Pomegranate Pierrot with shirring

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As you can see, she’s outgrown the pink boots.

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KCWC sew-off challenge #4: Shirred Pierrot

I made this tunic with fabric harvested from the ill-conceived “Prairie Girl Top” of Spring Top Week 2010 that I think I actually never wore. That was a particularly bad year for spring top execution, as I had a considerable amount of baby weight to lose yet, so nothing really fit, and for some I reason bit off waaay more than I could chew that year design-wise when planning out my tops (does anyone remember the Clown Top?). Not a great idea considering I had an 11-month old baby.

I remember that I fussed and fussed with that top, and even after fussing it still fit poorly. Not oh-that’s-so-nasty poorly, just unflattering enough to prevent me from wearing it. Ever. Still, I have had a terrible time parting with garments that don’t fit, especially when they’re made by me. And I liked really love this voile and the ruffle along the bottom so now it’s been upcycled into this darling little thing! Hooray for being a packrat and never throwing things away *slight sarcasm there*!! Hooray for happy endings!!

Well, maybe. I need to see if these sleeves will tighten up a little more once I throw this in the wash — often the elastic thread will shrink down even more with washing — otherwise I’m going to need to pull it out and re-sew the shirring in a different place than the old elastic casings (3 layers of fabric = too thick for shirring).

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As mentioned in a previous post, this top was made with the Pierrot Tunic sewing pattern without the neckline ruffle and with elastic thread shirring around the neck and sleeves. You could do this with just about any peasant-style blouse, but just in case you’d like to make one and need a wee bit more direction than that, I’ll post some pointers for modifying Pierrot with shirring soon.

One last photo of my little diva-for-the-camera:

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mini washi + mama washi

{I swear this is the last of the mini-washi posts, I promise!}

Between the super-cloudy day yesterday and the post-preschool preschooler, I had a hard time getting even one picture of mini washi + mama washi* that was any good. This is how SHE wanted it to go down:

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So we had a few of these (holding the remote):

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(and dropping the remote)

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And we finally got one where we’re both smiling (sort of), but the camera was pointed in the wrong direction and cut off half of Clementine. GAH.

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We managed to get a couple cute shots, even if they aren’t print-worthy:

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This was my favorite, but of course it came out blurry. Isn’t that the way it always goes? Oh well.

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*I was told that to “cinch the win” on the mini-washi round of our sew-off, I’d need to produce some mother-daughter photos. I’m not sure these “cinch it,” but I tried.

Summersville Washi Tunic

Washi Week!!! OK, last one, I promise (for now).

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I admit I fell pretty hard for Lucie Summers‘ Summersville collection. It’s so modern and basic, I can see it as table linens, boy shorts for Elliot, twirly skirts for Clementine and Wiksten tanks. So I bought a pile.

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And the paint-brush stroke print just seemed perfect for a casual Washi top, with shorts in the summer or jeans and a cardi in the winter. I admit that normal persons would probably not wear it with green skinnies, but then I am not a normal person.

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But just to show that I can pull off “normal,” here it is with a pair of jeans:

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Here you get a nice view of the bodice which I adjusted for a small bust (see the Resources section at the bottom of the Washi Pattern page for a how-to)

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This top was made with the “tunic view” of the Washi Dress Pattern, which is available now!

Aqua Double Gauze Washi Dress

Another Washi Week Washi for you today, just in time for you to sew your own this weekend!

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If you want to make absolutely the most comfortable Washi Dress in the universe, you really must try double gauze. It is SO. SOFT! Wearing this dress is like wearing pajamas. Is that not a good thing to say?

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(earrings from bsidemetalworks)

I purchased this Echino double gauze from Charmstitch about a month ago and regret to inform you that it was the last on the bolt. However, Laura still carries a number of Nani Iro double gauzes that are just as gorgeous. They are definitely worth the price, though I would never have cut into it on a first try. I still have enough of the green unicorn double gauze from Heather Ross’ first Far Far Away collection to make another Washi, but I’m not sure if I dare. But it would be so awesome. *Bites nails*

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For this version I made the outside of the dress just as the pattern instructs, but lined the bodice with cotton batiste (a super-lightweight cotton that is widely available) because I wanted a little more stability inside for the double gauze. I actually took a video of the lining process but we’ll just have to see how my video editing skills are, hah.

