Washi Dress Expansion Pack is Here!

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When the original Washi Dress Sewing Pattern was released over a year ago in August 2012, I was blown away by the response to the pattern. BLOWN. AWAY. Washi was the first women’s pattern I ever released, with the idea that I wanted to produce a flattering dress pattern for women that would work with cottons and not just apparel fabrics. I had no idea so many people would like it. I still sometimes have to pinch myself over how many of you have purchased the pattern, how many Washis have been made and are being worn out there, and how great it looks on so many different figures! I really have to give you, dear readers, credit for pushing me to put it out there in the first place. Your feedback and encouragement fueled my decision to go for it, and this is really going to sound cheesy, but I don’t think I would have done it without you.

When I started making variations on Washi last year that included sleeves and collars and bows and linings (see below for a roundup of all of them), you asked for those too. The patterns I work on have always been driven by reader demand — I mean, why spend time working on anything other than the ones you guys are crazy about? — so I’m happy to finally be able to say that the long-awaited Washi Expansion Pack is NOW AVAILABLE as a separate add-on so you can create so many more great options with your original pattern!!! Woot woot! *does Kermit Arms*

The Washi Expansion Pack is a PDF SUPPLEMENT to the original Washi Dress pattern (which is currently available in six women’s sizes, in both PDF and print) and will allow you to make a number of new Washi variations using a combination of original pattern pieces and new expansion pack pattern pieces.

PLEASE READ THIS: This pack is not a stand-alone pattern, in other words, you will need both the expansion pack AND the original pattern to be able to create the looks included. You can also purchase them together HERE.

We’ve divided all of the new variation possibilities up into three views, all of which can be made as either a dress or tunic. Of course they can be combined as well; for instance, if you wanted the sleeve from View B and a big bow from View A. Here are the basic views included in the Expansion Pack:

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View A: A sleeveless variation with a big bow; this view features an easy back elastic casing for those who would prefer to skip the shirring in the original pattern.

In addition to the base yardage for the original Washi Dress (see size and yardage charts on the Washi Page), you will need:
• 1/2 yard additional yardage for the large bow pieces and armhole bias strips
• 1/2 yard of 1″- or 1.25″-wide elastic for back

For this view, I recommend that you select a fabric with a bit of structure, such as quilting cotton, a linen blend, or cotton voile/lawn. High-drape fabrics such as silk or rayon may produce a more shapeless result around the neckline, since the bow folds over itself around the neck to form a collar.

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View B: A sweet version with sleeves and little bow!

In addition to the base yardage for the original Washi Dress (see size and yardage charts on the Washi Page), you will need:
• 3/4 yard additional yardage for sleeves, bow facings and bow
• 1/4 yard (or small piece) lightweight fusible interfacing
• 2/3 yard 1/4″-wide elastic for sleeves (if you want a casing)
• elastic thread for shirring the sleeves (if you want your sleeves shirred at the cuff) and back

For this view, lightweight or high-drape fabrics such as silk, voile, lawn, 100% linen, or rayon work well, because of the gathered sleeve and skirt on this version. Fabrics with more structure won’t gather as nicely and will “stand up” more at the sleeve cap. If you do choose to make this version with a structured fabric, you may want to reduce the width of the sleeve by 1⁄2″ to 1″ at the fold to prevent the sleeve cap from looking too full at the top.

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View C: A Peter Pan collar version with optional pointed sleeves and two great collars to choose from. This view also includes pattern pieces and detailed instructions for a bodice lining (you can see videos on this technique here as well)!

In addition to the base yardage for the original Washi Dress (see size and yardage charts on the Washi Page), you will need:
• 1/2 yard additional yardage for collar and optional pointed cap sleeves
• 1 yard fabric for bodice linings (or less; size M and smaller may be able to fit the pieces side-by-side on 1/2 yard)
• 1/2 yard lightweight fusible interfacing
• 1/2 yard 1″ or 1.25″-wide elastic for back

For this view, I recommend that you select a medium weight fabric with a bit of structure for the collar, such as quilting cotton, a linen blend, or poplin. Lightweight or high-drape fabrics such as silk, voile, lawn, 100% linen, or rayon may make it harder to get a nicely shaped collar. The collar is designed to roll a bit at the neckline, rather than sit completely flat against the dress, so structure helps.

