finally a washi dress

Here’s something that comes as a bit of a surprise: I sewed a dress! And it fits.  This is truly an event, as I sporadically spent hours during adolescence sewing things that no one could wear. As for the things that actually did fit? Maybe we shouldn’t talk about it because it was the 90′s (sunflower print elastic waist shorts? but we aren’t going to talk about it).  Somehow the consistent disappointment with sewing clothes didn’t ruin my relationship with sewing machines by any means.  I just kept pluggin, making bags and pillow cases and other easy square things.  In recent years I’ve made countless totes and little drawstring bags for folks to carry their knitting projects around in.

But last year when we moved away from our Busy Capital City Life, I suddenly had more time on my hands, I acquired a powerful sewing machine, and most importantly, I started working for my cousin, Rae Hoekstra, who has a sewing empire.  I work remotely for her (my official titles: Director of Print Operations and Sponsorship Coordinator) a couple of days per week, and over the past year I’ve gleaned a ton of valuable sewing knowledge. I kept right on sewing squares, however, until a couple of months ago when I tried my hand at the Lickety Split Bag (come to think of it, that’s mostly a square) and gave one to each of our friends on our Memorial Day trip to Colorado. I’m holding my Lickety Split in this picture, but clearly the dress is the focal point:

Washi Dress in AMH Field Study

The pattern, of course, is The Washi Dress, in Anna Maria Horner Field Study Quilting Cotton (the colorway is ‘coordinates kelly’) that I picked up at Fabrications in Ottawa while I was visiting my sister there in June.

Just one of the reasons the pattern is oh! so great is that there are instructions for making a muslin (that’s a practice-run in sewspeak) of just the bodice to make sure you’re about to cut out the right size and/or to see if there are any alterations you should make to get the best fit. The muslin in size Small fit me just fine, so I didn’t make any alterations.

Washi Dress in AMH Field Study

As I get a little more experience with making things fit, I might try to lengthen the bodice a bit on this, and lower the shirring (that’s the scrunched section in the back, which you can learn about here) just a bit.

The fabric is lovely, lovely to look at.  Also a breeze to sew, but not the softest or flowiest option for dresses. I’m fortunate to have 3 quilt shops within a 3 mile radius here at the homestead, but there’s a dearth of apparel fabric in Mid-MO. I’m getting to know a bunch of online fabric stores, though, so I don’t think I’ll have any trouble buying up way more than I could ever sew into garments.

Washi Dress in AMH Field Study

Big thanks to Kanitta for taking these photos and editing them so beauteously for me!

OK, I’m going to walk away now.

Washi Dress in AMH Field Study

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