Friday, January 23, 2015

A couple of shirt dresses and help me pick a haircut!

It's Friday!! I love Fridays. We don't do school (and judging by all the kids out on the driveway, neither do many other homeschoolers on our street). I try not to make plans on Fridays, unless it's the beach or pool or something equally easy and relaxing. And on Friday nights, we have a fun dinner, put the kids to bed, Casey and I open a bottle of wine and watch a movie or catch up on shows. Right now, it's The Middle. I think that show ties with Last Man Standing as my fave comedy.

Anyway! Since it's Friday and I have no plans and the kids are outside playing, I got to take pics of two out of three dresses I've made recently! (The third is in the laundry, I just can't stop wearing it.)

I ordered this amazing owl rayon challis from I love it so much! Those wise little owls, they just kill me.

The pattern is Vogue 8810, which I made a couple times two Summers ago. Back then I made it in cotton and denim and sized it down to be more fitted. But, I've been pinning a lot of drapier shirt dresses lately and this pattern seemed perfect for this fabric. Here's a close-up of the owls. 
I put this fabric on Instagram after I ordered it and someone notified me that the new Sewaholic pattern used this fabric on one of the sample garments!! I'm glad I snatched it first, I bet it's gone now ;)

Next up, I'd bought this purple linen at my local fabric store and couldn't decide what to do with it. Look up linen dresses on Pinterest and you'll see mostly art-teacher looks or shapeless sacks. Neither of those looks are for me. So I pulled out my patterns and decided on McCall's 6885, although I made so many changes, I'm not sure it's fair to cite the pattern!
 As I mentioned in my last post, I don't love collars, so instead of attaching the collar, I scooped out the neckline and bound with self-made bias tape instead. I also shaped the side seams to my waist. I needed more curve in the back, despite my swayback adjustment, so I added two long darts so the back would be fitted to my body. The pattern does include ties, but I'm not a huge fan, so this was a perfect solution. And, I love a good shirttail hem! I like this dress. The linen is soft and really keeps me cool when it's hot out.

On another note! I have appointment to get a hair cut. In March, so I have awhile. My hair has shifted from pretty curly, to half wavy, have weird. Haha. Dang hormones. Anyway, I've pinned a bunch, I'd love some opinions! I do plan on also getting highlights. My hair's texture doesn't seem to like highlights when it's long, but they work great when it's short! 

Those are my top four! So, super short or semi-short, that is the question. (You can find links to all these cuts on my Style board here. )

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

This and that

I have made some things! I haven't gotten pics of them all yet, but I did of this one. I did a massive clean-out of my closet. Did I already say that here? I think I already had a modestly sized wardrobe, but I was still tired of standing in my closet choosing to wear the same handful of things while the other beautiful and once-loved handmade things were hanging there guilting me. Ha! I pulled it all out and put back only what I really wear. My style has moved on from the fit-and-flare dresses and floral prints. I wear a lot of knits and shorts and the dresses I'm making these days are casual pull-on dresses. Zippers and waistbands are out. I think the climate has something to do with it. Most people here tend to wear workout clothes 24/7. I'm not there, but I do understand the need for loose, moisture wicking fabrics!


I recently read that you should really make a pattern more than once before deciding it's not for you. I took that to heart! I have made McCall's 6702 before, which you can see here. I recently realized that I don't love collared shirts on me. I don't want to say I have a thick neck, but it's not long and elegant either and I feel like collars just cover my whole neck.  The other thing about that first version of this pattern is that I forgot to do a swayback adjustment, so the fit wasn't right in the back. That top didn't make the cut in my closet clean-out. I realized what I really loved about it was that fabric and I know that June Fabrics has more of it, I see it there every time. So out it went.

This version, however, I love! I did the swayback adjustment, I took the time to fit the side seams and I did alter the hem to a style that looks better on me. AND, rather than the collar, I bound the neckline with self-fabric bias tape. And I like it!
 Bra straps, sorry.
 In case you're wondering, that large contraption is my Tower Garden and is one of my favorite things right now!! Here's our baby cucumber plant, although this was last week and it's twice as big now. Did you know you can grow a garden compactly and with no dirt?? It's AMAZING!!!! Can't wait to try the bounty. I planted cucumber, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, three herbs, eggplant, bell peppers, lettuce and I ordered organic seeds for strawberries and mini sweet peppers.
 If you're still scratching you head, here's a video:

So cool!!!!

