Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Happy Easter Everyone!  I'm amazed it's already been a week since my last post.  I am anxious to travel the blogs and see all the beautiful Easter outfits that have been posted today.  Alas, I have nothing finished to show you.  Several things have been distracting me, a couple of which I will share below, but I do have a work in progress.  Remember how I said I was going to try to work out the fit with Simplicity 2648?  After three tries, I still have no suitable fit, and my pattern is hacked beyond recognition.  I'm not sure why this one has thrown me for such a loop.  Never-the-less, not wanting to give up on a princess seamed dress, I decided to start over with a new pattern.  I chose New Look 6910, view D.
I made a muslin of the bodice and was pleasantly surprised to find it fit me pretty well.  I needed to remove some gaping along the back of the armhole and along the neckline.   I have now begun putting the final dress together.  I am using a bubbly, sunshiny, aloha, fabric with a pale-yellow dotted voile for the lining.  I normally don't work with sweet fabrics like this, but I fell in love with the color combination and print on this one, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I will also be making a matched cropped jacket, but not the one that came with this pattern.  Here is my progress so far. 
French seams on the skirt.
Thank you so much for your lovely comments on the last outfit and location.  While out on that excursion, my boys and I stumbled upon another beach along the north shore called Sugar Cove.  Since we were not in our swimming attire, we didn't stay to check it out, but we went back to it today!
Narrow path to Heaven
Sugar Cove is a small crescent shaped sandy beach.  For a holiday weekend, it was surprisingly uncrowded.  The people who were there were either like us, enjoying the sand and surf, or there to launch their kite boards or take off wind surfing. 

Kite Boarder Launching

I always love it when we can go to the beach as a family.  My youngest DS cannot swim, yet.  So having DH with us, gives me the opportunity to snorkel.  Today, the water was rough and not very clear, but that won't stop me.  I like to dive down and swim along the bottom when the water is silty or murky.  Why?  Treasure Hunting of course!  Today I came up with a golf ball, surf fin, 4" lead weight, and a red toy truck.  You may not be intrigued by this list, but in the past I have come up with a coral encrusted, men's, 18 karat gold, wedding band, a squid hidden in a shell, and my one and only view of a seahorse.  I love to hunt the sea floor almost as much as I love to hunt the fabric stores!  Okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth a bit there. 
Rocks to Explore
Wind Swept Palms
In other news, we are anxiously looking forward to VIP's (family) coming to visit from the mainland.  They will be here this next Thursday and will stay for a week.  There has been and still is plenty to do before they arrive.  One of the benefits of having visitors is it gives us the chance to be tourists along with them.   Look forward to more Maui posts in the next couple of weeks.  I do plan to sew when I can, including finishing up my current dress, and will keep working on my jacket for the RTW Sew-Along.  Hope you all are looking forward to a gorgeous spring week!
Bring our family safely to us on your way back!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Burda Style #118 4/2011 A Treasure in Turquoise

What a fantastic weekend it has been so far, and it's not over yet.  It started out by winning Smoking Needles give-away!  Thank you KMQ!  I also finished all my client sewing Friday afternoon, leaving the weekend for Burda Style #118 4/2011 and a simple embroidered cotton voile skirt to go with it.  I didn't use a pattern for the skirt except for borrowing the yoke front and back from Kwik Sew 3152.  I had about 2.5 yards of fabric, bought on clearance from The Sewing Studio a couple of years ago.  I constructed my yoke with an invisible zipper then attached the gathered skirt portion.    The skirt took the longest time, because I decided to use the whole length of fabric.  That was a lot of gathering, but worth it.  The billowy skirt is perfect for windy days! 

The hardest part about the Burda top was cutting it out, as I have already mentioned.  I finished the neck by cutting out a neckband and attaching it.  I don't think the pattern calls for that.  I used my coverstitch machine for all the hemming.  The top is so comfortable.  First because it is made from bamboo jersey and second because it hugs your arms about 3/4 of the way up then completely cuts away from the body, under the arms, leaving plenty of room to maneuver.  I am a sucker for super long sleeves too.  I love this outfit so much, it was worthy of a trip to one of my favorite beach locations for a photo shoot!

A couple of notes about the top.  The sleeves are very snug.  I cut the size 36 and it worked fine with my bamboo jersey.  You may want to add more room if your fabric doesn't have a lot of stretch.  Also, it would have been better if I had finished the front and back neckline, before I stitched the shoulder seam together.  I ended up with my neckband popping straight up right on the shoulder seams.  It was an easy fix by stitching a little wedge (dart) in the neckband, but the problem could have been avoided had I finished my front and back first.  And now I am off to a Teacher Appreciation Night at my church.  I have a blast volunteering in  AWANA, with the 3rd through 6th graders, on Wednesday nights.  We are club #7743.  Hope you all have enjoyed your weekend too!      

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smoking Needles Give-Away

Aloha Online Ohana!

I love to hear your personal reflections when something I share resonates with you.  It brings the human touch to this technological world, and I get to know you better.  So thank you for sharing your comments.  Here's something else to get your week off to a delightful start.  Take a look at these adorable cards.  They were made by Smoking Needles and she is giving a set away.  How cool is that?  If you'd like to get in on the action, pop on over and sign-up!

