quilting store (I should really snap a pic for you when I go there tomorrow, it's the size of a postage stamp, but you wouldn't believe how much awesome fabrics she crams in there! And she always knows just where everything is too, haha.)

By the way, all my kids carved their own pumpkins this year, they are so proud of them :)
 Aren't these fabrics just the best??

 I found myself with some free time yesterday after lunch (we've been schooling year-round since we got here, in a three weeks on/one week off schedule and it's been one of the best homeschooling decisions I've ever made. It is SO nice to have every fourth week to regroup and rest from schooling). I took my doggie buddy upstairs to the sewing room and made this top with my leftover deer knit from GirlCharlee. This is yet another version of Simplicity 1377. Casey had put some soft tanks in the giveaway pile, so I rescued a few to use bits of them for tops like this. That's where the gray knit came from. I really like it! I added my fave shirttail hem and I think next time I make this is a knit, I'll lower the neckline an inch or two and I may lengthen it a bit, which I think I did on my first version and forgot this time.

Hope you all have a good night, whatever your plans!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

back to sewing!

Second post in two days, whaaaat? Hehe

I got right back to my sewing machine after a stream of company last week. It's nice to have a break sometimes, though, because I always feel more inspired if I haven't sewn for a week or two! I wanted to whip up these two basics right away.

I had made New Look 6285 in a knit (which is what it's meant for), but since it seems drapey enough to me, I wanted to see how it worked out in a woven. I had enough green cherry fabric left to give it a try and really like how it turned out. I did add darts from the arm sync to the bust point, which is something I do often with sleeveless patterns of any kind. And I created a curved shirttail hem too.
 I sincerely apologize to any of you who are already missing your Summer weather ;)

Next up, my mom hit the pattern sales on the mainland for me and brought me my list when she visited, hooray! Simplicity 1377 was one of them. I liked the shorts and tunic view D. I made the shorts and they fit great! I like the waistband with a few rows of elastic. They stay put better than similar shorts I've made with one fat piece of elastic. These are out of some navy linen my friend Jenn sent me. I trimmed the pockets with some vintage yellow cotton eyelet. Maybe if you click on the pic, it will enlarge so you can see it. Linen is such a nice shorts fabric when it gets really hot out.
 We've had a buddy staying with us this week. She follows me around everywhere and whines when I go to the bathroom and don't let her come, haha! I knew that dog-sitting would make us really want a dog of our own OR make us more content to wait. Kameha has been sooooo much fun!! It's definitely made us eager to get our own doggie, but since we have no yard and it's so expensive to fly dogs to the mainland when we move back, we're kinda torn :-/  Casey wants to wait, but I'm secretly super bummed.
The kids are putting their costumes on tonight for a shindig here on Fort Shafter! I can't wait to get some good pictures!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Catching up.

I have made a decision! And it's to keep blogging ;) I have been busy lately and I was seriously considering letting the blog go. But, I'm not ready for that. I've been keeping this blog for 8 years!! Sheesh. Blogging has become quite a business, but I decided it's ok to not be in it for that and just keep up with it as I have always done. Even though I'm busy, this is something that brings me job, same as sewing does, which I think is even more reason to keep doing it through busy seasons.

I am excited to finally share this skirt with you! I had pinned a couple ideas for scalloped hems on Pinterest and pulled out some black twill and my go-to skirt pattern and gave it a try.

 I was also asked by a friend to make an Elsa dress for her baby. She couldn't seem to find one that tiny so I said I'd give it a shot. I used this pattern on Etsy and had so much fun adding trims and configuring the cape. She sent me pictures of the baby in the dress and it looks sooooo cute.

 I also made a cute Halloween bunting for our front door. I'm classic for buying great holiday prints and then not doing anything with them, so I'm proud that I actually used them right away this time! The kids wanted some decoration out there because their neighbor friends all have things out.

 My mom visited us last week while Casey was on the mainland and we went to a pumpkin patch. Quite a different view from the pumpkin farms we are used to, ha!

 This place was absolutely gorgeous. They were out of pumpkins, though, huge bummer! But it was still fun.

 That little island is called Rabbit Island.

It is really hard to get into the Fall/Winter holiday spirit when the weather is still saying Summer! It's hard to mark time when the seasons don't change. I have all the kids' Halloween costumes finished, but will have to go the cowgirl route myself, since I ran out of time to make the costume I was planning. Oh, well! I did start on some cute linen shorts yesterday so hopefully I'll be able to share those here soon :)

Friday, October 3, 2014


I know, I have been more absent from the blog lately than ever! My excuse is that I have been BUSY! Sheesh. It's a good busy, I don't feel stressed or frantic, thankfully. I tried to choose our activities very carefully this year, for that very reason. Things needed to fit into our life in a way that wasn't going to make Mommy crazy, haha. But, homeschooling now three school-aged children is making homeschooling more of a full-time job than it's been before, albeit a very fun one! I'm enjoying homeschooling more the older they get, for sure.