Here's Kelby pretending to add water. Haha.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Let's get outta the house

Yesterday I took the kids to the zoo. I recently decided that whenever Hawaii starts to feel more difficult and frustrating than Paradise-like, it's time to go down to Waikiki or North Shore or any coast, really and spend some time remembering why it's so amazing here. I know, I know, it's Hawaii and you feel so bad for me. But, you don't know! The traffic, you guys! And the crowds! And attitude to beat all. Anyway, we just needed a day out and I needed some sunshine.

Hawaii has the coolest trees!

 Haha, Layla wasn't loving this.

 His poses. Lol.
His mustaches.
 I spy Natalie:
 I love this picture!! Happy kids.
 We pet the goats. By we, I mean the kids.

 The most ginormous ostrich I have ever seen.
 Rainbow Eucalyptus tree. They're the coolest.
 It was such a good day and my attitude is so much better after getting out yesterday!
I found this pic on my phone just now when I plugged it in to get all 734 photos off it. Eek! Whoops. I took this at Duke's Waikiki with two dear friends. It was such a perfect moment. The sun went down over the ocean, a band was playing the ukelele version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the weather was perfect. Amazing. I really am a lucky girl to get to live here, it's incredible!! I just need reminded every now and then ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!

I LOVE New Years. Love it.  The craziness of the holidays is past and things are wide open. I know many people see new years goals as a silly thing, but I like to make them and I really do strive to keep them.

We had a crazy year. For realz. We moved to Hawaii, after all. That's crazy for anyone, right!? I will remember 2014 as the year we moved to Hawaii and the year I started doTERRA. I asked the kids what their favorite thing about 2014 was and they all said, "staying at the Hale Koa." Ha! I guess if you have to live in a hotel for five weeks, it better be on Waikiki, amiright? I bonded with my kids in a new way during that time. Casey started work immediately when we got here and the kids and I tooled around town, hit the beach, started Geocaching, walked until our legs were about to collapse and got to know each other in whole new ways, thanks to the absence of our household goods. It was a sweet time for us!

One thing I'm pretty proud of accomplishing last year is a renewed love for playing piano! I played for many years when I was young, but put it aside when I started playing the sax in band in high school and college. Last year in Virginia, I was bored and isolated and a little depressed and I pulled out some books, ordered a couple new ones and started practicing. It has morphed into something I love to do daily and I can really see a lot of improvement! I ordered a Chopin book last year and immediately put it away, it looked so hard. But in recent weeks, I've picked it up again and am able to play a couple of his pieces pretty well with practice!  I recently ordered the piano music from Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version) and it is beautiful and so fun to learn. I've been loving listening to piano music too. My favorite person to watch play on YouTube is LangLang. Enjoy:

And now, doTERRA! Oh, my goodness, I can't even believe what is happening with my doTERRA business. I have surprised myself in SO many ways. I never thought of myself as the kind of person who could do this kind of thing. But, I believe in the product and once that happens, it's impossible not to want to share that with others. Also, I have been so blessedly surprised by what God is doing in my heart towards people. My social circle has been a largely Christian bubble for years and while I don't regret that because that's what God had for me for that season, it was starting to bother me and I was praying about it. I was also praying about how to model to my kids an entrepreneurial spirit. DoTERRA was God's answer to those prayers! More people have landed on my doorstep than I ever could have dreamed possible and many of them are prayers projects, put into my life by the Lord and I am so thankful and watching in wonderment what He has in store next.

Which leads me to needing your help! I have a business goal of giving out 100 samples in the month of January. That's a LOT!! So if you've been curious about doTERRA or essential oils or if there's something you've been dying to try or an ailment you've been seeking relief for, let me know and I'll get some oils into your hands ASAP. Shipping's on me! You can email me at penelopey4(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

Moving on, super long post, I know. 

I do have a few goals for the New Year, some great business goals, we have some financial goals, some travel plans and I have some homeschool hopes. I think my only firm "resolution" for now is to read 12 good chapter books out loud to my kids. I think The Miraculous Journey of Edward Trulane will be first! Leave me your faves in the comments and I'll check them out! 

And I think we should go to the beach more. That shouldn't be hard ;)

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 doTERRA 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 ;)