The 49-page Expansion Pack eBook Includes:

  • full-sized pattern pieces for linings, bows, collars, and two different sleeves, as well as an adapted bodice piece (with different armholes for sleeveless or sleeves, and a new front center seam that could potentially be adapted for nursing!)
  • 26 pages of rock solid full-color instructions along with plenty of tips and hints
  • a special two-page “Seam Finishes Appendix” with instructions for my favorite seam finishes

One of the best things this pattern pack has to offer is clear, step-by-step instructions on how to add all of these new features to your Washi Dress. While the original pattern was intended for confident beginners, it’s safe to say that the techniques in the expansion pack are intermediate to advanced, but I think you’ll find enough here to help hold your hand through the entire process. And of course, you know how to reach me if you ever need to email with a question!

OK, are you ready for Washi XP?!?!

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Washi Dress Expansion Pack PDF (does not include original pattern)

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And now for more Washi XP inspiration!

I’ve featured all of the variations available in this expansion pack in the past on my blog along with a few others that are similar. Here are the versions I’ve made, along with a few notes, so you can make each one for yourself:

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Top Row:
Pale Pink Linen Top – this features the curved peterpan collar of View C, with the addition of an extra pleat in the bodice (pleat not included in the expansion pack).
Time for Tea Dress – View C from the expansion pack, with curved collar and no sleeve.
Liberty Tie Top – a tunic featuring the big bow and bias bound armholes from View A. The bow piece has been shortened just to tie in a knot.

Middle Row:
Tsuru Washi with a Bow – View A from the expansion pack
Hello Pilgrim! – this dress pre-dated the Washi Dress, but a similar look may be achieved by using a shortened big bow from View A and the cap sleeve from the original Washi Dress pattern, or the pointed cap sleeves of View C in the expansion pack.
Ruby Star Washi Dress – this was the first Washi Dress I made with sleeves; this link provides a tutorial with a free pattern piece for a full sleeve; please note that the sleeve in View B of the Expansion Pack is narrower and has a more tailored fit than the sleeve I used for my Ruby Star Washi.

Bottom Row:
Another Washi Dress with a Big Bow – features the big bow of View A and the sleeves from View B in a dress version.
Pink Washi Top with a Little Bow – View B from the expansion pack
Bird Dress with Pointed Collar and Sleeve – View C from the expansion pack, with pointed collar and sleeve.

Be sure to check out all of the lovely Washi Dresses in the Flickr pool, and add your own photos too!

Washi, London CallingWashi DressWashi DressWashi Dress Kleid Vintage türkis Polkadots with BeltWashi Tunic.Sleeve.

I hope you will enjoy this new expansion pack and have a ton of fun with it! I hope to do a tutorial specific to the collar (View C) very soon, but let me know if you have other Washi-XP-related requests. Enjoy!!!

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Kricket’s Ruby Dress

Thanks so much everyone for your congratulations on our fun news!! We are excited. Yes we are. And thanks to my seester Elli for posting it, even though it meant that some people thought *she* was preggers, thanks to a poorly captioned Instagram pic I posted that also posted to Facebook and confused some relatives. OY. SOOORRY Elli!! I’m lucky she has to love me, right?

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Today I want to show you a new Ruby Dress I made for my little seester Kricket for her birthday about a month ago. Kricket loved the original Ruby Dress I had made for myself last spring and was threatening to steal it out of my closet, so I made a copycat version out of the blue arrow print so she could have one of her very own. She is modeling it in the photo above (photo by her husband Ross). And here’s a few closer shots of it on me, so you can see more detail on the dress and analyze photos for evidence of baby bumpage (though, you won’t see much here, because these were taken over a month ago):

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The fabric is one of my favorite prints from Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Polka Dot line, which can still be found in shops here and there if you look for it. And the pattern of course is my very own Ruby Dress sewing pattern.

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Fall Pattern Preview: Josephine!

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Introducing Josephine, a new sewing pattern coming later this fall!

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I’m so. excited. to show you this first fall pattern preview — it’s kind of in the early stages yet but I just couldn’t wait to show you these photos. I love the pleats. I love the sleeves. And this rayon fabric is divine.

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Josephine will have both a top and tunic view (this is the tunic length). As you can see it can be worn as a mini-dress as well as with jeans or leggings, and the top will be slightly longer than hip length. The belt will be included, along with two different width sleeves.

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Do you love it? I love it. Can’t wait.

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Ruby Tester Roundup

Now that my Ruby Dress & Top pattern is out, I want to say a big THANK YOU to the people who tested the pattern before we released it to the masses! This group of gifted ladies sewed up a batch of Rubies with impressive speed: we emailed them the test pattern on a Friday morning, and by Sunday evening, they’d started sending photos and feedback. Wow!

