Sunday, June 18, 2017

Quack! Quack! The Waikiki Duck Tour!

We had our staycation this weekend, and what was the most fun about it was the Duck Tour that we went on at the very end of our trip. 

OMG!  If you are ever in Waikiki and want something fun to do, take the Duck Tour.  It's a tour that's partly on land, and partly on water, on a really fun, crazy looking boat.  This is the promo pic of the boat for the tour:

This is the pic that I took.  I took it at the end of the tour and had to rush, so I didn't get the entire boat:

During the tour, I did get a pic of the Duckie's reflection on a car in the next lane:

The land part of the tour goes through Waikiki, up to the Diamond Head/Kahala area, then back down through Kapahulu, back into Waikiki, and then launches into the ocean from the hotel, The Ilikai (the original Hawaii 5-0 opened with a picture of the Ilikai).
The land tour was great, but the ocean part was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C!!!  I absolutely loved it!!!

Here's a short video of the launch part of the tour:


This is when we were out on the water.  OMG!  Was it fun!!!


While we were out on the water, we saw a parasailer.  I used to go parasailing a lot, but haven't recently:


It is really cool being out on the water, but not going so far out that you lose sight of land!



Sunday, June 4, 2017

The First Phase of My Summer Sewing Plan

I saw Faye's question about the patterns I'm using for my gaggle of tops and here they are:

New Look 6559 - tie front over.  This is one of my fave overs to wear and sew because the style is all me all the time, and because it is super easy to sew!  For me, it never will go out of style:

OOP New Look 6606.  I was lucky to find this pattern on Etsy around a year or two ago because I like all iterations of it. 

McCalls 7601.  This is from McCalls' latest collection and I actually can't wait to sew this!  It'll look so breezy with capris rolled up, or shorts:

Simplicity 8342.  At first, I wasn't sure about this because the picture on the pattern envelope looks costume-y.  It's enough to scare off anyone who isn't solidly into wearing vintage styles, but I read 2 reviews of this pattern and the ladies made tops that looked gorgeous, not costume-y at all.  The knit tops looked fantastic and stylishly perfect for hot weather.  One of the ladies said it was really quick to sew.  The style is cute and it's fast to sew, too?  Of course, I had to drop it in my queue!

I'm pairing the tops with white jeggings, white capris, and a pair of olive green just below the knee made by me cargo pants.  I don't have the cargo pants pattern, yet, but as soon as I find a pattern I like, I'll definitely share it here.

Sewing plans and I have a complicated relationship.  We are an on again/off again pair.  We're in an on again phase right now and I'm pretty sure I'll definitely finish this plan!

I also added the McCalls 7595 maxi dress, from McCalls' latest collection, to the plan.  The line drawing looks loose fitting, but the pattern says it's close fitting for a knit, and that is exactly what I want.  I'm using a tropical printed red knit from my stash that looks similar to the fabric they used for the dress on the pattern envelope.

I'm hyped up about this sewing plan and if I finish it in time, I'm going to use it for the travel wardrobe contest.  Be back later with my over and whatever else I finish today.


Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Gaggle of Tops is in the Works Here

I am planning to sew a few things that I really want in my wardrobe this year:

All 4 pieces are going to be red, either solid or printed.  The bottoms are going to be white jeggings, white capris, and a pair of me made just below knee length olive green cargo pants.

I am going to sew whatever I can this weekend, and will be starting with what is, for me, a go-to style that I have made a gazillion times before with a fave TNT!  The tie front bolero.  This was actually one of the first things I sewed when I got into sewing again back in 2014.  

I'm also going to be getting rid of a lot of the fabric in my stash that I know I won't use, either because of color, print, or quality.  I thought I needed all of the junk fabric for muslins, but honestly, when I make muslins, they mostly end up being wearable muslins that I won't wear because I don't like the fabric.  Because I usually cut my pieces with a lot of ease and sew whatever ease I don't need out, I've realized that I don't really need muslins.  So, the fabric that I earmarked for that purpose has really got to go!  I'm working on that today.

