August 27, 2012

Sea Life Park

It's been such a nice weather recently, but my daughter is still getting over her cold, so instead of going to the beach we decided to visit Sea Life Park yesterday.

Sea Life Park is like SeaWorld of Oahu.... supposedly, but in much much smaller scale.
We got in for $12/pp using Foodland member's card, but it's normally $40-$50 for an adult admission.
It's sooooo not worth $50. Hawaii is just expensive overall.
It has about 2 dolphin shows and sea utter show, and that's about it.
There're attractions like swimming with dolphin or in a shark tank, but it would cost $100-200 separately.
It has shark tanks and turtle feeding tanks... that's about it.

But it was fun enough for our 3yr-old and 1yr-old.
My 3yr-old son keeps talking about how high the dolphins jumped, or how big the sharks were.
The kids had fun, and that's what it all matters.

The thing that ruined my day happened at the end of the visit.
There was a playground, so our kids were playing...
It was one of those playground with small ladder to go upstairs, and it was too small for the adults to follow.
So I was watching my son go up, and all of the sudden this other kid (maybe a little smaller than my son) ran up to him and took my son's glasses off!!!
We just didn't see it coming.
I yelled out "HEY!! Give him back his glasses!" and the kid gave it back to my son right away.

Then he went off and took a hat from this older Japanese tourist boy...
He and his big sister ran up to their dad and told him that this little boy took his hat.
The dad didn't really see it happening, so he told the kids to go ask the little boy to give it back.
What did the little boy do? He threw it over the bush, outside the playground.

I'm not mad at the boy... I know he was just a little kid and they do those things sometimes. (Although my husband thinks he's old enough to know that what he's doing is wrong...)
What irritated me was that the little boy's DAD was just right there, watching the whole thing and not saying anything about it!!!! :(
I'm glad the boy didn't break my son's glasses, or else I would've gone up to the Dad to talk to him.
(Funny thing how you get stronger when you have a child... I never thought I'd be yelling at another kid, or tough enough to go complain to another parent)

I know I'm a little sensitive over my son's glasses...
I really hope these things don't happen when he starts to go to school, but I'm sure he'll bump into these situation here and there.
I'm asking my husband teach him some self diffense in case...
I feel bad for my son, because even at a playground the glasses can get in his way (glasses fall off by accident, and he has to stop his play to pick it up and put it back on, or his glasses get caught on a toy, etc)
I hope my son can start using contacts soon!!!

August 24, 2012

Patrones #306, Dress #23 again

I loved how my last Patrones dress turned out, I decided to make it again.

Here's the original dress.

I had this fuscia cotton-poly knit I got from
I normally lay out all the pieces on the fabric first to make sure that the fabric is enough, but for soooooooome strange reason, I was so cocky that this fabric was enough, that I just started cutting the pieces.

Sure enough, it wasn't enough.
I had to squeeze out all the outer pieces (one piece crossgrain, but I'm sure no one would know...), but didn't have enough to make a facing.
I couldn't find any knit fabric reminent in my stash either... (I mean, I don't buy fuscia color that often!)
So I'm gonna try the elastic binding method.

I have a hardest time binding the knit neck/armholes...
It always comes out wonky.
I searched through PR website and noticed that some people use elastic to keep the neckline shape intact.
Hmmm... worth a shot.
I;m planning to wear this in casual occasion only (around the house, to the park, etc) so this might be a good project to practice this method.
Hopefully it works out, and I can conquer the knit binding and no longer be intimidated by knits.


I finished the dress.
Well, actually not completely. I still haven't hem but since it's not fraying I'm already wearing it. :p
It's such a comfortable dress, but I realized that the color can make it fancy as well once I added the black belt.

I wore it to Target, and we decided to have a sponteneous beach dinner picnic.
The outfi was so not ready for beach, but oh well it was fun for the kids.
Believe it or not it was pretty chilly by the beach on August in Hawaii.
Here's a beach shot at sunset time.

