Monday, November 28, 2011

More Bags and Sneak Peek #10

You know you may be sewing too much lose your patience trying to feel for the darn foot pedal to wake up the computer...when you should have been reaching for the mouse instead!

Yes, dear online ohana, I hate to admit it, but that happened to me this past week.  What can I say? Tis' the season for mass quantities of sewing, eh?  I've been primarily focused on bags for my Etsy shop.  I wanted to be ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Christmas season in general.

You may be wondering why I decided to open an Etsy shop.  After all, it does divert my sewing efforts from garment construction, which is my passion, to sewing as a job.  There were two reasons.  First, I love all the aloha fabrics that you can find here on the island, and I wanted to be able to share them with others via a classy, useful, finished product.  Although batiks can easily be found off island, I just love the way they look with linen.  However, to support my local economy, I do try to purchase them here as well.  Second, I am a stay-at-home mom, having left the profession of nursing about 2 years ago.  Even though my DH is super awesome about supporting my little sewing/blogging adventure, I wanted to be able to contribute to it financially as well.  The shop helps me do that.   

For those of you interested, please use or share coupon code: CYBERMON for the next three days to receive a 5% discount before shipping.  Here are some of the new prints that were added this past week.  You may recognize that some of them are repeats from my last bag post.  Thank you so much to those of you who have supported my little shop with your purchase or by sharing my link with a friend!  Don't forget, there will be another bag give-away in December for everyone who is a fan of Aloha and Linen by MushyWear on Facebook.  Keep your eyes out for that! 

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a fantastic time this past weekend!  And I thank you all for your comments on the pink snake dress!  I am looking forward to wearing it this upcoming Saturday when I attend a holiday party with my DH.  Justine, from Sew Country Chick asked, "What kind of coverstitch machine do you have?"  I have a Janome Coverpro 1000 CPX.  I am really happy with it.  I bought it last year around Christmas.  There are a couple of things I've noticed about it.  It tends to sew better with larger eyed needles for most of what I sew, therefore I use the size 90/14* ELx705 needle.  It also seems to sew more consistently with Maxi-Lock thread, but I sometimes use Gutermann polyester thread when I want an exact color match.  Using this type of thread may require a couple of tension adjustments, so I always do a test run before I sew with it on my garment.  One time I threaded my machine with the upper thread holders turned backwards, and it didn't perform well at all, so it does have to be threaded correctly.   
*Updated 11/29/11: The 90/14 has a bigger eye than the 80/12.  I had originally mentioned the 80/12 as having a bigger eye. 

Sadly, I have no fashion sewing to share today, but I do have my next  project underway, along with some top-secret Christmas sewing!  I am using Simplicity 4273 to make a pair of wide-legged silk pants.  I will be pairing them with a simple linen top.  Here is the pattern and fabric for the pants:
Surprisingly, I found the silk locally.  I think the weight will be nice for flowing pants. is your Christmas sewing coming along?

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Whole Lotta Snake - New Look 6071

Don't worry!  Since this snake is pink, I think we are all safe.  Good Monday everyone!  I've been working on New Look 6071 and have finally finished it today.   What a fantastic pattern!
Everything went together beautifully, and I had a near perfect fit by cutting out the size 10.  The most difficult part of the process was laying out and cutting the matte jersey.  The instructions are well written with "workroom tips" to give you some other ways of finishing different parts of the dress.  I used my coverstitch machine to hem the neckline, sleeves, and dress.  The neckline is very low as noted by Kyle in her post.  I hand-stitched the lower 2 inches of the neckline together.  However, on the plus side, this neckline does not gape at all, even when bending forward.  I made view A with 3/4 length sleeves.  I only wish I had some strappy black heels, like the model on the pattern envelope above, to compliment the dress.  Hmmm....maybe I will put those on my Christmas list.  My cold-blooded knit came from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Love it! 