I think it goes without saying that lining the dress is a bit more complicated than sewing it with the facings — I made an executive decision early on that the facing method was a better way to go for beginners, and thus it became the default construction method included with the pattern — but I feel with a video tutorial and some hand-holding, everyone could easily do the lining method with not too many tears and swears.

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The Washi Dress pattern is now available in my pattern shop or from the Washi Page!

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Pattern details, size charts, yardage, and other info can all be found on the Washi Page, so check it out if you haven’t yet:

And on a personal note: I would like to add that I am completely overwhelmed by the response we have gotten to this pattern. I have been floored, floored I tell you by the sheer amount of kind comments, tweets, IG’s, and posts that I have seen and received, not to mention the sales, which have been spectacular and have already broken any previous first day sales records (the Big Butt Baby Pant pattern held the record for a long time, just in case you were wondering) by a long shot. It is so gratifying to offer something to the world and get such a positive and encouraging response back. It truly makes all of the hard work, neurosis, and extra hours we have put into this pattern SO worthwhile. Thank you everyone for your kind encouragement and support!!!

Washi Maxi Dress in pink voile

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Washi Week continues!

UPDATE: The Washi Dress Sewing Pattern is now available! (please note: instructions for this maxi version are not included in the pattern, though you could make one very easily using the information in the length adjustment section. A tutorial for the maxi will be coming soon!)

I could hardly wait to show you this one because I just absolutely la la love it to pieces. It is a maxi version of the Washi Dress, made with Anna Maria Horner‘s Loulouthi voile.

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Quick! Trivia question!! Who’s been reading this blog long enough to know where that necklace came from? Anyone?

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It was harder than I thought to get the full shot of this dress. Here’s the best I’ve got:

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I’ll share a how-to-make type post for this dress (and all of my other versions) so you can make a maxi version of your own soon!

Aqua Washi Tunic

It’s Washi Week!!!

UPDATE: The Washi Dress Sewing Pattern is now available!

I should have designed a button or something but I didn’t want to waste time making a button when I should be GETTING THE PATTERN OUT. I make it sound like I’m actually doing some hard crazy work here but actually all I’ve been doing is sewing up Washis of various shapes and sizes to test every last detail and then sending the edits over to poor Elli, who is working like a slave on the layouts and has been every kind of patient with me as I change this and that and the next thing. Yesterday I had a photo shoot with the three latest versions of the pattern I’ve made, just finished over the weekend. That was fun.

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I feel guilty posting on this blog, because I’m afraid there’s going to be a riot if I put up a post and the title isn’t “Washi Sewing Pattern is here!”  I figured I was safe with those birthday posts last week, but now all bets are off. It doesn’t help that I’ve been throwing teaser pictures up on Instagram. Subscribing to my twitter feed is like a long slow torture (She’s taking her kids to the lake? NOW they’re camping? Doesn’t she know I need that pattern?). @madebyrae, by the way.

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Someday I’ll explain to you why this seems to take so long when really turning around a multi-sized semi-tailored women’s pattern in two months is pretty darn amazing when you’ve never made a women’s pattern for anyone other than yourself before (THOSE DARTS. Shakes fist at sky) and you only “work” two days a week and it’s high summer, but instead I’d rather show you the first of at least five (yes, FIVE!) different Washis I have to present to you for your viewing enjoyment. I only hope you’ll find them as fun and as inspiring as the original Washi Dress. And somewhere in this Washi-Bonanza I’m calling “Washi Week” an actual digital pattern will materialize, available, for purchase, that you can print in the comfort of your very own home and then proceed to tape together on the floor while you watch the Olympics.

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The aqua version shown in this post was made with Lizzy House‘s pearl bracelet fabric from her Hello Pilgrim line, a lovely quilting cotton. You maybe spotted it already in this post. If you look carefully you’ll see this sleeveless tunic version has a set of darts that went a little rogue, if truth be told, as they land way north of where they should (I changed them in the pattern, no worries). But other than that it makes a nice comfy summer top.