Anyways for the sewing talk...
I finished the neck and armholes with elastic.
I zigzaged the elastic to the wrong side edge and turned over then topstitched.
I did the neck first, guess-timating the length of the elastic...
I think I pulled the elastic too much and ended up gathering the neckline a little.
Learning from the mistake, I pulled more gently on the armholes and I think the result is better.
Although I still need more practice, I like the finish of this method.
It doesn't look stretched out like the way my knits normally turn out.

Once again I like this dress. It's really comfortable, but like this pink one, I can make it casual or a little more dressy.

The only regret... however not about the dress.
I had my husband take a picture of myself with the kids wearing this dress.
I cropped it to upload it to the blog, and ended up saving it that way and lost the original photo. :(
My son was making a funny face and it was a funny picture.

August 20, 2012

Simplicity 1872 and Oliver & S

I got this fabric for free from PR member, but it's polyester and just too hot for Hawaii.
There was almost 4yrds of it, so I decided to make a dress for my sister-in-law who lives in California.
I've made her a Simplicity 1872 in the past so I already had a pattern.
Unfortunately I cut my fabric wrong so I couldn't make a dress but made her a top instead.

It wasn't enough for a dress but I had enough left over material so I made a ruffled top for her daughter.
I'm a little iffy on this top...
I think the back is too low and exposed.
I've made one for my daughter in the past, and her back is always wet because she sweats and there's nothing to absorb her sweat.
I might modify it so it has a back and has shoulder straps instead of a halter.
I just like their ruffles.
I think it turned out really cute with red trim.

We got some goodies from Hawaii and will be shipping this out tomorrow.
I heard CA is pretty hot as well... Hopefully they'll be able to wear it.

August 15, 2012

Simplicity 1872 Cynthia Rowley Tops

I had this rayon challis fabric washed and ready to go for awhile because I couldn't figure out what do with it.
It's a cute floral when you look at it, but from far away it seems a little grandma-ish...
Maybe because my grandma used to wear clothes like this all the time.
I thought I had to use a pattern that's more young with cutesy details.
Maybe peasant style blouse?

But I decided to use Simplicity 1872.
It was sitting in my closet for awhile now.
I've made it for my sister-in-law before but with wrong fabric... Thick satin.
With three layers of tier, it was too bulky.
So I've been Waiting for some thin material, and rayon challis is probably good.
But I only had 1 1/2 yd so I decided to go with the top.
I'm debating if I want to add sleeves... (if the left over fabric is enough)
I didn't like the short sleeves with a tie, but the other puff sleeves option looks too poofy.

I cut the fabric today and started sewing...
This is such an easy breezy top.
I was going along so smoothly.
I sewed the shoulders, sides, front neck facing...
I attached the peplum, and just need to finish the armholes, hem and make a belt.

Then I realized I'm almost out of thread.
Aaaagh, I hate it when it happens...
Do I need to have a backup of all the colors??
I have enough pattern and fabric stash.
I really don't want to start a thread stash...

But so far I'm really loving this top!!
This is a new style for me.
I'm so used to something flowy and loose that I'm not used to this fitted style, but the peplum makes it flowy enough with this challis fabric.
I think this pattern worked great with the floral pattern too.
It's no longer grandma-ish!

It goes well with my newly made fitted stretch jeans!!
I can't wait to finish it.

Upcycle - My Guess tank to my daughter's tank

I just did a quick (sort of) upcycle yesterday.

I had these two tops from Guess that I had for the longest time.
I hardly wore them so they were still in good shape.
But for some reason I kept it thinking I'll still use them.

Well, I bought them when I was in my 20s.
Now I'm not comfortable wearing spaghetti strap tight fitting tanks anymore.
(I don't even think they fit me!)

So using her comfortable Old Navy tank as a template, I cut them into my daughter's tanks.
It's funny that I left the side seams as is... It didn't make too much size difference!!!
I guess it's a rib knit, and it stretches to the max with adult wearing it, but with a baby it'll keep it's ribbed shape.

This is the picture after I cut the green one.

