Monday, August 29, 2011

Red Sand Beach and Sneak Peek #9

Hello Again!  Wasn't the bag in the last post fun?  I really enjoyed working with the bright colors.  I am now on to creating another transitional outfit; one that can go from hot humid summer to crisp cool fall.  I will share a sneak peek of the fabric and pattern for the first piece at the end of the post, but for now I am dying to share the pictures of the Red Sand Beach with you!  I am still amazed and awed when I think of its remarkable beauty.

This is not an easy beach to hike into even though it is only about a 5 minute walk.  That is because you are hiking along the edge of a hill that is made out of cinders.  The trail is fairly high up with rocks down below.  It is narrow with some areas having no flat place to step, like the trail has been washed away.  It also has unstable footing due to the loose cinders.  It is a good idea to: 1) have walking shoes, not slippers (flip-flops) 2) be a person who doesn't become paralyzed by heights 3) be respectful of the trail.  In-other-words, "Don't goof off!"

Okay, if you are still with me, let's take a peek.
This is the first little beach you see from the trail when you begin the hike.  Having never been here before I thought it was the actual beach, however I could see that the trail kept going, so I quickly realized this was just the beginning of what was to come.  Pretty isn't it?
As the trail continues the ocean turns a spectacular shade of blue.

Getting closer...just look at the color and clarity of the water and the red cliff in the background.
Can you see the sand in the bottom left corner and the protected cove to swim in? 

Here it is in all its glory.  I could have stayed here all day!

My little sneak peek pales in comparison, but here it is.  I am using Butterick 5649 and making the view C skirt.  I've had this mid-weight 100% cotton plaid in my stash for a couple of years and think it will transition well from summer to fall.  Hopefully I will have it done in the next day or two.  I do hope everyone's week is off to a great start.  I am back into the fall school and sports routine with my boys, and am looking forward the adventure!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today I...

Sewed a gift...
...Vibrant, Defined, Playful...And I Smiled...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The First in a Series

Once again I find myself saying, "It's good to be back!"  On Monday my family and I headed to Hana for three days of camping.  Camping is how we almost always celebrate my DH's birthday.  Hana, on the east side of Maui, is a place of raw beauty, uniquely colored beaches, and lush foliage.  I always feel like I've stepped back in time when I go there.  This trip was particularly amazing.  I saw the Red Sand Beach for the first time and it truly took my breath away.  It is simply stunning.  I would love to share this journey to Hana with you in several posts.  But in between each post, I plan to continue to share my latest sewing projects.  After all, this is a sewing blog!

The road to Hana is a twisting, winding, slithering, beast that follows the edge of the island often at dizzying heights, with over 50 narrow one lane bridges, through dense tropical foliage.  I don't mind the road as much when we are driving to Hana, because we hug the mountain.  However, coming home, on the outside edge, always makes me a little nervous.  This road isn't nearly as unsettling as the road that goes around the West Maui Mountains, but that's a tale I will tell another time.

A fine example of the curved nature of the road.

Another view of the road to Hana.
At about the half-way point we stopped at the Wailua Valley State Wayside.  The turnout is difficult to see, and there are only 2 or 3 parking spaces.  It's a refreshing place to stop, because you can get out and stretch your legs on a small flight of stairs that lead to a landing which allows you to view the village of Wailua on the ocean side, or the expansive valley on the mauka (mountain) side.
Looking into the valley ~ Ko`olau Gap


Zoomed in on the quaint little church and taro fields, seen on the left side of the photo above this one.
Traveling on we finally made it to the Nahiku Marketplace, about 6 miles outside of Hana.  Here you will find several open-air makeshift restaurants.  We tried a dish at two of them and both were delicious.  We topped our "snack" off with coconut candy (yummy), also sold by one of the local vendors at this site.  I just have to share this picture with you.  At one of the restaurants, fresh barracuda was on the menu.  Someone had just caught a 40 pounder that morning.  Check out that jaw, and those TEETH!  

