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Thanks for all the well wishing with the sunburns and lost photos.  Despite all that I want to reassure you we had a wonderful time!

The question did come to mind while I was traveling, once we make our wonderful crafts and then blog about them, what happens after that? Do they go into the oblivion of our closets? Do they get pampered in relation to our store bought goods? Do they ever get washed 😯 ?

Well, I am normally one of those people that actually use what they make and since I crafted so much before my Hawaii trip I wanted to tell you how each one faired during the journey

Weekender Bag:

This bag really does hold quite a bit of stuff. I used this as my carry-on and it worked out really well as it was perfectly sized for the overhead compartment and was easily accessed during the trip. If packed with a lot of stuff it did become heavy after carrying it around the airport for a while as the straps are not super padded.

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One big thing that occurred during the trip was that the stitching that holds the strap to the side of the bag was not strong enough to support the load. It was not a lot of stuff, but if you actually fill the bag it does put quite a bit of stress on the handles. Despite following the instructions for backstitching at each end, the one line of stitching with just a few backtack stitches was just not sufficient. The bag still held up to the challenge though because of the 3 to 4 times the handles were stitched to the bottom panel of the bag.

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Advice: I would do something similar to the “x” above to reinforce the straps at both the bottom and top stitch point and backstitch across the entire top and bottom stitch line, not just a few stitches.

Layed Barcelona Skirt

My Barcelona Skirt also worked out well for the trip. I was amazed at how many times I actually wore skirts during the trip and may be inspired to wear them more often. I will have to work on fit a little more as the back was a little gappy as my badonkadonk is bigger than my waist causing some fitting issues. When I returned I machine washed the skirt and it frayed quite a bit, which was expected, and took on a wonderfully different look.

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This is after the 10 minutes it took to snip all the frayed edges resulting in a pile of this

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which came from the front AND backside of the top layer of the skirt.
Advice: Hand wash! At least in my case. I don’t know if the skirt will take too many more runs through the washing machine as the fraying on some parts was pretty deep. But I love the frayed look so like I said before, this will be cared for as delicately as I would my hand knits.

Blue Sky Sun Hat

Unfortunately I have no real update for this hat because this hat is a sun hat NOT a wind hat and it was pretty windy the entire time I was in Hawaii, especially at the beach. When the wind would blow it would flop down or back and threaten to take wing and fly away.

Advice: Make sure it is sunny not windy when wearing.

Please note: I still love all my projects and recommend them highly, but like people, they are not without their quirks 🙂 Just trying to let you all know how they faired in action. Good Luck!!

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….because I am back!!! What a wild and wonderful adventure it was. I was gone for 8 days but is might as well been months because I returned home and even my bedroom felt foreign. And OMG 😯 the bloglines were insane with 643 posts to catch up on.

I learned a lot of life lessons during this trip that I will share with you this weekend, but none were too bad. The picture above is one of my favorites from the trip as I took it with the end result in mind. I love the sepia and the added film grain treatment.

I also came back to the wonderful news that I won third place for my Weekender Bag on the Sew Mama Sew Bag Month Contest for the ‘Other’ Category!!! I was flabbergasted as the competition for every category was fierce. I won an Amy Butler pattern to add to the “must sew” pile. Woo Hoo!!! 😀

Anyway, more Hawaiian hijinx and an “8”Things meme to come.

Aloha!

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UPDATE: Woo Hoo!!! My bag got featured on Sew Mama Sew Flickr Feature for Bag Month!! I don’t think I could be prouder of my bag than now! 🙂 Go check out all the other wonderful bags for Bag Month here

So the Amy Butler Hawaii crafting fest begins with our first sewn object, the Weekender Bag. This pattern was my motivation for learning to sew. I loved this bag since I first saw it and was giddy the entire time I was putting it together. I felt like a proud mama when I finally got it done.

Fabric: Joann’s upholstery Fabric
Inspiration: Amy Butler Weekender Bag
Modifications: Added a sub par elastic pocket to the inside, used a separating zipper
Difficulty: 9
Enjoyment Factor:9
Sewing Time: Off and On for two weeks

The Good:

  • The pattern is very well written and I was never lost during the process which resulted in a very professional looking finished bag. I love all the attention to detail despite the price I paid in blood…literally.