I'm also going to sew a white peplum top that I cut out during the week.

Hope you are having a great day!

Be back later!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Failure after Failure - - - And Then

I wanted to sew several things this weekend, but almost everything I sewed ended up in the trash bin.  One thing I learned this weekend is that my machine will not sew sheers.  I tried to make 2 sheer wrap tops, but my machine was not having it!  I tried to adjust the stitching, but nothing I tried worked.  So I tossed these:

One of the tops looks fine (see pic below), but IRL, the stitches are crooked and look terrible.  I would never wear anything with stitching like that out in public.  The black and white one crumpled up in the pic above had crooked stitching, too.  I knew the stitching would not meet my standards right after I sewed the first pieces together, so I stopped right there and tossed it.  I tossed the white knit in the pic above, too, because my machine's stitches turned out funny on that fabric, too.  The good thing is that I learned a valuable lesson about my machine - it won't sew sheers.

And this weekend, a red sheath that I started sewing turned out miserably, too.  There was gaping at the neckline that I could not fix.  I didn't even finish it.  I'm glad that I sew like this, as I won't waste valuable time on something I won't wear.

But even after all of those failures, I didn't quit.  I was going to make a navy pair of wide legged pants and even had the fabric on the cutting board when I decided to make a dress instead.  I used McCalls 5042, which I was originally going to use with spring-like orange and white floral print.  I'm glad I switched to the navy fabric because I really like the way the dress turned out. It's basic and very classic.  With this dress, I noticed that a flared skirt is much more flattering on me than a gathered skirt is.  MUCH MORE!  I didn't have time to press the dress, and it was either take the pic or maybe not taking one for a while, so here it is:

And the wonderful pattern has princess seams, which I REALLY love!

Nothing much to write about this pattern as it's drafted well and was great to work with.

Oh, and I also made a successful muslin for my next project:

OOP McCalls 7126:

I'm going to cut it out after work tonight.  I might even start sewing, if I'm not too tired.

Have a great day!


Monday, May 29, 2017

McCalls 5803 - Ruffled Top + Vogue 2570 cowl top

I finished this cowl top last week, but just took a pic of it now, Vogue 2570 in a heather gray knit:

The pattern is for a woven, but it also works for knits:

This is one of my TNTs and it is my fave sleeveless cowl style.  Right now, in addition to my new gray version, I have it in red, black, and navy.  I wear them a lot! 

I sewed all day today and finished the top from OOP McCalls 5803, a Hilary Duff pattern from 2006.  I made View B:

Here's the pattern:

When I sewed this, I made one design change.  I drafted my own ruffle piece, which is shorter and narrower than the original's ruffle.  And I made one construction change.  Instead of facings, I used a bias binding to finish the armholes.

I used a black pinstripe and had a heck of a time sewing the collar on.  I kept getting all of these birds' nests as I sewed.  I didn't know why so I checked the manual.  It said it was due to incorrect threading.  So I cut the birds' nests off, then re-threaded the machine.  After doing that a gazillion times, I surmised that something else was wrong.  So I went rogue and looked at other possible causes.  It's a good thing I did because the culprit was the machine's needle.  I changed the needle just before all of the trouble started, and when I re-adjusted it, VOILA!  No more bird's nests!

After I finished this top, I started on a red sheath dress.  I sewed the front princess seams, the back darts and connected them at the shoulders.  I pin it down the sides and then tried it on.  UGH! There was too much gaping at the neckline, and there was not way to fix it because it was a square neckline, so I tossed it.

I'm spending tomorrow sewing and will be back with whatever I finish next time.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Beach Park + Automation

It's the beginning of a long holiday weekend and after work yesterday, instead of going home, we bought some dinner then headed out to Ala Moana Beach Park.  Here are some pics that I took:

That's the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.  They call it a yacht harbor, but it's just a boat harbor.  LOL!

I grew up here swimming in the ocean, and in swimming pools, but when I see nature in all its magnificence like this, it just leaves me breathless.  I love the ocean!