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This is the second sleeveless version of the Washi I’ve posted, but never fear, the pattern also includes the same sleeves as you see in the original Washi Dress and can be made with or without. Cutting lines are also included in the pattern for the tunic length, so you can make the dress or a tunic or something in between if you like.

Are you excited for Washi Week??? I am.

Birthday Dress

Clementine’s Birthday dress!

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It was perfect for running after bubbles,

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playing in the sandbox,

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pulling around her new suitcase,

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riding her new bike,

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(though a bit of modification was needed for the actual bike-riding)

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and, extra bonus, it coordinated nicely with the Birthday Hat:

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Happy 3rd Birthday Clementine!!!

Fabric by Sarah Jane, from her “Children at Play” line (and be sure to check out “Out to Sea,” her latest line with a nautical theme that is just as adorable!)

Traced Teal Tee

A couple of weeks ago I taught the Trace and Make Tee class here in Ann Arbor along with my friend Karen. I wanted to make another tee just to make sure I knew what I was doing before the class so I pulled out the teal rib knit I’d bought earlier this year from Brenda at Pink Castle for the knit series and made a short-sleeved version of the striped 3/4-length-sleeve tee I posted earlier on this blog, which was traced from a tee I own. And what the heck, why do I always have this same serious expression on my face? I guess I need to start laughing more in my photos.

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Believe it or not I actually wear it like this, with three different bright colors all competing for attention at the same time. I like my brights, y’alls. I also really love this deep teal color; turquoise and teal are two colors that almost always look good on me.

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And here are some pictures from the class, which was so much fun! I was so pleased with how well everyone did, some people even learned to sew on a serger for the very first time!

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One thing I’ve noticed about teaching sewing classes is that somehow, no matter how well you map out your class time, the time is never enough to have everyone walk away with finished garments. I used to stress about that a little bit, but after talking to Deborah about it (Karen and I taught a kid pant class at her shop, Whipstitch earlier this year and she is a sewing class pro), I’ve realized that it’s really not the most important thing. It can be difficult explaining to participants that the main goal is not necessarily COMPLETION (because obviously most people want to walk away a finished garment) but more the learning process itself, but I think this group got it and learned a ton. I was proud of the things they did manage to do in the time we had! Does that sound too much like “everyone got an A+ for EFFORT?” Because I really mean it even if it does sound cheesy.

Speaking of classes, today is the last day to sign up for my Made-to-Measure Skirt Workshop next week Tuesday night, and we still have space! So if you want to sign up, please do it now!

Colorblock Pearl Bracelet Dress

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A little friend of Clementine’s turned two a few weeks ago and I made her this little dress as a present. Couldn’t help myself. How could I help myself when these three Lizzy House prints go SO WELL TOGETHER? No answer. I must say she looked quite fetching in it the other day at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. So cute!!!

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The ambulance at the museum was an unexpected hit (with all of our kids).

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A bit more about the fabric:
For the last couple years, Lizzy House has been putting out new colors of this circle print (called “Pearl Bracelets”) each time she designs a new line of fabric. I made the now-“iconic” pair of Big Butt Baby Pants using the orange/grey pearl bracelets from Red Letter Day (by the way, the term “iconic” came from someone who stopped my cousin and her daughter A on the street in Brooklyn because A wears Clementine’s hand-me-downs and happened to be wearing THAT pair of pants — isn’t that insane? Love it!). Also: you must check out the version Lizzy made for herself (scroll down in this post) — inspired by this Instagram pic of mine shown below. Love her buttons on the back especially!!

The red and aqua prints are from the Hello Pilgrim collection which is still widely available, and the yellow is from Outfoxed and is a bit tougher to find. A few of my sponsors over there on the sidebar still carry lots of Lizzy though, so have a hunt and see if you can find them!!

A bit more about the pattern:
Perhaps you can see a bit of Charlie-Dress-influence in this design; Elli and I were actually working on the pattern pieces for this dress earlier this year, then deserted it for other projects. I’m not saying we won’t pick it up again, but it needs a bit of tweaking to be it’s own thing yet.

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Well. I’m headed to Seattle soon for my mama’s 60th birthday celebration. Not sure how much time I’ll have to blog since I shall no doubt be up to my elbows in fabulous birthday preparations and/or cocktails. Have a great week!!