Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Traveling Woes

From Maui 2009

Well, we finally made it to Hawaii.  It seems like the first couple of days were spent trouble shooting, and unfortunately, we lost 2 days of our vacation.

Day 1:  Get up at 3 am in order to get ready and to the airport on time.  Everything goes smoothly, but when we got there, our flight was delayed.  We weren’t worried because we had a 3 hour lay over in Salt Lake City (which By The Way, is NOT on the way to Hawaii from California!)  They kept pushing back the time of our flight, and after waiting in the airport for 4 hours, they sent us home to try again the next day.  Not good.  And  yes, we still had to pay for our parking that day.


We went home and slept.  When we got up, we decided to go back to Fresno and spend the night in case there was early morning fog.  Also, we could leave our car at the hotel for a park and fly instead of at the airport.


Day 2:  We get a call from our son who is already at the airport and he has forgotten his ID.  Now I’m not happy because we have to drive him back to his house about 15-20 minutes from the airport to get the ID.  As it turns out, the guy at the ticket counter tells him not to worry about it, that he can make it through on his expired drivers licence and a few questions.  We’re all set – until we get to the ticket counter and I realize that I don’t have my ID.  I can’t believe this, and all I can think is that I left it in the jacket I had on the first day, but left it at home.  I am now prepared to send my family off to Hawaii and drive back to Visalia yet again, but I get through security and we figure all is well.


Now, I’m worried about not having my drivers licence because not only do I not have any ID with me, I cannot get the rental car nor cash any of the travelers checks, which are all in my name.  We figure we will have the person who is watching our house overnight the ID to us at the resort.  Somewhat inconvenient, but doable.


Right before we get on the plane, we find out that my driver’s license is not at home, so I figure maybe it got tossed in my carry on.  We land in Salt Lake City (again, WHY did we have to go to Utah before Hawaii??) and it is 4 degrees.  FOUR!  I’m from California – I have NEVER seen 4 degrees.  Not only that, this airplane lets us off outside and we have to walk on the icy ground to the air terminal.  I would never make it in that weather.


We land in Kahului and take a shuttle over to the car rental.  They tell us there is nothing they can do for us.  They are willing to rent to my son (for a higher price, of course), but then we discover that his license is expired.  Oh brother!  We take a shuttle back to the airport and our shuttle driver tells us that we can make a police report and that should be able to work for us to rent a car.  So, after speaking to a couple of different airport police, someone finally gives me the number to the Maui police and they say they will send someone out to make a report and that I should wait curbside.  After standing in the wind for 45 minutes, I call back the police department, and they tell me that the officer is on an emergency and they don’t know how long it will be.  I tell them I will call again after I get to my hotel.

From Maui 2009


We end up taking a shuttle to our resort, and finally get here after dark.  I still have no ID, no car, and can’t even cash any travelers checks because they are all in my name.  After we check in, I call the Maui police again, and a nice officer calls me back within ½ hour and takes the report over the phone.  He faxes the report to me at the resort.


Day 3:  We get up, have breakfast and go out to the pool.  I start calling rental places, and most of them tell me no, they will not rent a car to me.  Finally, a very nice man at Budget tells me he can get me a car, but not until later that afternoon.  He calls me back later and tells me he can still get the car, but that the place on this side of the island will be closed for a few days, so I will need to get back to the airport – which is on the other side of the island.


So, the family decides we will take the buses over to the airport.  The first bus takes us to Whaler’s village, which is a great place to shop and eat.  The next bus takes us to a couple of different stops in  Lahaina where you can go grocery shopping, go to the warf, and do just about anything you would want to do in Maui.  The third bus takes us over to Kahului where there is the DMV, the airport, and the mall.  By this time, we are thinking, “Do we need a car?”  Yes, the shuttle to and from the airport is $70, but a car rental is between $120 and 150 a day.  Bus rides are a dollar.  We decide we will not need a car this trip.  We have just saved ourselves hundreds of dollars.  The buses run until 8 at night, and even if we have to take a taxi home, it is still cheaper than renting a car and you don’t have to worry about parking anywhere. 


