Starry Night Washi Dress

Bringing home this post from March, originally published here, as part of the Miss Matatabi Makers series.  This is the THIRD Washi Dress that I’ve made (see 1 and 2), not to mention, the wedding dress I made from a hacked version of the pattern!  Can you tell I love it?  By the way, this fabric is still available in the Miss Matatabi shop!

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When looking through Frances’ fabulous shop, this gorgeous cotton voile caught my eye. It’s called Starry Night and comes in several beautiful colors. I knew immediately that this lightweight fabric would make something wonderful to wear for the upcoming warm weather months.

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

The pattern is the awesome Washi Dress by Made by Rae, with the large bow from the Expansion Pack. I absolutely love this universally flattering, easy-to-wear dress pattern! Continue reading

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Miss Matatabi Makers and a Big Bow Washi Dress

It’s no secret that Miss Matatabi is one of my favorite online sources for fabric, especially Japanese fabrics like Nani Iro.  Frances always has an amazing selection of high quality fabrics and she’s a total sweetheart on top of all that.  So I am really excited to announce that I get to be one of the regular contributors on her site, sewing up a new project every month with some fabulous fabric from her shop, along with 3 suuuper awesome ladies!

We’re the Miss Matatabi Makers and you can read all about us here.

MissMatatabiMakers

Starry Night Washi Dress by you & mie

My first project as an official MM Maker is up on the blog now!

I made a big bow Washi Dress in some gorgeous voile AND it has a secret modification to make it nursing-friendly!  Head over to Miss Matatabi for the full post with all the details and how I nearly ruined the whole dress with an accidental serger slice!

And while you’re over there, be sure to check out the other recent posts from Leslie, Angela, and An.  So much fun inspiration and gorgeous fabric!

Happy Monday 🙂

Washi in Blue 2!

DearStellaWashi2

So I mentioned I’ve been sewing more for me, right?  Well I have.  And this was actually the first recent project I sewed for myself that was a success – the trusted Washi Dress by Made by Rae.  Before this dress, I tried 2 other projects that I ended up scrapping.  Trust me, I have sewing fails too!  So after that, I decided to turn back to the trusted Washi because I knew that I couldn’t go wrong.  It’s nice to have a pattern like this that you know will boost your confidence and restore your faith.

I made my first Washi dress as a tester last August and I called it Washi in Blue.  Well it just so happens that this dress is blue too, so I call it Washi in Blue TWO.  Creative huh!?  I also realized that I’m wearing the same necklace and same cardigan in both photo shoots.  Hah!  I need some new accessories.

DearStellaWashi1

*smolder*

Anyways, I rave all about the pattern in my previous Washi post and my feelings haven’t changed a bit.  This is an AWESOME pattern, especially if you’re new to sewing for women but want to give it a try.  It’s quick and easy and oh-so-cute.  I love the style, it’s so flattering, in fact, I haven’t seen a version of the Washi that hasn’t looked great!

The fabric is called Squiggles from the Dear Stella Maasai Mara line.  I actually bought this back in September or October with a Washi in mind and it took me only, oh, 8 months to actually make. 😛  One of the great things about this fabric is that I actually packed this dress up in a suitcase, took it out all wrinkly, hung it up overnight and when I took it out the next day to iron it, it was wrinkle-free!!

DearStellaWashi3

This dress is not a maternity dress, but I realized pretty quickly that the style is pretty accommodating for growing bellies as well.  The dress I made last August still fits me!  I love how fitted it is in the bodice and how much room there is in the skirt to either gloss over a belly you’re trying to hide (trust me, I had a belly before I was preggo), or make room for one you’re proud of 🙂  And I know that I’ll be able to wear this dress way after I’m pregnant too!

Because my bust size had changed since I got pregnant, I decided to go a size up (to an XL).  But after I sewed it up, the bodice ended up being way too big and it would gape open with the slightest lean forward.  That was no good, so I ended up taking in the bodice 1.5 inches on each side.  Now it probably resembles a large in the bodice, but an XL in the skirt, so it’s got extra room for tummy.  I also kept the length longer than I normally would so that when my belly got bigger, the dress would still be long enough to wear without leggings or pants.  If I were to make another dress for my maternity months, I’d probably cut the front bodice and back pieces in the large size and the front skirt piece in an XL and maybe deepen the pleats to make it fit the width of the bodice.

DearStellaWashi4

Since I haven’t figured out the best way to shirr on my machine, I decided to make a casing for elastic.  It looks different from shirring of course, but it was easy and allows for that snug yet comfortable fit.

As for the neckline, I decided to raise it a little to keep myself well covered, but widened it a bit.  Kind of like Kristin’s famous scoop neckline, but a little less wide?