It’s essential to see how the pattern works up in different sizes, how it works for different body types. Getting feedback about the instructions and fit helps us make sure all the pattern pieces are just right in each size, so we really appreciate the hard work these ladies put into testing Ruby out for us.

Venus made hers out of Kaffe Fasset shot cotton; that fabric is perfect.

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Photo via flickr.

Kelly blogged about her dress here.

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photo via flickr

I love Ruby with a belt! These two belted versions from Rachel and Caila look fab:

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Above: Left, Right

Brooke blogged about her top here.

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photo via flickr

Jess’s big sister stole one of her Rubies, and you can read about it here. Love the belt she made too!!

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photo via flickr

Clover made these two lovely versions:

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Above Left: Ruby Dress, Right: Ruby Pattern Test

I love Jenn‘s choice of color combos for her dress and top:

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Above: Left, Right.

Elaine (she blogs over at Dashasel Sews) made a dress first, and then decided she like the top version! I love seeing the two side by side.

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If you still need the Ruby Dress & Top pattern, you can find it HERE! This pattern sews up so very quickly, and we already have a few photos in the Ruby Flickr photo pool. Please add your own so we can all admire!

Ruby FrontRuby BackRuby TopRuby TopRuby Top with lined yokeChambray and Voile Ruby DressChambray and Voile Ruby DressChambray and Voile Ruby DressChambray and Voile Ruby DressRuby Dress (version rhino)Ruby Dress (version rhino)Meadow Ruby TopMeadow Ruby TopMeadow Ruby Top


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Ruby Dress & Top Pattern is here!

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The Ruby Dress and Top Sewing Pattern is a great project for the beginner sewist who wants to give garment sewing a try! The pattern features a contrast yoke and gathers for a comfortable and flattering fit without the need for bust darts, zippers, or closures. The armholes and neckline are bias-bound for an easy finish. Six women’s sizes (XS-XXL) in two lengths are included; the dress falls above the knee, while the top ends right at the hip.

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This pattern is delivered via instant download as a 23-page PDF eBook which features full-color photographs and diagrams, step by step instructions, and plenty of tips and hints. We’ve also included a special “Seam Finishes Appendix” in this pattern with instructions for my favorite seam finishes, as well. All pattern pieces are full-sized pattern and include seam allowances.

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Sizes Included
This pattern comes in a range of six women’s sizes, from XS through XXL.  Please refer to the charts below to find your size.  The Upper Bust and Bust measurements are the most important for getting the right fit. For more guidance on that, see the “Adjusting Fit” section below.

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Adjusting Fit
We recommend that you choose your size based on the Upper Bust and Bust measurements in the Size Chart above. Once you’ve selected a size, compare your hip measurement to the Finished Measurement chart to make sure you will have enough ease in the hips. The recommended minimum ease is four inches, and some people prefer more than that. If you want to add more width/ease to the dress, you have a few options:

  • slide the pattern piece for the front (and/or back) of the dress away from the fold of the fabric when cutting it out to add more width (this will also add width in the bust area). For every 1/2″ you slide the pattern away from the fold, you’ll add 1″ to the overall width.
  • substitute a larger size for the lower part of the dress (this will also add width in the upper bust and bust area)
  • add a bit more width at the sides of the dress when you’re cutting out or tracing your pattern (this will keep the bust/upper bust the same). For every 1/2″ you add to each pattern piece, you’ll add 1″ to the overall width, due to the fold.

Adding length
The Ruby Dress is a pretty short dress, falling just above the knee on the average woman, and a bit higher on those of us who are taller (I’m 5’8″). I love the length on this dress because I think with this style it’s most flattering if you show a little leg or wear it with skinny jeans or leggings (in which case, higher is better). You’ll also find that if you wear Ruby with a belt, it will land even higher up on the leg. But for those of you would like to add more length to the dress, you can easily do so by simply extending the bottom hem of the dress downward when you’re cutting it out. Remember that this will affect your yardage (for every 4″ in length you add, you’ll need 1/4 yard more fabric).

Materials Needed
For the most flattering fit, we recommend lighter fabrics with drape such as linen and rayon challis for the main body of the dress/top. Try experimenting with cotton prints, eyelet, or even lace for the yoke.

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Here’s my latest finished version!!

