Old Stand By

The Washi Dress is turning into an old standby when I need something quick and simple to sew. After a couple of failures I needed something I could wear as our weather goes through the ups and downs of spring.


And I really like this pattern. I made one more tweak to the pattern to take out the gaping neckline and it worked like a charm!


In fact I think I’m going to take this pattern and make it into a full bodice pattern with a back zip and darts. We’ll see. Might be worth playing around with because I feel like it is one of the most flattering things I’ve made in a while.


The fabric is my favorite print from the Good Hair Day line by Kim Andersson from Winham Fabrics. As far as quilting cottons go, this is top quality. It hardly wrinkled after its initial washing or after being worn all day which was a pleasant surprise!

Now back to sewing Easter dresses and testing out my ideas.

Victorian Dresses and Glittery Ghosts!

I seem to have stumbled into Selfish Sewing Week! Hooray! I love when my project links with some sort of sewing celebration. It helps push me to finish something when I otherwise would procrastinate. For instance now that it is getting dark so early I need to have my husband take picture on the weekends. So last weekend he took photos of my new dress. but I didn’t like the photos. Luckily he was home earlier tonight, so yay! New better pictures in time for the celebration!

Enter another Washi!


This one is even better than my last Washi Dress. Made with soft Cotton + Steel Spellbound I bought at my local quilt store. I’d originally fallen in love with this pattern in lavender, but my LQS only had this soft rose in stock. This is probably a better color with my complexion anyways.


I also added the sleeves from the Washi Expansion Pack and am totally thrilled with the fit of them! Usually my arm measurement is far far different from a pattern’s measurement, but in this case fit so well that I didn’t have to alter the pattern one little bit. Yes!!!

I also added about 2 inches to the length of the skirt.


It is a little hard to see in the photos, but on my previous version in Liberty the length ends at this odd point in the middle of my knee. So this version I aimed for just below the knee and when I wear it with my black shoes the length looks really nice. Those are the shoes I’ll usually wear with this dress. We were racing the daylight and the baby’s desire for dinner tonight so I didn’t change shoes after work tonight.

There is still one more alteration I’m going to need to make to the Washi pattern before I make it again. The neckline. It gaps a lot more than I’d like. I’m sure part of it is the FBA I added, but I’ve seen quite a few people have the same issues. I’d finished the whole dress and had to go back and somehow fix it.


This will do, but next time for sure I will be rotating the extra fabric out to the bust dart. Having to take out all the top stitching was a pain, but worth it.

Now if only the weather would cooperate. I really want to wear this fun fabric as much as I can before Halloween and especially when I volunteer for Mourning Tours. Victorian gowns and glittering ghosts seem the perfect combination when helping guests at the event. But we’ll see. I may need to dress in my full Victorian dress depending on where I’m stationed. If nothing else I can wear this once a week to work where it is air conditioned.

And look who is 11 months old! We sent out invitations to her Halloween 1st birthday party and I can’t wait to celebrate my funny and determined tiny girl.


Liberty Meets Washi

Oh Liberty of London. I wanted to believe your fabric was not worth the crazy high price. That it was just the name and not really that nice. But this week I had my first chance to make a garment and I’m a believer.

Oh and maybe you have heard of a sewing pattern called Washi Dress? It might have been featured on a blog or two or perhaps about a thousand. Forgive me. I’ve been busy having babies and am just catching onto these trends!

Anyways, a few months ago I opened my Liberty Club package from Westwood Acres and gasped when I saw the top fabric on the pack. It was the Whiltshire pattern in color way S. A classic, but new to me!  They offered a discount to club members who wanted to purchase yardage, so I took advantage to purchase 3.5 yards, the recommended yardage for Washi in an XL.


And I love it. The combination worked so well. Because Liberty is 53 inches wide I was able to cut the pieces on the cross grain and fully line the entire dress with the 3.5 yards. Fully self lined. Luxurious.


And after wearing nothing but knit dresses with a cross over front for the last oh…10 months, it feels amazing to wear a regular dress. A-ma-zing. Plus all the shirring in the back highlights the fact that I do still have a waist!

Of course I did have to make a few alterations. I did a 2 inch FBA, lowered the bust dart 1 inch, added 1.5 inches to the bodice length, and added about 1 inch to the hips. All of these alterations were relatively simple and made the Washi pattern into something that will be incredibly versatile for my life. Casual enough for the weekend, but nice enough for the office with better shoes and my favorite sweater. Looks like I might need to make a sway back adjustment next time, but this is still a solid start.


Okay, maybe the sweater isn’t the best shape, but oh so soft and a perfect weight for LA. And I just put buttons on a new cardigan today. Perhaps it will suit the shape a little better. We’ll see.

But my main take away from this project is that 1) shirring is so damn easy and 2) Liberty is worth every penny. These pictures were taken on a hot day when I’d been running around and sweating and it did not wrinkle a bit. Magic.