19 January 2010

185. Aloha! Simplicity 2927: Aloha Dress

Aloha, my blogging buddies! I'm on my first visit to Hawaii, and it is picture-perfect every single minute of every single day. No exaggeration. Like this random shot from our hotel room balcony:

May I also thank at this time each of you who encouraged me to enjoy the trip and not feel guilt that my family is not with me. It has been a lovely time so far. I'm sure it would have been lovely if my family were here, but in a very different way. For instance, it is about 1:30 p.m. local time and I have not left the hotel today. I haven't even really left the room except to get coffee downstairs, and have spent the day editing photos, uploading them to various places, catching up on your beautiful blogs, and just doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. Such a foreign concept with a little one.

Just to re-cap, my BFF Emily and I are here for a week, during which time we are attending a wedding and some related social events for a work friend. One of our first activities was whale-watching with our friend Joe. Grown-ups only, about 16 of us, with a great crew on a decent-size boat. I def. recommend this specific tour if you want to give it a shot! We went swimming with turtles and schools of fish, and got to see a whale family (pod?) doing their thing:

Are you amazed? I was stunned! I'd only seen this kind of thing on TV, never in person. Pretty spectacular! Unfortunately, after the first swim, I let my breakfast go into the big, blue Pacific about 12 times. I really do believe that is an accurate count. You may ask yourself how big my breakfast was that I could afford this. I assure you that my breakfast was meager, and yet there was still more to offer. Despite this, I might be talked into another whale-watching excursion on a future trip!

Although I have taken lots of photos since I've been here to document the trip, I seem to forget to photograph any of the interesting clothes I've shared with you. I wore the low-cut metallic denim dress to the family & friends BBQ on Friday night, and it was perfectly modest with a black tank underneath. I decided not to wear the floral rayon dress to the wedding -- the sandals I brought on this trip were too casual so I decided on a more dressy dress.

I did finish Simplicity 2927, my birthday present for Emily, which she wore to the wedding Sunday night:

I went the entire evening without taking a full-dress photo of Emily, and now I don't have it in me to ask her to put it on again just for a photo, so a hanger shot it is. I will post a review on PR.com sometime, but for now I will say I was super-happy that blending between sizes was pretty simple with this pattern because there are no adjustments to be made along the front princess seams. The neckband is simple denim, the piping is your garden variety Wright's piping, and the bodice is made from some lovely Kokka fabric. I am normally wouldn't consider using Japanese crafty fabric for apparel, but this fabric met all my criteria for color, motif pattern, opacity (no need for lining), weight, and everything else I could think of. It isn't the softest fabric in the world but I hope it will soften with a few more washings.

That's all for now. The beach is calling! If you'd like to see a few more photos, I am uploading the best of the best of Hawaii 2010 over at Flickr. Hope you are having a great week!


  1. I can't even express how jealous I am of you right now! Happy for you too. Enjoy. I love Emily's dress! I am copying it this spring!! Be safe.

  2. Glad you're having a great time--what a view! And the whales and turtles and everything sound fantastic.

  3. was just searching for great kokka fabric projects and came across your fantastic dress for emily!

  4. Cute - I love the fabric!

  5. The dress is lovely and you are a great friend. Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it - PRICELESS!!! Enjoy!

  6. yea!!! So nice that you have some time for yourself! Enjoy yourself!

  7. Incredible pics. Incredible vacation. Incredibly thoughtful gift.

  8. What a great whale photo! The boy and I did some whale watching a few years back, but the photos only show a small spurt of water in the surf...
    The dress you made looks beautiful - love the print and the neckline detail.

  9. someday I'll get to Hawaii... it looks just breathtaking - and what a great shot of that whale! Sorry about the 12 times. I'd be right there next to you though... really cute dress - and so nice of you to give it to your friend! Safe travels back to Austin... we're off to Phoenix in the morning.

  10. Woo Hoo! And don't think of it as losing your breakfast . . . think of it as providing your fish friends with some lovely chum.

