If you're reading this on the day it's published, the weather I'm experiencing isn't what it looks like in these pictures. I'm in Wisconsin, about to go on a snow-hunting mission in a few state parks in Door County. Please send any warm thoughts you can spare!
Every summer, Jon and I make our annual pilgrimage to Motuihe. It's one of a few small islands in the Hauraki gulf, just big enough for its two beaches, a few stands of trees, and a host of protected bird species. There's a ferry service to the island that only runs once a month, so we have to plan our trips well in advance, but it's so worth it. We generally try to get as many of our friends as we can to come along, and it's just a big all-day beach party full of sun, sand, and general island hijinks.
My sister Lill is a few weeks in to a four month internship in Auckland, (and currently plant-sitting) so we took her along to our favorite little island this year. For Christmas this year, I made her a beach coverup/dressing gown/wrap thing (I guess we'll see how she wants to wear it) - and one of my sly requests upon handing over the gift was that I be allowed to snap some quick photos for the blog. Spoiler alert: She said yes :)
I was initially planning this to be a pretty bright and colorful project, but I was choosing between florals at the fabric shop, and offhandedly decided to partially spoil Lill's gift by asking her to choose the fabric. As it turns out, she doesn't wear colors, rarely wears prints, and can mostly be found in neutrals. She spotted this fabric in the corner of the picture and decided she liked it best. It's a woven rayon, and I bought 3m although I only ended up using about 2m for this project. There's enough left over for a little pair of shorts or a tank top of some description - she's put in a request for a tank, along with three other things for me to sew while she's visiting. For the pattern, I added length to my square sleeved cardi draft - loose enough fitting that I didn't need to worry about the knit-to-woven conversion - and adjusted the shape of the sleeve so it doesn't end in a tight cuff like my original sweater. The square sleeves add an interesting design detail and create a nice kimono sleeved look that definitely screams 'summer' but also doesn't get in the way of the whole actually doing things with your arms thing.
I french seamed the entire thing, so the insides are nice and neat. This led to some fiddly bits and minor puckers at the square corners of the sleeves, but I managed to steam them out so they're not noticeable except upon very close inspection. I finished the front edge with bias tape, and made a guess at where her waist might be for the belt loops - one on each side, and a large rectangular panel to hold the belt at the center back. It was altogether a pretty quick project - especially since I could reuse a pattern I'd already drafted - I think the whole thing came together in one afternoon! Lill thinks aside from a beach kimono that it would make a nice wrap dress, so I may end up putting a few strategic snaps on it in the near future - that's TBD, apparently.
We took a walk up to the bluffs to get a better vantage point, and she basically let me take pictures the whole time. It was so much better than my current long-standing arrangement with my tripod and remote trigger! I was pretty excited about the whole situation, as you might have guessed already.
As for our one-day island getaway - it was delightful. We made use of the picnic basket I made Jon for Christmas, we sat under our beach umbrellas, swam, collected sea glass, and I worked a few rows of my current sock project when I needed a break from the sun. We also saw a little blue penguin (my first!) which was pretty exciting.
I've got a few posts scheduled for my holiday over the next few weeks, but I'm not counting on the wifi being excellent while I'm there. I'll be all over Instagram, though, so you may get some sneak peaks of my mini-winter over there if you're so inclined to follow along. See you soon!