Next in my series...The Red Sand Beach.  Stay with me.  You won't want to miss it!  Also, thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my last two posts.  My camo shorts held up great in Hana, and I am looking forward to wearing the latest skirt and tank top this week.  Anybody else watching Project Runway with me?  I was so glad to get back to civilization today, just in time to catch tonight's episode. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Butterick 5566 Adapted

Good morning!

I hope you all have had a great weekend.  I just finished adapting Butterick 5566, View D, into a casual knit skirt, but I didn't stop there.  I decided to turn it into a three piece layering outfit.  Here are the three patterns I used, although none of them were used exactly as intended per the pattern instructions except for the McCall's.  I guess I'm feeling a bit rebellious these days :)  The heathered aqua knit is 100% pima cotton and came from two XXL Calvin Klein men's t-shirts I picked up for $12.99 a piece.  The heathered charcoal fabric is a rayon knit, in about the same weight, that I had in my stash.  I pre-washed and dried them all, so that I won't have any shrinking issues once I wash the garments.  I used my coverstitch machine for all the hems.
Here are the three patterns:
I also decided to line the skirt in nylon tricot both for modesty and for the slippery texture if I decide to wear this with tights when I go to the mainland later this year. To adapt the Butterick pattern to a knit, I eliminated the darts and center back seam and finished the waistband with elastic.  I zig-zagged the elastic to the top then turned it down and topstitched it with my coverstitch machine.
I thought I'd show you the various ways these pieces could be worn, beginning with the warmest weather and moving toward colder weather.

 And finally:
I had not made the Burda pattern before, but plan to because I really like the hoodie style.  So I thought I would use the front, back, and sleeve pieces to check the general fit.  I think I am happy with it.  All I did to adapt it to this t-shirt was to draft a new front neckline and eliminate the princess seams on the front.  The front neckline turned out a bit wide, but works okay for a t-shirt.  I turned and top-stitched the neck edge to finish.  All in all I like this color blocking style and am happy with the versatility of each piece.  PS: I hope to have a new area of the island to show you in a couple of days.  In the mean time...have a lovely week.  Aloha!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Much Needed Shorts

Hello Everyone.  Thank you so much for your thoughts on my newly remodeled sewing space.  I feel very fortunate to have such a pretty place to work in now.  I wanted to answer one question about where the canvas art on the wall came from.  I found it at a discount department store (Ross) for $19.99.  It is by Lisa Vincent, 2009, called "Text Dress".  I hope that helps. 

On to my first garment in the new space.  I really need shorts!  I splattered paint on a couple of my older, ill-fitted, rtw, pairs while I was in the midst of my remodel.  I am replacing them with a couple of better fitted pairs.  Here is the first. 

I used a blend of two patterns to create these; Burda 7746 and V1204.  You've seen both of these made up as pants in previous posts.  For this pair of shorts, which I plan to make again, I've mostly used the Burda pattern, but I've borrowed the waistband and back pockets from the Vogue pattern.  This version is made out of a 100% cotton, camo print, twill from FFC.  They have a 5" inseam and about 2" of ease in the hip, in case you might be wondering.  I liked the colors in this print more than anything and thought they would be nice for outside activities.  Once I received the fabric, I also found out it has a U.S. Air Force logo hidden in the print.  Here are some close-ups of the pocket details.
And here they are styled for the urban jungle or the tropical rain forest.  Either way I am loving the new addition to my wardrobe.
A blog post on the sweater can be found here.

Styled with a rtw tank top.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Feels Good to be Back

Aloha Everyone!

Boy have I missed being a part of the online sewing community these last couple of weeks.  I had a wonderful short trip to the mainland where I found a few treasures in a couple of "new to me" fabric shops.  Thanks Mom!  And I will enjoy sharing those finds with you soon.  But the main reason I had to take a break was to focus all my attention on remodeling my sewing/homeschooling/home office area.  For the most part this room is finished, but I have a couple more things to do to finalize everything.  One is the flooring.  Wouldn't you know the local home improvement store didn't have enough flooring to finish the project, so I will have to wait about 5 weeks for the ship to bring some more.  I just have to laugh, that's Maui for you!!!

