The Virtual home of Cherie's Place since 2009
The Virtual home of Cherie's Place since 2009
Cart 0

Upcycling with a Lauhala Purse & November Galivanting

fiber art fiber arts Hawaiian style lauhala lauhala hat Lauhala weaving papale papale lauhala Ulana lauhala ule hala vintage style

Sometimes thrift stores call to me... Like $7 good quality jeans for working in the yard. And this $2 Liz Claiborne purse... the "leather" handles are perfect for upcycling on a new lauhala purse.  The original purse had a scuff on the other side, but the handles were just fine. I wasn't going to buy it at first because I thought, "really? When are you making another purse?"  But $2!!

So I bought the purse back in February and it sat patiently until "it was time."  Said time came up when EH accidently wrecked one of his favorite aloha shirts at work.  I was able to salvage enough fabric to make the liner for the purse.

The purse has four pikos and some patterning up the sides. The string is ule hala that I had made a while back.  The coconut button is from a local fabric shop. The mauʻu is 3/16 inches wide.


All of these pictures were taken with natural light. It's amazing how different the tone/coloring changes in seconds depending on shifting clouds overcast.  Weaving went relatively quickly.  Figuring out the lining was much more challenging.  In the future I'd like to figure out how to include a zippered pocket.


Earlier in November, Nani and I went galivanting to Oʻahu to make fans with Ulana Me Ka Lokomaikaʻi friends.  I usually see them in Kona at the Ka Ulu Lauhala O Kona weaving conferences, so it was really nice to visit and weave with them at Mission House.  My hat weaving skills didn't automatically apply to fans. Very humbling. But everyone was so welcoming and gracious anyway. 

My peahi (above).  Peahi collected from everyone that day (below).

The fans were made in memory of their co-founder Frank Masagatani for his widow, Aunty Ernesta, to gift their church.  Mahalo nui to Aunty Ernesta who provided us delicious luncheon, to Kal and the people who prepared the lauhala, made kits for us to weave the fans, and organized the weaving event(s).

On the way to airport we stopped at DeStash Hawaii.  It was literally around the corner from Mission House.  I follow them on Instagram and love their vintage muʻumuʻu and funny videos. I fell in love with this vintage Bete x Reyn Spooner Christmas muʻumuʻu. 

At the time I didn't buy it because the armholes were too tight.  I didn't feel I had the skills to undo the bias tape and make the arm holes bigger. But it was adorable.  And it had pockets!  I learned that day that vintage Bete Muʻu tend to have relatively small armholes.  Almost a week later I was still thinking about that muʻumuʻu, so I messaged DeStash Hawaii and they were so accommodating!  They had a lot going on with pop-up mākeke(s), but Aunty Lei remembered us (there was a whole pāpale lauhala conversation as she had in her possession one of Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee's pāpale complete with phone number  - IYKYK).  They sold/sent my Bete x Reyn Spooner Christmas muʻumuʻu.  Loving ecommerce!  I got up the nerve and did the alterations on the armholes.  Fortunately, for my novice seamstress skills, the alterations are hidden in the armpits.  Now I could get Christmassy dressed up if I had somewhere to go.  Happy Hala-days Kākou!!



Older Post Newer Post