OK, so we’re glad that we don’t have to rent the car, but I still can’t cash my travelers’ checks!  AND, I’m hoping my police report will serve as adequate ID to get me back on the plane to go home!

From Maui 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another SWAP

Stitchers Guild is doing another SWAP this year (Sewing With a Plan/Purpose) I've kind of laid off of contests for a while, but I do have a purpose for this one. Many of you know that I went to Uganda last year to teach women to sew. Well, we are putting our plans in the works for another venture this year. I am so excited to get to do this again, and another woman from my church is going to be going with me. In fact, she is sort of the reason I got back into sewing again - long story for another post. Anyway, here is what I'm planning for the swap

2 dresses:

  • One long dress made from fabric I got in Uganda last year.
  • One shorter sheath style dress from a musical print shades of gold cotton
6 tops
  • one white button up shirt from embroidered cotton
  • a black and green African Print rayon crinkle pull over top (LH Marseille pattern)
  • 4 tanks/Ts - a red and black sports wicking fabric, green cotton interlock, black and white stripe knit, black and white print knit similar to ITY jersey
2 bottoms
  • LH Swing pattern skirt in black linen
  • Marcy Tilton sectioned skirt in green linen
1 extra item
  • LH capri or Garbo jacket in green linen

One item must be either embroidered or beaded. I'm thinking of either embroidering sections of the green skirt, or the neckline of the green top.
One item must feature buttons or an unusual closure. Well, the shirt and the jacket both have buttons, but I haven't thought of anything that "featurable" for them. I may do bound buttonholes on the jacket. My other thought was to use a distinctive exposed zipper on the back of the dress, but that wouldn't really be appropriate for my trip. I am thinking though of using a Riri zipper and changing the front of the jacket to a zip closure.

Athena II finished

I'm feeling proud of myself for finally making an "outfit". Yes, I made a shirt to go with a pair of pants. Why is this a "new" concept for me?? Actually, it's not, but I usually end up making things that go with other things I already have. I really want to start making more "go together" pieces so I don't have the "nothing to wear" syndrome.

Now for the Athena 2. This top has interesting lines, but those interesting lines make for some concentration and careful pinning to make sure everything goes together right. Also, since I had never made this top before, it ended up being way to big in the back. I ended up taking in both of the vertical darts in the back, plus taking in the side seams quite a bit. I didn't think I'd ever want to make it again, but after wearing it this afternoon, I'm very pleased with how comfortable it is. Also, most tops with this type of styling (front hem detail that requires being untucked) are usually too short. This one is not. I like the length, and next time, I will let it out just a smidge at the hips, but take in the upper back more.

The pattern instructions tell you how to adjust for a full bust, which is good since the pattern pieces are unusually shaped and I really wasn't sure how to go about doing a FBA. I decided to add some top-stitching detail to emphasize the design lines and then that led me to use black buttons. I like the overall look. I'm not sure if I need to reshape the side seams a little bit. There seems to be a little poofiness above the hip that is unflattering, but that may be because it was pulled up a little bit in the back in the pictures.

What makes this shirt different than any regular shirt?

  • square sleeve insertion
  • square neck/collar seam
  • vest-like front hem
  • collar is cut on the bodice and attaches behind the neck (I had a Marfy overshirt like this once)
  • Buttons on the short sleeves
  • Order of construction - flat construction (sleeves are sewn in before side seams)
  • Fusible interfacing is sewn on to facing and then turned and under-stitched
  • back hem is finished before side seams are sewn.
So, as you can see, there are definitely some design differences in this pattern. It's nice to have something that's different, but still very wearable. I may make it again since it is so comfortable and easy to wear.

close up of top-stitching

The pants are another pair of the LH Oxford pants. I need to scoop out the crotch a bit in the back on my pattern pieces to match the changes I made on this pair. This is a great RPL that I got from Gorgeous Fabrics and it has the perfect drape for these pants.

I want to make another outfit, but I think I need to make a Christmas dress. The family is going on vacation over Christmas, so I need a new dress!

