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.

Added to that, my doTERRA business is going AWESOME! Holy cow. I think people are just really ready for alternative options for health and healing than what conventional medicine has to offer.

But this isn't a doTERRA post ;) In random order, from the pics on my iPhone, here's what we've been up to lately.

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! :)


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A better hand sanitizer--doTERRA DIY

On Guard! I love saying it like a sword fighter ... but really it's one of my fave essential oils!! Boy do I have stories about this one and I've only been using it for about a month.

Today, Natalie woke up pukey, poor baby. I cleaned that up and made her comfortable, rubbed some peppermint on her belly and put her on the couch with a movie ... and a big bowl ;)

Then, I immediately grabbed a glass spray bottle and whipped up some sanitizing spray and made everyone use it on their hands! I've used it multiple times since. I do not want to get sick.

Here's the recipe:

5 drops each of Melaleuca, Lemon and OnGuard essential oils in 4 oz. of water. That's it! It smells good, it kills bacteria and fights off yuckies. Hooray! No chemicals or alcohol or unpronounceable ingredients. Unless you have a hard time saying "Melaleuca" hahaha.

Always use glass bottles for essential oil recipes because the oils will dissolve plastic ones! The oils are meant to get rid of synthetics, after all. You can buy these pretty blue glass ones very inexpensively here and various other places around the web.

OnGuard is a must have in any family's medicine cabinet! I gargle and swish it every night, I have warded off sore throats and a cold. My mom stayed well in a house full of sickies last week using it! And, added bonus, my teeth and gums haven't looked this good in years. No joke. I'll spare you the gross details, but since I started swishing with OnGuard and/or using a drop on my toothbrush with my toothpaste, my teeth and are whiter and my gums healthier. Totally wish I'd taken a before pic. Since it's antibacterial and safe for ingestion, it's a double whammy for your immune health and your mouth's health! 

The best part, I no longer feel that sense of dread when one of us gets sick. I would always think, "oh no, here we go. No one's safe, we'll all get it, it's only a matter of time". That's not true anymore with my made-over medicine cabinet :) 

These oils are all available from my doTERRA site.  

If you'd like more info on getting started with essential oils or about doTERRA or about the wholesale membership that you save you a lot of money on your oils, email me at penelopey4[at]yahoo[dot]com. I LOVE talking about this stuff! So hit me with your questions!! 

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!!!!