Tunics Three

Big A has been needing some long sleeve items for our move to CA, since most of the time the weather is cooler.

These tunics and leggings are from the Go To Leggings and Go To Signature Dress patterns. They were easy and quick to sew up. I’m not a fan of the kangaroo pocket, but it did look cute on when I made her wear it to mark the hem. She’s into rainbows right now, so that set was an immediate favorite.

The Go To patterns are nice because they include tips and trucks for sewing knits, which for a knit newbie was key. The directions are also clear and concise, making them easy to follow. I didn’t like the way the elastic waist was done, that technique was new to me, but I ended up doing it in a way that I felt comfortable.

I used a serger on most parts, but these patterns can be sewn without one. I also used a double needle for the first time (just too afraid before), which was easy and looked very professional. I will definitely use it again. The double needle was a bit challenging on the lighter weight knits, but after fiddling with it for a while I prevailed!

The shirring however…don’t even ask. Another post to come on shirring with my machine who hates shirring, and yes! It’s a Brother.

Fabrics were from Nature’s Fabrics, Fabric Stalkers (on Facebook), and Joann’s.

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Late to the game

I browse Etsy sometimes when I have an idea for something and want to check out what other people are doing.

Do you ever have that feeling that there are just so many options out there that you may not be seen? I really don’t want to be huge, I like having time to sew for my family but I’d like to put out unique, quality items.

I’d really like to get into pattern design sometime soon, as I’m getting better at the nuances of bag sewing but moving around is hard work.

When you move often, especially overseas as all of our moves have been, it takes a few months on either end to get settled. We packed up and sent out the majority of our stuff last month, almost 2 months before we actually leave the island. This is so our things will be there close to when we arrive, and we’re able to have loaner furniture here (not available stateside for us). I was able to have my sewing things in a separate smaller shipment that will go out later this month but won’t arrive until close to May. Trade offs!

Then, there is the unpacking and setting up house. This takes time too. You’d think after 4 overseas moves I’d be better at this!

Part of me longs for roots, but I love experiencing life in other places (even if we don’t like the location). Some day, when it truly matters, we’ll be settled.

Review: Ben Franklin Crafts, Tamuning Guam

Not only is this a review on the local craft store, but a test of how well the WordPress app for iPhone works. I apologize if the post is a little wonky and will fix it when I’m at a computer.

On to the review!

Ben Franklin Crafts is the local catch all craft store here on Guam. From Cricut, to floral, and some fabrics/sewing it’s the best place on island to go for your craft needs. The mark-up is there, but they do give a 10% military discount which helps keep prices reasonable. I still prefer to order supplies online, but in a pinch they work.

I mainly go for sewing notions for last minute projects. They don’t get shipments very often, every 6-8 weeks and they never know what is coming in a shipment. They finally got a shipment of zippers, which had been frightfully lacking since we arrived on island 13 months ago.

The fabric selection definitely is lacking. Quilting cottons seem to be the majority of the fabrics with fleece (large selection for a place as warm as Guam), tulle, satins and cotton/poly blends. They also have flannel, but mostly in baby prints. While the number of options is surprisingly big, the quality and print selection is pitiful. No true 100% cotton solids, and prints that call to an older crowd. They do have some island prints as well, but not as many as Rahdi’s (review coming soon).

Overall, if you need something *now*, Ben Franklin isn’t too bad but snatch up something if you think you might need it…it might be the last you see it for a while. For price and selection, I still prefer to buy online (my fave shop reviews coming soon).

I have some more to add about their other craft items, and will update when not on a mobile device.

Store Details:
Ben Franklin Crafts
141 Serenu Ave (across from Infusion, right before Sugarnomics off of Marine Corps Dr)
671-646-6995
I think the hours are 10:00am-7:00pm Open daily

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A little about me

I’ve always had the love of travel. From an early age my mom took me all over the country, from hiking the Grand Canyon to the lights of New York City. My first foreign trip was in middle school when I traveled to France to stay with a French family, and see the country with my French class. After that it was back to Europe again in high school, still continuing to travel the country with family. 

In college I studied in Australia and fell in love with the country, which is still one of my most favorite places to visit. 

After college I met my husband who is a helicopter pilot in the US Navy. Our first duty station was in Ayase, Japan at NAF Atsugi. It was here that I picked up my love for sewing again. My love for sewing started probably at the same time as my love for travel. My grandmother taught me to sew by hand from a young age. I sewed skirts, and dresses by hand growing up but didn’t buy my first machine (a cheap Singer from the Navy Exchange) until we were stationed in Japan. Part of me wishes I would have known what great little stores there are there (though expensive) but we’re hoping to go back one day, and that will just have to wait. 

We’ve had many moves with the Navy, Jacksonville Florida after Japan, and now Guam. We leave Guam in a month for Monterey, California and are very excited. I’m looking forward to the conveniences of being back on the mainland and cooler weather. 

In between all of this we’ve managed to add two amazing kids to our family, who are now the recipients of most of my sewing. Along with 2 cats who have an affinity for fabric, ribbon and anything they aren’t supposed to have our little family is complete for now.