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A note about this version of the dress
I want to point something out about this version that is a bit different than the actual pattern, just to make sure there are no mix-ups: I used a different technique to finish the yoke with this particular dress, so instead of binding the armholes and neckline with bias tape (as the pattern shows), I lined the yoke so that it has two layers instead of one. It’s a nice way to finish the yoke, but it’s a bit more advanced and I didn’t want it to intimidate anyone, so I’ve made a video similar to the one for lining the Washi Dress. Click on the photo here to go straight to the page:

How to Sew a Ruby Dress with a lined yoke

See more!
The Ruby Dress & Top have been featured previously on on my blog in the following posts:
Arrow Dress for Quilt Market
Introducing the Ruby Top
Ruby Tester Roundup
Ruby Dress Yoke Lining Video Tutorials

I’d love it if you’d post pictures of your finished Ruby Dresses and Tops to the Ruby Dress & Top Photo Pool on Flickr!

Ruby FrontRuby BackRuby TopRuby TopRuby Top with lined yokeChambray and Voile Ruby Dress

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Unfinished Ruby Dress

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I’m doing something today that I don’t usually do: posting pictures of an unfinished sewing project. Couldn’t help it: I was so excited about how it looked when I tried it on that I had to snap a few pictures. In fact, all of the seams on this dress were basted, so it’s reeeeally unfinished. The fabric on the main part of the dress is Tule by Leah Duncan (which I posted about here), and the yoke is a grey chambray, I think by Robert Kaufman. LOVE how these two fabrics look together! The pattern, just in case you missed this post, is my coming-soon Ruby Dress and Top Sewing Pattern.

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I like to baste things together when I want to test out a pattern but I’m not sure it will fit — it goes ten times faster if you baste all of the seams, and then if you want to tear it apart and substitute a different-size pattern piece, or take out the side seams or something, it’s super easy. In this case we changed the pattern pieces a bit post-testing to take out a bunch of extra ease because many of the testers found it too baggy. I wasn’t sure it would still go on over my hips, but it was fine!

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Anyway…”Unfinished Ruby” is probably a good theme for this week. We’ve been working so hard on the pattern, but it’s just not finished yet. Elli’s been putting the finishing touches on the pattern pieces and instructions, and I finally picked a color scheme for the PDF layout this morning (which seems so dumb, but for some reason this time around I was really hung up on the style). It’s nearly ready. I feel like I keep saying that, though. Oh well. It’s not worth stressing out about, it will be ready when it’s ready. We’re a meticulous crew around here! We like to make sure everything is just right!!!

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The pattern is a nice, easy beginner pattern. No bust darts, just some gathering, simple seams. I shot some video yesterday to show how to make the dress with a lined yoke for those who will want to try a slightly more intermediate construction method than the pattern calls for (the pattern has a bias tape finish for the armholes and neckline). I’m guessing many people will like the lining method a lot. So we’re getting there. I hope you’re excited!! Thanks for your patience if you’ve been waiting.

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Geranium Dresses!

Every time I look at the Geranium Dress flickr pool, I can’t help but emit little squeaks, ooohs, and awws at all the beauties in there. The Geranium pattern has proven to be so versatile — as a dress or a tunic with different styles (sleeves/no sleeves/ruffle sleeves/pockets/no pockets), and it’s popping up as anything from totally casual play dresses all the way on up to fancy flower girl dresses!

I must also commend you on the fine photography in the photo pool.  You’re capturing the little girls in your lives at such candid moments.  Here are a few of my favorites from this summer:

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Rachel blogged about her daughter’s dress here.

I love the Briar Rose prints she selected for this dress, and she certainly got some great photos!

childhood

Via Flickr

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Via Flickr

Geranium Mosaic 1

Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Peachy Geranium, 2. P7271888, 3. Geranium Dress

BOTTOM Left to Right: 4. IMG_2738, 5. a bunch of geranium dresses, 6. Surfing Space Robots!

Playing with fabric combinations for this dress has been really fun.  Sometimes you just get a tiny peek of the lining, but those details are delightful! Jessica blogged about this one here (love love love that Lizard print):

lizards geranium

Via Flickr

And some more fun fabric combos:
GERANIUM MOSAIC 2
Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Geranium dress with modifications 3T, 2. Tsuru Geranium
Bottom Left to Right: 3. LAUNCHED!!!, 4. Maggie Geranium top.