As always, there were surfers out.  I don't think there is a minute of the sunlit day when there isn't a surfer out there (we have some night surfers, too, though):

Here's the ocean breaking against the rocky shore:

And a couple taking their wedding pics past a barrier and signage that warns about the water.

Before we went to the beach, I stopped by the bank.  When I got there, I looked for a withdrawal slip and a pen at the counter, where they usually are.  But there were none to be had.  WHAT??!!!

When I got to the teller, a millennial, I asked him where they were.  He said they removed them because they're trying to get people to use the ATMs. OMG!  I told him it looks like tellers were going to be automated out.  And then I told him that I rarely use the self check out at Walmart because it takes away cashier jobs.  It still amazes me that the cashiers want you to use the self checkout.  Don't they realize what it means for their jobs?  I don't know, but back to the bank, I pointed to the line and told him that it was a good thing that some people were still coming to the bank.  And he said, yeah, they're mostly older people.  And then I told him that I feared for what would happen once the older people were gone, and there were no more patrons coming into the bank.  Because honestly, it is easier to bank without going into the bank.  Yes, I do have automatic deposit, and I have seen how you can deposit a check at the ATM and feel safe because it takes a picture of the check you're depositing.

But I make it a point to still go into the bank to preserve those teller jobs.  Yes, automation is pretty cool, for now, when it still has the patina of newness and coolness and youthfulness and quickness to it, but what about the jobs?!  Some of those cool young millennials who just want to zoom in and out are not going to have jobs.  Those of us who do have jobs might end up supporting them because we can't just let them fall, you know?  I don't want to live in a Mad Max world, where poverty is the norm.

And what about the social interaction that you have with the people who are handling your money!  That's important, too.  There was a time when banks advertised that their goal was friendly service.  Guess that's out the window now! 

I noticed, too, that the downtown branch of my bank, which usually has long lines made up of people of all ages, but I usually don't see millennials in the line, just reduced their teller space to less than half of what it was.  The sign they have up says they're making it a nicer place for their patrons, but who knows?  They might be replacing the teller windows with a bunch of ATMs in there. 

OMG! I know I am sounding old, but you know what?  I'm glad I at least knew what life was like when it wasn't all about people-less transactions. 

And on the sewing front, I am sewing all day tomorrow and all day on Monday.  I'm hoping that my BMV order arrives today and if it does, then ----- YAY!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

McCalls are DA BOMB!!! + MMM 2017 Week 2 + finished top

It has been a minute since I've been excited about new patterns, but I am over the moon, just over the moon about the new McCalls Summer collection.  Their classics are pretty much the bomb, too.  I was sewing a lot with Simplicity and New Look, but I am sewing more and more with McCalls.  I want to sew all of these before the end of the year (classics followed by the new patterns):

As for MMM 2017 week 2, uh - well it fell apart! This is what I wore last week, by order of appearance Monday through Friday only:

I am getting ready to toss this me made dress, as I don't like it anymore.  But I still love the RTW Ann Taylor pale blue sweater that I wore with it:

This is a completely RTW outfit that I do love wearing:

Another RTW:

And yet another RTW:

And another:

I wore the top above with a RTW black and white knit pencil skirt (sorry no pic).

About MMM 2017.  Hmmm.

I think I tried to do the MMM 2017 thing a little too early, as I don't really have enough me made things to wear.  I have to call it a day on MMM 2017.  One week of mostly made by me is better than zero.  :-)  So I thank MMM 2017 for that!!!

I am going to try to sew more, and did finally finish 2 tops for Faye's long over sew along.  Both are TNTs for me and I absolutely love them!  McCalls 5434 wrap top with asymmetrical hemline:

And I'll have a pic of the heather gray knit cowl top from Vogue 2570 next time:

I'm starting on a McCalls 5042 dress next and am using an orange and white printed fabric.  When it's done, it will look absolutely perfect for Summer.  Well, I hope anyway!