HOW-TO: FABRIC TOTE BAG

I hate throwing fabric away. It seems like such a waste. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to use random scraps for anything worthwhile. That’s why I have two quilt projects started that are completely from fabric scraps. I just haven’t found the motivation to complete them yet. Recently I made my daughter a skirt for her hula dance class. With the leftover fabric she requested I make her bag. “Can you make me a bag for my hula stuff?” It was the best idea and I had the perfect amount of fabric left. For the lining of the bag I was able to use leftover fabric from the yukata project I did for the kids, too. I already had interfacing, so the only thing I needed was belting material for the handles. Yes! I was so excited to use up scrap material.

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HOW-TO: PA’U HULA SKIRT

Chloe started taking a hula class after school this year. Having a skirt is not a requirement, but most of the kids want one. I could just buy one, but a bunch of other parents made one and it seemed like it would be very easy. She’s already in her third session of the class, and after patiently waiting, I finally was able to make Chloe her pa’u skirt!

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AKI MATSURI and MAKING YUKATAS

The kids go to a Japanese immersion school as their primary school. In addition to learning the Japanese language, they also get to participate in cultural events. One of those events is called, “aki matsuri,”or Fall Festival. For half the day, we convert the school into different games popular in Japan during these festivals. At the end of the games, the kids parade around the school with decorative floats, chanting, and dancing. One thing that is very common for people to wear at the fall festival is a yukata. I’ve been told it’s like a casual kimono. The girls really wanted to wear one, but even after all of our trips to Japan, we had never bought them one. The basic garment is constructed similarly to a bathrobe. It looked simple enough, so I decided to make them one. I mean, I made an Elsa dress for Halloween before, I could handle this​, right? In the end, I was right. But getting there, that was the tricky part.

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SEW MANY LESSONS

At the beginning of the year, I set out on a quest to learn the basic skills of sewing. So I signed up for a sewing class. Knowing that most likely I’d be the only guy and a loner, I recruited my friend Kelly to join me. We stuck it out for the full 15 weeks and actually made a few things. I made two aprons, a skirt and dress for Ellie, a skirt for Aya, and two pairs of pajamas for Ellie. I’m no expert by any means, but I can successfully say, “mission accomplished.” And over those 15 weeks, there were a few lessons that stuck out more than others.

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