I have more pictures here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Athena 2 in the making

What am I working on now? Well, I have another pair of Oxford pants hanging and waiting to be hemmed. To go with them, I am trying the La Fred Athena 2 pattern. I have had this pattern for a couple of years and have never made it. I'm using a nice white cotton and I think I'm going with black buttons. There are interesting lines to the shirt, but that also makes for a bit of a time consuming project as well. All of those corners! The neckline is also sewn in corners, which looks nice, but is hard to get right. Mine is not exactly right. I'm making the short sleeved version. I think I'm a little more than half way finished on this one.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Oxford Pant

Lately I have been having a facination with Loes Hinse patterns. I've made a few things like the Capri Jacket, Bergman Blouse, Marseilles shirt, New York Dress, and a couple of others. These were all made a couple of years ago, so it's been awhile since I've made a LH pattern.

I've been wanting some elastic waist pants that do not look like pajama bottoms. My rheumatoid arthritis has been acting up lately, and when it does, snaps and buttons are almost impossible to deal with.

I've been looking at the Loes Hinse patterns lately (including Textile Studio patterns). These are the Oxford Pant. I still wasn't sure that I would like these pants, but decided to give them a try anyway. When I finally put them on I fell in love with them. I had tried on a pair of pants at Cold Water Creek a couple of years ago that had this same cut. I loved those pants, but they didn't have them in the color I wanted in my size. I've looked for a pattern with this same cut - and now I've found it. At first, I was a little apprehensive, thinking that these might look dated or just plain unflattering. I'm so glad I tried them, because these are my new favorite pants. I have another pair in black on the cutting table right now!

One of the things I like about these pants are the pockets. Also, the sides are top stitched, and that looks nice. There are darts in the back, which help alleviate the "baggy butt" look.
All in all, I'm really pleased with these pants and think you'll be seeing a lot more of these! I also got the Cruise Pant pattern, and will be trying that soon.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

McCalls 5941 Jacket

This all started with these pants that I made last week. I had plenty of fabric left over, so I wanted to make a jacket to go with it. I decided I would make the Textile Studios Capri Jacket, but after searching through all of my patterns, I could not find it. I decided to order the LH Garbo Jacket from Pattern Review. It only took a couple of days to get here, so I got right on it. I cut the top of the jacket using my upper bust measurement and then did a FBA. Well, it fit perfectly over the bust, but was too tight in the shoulders. I was disappointed, because there really wasn't any way that I could fix it, and although it is wearable, it doesn't look very good. Fortunately, I still had almost 2 yards of fabric left over, so I decided to try something different. I had been wanting this McCalls pattern,5941, so I went to my local Walmart and bought it. I cut it out and practically made the whole thing in one evening. I did finish it up the next day, and wore it to work today.

I really like the jacket, but I need to move the snap because it does not hang straight in the front. I did cover the snaps with a scrap of ambiance

I am really anxious to try two new patterns that I just ordered. Both of them are pants patterns from Loes Hinse. These are not new patterns, but I really want something super comfortable to wear to work and on weekends. I always wear my tops out, and especially in the winter, I usually have on a sweater or jacket, so why not try some elastic waist pants that are quick to sew and comfortable to wear? I am trying the cruise pant and the Oxford pant. Both of these pants have gotten good reviews on PR, so I'm going to give them a try.

Cruise pant on the left and Oxford on the right.

I am also thinking about joining the SWAP on Stitcher's Guild. I had a lot of plans for what I wanted to make, and then I realized I needed something totally different. The contest ends somewhere around March, and I'm planning another trip to Uganda in late March. I am so excited to have the opportunity to return there and teach women how to sew. This time we have a much better plan, and will be teaching women to make skirts, since this is mostly what they wear. As plans for the trip develop, I will keep you posted. Anyway, I'm going to be needing clothes for the trip. Last year I made quite a few things and then gave them to the people in the last village we worked with. I will probably do something similar this time. Now I know that bright, colorful clothing is what I need, so I am working on a plan!