It was sort of a disaster...
It doesn't frey, so I just folded the neck and topstitched it...
And it came out all wonky.
So I gathered the middle just to keep the length to the original.
After this I thought it's probably better to use a binding for sleeves, so I did...
And it was even more wonky!!! It got probably 2inches bigger than when it was cut.
I ended up cutting off the sleeve binding and left the edges as is.

Not shown in the picture, but that's what I did with the red one...
I just cut the neck and sleeves and left the edges as is, and it looks alot better.
The hem has a cute ruffling and I kept the Guess embroidery.

Remind me never to sew rib knits again!!!

August 14, 2012

Patrones #306, Dress #23

I just made a dress #23 from Patrones #306.
it was nice that from tracing the pattern to finishing the hem, I got it done in one day.
It's been awhile since I finished something so fast...

Here's the original dress.
The detail shows alot better in solid.
I also love the color of this dress.
It's more orange in this picture, but it's more like a salmon pink, or red grapefruit.
I just ordered a solid rayon challis in this color. I was going to make another Rachel Comey top with it, but maybe I'll make this dress?

Patrones is in Spanish.
It was a simple dress, but I had to use the translater here and there to make sure I was doing it right.
In case anyone wants to make it, here's the rough instruction. (Well, the way I made it, not an exact translation.)

1. Press the front pleats as directed on the pattern. Baste.
2. Attach the pockets. Sew the pocket pieces to middle front (1) right sides together. Turn the pockets over and press.
3. Sew front middle piece (1) and side front (2) together. The bottom of side front (2) is sewn to the pocket pieces right sides facing each other.

Since I made it in jersey, I cut the inside front piece (3) and back piece (4) below the bust to make them a facing instead of a layer. I'll call them 3 and 4a.
I follow the instruction of Vogue 1236 for similar dress construction.
I wonder if it would be the same if it was a layer?

4. Sew front (1,2) and back side seams.
5. Sew inside front (3) and back facing (4a) side seams.
6. With right sides together, sew front and back (1,2) piece to facing (3,4a) at the neck, back and armhole, leaving about 1in oprn at the top of shoulders.
7. Turn the facing over, press. I actually topstitched the neck and back very close to the edge. Since I used a different fabric for facing, I didn't want it to show.
8. Open out facing at shoulders. Sew front and back together.
9. Turn facing down, turning remainder of armhole edges along seamlines. Press. Understitch, or in my case I topstitched the edge.
10. Hem.

Once again I made this with 1/2yd jersey fabric from
I didn't have enough for the facings, so I use some knit scrap to make the facing.
But I think because this knit didn't stretch as much as the jersey, the bust area came out a little snug.
I graded the pattern doen to 38 according to my measurement (I'm actually 40 at the waist, but because it's a loose dress 38 overall was fine).
If I was to make this in woven, maybe I'll make size 40 at least around the top.

Overall I love this dress. Very casual and easy to wear, but has a little detail of the front pockets.
I might make it in solid woven next time so the pocket detail shows.

August 13, 2012


Got my first Patrones.
I've been subscribing to Burda for awhile now, but I noticed that their style is becoming more of fitted, sheath dresses.
I like flowy, airy style, and thought Patrones is more of my style.
I looked few previews and instead of getting the current issue I got issue #306.
I pretty much want to make everything on this issue!

The good thing about Patrones is that there're less pattern per page for tracing, so it's easier.
The bad is, they only include 3 sizes per pattern, and they're usually 40-48.
I'm probably 38, so I'll need to grade it down each time.
And of course, the instruction is in Spanish!
Well at least I knew about this before I got it.
I think I can sew without too much instruction so it should be ok...

Off to tracing a pattern!!

August 12, 2012

Burda 7/2010 Trouser #103 Mock Jeans

This is the second #103 trouser that I made.
I got this really light weight denim material from FabricMart, and was unsure I should still use it as jeans, but after going to the mall and saw so many jegging style, I decided to go ahead.

Side view...
Sorry the picture is a little blurry, I'm not sure if you can still see the topstitching details. It's so hard to use self-timer and get a good focus!!