These ladies all made their own Geranium Tunics plus matching tunics for their babies:
Girls sewing day
via Flickr

TOO CUTE!! Here’s a first birthday dress:

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Via Flickr

And another first birthday. This photo absolutely slays me:
Bronwyn's 1st birthdayVia Flickr

I’ve always figured Geranium could be a year-round staple in any little girl’s wardrobe.  Here are a few gearing up for cooler weather by layering with t-shirts and jeans or leggings. Geranium Fall Mosaic

Above TOP Left to Right: plaid with yellow shirt, pink tunic

BOTTOM Left to Right: red boots, pink with flowers

Kimmie copied a doll dress that her great grandmother had made ages ago. So cool.
My copycat dress
Via Flickr

More cuties (some with Peekaboo Bonnets!):

GERANIUM 3

Above TOP Left to Right: 1. Geranium top, 2. Geranium Dress and Peekaboo Bonnet,
BOTTOM Left to Right: 3. Mads’ Washi Geranium Dress, 4. A summer geranium 2

Vintage Geranium Dress

Via Flickr, and groovily blogged here.

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Via Flickr and Kelly blogged about it here.

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Via Flickr, and Rachel blogged about it here.

You can see even more adorable Geranium Dresses in the Geranium Dress Flickr Pool:

Geranium flower girl dressesGeranium flower girl dressflowergirledited3flowergirledit2flowergirleditedblue flannel geranium.Geranuium Dress, Pattern by Made by RaeGeranuium Dress, Pattern by Made by RaeGeranuium Dress, Pattern by Made by RaeGeranuium Dress, Pattern by Made by RaeFinished results after an afternoon of adding snaps.Elephant Geranium

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‘Tis the Season for Backpacks!

I can hardly believe that some kids are already back in school! August school seems totally wrong to me, especially since it’s just starting to feel like summer here in the Midwest. Some of you have been thinking ahead though and have already been sewing backpacks using my Toddler Backpack Pattern for the coming school year. I love the print combos on this one. Are those tiny polka dots on the aqua fabric? Why yes, they are.

backpack
Photo Via

I’m always a sucker for transportation prints.  Kokka really pulls out all the stops with the Echino line (the two on either side below).  Don’t you think someone needs to make a backpack Right. Now. with the scooter print??And those bicycles in the middle are just about the best; they look sweet with orange piping.

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Above: Blue CarsBicycles, Busses & Cars

Here are some playful versions.  The ruffles on the top right are amazing.  Who needs pockets when you can have ruffles?

backpack roundup 1
Above: ElephantRuffles, DogsStar Wars

backpack
Photo Via

The PDF pattern also comes with instructions to enlarge the backpack to fit school-aged children like this one:

Backpack

Photo Via

If you just don’t have enough sewing machine hours between now and when your littles go back to school, take a look at the Made By Rae Sellers Pool on Flickr!  You’ll find some awesome backpacks for sale there, with links to registered sellers’ shops.

Now get thee to a sewing machine and whip up some Toddler Backpacks! When you’re done, share them in the Backpack Photo Pool on Flickr!

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Introducing the Ruby Top

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I’m currently working on two (OK, after the response to this post, maybe three) new women’s patterns, the first of which will be going into testing very soon! The newest one is called the “Ruby Dress and Top Sewing Pattern” and is based on the Arrow Dress that got such a positive response from everyone when I posted it a couple of months ago. It’s a simple design, and it’s so easy to sew! The pattern will include both a dress and a top length. I’m really excited about it, and I hope other people will be excited to sew it, too!!

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This print (on the lower half) is part of the “Indian Summer” collection from Sarah Watson for Art Gallery fabrics. The entire line is absolutely adorable, but I really like this modern triangle-based design, especially in this lovely shade of blue-green. I made the yoke out of a white voile, so it would be a bit on the sheer side.

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Even though this particular fabric falls into the “quilting cotton” category which generally is OK (but not fantastic) when it comes to sewing garments, I have to say that Art Gallery prints their fabrics on one of the most lovely, lightweight, smooth cotton substrates out there. I am actually starting to avoid many of the quilting cottons on the market right now, because they are terribly beefy-thick and drape poorly when made into clothing. Art Gallery’s cottons, though, have the unique characteristic of being soft, light, and silky both when you purchase them AND after you wash them. This is truly a rare thing, since most other quilting cottons lose those features once they go through the wash. Much to my chagrin, may I add, since I often buy quilting prints hoping to make them into clothes. I promised at one point to write a whole post about quilting cottons, so I’ll put together my list of favorite quilting cottons when it comes to sewing garments soon.

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Anyway, I love my new top! Look for the Ruby Dress pattern soon!!!

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