If ever I get too busy to sew, I'm too busy. Sewing is my brain break. I need it to stay sane! Last week I made up this top. I was unsure about it (it has a lower hem in the back), til I tried it on with this skirt. I won't be wearing this polka dot skirt with it! but I'm going to use the same pattern to make a black twill skirt with a scalloped hem. I think it will be fabulous. I'll post the outfit when it's done, of course.
 The girls want to be these monster girls for Halloween! So cute, I'm thrilled. We will not be wearing long sleeves and tights, however, that would just be too hot, haha. Never have I had to worry about being too warm on Halloween night, usually it's the opposite problem! Kelby wants to be the Flash. Today. That could change tomorrow. Because it did change yesterday ;)
 There was an air show over the AF Base last weekend, so we watched the Blue Angels do tricks over there and then circle around right over our house for four nights in a row. Two for practice and two for the event. Those four tiny specks in the sky are them. I couldn't manage to get a better picture! Kelby loved it.
 There was a homeschool field trip to an historic church and cemetery on Wednesday! It was too cool. We learned about the earliest Christians here on Oahu. What a legacy!

After that, we got caught walking in a CRAZY rainstorm. We had one umbrella and were huddled under it just trying to get to the car. It did not work, we go totally drenched. Layla was crying because she was afraid of the rushing water flooding the parking lot and I couldn't stop laughing. A memory was made!

We have hit a nice balance here! We are starting American Heritage Girls, Natalie is in a musical theater class, Layla's taking piano lessons and Kelby is being kept on his toes by the plethora of little girls in our neighborhood. There are a LOT of girls. The other day, I had a house full of them and they found me in my sewing room and oohed and aahed over the baby Elsa dress (almost done, I'll share soon!) and then they started making requests. Hahaha!

I'm teaching classes about using essential oils and it is so *my thing*, it's not even funny. I love it. I'm actually teaching a Facebook class starting next week! If you've been curious about essential oils and what they can do, find me here on Facebook, add me as a friend and I'll invite you to the class! It's a no-pressure, post-as-we-go, week-long fun class, where I'll share my oil stories and you can get your questions answered! :)


Thursday, September 18, 2014

two tops

I have two recently made shirts to show you! Awhile ago had a big cotton sale and I payed a crazy low amount for some cottons.

I wanted loose tops to fit my lifestyle and the climate here. Anything clingy just becomes pretty miserable when it's hot and humid. Once you get sweaty in a clingy shirt, you just can't be comfortable, lol.

The first is McCall's 6512:

I was concerned that it would be too baggy, but I made a muslin and decided I liked it. I did something different with the sleeves because I wasn't liking the bunched up into a tab look. I took a larger hem and then added a pleat with a button to each sleeve. Worked just fine. I didn't bother making button holes, I just sewed the buttons through both plackets, as I don't intend to wear this unbuttoned. 

Side note, I'm not sure what's up with my camera, but I am having a really hard time getting good colors out of it lately, especially with my 50mm lens. The camera body got a little damaged sometime during the move and I'm wondering if a good cleaning of my camera and lenses is in order. I really prefer not to have to do a ton of post-editing because if my colors aren't right to begin with, I have a hard time editing them to be any better. 

Anywaaaaaay, next up is Simplicity 1430:
I really, really like this one!! (See, colors again, not great). This is a really pretty cotton gauze. There's a longer dress version of this pattern that I think I'd like to use for a really soft purple linen in my stash!

There! I blogged two shirts I've been wanting to share, even though my pics are not very good, I had to crop the goofy look on my face out of the first one, my shorts are too big and my pose in the last pic is frumpy, hahaha! Done is better than perfect. Who's with me? #notPinterestperfect ;)

Next up a baby Elsa dress for a friend! It's gonna be soooooo cuuuuute!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

my absence explained in iPhone pics

We had company last week!! My parents were visiting and we were out showing off this beautiful island. Beach, eat, shop, eat, shave ice, eat, shop more, eat, etc...

I didn't take my big camera along on any of our excursions and I don't really regret it because I made a conscious effort to take plenty of phone photos. Plus, the sand and the DSLR do not mix. I feel like I have to be too careful with it when I have the big camera and I don't always feel like being careful!

 Watching the Apple announcement:
 Look at my Mom, you guys! Classy Granny:

 My fave:
 Had to get some Matsumoto's shave ice!

 Mom helped the girls embroider.
 Once they got the hang of it, they went to the park with a picnic quilt and taught allll the little neighbor girls how to do it too. It was adorable.

Granny babysat so we could go on a date! I wore my newest Stitchfix dress! I haven't managed to blog my Stitchfixes in months, I know. I'll try this week, I promise.

And now, it's Monday and we are back to our routine. I really like Mondays. Weekends are relaxing, but Monday feels like recovery from the weekend, haha! I think that's what breaks are for, to help you desire your routine again, don't you?