The Tiltons Are Trolling Us


I’ll admit that I’ve had a few traumatic experiences with my results from Tilton patterns (like the one below) , but then I run across this dress at the fabric store, and any hope that I had for their patterns is lost.

I’ll admit that there is something appealing about the Tilton designs; you know they will be comfortable, and most have a homespun yet artistic feel to them. I see them in the Vogue pattern book and think “are you finally going to be a the first flattering Tilton pattern?”, but alas, they never are. And then they’re discontinued right away.

What I am saying is that friends don’t let friends buy Tilton patterns.  But if you’re stick thin, feeling saucy, and ready to rock the fashion equivalent of a burlap sack, please don’t let me stop you. But if you’re anything greater than a size Small, please put that pattern down!

Tilton pattern

Pattern Gluttony

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I try to take my trips to the Mainland around holidays, so that I might take advantage of Joanne Fabrics pattern sales. They are always around major holidays, and it includes a super-sale on one brand of patterns. This Thanksgiving, it was Butterick, 5 for $7. And while that’s not as epic a sale as the usual $1 pattern sales, it’s still a great deal. They usually max you out at 10 patterns per purchase, so I usually go to two Joanne stores. Thereby getting 20 patterns in a day, and virtually guaranteeing that I will get all of the patterns and sizes I want. What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to overindulge in one’s vices.


While at Joannes, I ran into this bottom weight cotton print that needed to come home with me. I think I will use it to make one of the Butterick dress patterns I picked up today.

My final shopping splurge was at Barnes and Nobles, where I picked up two sewing books.


I guess I could have gotten all of this shopping done in Hawaii. I would have to shop online, waiting for the online sales, make fabric selection without feeling them first, and pay a little extra for shipping. I guess that would be cheaper than a plane ticket! But I’ve justified the trip in other ways, so this in-person pattern gluttony is just icing on the cake.

Tritik Tie-Dye Part 1

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My mother makes some mean tie-dye; you can check her stuff out here and here, or at

Tritik stitching is a small running line of stitching that is gathered tightly. My mother uses tritik stitching to create the outline of the pattern to be dyed, and then folds and ties the rest of the cloth via standard tie-dye technique. Half of the artistry is in stitching the pattern, and the other half is in applying or not applying dye in the right places and colors. Even after 40+ years of tie-dye experience, she never really knows how the finished product is going to look until its done.

While my taste doesn’t usually run to tie-dye, I have been craving skulls lately, and what better way to get them, than by making them yourself (or by begging your mother to make them for you). After much coaxing, I was able to get my mother to start experimenting with skulls, like this one:

skull tie dye 1

I’m quite pleased with her results, and have finally found a reason to try tritik tie-dye myself. One of my future projects will be multiple small skulls on one shirt. I will, of course, post the results here, with more details and pictures of the process.

Yard Work Jumpsuit


I love working in my yard in Hawaii almost as much as sewing (my other blog is, But I was having a hard time finding the best clothing options for yard work: I need heavy weight bottoms so that I can use my industrial strength weed eaters and not get cut when rocks and stick chunks hit my shins, but Jeans and canvas pants are too heavy and hot and dig into my waist while I work. So I decided I needed a loose version of overalls, made out of heavy canvas.

After some searching, I chose Burda’s young fashion pattern 7822, and a heavy weight indigo canvas.

burda patternjumpsuit outline

I chose view A, and cut the pattern out of the canvas, making the legs longer and adding an extra pocket to the back. I used a lighter weight, lighter blue twill in my stash for the chest insert. Following placement of a zipper in the back, and the top edges finished with packaged folded twill (and a round in the washing machine), the top of the garment looked like this:


I was excited to put it on and try working in the yard, but immediately found that the heavy canvas was restricting movement in the garment. So I used more of the lighter blue twill to add “racing stripes” to the sides of the garment, which made it more pliable, breathable, and wearable.

Overall I’m quite pleased with the result. It’s not very flattering, but it is a very practical yard work outfit. I call it my Samurai Yard Bag, as it has a similar feel to the indigo Hakama I wear to practice Japanese martial arts, and it’s loose like a bag.


Sew Hawaii!

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I  grew up in a remote jungle on the Big Island of Hawaii, spending many hours as a child sewing and crafting to pass the time. I moved away from Hawaii as a teenager to go to college and to start my career. Sewing and crafting were always important hobbies, but I never seemed to have enough time for all of the projects I wanted to complete. However, now that I’m back in Hawaii, I’m determined to do more, as well as share the experience with the world. In all likelihood, I probably still won’t have enough time for all of the projects I want to complete.

I’m a promiscuous crafter, as I can’t just settle on one craft for very long. I think I like sewing best, but I also knit, crochet, dye cloth, make patterns, etc. I’m also pretty proficient with a hot glue gun. Hopefully I will provide some inspiration, or maybe a little entertainment at the very least.

The picture above is of one of my favorite beaches on the Big Island, on the Kona side. I’m currently gazing at it wile working furiously on a new swimsuit. I hope to post it soon!