Here is a close-up of the cross-over front detail.  This is not hard to make, however there are 4 layers of fabric where the bodice connects to the dress front, so you wouldn't want to use a fabric that is too thick. 
Thanks again to everyone who commented on my last post.  Regarding the fabric in the background, yes, that is my fabric stash, what you can see of it :)  I have it organized by type i.e. linen, cottons, knits, etc.  I have stalled on finishing my sewing room remodel.  I'll have to finish that over the Christmas break.  There really isn't too much left.  I'd love to be able to show you the other two corners of the room and the flooring all finished.  Hope you are all having a great week! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vogue 8581 + New Look 6969 = Anniversary Outfit

Aloha everyone!  Our celebration of 18 years of marriage was perfect.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner in Paia at an open air restaurant, and I wore a new outfit.  Yes, I finished it in time!  I had several ideas for the unique orange and blue fabric, but in the end I used New Look 6969 to create a skirt and Vogue 8581 for a top.  The blouse pattern suggests a two-way knit, but I used a coral-colored, cotton, crepe-like, nearly sheer, woven and it worked out just fine.  I absolutely love how billowy the sleeves are on this pattern.  As you know, for the skirt, I used an interesting wavy print in a faille-like satin, which I underlined in Kona cotton to give it a bit more structure.  I am very happy with the fit of both pieces.
I made View C for the blouse, and I cut out a size 10 and made one alteration.  I increased the size of the neckband by 1.5".  I also used french seams for most of the construction, since the fabric is very lightweight.  This is an easy pattern as the description says, but it does have a lot of gathering, which is time consuming.  I made View D on the skirt and also cut out a size 10, but I added about 1" to the waistband.  This is the first skirt pattern I have come across that actually has instructions for an invisible zipper.  Wouldn't you know it, I inserted a lapped zipper with two snaps at the top because I happened to have these things in matching colors in my stash.  I made one design change and that was to stitch down the front inverted pleat by about 5" on each side.  If I had not taken this step the front would have pouched out in an unflattering way.  I like the front panel a lot better when it lies flat.  In fact, this skirt feels great on, because it hugs my waist perfectly.  

   Here is a close-up of the skirt front:
Overall I am happy with how the outfit came together.  I think I like the soft billowy top with the architectural like skirt.  What do you think?  I have some knits that will also match the skirt, and I plan to make at least one knit top to wear with this skirt.  I think a knit top will make it less dressy, which would be good for everyday wear.  Anyway, thanks again for all the input on the fabric.  Hope you have all had a beautiful weekend and are looking forward to a trouble free week.  Aloha!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How Exciting IV

Happy Saturday Everyone!  I want to say thank you to all who chimed in with their thoughts on what fabric I should use to sew up a new garment for this Sunday.  The overwhelming vote went to the wavey striped orange and blue fabric.  Woo Hoo!  That is the fabric I am most intrigued by too, so I am glad I will be working with it today.  If my plans fail, I will be defaulting to another item in my wardrobe for Sunday's celebration, but I am hoping everything comes together with success :)  Wish me luck!  In the mean time, as promised, for everyone who commented, foreign or domestic, your name went into the official "hat" for the drawing of the Red Aloha Market Bag and a small surprise gift. 

In went all the names.....
...and out came one lucky winner!
Bells and Whistles, Drums and Crackles, Confetti and Balloons!
Congratulations Caroline!  You are the winner!  And thank you everyone for stopping by to read and comment on my fabric dilemma!

Here is the fabric again with three coordinating fabrics that may or may not come into the mix.  Ideas are still swirling around in my head, but I think the vortex is beginning to slow.  Soon each piece will be in its place. 
Yesterday my boys and I spent some time in Lahaina where we found some inspirational images in similar colors!
Stained glass skylight on a in an open air building.

Vibrant fish in a meandering pond in an open air restaurant.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday Wonderings

Aloha online friends and readers!  Thank you for your thoughts on the last outfit.  I have added a review of the pattern over at  My last post was a little bit lacking in a couple of areas, like the fact that the skirt would probably be considered a wiggle skirt since the bottom is so narrow.  I definitely have to walk with a shorter gait than what I am used to while wearing it, even with the front vent.  Mary asked where I plan to wear this.  Good question!  I don't have an exact plan for it, but I will definitely wear it without the stockings.  I haven't worn stockings since I left the mainland, but it is so fun to style the outfits I make just to show you what could be done with them in different environments.