First of all I'd like to thank Sandra Betzina...
I don't think I could've made this pants without all her techniques.
I was always intimidated by trousers because of zipper installation, and also because of the waist fit.
My waistline changes drastically throughout the day, and I can't fit pretty much all my pants (except for drawstrings) by the end of the day.
After learning her zipper installation and elastic waistband technique, I'm no longer afraid of making pants!!
In fact, now all I want to do is make pants, because I finally learned the joy of wearing fitted pants!!!

I made my first pair in navy stretch gabardine.
It was more like my muslin for this one, and I had the hardest time matching the side seams... the back piece was so much longer than the front.
This time it matched perfectly, so I guess I must've traced it wrong, or added wrong seam allowances.

I love this jeans top stitching thread.
Just by using this it looks like jeans. Haha

I think the direction calls for topstitching where the back piece meets the side piece, but my DH said "Umm... doesn't that supposed to go to your side?"
so I ended up topstitching every seam, and I think it looks better.

Oh, sorry, I'm actually not done with this...
I still need to add belt loops, hook/eye and hem.
I was gonna wash it a couple of times before I hem.
My marrakesh trouser shramk about 2inches after I hemmed, so I learned my lesson.
I just wanted to review it while my kids are outside playing with their papa.

I really love the pants!!
I don't know if I love the extra side piece in the back, but I love the fact I have a fitted pants that fits.

Now I'm off to making a *real* jeans using Jalie pattern...

August 7, 2012

Simple Modern Sewing

I'm making a flutter sleeve top from Simple Modern Sewing book.
This is an English remake of Japanese sewing book... Which is kinda funny because I can read Japanese, but I'm using the English version.

Anyways I loved this top when I first saw it.
It's made in lawn, but when I got this vintage-print jersey from Girl Charlee, I wanted to make something flowy with sleeves and I thought this top was perfect...

Well, only in my head.

I HATE the sleeves.

It looks good when my arms are down, but once I lift them, it just opens up and shows my entire arms... And when I bring the arms down, the sleeves don't come back the way it was to cover my arms.
It sorta looks like sleeveless with a little fabric by my side.
It's like, what's the point of these sleeves???
I was checking in the bathroom mirror forever (my husband asked me "are you doing ok in there?") to figure out what I could do with it.

Oh yea, there's no way of do-over... I only had 1/2yd of this fabric and I cannot cut new sleeves.

I was trying to sew the edges of the hem together to close it. Not a bad idea.
Maybe add a cuff and make it puff sleeves with slit? (I actually have something like that, and I love it)
But because I like how the sleeves flare out, I think I'm going to sew the middle of the slit togetjer, and add a small bow on it.
I think it'll turn out cute... Hopefully not just in my head. :(

Here's the shirt, without the sleeve modification.

From the side, arm down.

Now it's done, I don't know if I'm gonng change the sleeves.
Just because I'm LAZY.
It looks ok as is, and it took me few days to complete this simple top (because I kept passing out at 8pm with my kids, and couldn't get to it), I feel like I don't want to deal with it anymore.

There're few things that could be improved...
Sleeves are one, and the other is the neck binding.
Once it's done, it was so wonky!
I have the hardest time sewing thin cotton jerseys...
I was looking for some tipe on sewing pattern review site and found this.

Seems very promising...
I thought about taking apart the neck binding for this top and do it over, but decided not... once again, LAZY.
Next project...

My husband asked me "How long will you be sewing? Aren't you bored yet?"
I've gone through so many hobbies, and I think I've been sewing the longest. (5-6 years now)
It's because there's so much to learn!!!
Not only there're different types of garments, but there're fitting issues, techniques, etc...
Just like the neck binding.
I thought when you sew with woven, you're not supposed to stretch the binding or else you get puckering effect.
But I guess when it comes to knits, you have to stretch it, because if you don't, it'll stretch on its own in a funny way.
Who knew? (OK, the sewing experts would)
Just like that, it makes a huge difference by knowing this small fact.

August 5, 2012