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  • The fabric! I loved this fabric and bought it quite a while ago when JoAnn’s had it on sale for the first time at 50% off. When I saw it again for 75% off, I bought two more yards. It is very durable despite its delicate look. I love the quilting on it. It just looks so fresh and so clean clean.
  • The size of this bag is wonderful. When I saw the picture I thought that it might be a little small to handle a weekend worth of my stuff, but man can you really load this thing up. Not only did it hold a weekends worth of stuff

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3 pairs of pants, three shirts, a pair of shoes and my toiletry bag with some room to spare

 

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It also held my sewing machine with even more space for notions and accessories INSIDE, let along the outside pockets!!

The Bad:

  • The cording! Although I love the way it looks, it was the most labor intensive detail I have sewn yet. I probably ripped enough seams to have made this bag three times over. It was like the Goldilocks rhythm set to the act of sewing. I sew…oops didn’t sew close enough…rip. Sew…oops sewed too close and over the cording….rip. Ahh, sew between where I was the first time and second time….just right!

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  • What is up with the closed bottom 30″ zipper!! This thing does not seem to exist as a common place item. I had to use a separating zipper in a cream color, then I sewed over the open end and made my opening a little smaller to make sure that it would never get to the point of separation. It works fine, but why make us jump the hurdle of finding this elusive 30″ zipper. This is where I wish the pattern gave alternatives. Next time I may use the dual zipper so that you can open it from either side because on one hand it is cool, on the other it comes in 30″!
  • The layers on this bag are thick and murder on sewing pins. I had to throw away at least half the pins I had because they were so misshapen at the end of the project.
  • The pins! Because of the layers they were like razor sharp daggers jutting out of the bag. Ouch, ouch, Sh*t, ouch, damn it, ouch was pretty much my mantra throughout the process. I got the scars to prove it!
  • Although I LOVE the colors, I do realize that yellow is not the most practical and durable of colors when it comes to a travel bag. I will try to Scotch Guard it or something to help out the longevity a little
  • The time involved in sewing this bag is just what one would have expected in such a wonderful bag but it is still hard to take in. I sewed this bag over a two week period. Each step taking longer due to the layers, daggers of death (pins), and the rip rip ripping of progress.

The Ugly:

  • Although I didn’t show it I added a elastic pouch inside for holding my undergarments separate from the clothes. This was the first time I did this using the tutorial from here and it just didn’t come out right. It was just too loose in the end. It is starting to bother me a little since the rest of the bag came out so wonderfully. I will probably add some Velcro to achieve the effect I want.

 

 

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So here are the new butterfly wings. I finished the collar and it came out quite nice I think. This was after I completely over thought the process of knitting it and ended up ripping and reknitting. So here is how the saga went:

  1. I picked up the 142 sts to knit the collar. I knit for about 3″ and then thought, hey, why is the seam on the top side of this thing? So I kept knitting but was getting frustrated by this seemingly counter-intuitive construction.
  2. I stopped knitting and looked all over the blogisverse to find a closeup of a butterfly collar. No dice. I had to believe in the pattern.
  3. So much for faith because I ripped out the 3″, picked up the 142 sts again, this time opposite of that the pattern stated and started knitting so that the seam would be underneath the folded over collar. I got about 1 row before I knew that it was just wrong….wrong, wrong, wrong…
  4. So I ripped out the little I had done, picked up 142 sts again, this time the right way and kept knitting secure in the fact that this way was far less wrong than the wrong way which turns out was just WAY wrong. Hee….like the bad engrish 🙂

So 426 picked up sts later I finished the collar. Then I blocked the sleeve. Wouldn’t you know it, I suffered the same fate as my butterfly predecessors. Despite reducing the length of the sleeve from 20 3/4″ to 18 3/4″, it was still too long. So I will have to rip back the sleeve cap on the first sleeve by another 1.5″ and reknit. In the meantime, I am knitting up the second sleeve to the 17 .5″ length that I think it should be because I just don’t have the heart to rip right now.

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In sewing news, I have already started the Amy Butler Goes to Hawaii crafting fest. I have finished the sewing on the front and back panels, next will be attaching the top and zipper. However, this will have to resume after a much needed break due to a recent lack of sleep. Maybe I will have a finished weekender to show you this weekender…I mean weekend.

**Said in Forrest Gump sounding voice.

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