    Ew. Have a great time!

  11. That dress looks fantastic! I'm so glad you're having fun (breakfast upchuck not withstanding). I wish you much relaxation and drinks with little umbrellas in them. :)

  12. Sounds like so much fun!! I'm glad you're enjoying your visit. Love the dress for your friend!

  13. -what a view! And the whales and turtles and everything sound fantastic.

    Work from home India

  14. Everything works so well on that dress - the button, the piping, the fabric, it's very cute.

    How wonderful to have a holiday with chick friend, no children - they are THE BEST. Of course it's a break from winter for you too I guess.. but does Texas get that cold??

    Like your new blog header by the way.

  15. Super jealous! Enjoy every minute. I can't believe I lived in LA for three years and never made it to Hawaii.

  16. Of course I'd love to go to Hawaii, but I'd take a week of "me time", even at home, in a heartbeat!

  17. Totally jealous-- I've wanted to go to Hawaii since my parents ditched me and my brother at my grandparents' for a week to go there when I was 5! But I hope you've enjoyed your time there. And love that dress-- Emily is a lucky girl!

  18. You lucky girl.....to see this on your first trip out....I've been dying to snorkel with them, and have been so close but no cigar.

    And have also done the heave-ho way too many times....I know you heard this, but looking at the horizon does help - at least it does me!

  19. @Cindy - You're so sweet! Are you gearing up for another season of dresses? I'm excited about it...

    @Trish - Thanks -- the view is always amazing. I don't know how it would be to live there and have that be the norm.

    @bertie's closet -- I will check out your blog and see what you're doing with Kokka fabrics! This was my first experience with it, and though I love the print and the overall fabric quality, it is not as soft as I would want for a garment. Can't wait to see what you've got going.

    @stitchywitch -- Thanks! I wonder if Kokka produces this fabric in another colorway?

    @Faye Lewis - Haha, you're right! It is priceless! Thank you, Faye.

    @Christy - It was amazing! I'm so glad I went.

    @Dei - Thanks so much.

    @Violet - I have some of those water spurt pics, too. I can't believe now how close we were to them... they were so cool. Wish I could have gotten some good photos of the turtles, too -- very cute with their heads bobbing out of the water.

    @glam.spoon - I wish you a HI trip and no visits to the side of the boat. Hope you're having a great time in Phoenix!

    @ginger - Chum! Awesome, thanks for the reminder. LOL

    @Steph - Thank you, and I did bring back one umbrella for my son to see (which is now broken just mere hours after I gave it to him, in case you wondered). :D

    @NGLaLaLa - Thx! I think she liked it, too.

    @kanishk - All the sea life was amazing. Honolulu has a modest and nice zoo, too, with all kinds of other exotic animals to see.

    @Mary Nanna - The dress fit right in with the wedding and setting -- win all around. It has been very, very cold in Texas this winter! We get breaks where it warms up, like today, but the cold days have been more severe than we'd gotten used to. No complaining though.

    @Lindsay T - I can't believe you lived in LA and never made it out to HI! I was thinking about trying to schedule some work in L.A. and then "hop over" to Hawaii some time later this year or next... We flew nonstop from Dallas but that was basically an 8-hour flight. I bet from L.A. more like 4-5 hours depending on headwinds and tailwinds.

    @Sarah - I always found that "me time" at home never came for longer than a school day! And even then I really needed to be working during "me time". The going away was the best way to get high-quality me time. Which I was reminded of when my son came running into my room at 6 a.m. today, all chatty and talkative. :)

    @Becky - You should go! I bet you'd totally dig the island thing, and I could see you sewing some awesome floral aloha garments so you'd blend right in.

    @ClaireOKC - You're right, we got so lucky to see this family of whales, pretty much right after our boat took off from the dock. I actually expected dolphins, having heard from ppl who'd gone out with this crew before, but the whales were a more-than-worthy substitute. I tried the horizon thing but I think it was too late. Once my body let go, it wasn't reining anything back in. :)


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