Inching Along

I am happy to have a minute here tonight to check in with you all.  I am still working at a feverish pace on some projects, but by this weekend I'll be in the clear to begin fashion sewing again.  I may be going through withdrawals I tell ya!  Anyway, I do have a couple of photos to share.  Did anyone else see Beangirl's sewing room makeover?  Specifically the Cubes of Doom.  Ever since that post I have not gotten this brilliant organization system out of my head, until now.  I have my very first cube tower.  I love it, but I think I need another one!  It contains all most of my quilting cottons and linens.  Folding and sorting these fabrics consumed one evening this past week, but it was worth it!  My sewing room is one half of a garage converted into living space.  I have not yet painted or remodeled this room, but I cannot wait to do that this summer when the kids and I have a break from their schoolwork.  I am seriously thinking of painting the walls bright fuchsia after staring at this unappealing, drab, scuffed up, cream-colored paint for the past year.  The other half of the "garage" is our school room.  You can see that the cursive alphabet has invaded my territory!
Moving on, I have cut out #118 from the April 2011 issue of BurdaStyle magazine.  That wasn't easy.  You should see how wide the top yoke pieces are.  Oh right, you will see.
My scrumptious bamboo jersey is 60" wide, but that is not wide enough to cut the top out with the stretch going across, like you might think it should.  However, the design of the shirt is such that there is enough ease to not have to worry about having much stretch.  The layout is shown up above.  Much to my relief, I only had to cut two pieces on the floor.  My back doesn't like it when I crawl around a hard floor on my hands and knees.  I cut these pieces in a single layer, not on the fold, so that I wouldn't get too much distortion.

This photo doesn't pick up the beautiful rich turquoise color, but I think I will be pairing it with a long, white, embroidered, cotton, skirt.  I have the perfect fabric in my stash.  I just have to decide on the pattern. 

I am nearly finished cutting out my Burda jacket for the RTW Sew Along Sherry is hosting.  It has a lot of pieces, and I am choosing to cut the fabric in a single layer also.  Since I am using pincord, I don't want to risk having my vertical lines be off grain, by cutting in a double layer.  I have read with focused attention all but the most recent post on Sherry's blog.  It is incredible of her to share her knowledge so that we can become better at our craft.  I wish I felt like I had the time this month to follow all her steps, but I'm afraid I will cut corners to stay on task, rather than to drop out, because I desperately want to make this jacket mine!

Finally, from my last post several of you pointed out how much higher gas prices are in your area.  I don't think I will complain when some of you are paying $8.00/gallon.  Wow!  But let's not close with a depressing number.  Rather, let's close with...  
Maui Tropical Plantation Bougainvillea
...fuchsia is such a happy color!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pay it Forward Update

Life is moving at a profound pace this week! How about you? I've been sewing everyday, some for work, (yay!) and some for play.  Unfortunately, none on my jacket.  But I will get started on it today!  First up, some yummy fabric for my Pay It Forward participants.  I have had a blast making up some little gifts.  Don't you just love the opportunity to work with quilting cottons?  Of course, I'm not going to take the fun out of it and show you the finished projects, but I will share the materials with you!  Bright and cheerful, don't you think?
I have sent out two finished projects and would love to send out the last three.  If you are one of my participants, I would love to hear from you so that I can get your gifts mailed.  Please email me at: upcountrymom"at"yahoo"dot"com.  And thank you for spreading the love and friendship!

Maui News:  You know, the transmission in my van went out about a month ago.  It took 26 days to have it repaired.  I had to wait for the mechanic to go on and return from vacation, wait for shipping on the parts, etc.  Things are not so instantaneous living here, which can be a blessing or a curse.  In this case, I'll chalk it up to a blessing.  My DH and I decided to save money and not rent a car during this 26 day period.  Thankfully, I live within walking distance to my post office, bank, and grocery store, though it is a 40 minute round trip walk.  There is also a county bus system that can take you from the grocery store to other parts of the island.  After about two weeks chained to the house and neighborhood, my children and I went on an adventure and learned to ride the bus!  I don't know why I waited so long?!  When I got my van back, which I am tremendously thankful for, I filled it up, and do you know the price of regular gas is now $4.69/gallon?  Yikes!  I am so glad I now know how to navigate the bus system.  It only costs a dollar for a one-way trip, and I think I will be voluntarily using it whenever I can!  Have a sunny day everyone!
Can you spot the fish?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Look 6944 Revisited

Good morning, afternoon, or evening!  I have completed New Look 6944.  It is my second version of this pattern.  I am infinitely more satisfied with this version than the lastAndrea's comment on version #1 encouraged me to make this again, and I am so glad I did.  I made view A, but I didn't have enough fabric to make the front ties.  I did make the belt carriers from my previous Burda shorts, but discovered they didn't look right because of the separate waistband piece, so I left them off.  Thankfully, they didn't take too long to make, so it wasn't a lot of wasted time.  I used a linen/rayon blend from  It has been in my stash for at least two years, and the sun had faded some parts of it.  I had to work around these flaws.  
With this version I decided to use 3/8" side seams instead of 5/8" to give me a little extra room in the waist on the size 10.  Otherwise, there were no construction changes to the pattern.  Since I like the skirt so much, and I feel it will be worn quite a bit (It coordinates with many tops in my wardrobe.), I decided to have a nicer finish on the waistband facing and hand-stitched on the inside, instead of stitching in the ditch on the outside.  Overall, this is a stylish flowing design which is perfect for a hot humid climate.

I have the skirt styled with a cardigan I found at Old Navy for around $20.00.  The blouse is Burda 8218, blogged about here.  

Inside details.
And now I must plot my course on my upcoming Burda Jacket.  I have some reading to catch up on over at Sherry's blog, but I plan to get a start on it right away.  Have an awesome April weekend online ohana!