DearStellaWashi5

At almost 27 weeks, these pictures were taken just a few days after these photos, but I look smaller.  Funny how different outfits do that.

Anyways, I have a few more things to share that I’ve sewn for myself and a few more on my to do list.  You guys are going to get so sick of pictures of me!  And trust me, I don’t like taking these pictures.  But I figure at the very least, I’ll have some photos of my growing belly!

Have you been sewing for yourself lately?  Have any maternity patterns you recommend?  What are other flattering maternity looks you love?

Washi in Blue

*UPDATE!!! The Washi Dress pattern has been released. Find all the information you need here. GO NOW. You won’t be sorry!*

Did you hear?? It’s WASHI WEEK! What’s Washi Week you ask? Well, the fabulous Rae, from Made by Rae, has an awesome new pattern coming out this week called the Washi Dress and she’s posting a bunch of different versions all week. Ever since she posted photos of the original Washi dress, people have been going CRAZY asking for a pattern and waiting (not so patiently) for Rae to produce a pattern. Well, ladies and gents, it’s finally arriving and it is soooooooooo worth the wait.

I was extremely lucky to be a part of Rae’s pattern testing group and I got to try out the original pattern. There have been many adjustments and improvements made since I tried the test pattern, but even in its draft form, the pattern was phenomenal.

The dress is super cute, simple yet stylish, and very flattering. It has a fitted bodice with a pleated a-line skirt, pockets and a unique cut-out scoop neckline. Shirring in the back assures a perfect and comfortable fit and makes it so you do not need a zipper or button closure. Genius!!! When I saw how professional Rae’s versions looked and considering how intimidating sewing women’s clothing is to me, I thought this pattern would be complicated. But it was surprisingly very simple to sew up!! Rae has labeled this pattern for intermediate sewers, but I think ambitious beginners should certainly give this a try. The trickiest part for me was learning the shirring technique. The rest was a breeze!

The pattern is extremely well written with clear instructions and awesome diagrams. Rae is extremely thorough in her explanations and really goes beyond regular directions to try and help with tips, suggestions and troubleshooting. There is a whole section in there about getting the best fit which I think will be very helpful for people who are new to sewing adult clothing (like me!).

I would definitely suggest making a muslin (Rae talks about it in the directions). This is one of those steps that I always skip, because I don’t like wasting the time or fabric. But coming from someone who hates doing it, JUST DO IT!! This pattern is pretty darn amazing, but no pattern can fit every woman in all our different shapes and sizes. I used some fabric from an old sheet and made a muslin using the front bodice piece and the back piece cut just below the shirring lines. This way I could practice a few lines of shirring and make sure the bust darts and shoulders fit well. Rae offers suggestions for adjustments if you find it necessary. I would have been devastated if I finished the entire dress only to find out it didn’t fit.

The one thing that I screwed up on my dress is the cut out at the neckline – it’s a bit puckered. I was rushing too much when I sewed it together (I’m sorry, I was really excited!) and couldn’t press out the wrinkles. Luckily, my fabric is dark and it’s not too noticeable. But I would recommend taking your time when you sew around the cut out, making sure your cut out is symmetrical and when you flip the facing in, that all your fabric lays nice and flat (this will probably all make a lot more sense when you are making your own).

I don’t have any specifics about this fabric, except that I bought it on my recent trip to Japan at Tomato. It is a navy blue border fabric with eyelet at the bottom and embroidered flowers all over. The print is kind of a funky mix of whimsical shapes resembling clouds, petals and pebbles. It was kind of a random pick when I was shopping and I thought I might make myself a skirt or something. But right after I got back from Japan, the opportunity to test this pattern came up and I immediately thought this fabric would be perfect. And luckily I had JUST enough fabric to do it. It turned out to be a really practical choice for me – neutral and simple, with a little bit of fun.

The Washi can be made as a dress or a tunic, and with cap sleeves or sleeveless. I’m already dreaming up different versions of Washis for me and ways to remix the pattern as well. I can assure you, there are more Washis in my future. Near future, I hope!

Overall, I really can’t say enough good things about this pattern. As someone who does not normally sew for women or from patterns, this one really gave me the confidence to do both. Now I’m psyched to sew more for myself! It’s a very quick and simple sew with impressive results – I bet you’ll get so many compliments when people find out that you made the dress yourself! And it’s a really flattering style for pretty much every body type. I love how it skims right over my tummy and hips. Serious WIN.

You can’t go wrong with Washi. It’s my new motto.

Oh and to see more Washi inspiration, check out Kristin’s awesome Washi, Emmmy Lizzzy’s THREE Washis, and the official Washi Dress flickr pool. I’m telling you, that pool is about to blow up with fabulous Washis.

Ok, ok. Now you can go. 😉