On to fabrics.... This Sunday will be my 18th wedding anniversary and I am planning to make a new dress or outfit.  I have three fabrics I'm considering.  The fabric on the left is a tie-dyed knit velour I bought a long time ago while still living in the mainland.  The two unique prints on the right just arrived from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The snake print is a knit jersey and the wavy blue and orange is a satiny type of fabric.  I love all of them and am torn.  Which would you choose?  Let's make this post fun!  When you share your thoughts, your name will be entered into a drawing for the red  market bag below and a surprise gift.  The winner will be chosen by a random drawing on November 12, 2011.  Be sure to leave an email address where I can notify you if your name is chosen, something like this, upcountrymom"at"yahoo"dot"com.  My boys love it when I have drawings, because they get to pick the name out of the hat!   
Giveaway Bag
Speaking of aloha bags....I've been adding new ones to my shop this week, with more to come.  Can you believe Christmas is just 46 days away?! Here are three of the newest prints. 

I'll be having another random drawing for a bag, in early December, for all the Facebook fans of Aloha & Linen by MushyWear.  So be sure to become a fan if you'd like to be included in that drawing as well.  Okay, that's my Wednesday Wonderings. Aloha everyone and thanks for reading and commenting.  I can't wait to see which fabric you choose!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Burda 7576 in Shades of Gray

Were you able to figure out from my last post that I was working on Burda 7576?  I made view C and view B; the blouse and pencil skirt.  This pattern also comes with view A, a tailored jacket.  The skirt is lined, has a front vent, has shaping darts in the front and back and has an invisible zipper with a button at the top.  The blouse has 3 buttons up the back of the neck, as seen in my last post, a gathered neckline, and narrow sleeve hems.  I cut a size 12 for both pieces.  I normally cut the size 10 in Burda patterns, but the final measurements on the 12 were closer to the amount of ease I like to have in my clothes.   

My blouse is made from a cotton voile that I purchased online at Fabric Mart for around $6.00/yard.  I see the print is available in a silk/cotton blend at Hart's Fabrics for $12.99/yard.  The skirt is made from a dark gray linen/cotton blend from Vogue Fabrics, and is lined in gray Bemberg Rayon.  Both fabrics were easy to sew with.  The skirt fabric does wrinkle easily, but the cotton gives it some stability which made it suitable for a pencil skirt.  I blind hemmed the skirt with my machine, and I inserted an invisible zipper.  I may take this zipper out and reapply, because it is light gray rather than dark gray, and it is a little bit visible.    

Here is the completed outfit:
I have folded the collar down, like in the photo on the pattern envelope.  I like it better this way.  Here is what it looks like standing up:
And here is a close-up of the front vent and blind hem:
All in all this is a great pattern that goes together easily and gives excellent results.  Both pieces can also be worn on their own or with other things in my wardrobe.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Colors of Fall & Sneak Peek #10

Aloha!  It seems this past weekend was a bevy of activity in blogland.  There were costumes to be made, snow storms to endure, and sales to peruse.  Although my blog has been quiet these past few days, believe me I was right there with you finalizing costumes, taking shelter from the much needed rain, and adding to the stash!  I thought I'd show you that even Maui takes part in adorning itself with fall color.  You just have to know where to look!
And look we did!  Several pumpkins came home with us from Kula Country Farms.  They were instantly transformed into crude Jack-O-Lanterns, which hastily liquefied in the hot sun, looking even more ghoulish than the day they were carved the moment before collapsing into a pile of mush.  Oh was fun while they lasted. 
Not one to cry over pumpkin mush, I've moved my Next Project.  Here is a sneak peek of some of the details so far.  Stay tuned, I hope to have the final reveal in a couple of days. 

Wanna know how I got this awesome narrow hem?  Check out AllisonC's posted technique