I have been wanting to show you this beautiful piece of sewing art made by Sue of Things Be.  I received it as a gift during the Pay it Forward 2011 event that took place a few months ago.  Thank you so much Sue.  I knew right away I wanted to build my room around it.  If you haven't checked out Sue's blog you should.  She is extremely talented in many different areas including, but not limited to, knitting, sewing, and photography.  With this particular piece I am amazed at the tiny little hand stitches in the embroidery and the intricate bead work.  I eventually want to have this professionally matted and framed.  For now, I did my best to create my own matte using fabric and cardboard and refinished an older frame with glossy black paint to display it in.  I love how it looks, and as I mentioned it is the inspiration for the whole room.

Now for the BEFORE pics.  Keep in mind this is a double car garage that had been converted into living space by the previous owners.  When we moved in, a lot of stuff got relegated to this room for storage, but I carved out a little sewing space in the midst of the clutter, and did my best to stay organized.  The walls had plenty of holes, the lighting wasn't ideal, the floor was commercial grade indoor/outdoor carpet, and glass block made up one wall of the room where the garage door had originally been.  The carpet is terrible for being able to clean up scraps of thread and fabric, and the glass block wall is west facing, so in the afternoon, the room heats up like an oven.  Both these problems would need to be solved!  Keeping our small budget in mind, we went to work.
Lights removed, holes filled.

The first task was to choose a paint color.  Remember how I joked about wanting to paint the room fuchsia?  I really did want some kind of pink or coral color.  I love all the soothing blues and aquas you see in home decorating these days, but I wanted this room to have an old Hollywood feel, and I loved the colors in the framed embroidery.  I originally chose a peach color thinking I should keep it light, but in doing so I went against my natural inclination for darker hues.  Sure enough when I did a couple of test patches on the walls I hated it.  I had already bought 2 gallons so I had to figure out what to do.  Thankfully, I had nearly a half a gallon of red from my red wall in the dining room which I mixed into the two gallons of peach.  I actually needed to buy two more quarts of red and a 1/2 quart of yellow to get a color I was satisfied with.  I don't recommend finding your perfect paint color this way, and I had one gallon of paint leftover!  But in the end it worked out. Phew!
DH being a good sport and helping me with the cutting in.  Besides helping me with the painting, he installed the new lights, changed out all the electrical outlets, and got a start on the flooring.  What a guy!
Sewing the drapes in the mess.  I can sew any where! Just give me a machine and a power source.  Notice the white trim on the windows.
The new ceiling lights.  There are two of them.
Close up of curtain rod and Hawaiian bark cloth I used for the drapes. 
My home office.  The glass block wall  on the left has two layers of fabric.  The first is a sunblock material, which you can't see, the second is cotton drapes made from white sheets bought at a discount department store.  My DH made the gigantic curtain rod for me.  It spans nearly 25 feet.  I've separated that wall of white with a black patterned drape just to kind of divide this space from my sewing space.  I love what the wall art says, at the right of the desk: "Know first who you are then adorn accordingly".  I also made the tablecloth for the glass desk to warm up the space and pull in a coordinating color from the drapes.  This is where I blog, but also where I keep up on orders for my Etsy shop.  I will update this picture when the flooring is finished.    
This is my new sewing space.  I used a gorgeous short pile, leopard print, microfiber fur, to drape over the table.  I've had this cut in my sewing stash for ages.  I acquired this table and the glass top for free from a renter who left it behind at the last house we rented.  The landlord said we could take it with us...Score!  I painted it white to cover the damaged wood and to match the sewing space.  As you might have noticed I bought two more cube storage units for my fabric.  I haven't finished putting all my fabric away, but I hope to have most of it fit in this space.  This room does not have a closet.  Any leftover fabric will be stored under my bed!  I also bought a rolling stool.  Now I can scoot to each machine, rather than stand up and shift my chair.  So much more efficient!  and believe me I get enough exercise going up and down the stairs that lead to this space.  It's funny the first house my DH and I bought was a tri-level, and I swore I would never have another.  Guess what...this house is a tri-level too.

I have two more corners of this room to show you, but I will wait until the flooring is finished.  In the mean, time I look forward to jumping back into seeing what you all have been up to and getting back into garment sewing!  Woo Hoo!