Hanami Dresses and a whole lot of thanks

Hey friends!!  How are you doing?  I gotta say, I totally miss being here.  I definitely miss sewing, but I’ve been able to sneak some in here and there.  Blogging is fun because I get to share with you, hear what you’re up to, and get your feedback – I’ve been missing the community!

I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family last week and took some time to reflect on all the things I’m thankful for.  There are so so many things that I’m grateful for, I consider myself a truly lucky person.  This year I’m especially thankful for our newest addition, Kaya, and that both of our girls are so happy and healthy.  But I also wanted to take a minute to acknowledge how blessed I feel to be able to do the things that I love, like sewing and blogging, and that I get to be part of such an amazing community of inspirational and awesome people!  I’ve made such great friends here, and even to those of you who I don’t know – I appreciate you just stopping by!  This blog would be nothing without you readers.  So thank you!

Like I said, I’ve been able to get a little sewing in recently, but first I wanted to share a couple of dresses that I made back in August.  Yes, over 3 months ago.  Don’t ask me why it took so long to blog these, because I really like them!  The pattern is the Hanami Dress/Top by Straight Grain.

Hanami1

Back in July, An of Straight Grain put out a call for pattern testers and after seeing the adorable versions that she had made, I jumped at the opportunity!  The pattern comes with several variations – crossed back or invisible zipper, flutter sleeve, tulip sleeves, peter pan collar and, of course, length – either dress or top.  I love a pattern with endless possibilities!

blue hanami

I signed up to test the pattern in size 3T since Yuki was about to turn three and had recently started wearing 3T store bought shirts.  But after looking at the measurements, I knew it’d be too big, which is really no surprise because Yuki is super petite for her age.  But I went ahead and made the dress in size 3 and had a friend’s daughter try it on for the testing.  I chose the unique crossed back and tulip flutter sleeves and used Wild Carrot Blue, by Violet Craft for Michael Miller.  I picked this up from the remnant section of Britex.

The name of the pattern, Hanami, is a Japanese word meaning “flower viewing.”  In Japan it is a custom for people to gather and picnic under the blooming cherry blossoms and enjoy their short lived beauty.  It was something I got to experience when I lived there.  So with that name in mind, I couldn’t shake the image of flowers so naturally when I went to my stash to pick fabric, they both ended up being florals.

blue hanami2

I made one addition to the dress which is a bias tape “belt” around the waistline.  I just wanted to add a little contrast to the dress and thought this finished it off quite nicely.

So after I made the first dress in size 3, I really wanted one that would fit Yuki, so I made another Hanami in size 2 and it fit her perfectly.  I chose this watercolor floral fabric that I bought at Ikea awhile back and I love the way it came out!  I decided to do the regular flutter sleeves, but stuck with the crossed back that I love so much.  But do you notice anything interesting about these pictures?

Hanami2

Hanami3

She’s wearing the dress backwards!!  When I was making the dress, I was trying to be thoughtful about which parts of the fabric I was cutting for each piece, but when it was all done I realized that I liked the back better than the front.  So when I put it on Yuki I tried it on backwards to see how it’d fit her and I loved it.

Hanami4

I added a strip of thin black bias tape around the waist again for a little contrast (no bow this time) and I really like how it separates the bodice from the skirt.

Hanami5

The pattern is great.  Well written step-by-step directions with color photos for every step.  These two versions of the dress I made are very spring/summer appropriate, but if you are looking to make a holiday dress, this would be a great pattern to use as well.  In fact, if I have time, I’m hoping to make a holiday version for Yuki later this month.  If you’re interested, you can buy the pattern HERE along with An’s other great patterns.  And if you want to check out my absolute favorite Hanami of all time, see Stitched Together’s version.  You won’t regret it 🙂

I hope you are all doing well.  I’ll be back later this week to share a fun new book with a giveaway!

Miss ya!

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22 thoughts on “Hanami Dresses and a whole lot of thanks

  1. Ahh, thank you for reminding me about this pattern! And I agree that Rachel’s version is beyond amazing. I love yours too! So tastefully composed. Back as front works out so nicely!

  2. I really love both of these, and it makes me want to run to IKEA and buy some of that fabric! I love how it looks backwards too 🙂 I checked out the dress by Stitched Together, and wow…Glad to hear you have been managing to sew a little bit- it’ll get easier as they get older. For me, when my littlest hit 6 months things seemed to click and we all managed a lot better 🙂

    • Thanks Kelly! I bought that Ikea fabric awhile ago, I wonder if they still have it! And it’s good to know that things will “click” eventually. I’m looking forward to that time, but totally enjoying these newborn months too 🙂

  3. So great to hear that your family is doing well 🙂 Sewing with a newborn is incredibly difficult indeed… Thank you so much for being an awesome pattern tester, for making such a gorgeous Hanami, and for taking the time to write a post about it! Like everyone else, I’m so excited to see you return to blogging!

  4. So so gorgeous Cherie!!!! I adore the fabric you used, that Hanami Top is so pretty! I love it when you blog :), but am even more happy that you get to spend so much time with your precious baby!

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