Handmade Hawaiian Wardrobe

When your husband wants to take you to Maui, first you say yes, then you plan what you want to sew!

After browsing my Personal Sewing Spa Fabric Store (AKA My Stash), I decided to sew up all the Tropical Fabrics I had collected. Because, if not now….when?! My goal was to sew enough clothing that my Handmade Hawaiian Wardrobe would include an OOD (outfit of the day) for each blissful moment of our visit. So, although our main objective was rest and abandoning reality, we did try to snap a picture each day!

Here’s the guided tour of my Handmade Hawaiian Wardrobe. It’s long, as any trip to Hawaii should be, and there’s no charge!

My almost favorite piece is this tropical tank top. As you can see, I wore it on the plane on the way over and thought I looked very native. Aloha! The pattern is Indygo Junction’s Everyday Tank and it’s super easy  and quick to make. In fact that was a must for everything I made since I sort of, well, okay TOTALLY procrastinated. The fabric was purchased on a previous trip to Maui and the self-made bias trim was a piece of red cotton I picked up at JoAnn just for this tank. It just screams Hawaii, doesn’t it?

You’ll see this wonderful style made from McCall’s 6960 in a different fabric next. It passed the “quick and easy” test and was wonderfully comfortable to wear. The fabric is a Rayon Batik and I chose the high-low hem view. It was the first one I made and I found the sizing ample and the neck a bit low, so I took in the side seams and added a triangle of a different Rayon Batik to the neck. I’m obsessed with buttons and added one from my button bin at the neck. It was perfect!

McCall’s 6960 again, the same pattern as the Rayon Batik above. But this time stitched from another previous Maui purchase. Doesn’t everyone come back with their carry on stuffed with fabric? I love the traditional look and tranquil blue of this cotton print and wanted to be sure it would show off well in the style I chose. I think this was a win and it really made me smile once I added a button – again. This time I knew to re-draft and raise the neckline V, so no insert was required.

Another flowing Rayon Batik is the star of this modified, out-of-print, Marcy Tilton vest design. I was after an artsy look here and found it when I added a strip of vintage kimono fabric down the right front side. Of course a vintage button was required and a bit of hand-dyed rayon ribbon completed the front closure. The front actually stayed closed quite well with just the top tie. I did wear a lightweight knit tank under it, though. In case of wardrobe malfunction, I didn’t want to be part of the sights to see.

This is a case of “everything old is new again”. I stitched up another Everyday Tank in a blue Rayon Batik (can you tell I LOVE that fabric) and wore it with a skirt I’ve had for several years and had never worn and a purchased cardigan that originally had long sleeves. Where there’s a will, there’s a sewist, right?! It was cool and comfy and I’ll definitely wear it when I need a dress this Summer. The skirt is just a long straight “tube” of knit fabric with one seam at the back. The “tube” was cut about 8″ wider than my hips so it had a little sway to it. And, I already owned the perfect jewelry to go with it!

This became my favorite and I got lots of compliments while we were on the island. I have no idea why I have that crazy look on my face because I really do love it! I bought Butterick 6056 for a linen jacket (post coming soon!), but it will now be a star in my favorite patterns line up. For this top, also a previous Maui fabric purchase, I used View A and added solid black accents to the neck and pockets. And….wait for it….buttons! I really enjoyed choosing buttons for these garments from my stash of ethnic and natural material buttons – they fit so well with the fabrics.

No, I didn’t make the capris you see in most of the pictures – they were an upcycle from my purchased wardrobe. I had two pairs of the exact same pant in black, they fit well and were comfortable enough for lots of walking. A little snip and a quick hemming transformed them from pants to capris and I wore them a lot.

And, finally, sometimes you have a piece of fabric that is so special you just can’t decide what to make. My piece was given to me by my daughter when she visited Hawaii in high school. She thoughtfully chose this beautiful red fabric (my fave color) and I LOVED it, but still had it in waiting. I realized this trip was the perfect time to sew up her gift of love and bask in the joy of how wonderful it was that she bought it for me. I chose New Look 6352, a simple a-line style and wore it on the day we went to a special dinner with friends. And, I felt well loved and fabulous all day long!

Inspired? Just to make sure – that’s one of the “can I just stay here forever” beaches we visited and the luscious fruit was purchased at “unattended, leave your money in the can” roadside stands or picked from the jungle-style garden of the cottage where we stayed in Haiku. Maybe if you start sewing your own Handmade Hawaiian Wardrobe, a trip will suddenly appear. It’s worth a try and if nothing else, the sewing and dreaming will be a blast!

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4 thoughts on “Handmade Hawaiian Wardrobe

  1. OH MY GOSH! I want to make all of these. Or, better yet, will you please make one of each for me? I’m a pear shape and I’ll take whatever fabric is in your “shop” aka stash!

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