Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Not kidding. About three weeks ago I very firmly stated to a co-worker that I would rather cut out and sew an entire quilt from scratch than sew on a button - that's how over garment sewing I am. Or was. The next day (not kidding), like some sort of challenge coming from the cosmos, I see the Lady Skater Dress posted on a blog and the narrative tells me it is easy and boy, is it cute! And the brain starts moving and I think "my girls would love a dress like that" and "oh, they have some really pretty knit fabrics now" and before I know it, I had fallen down the slippery slope from "ain't never sewing clothes again" to "I'll go to bed as soon as I finish altering this bodice pattern".

Several patterns removed from Lady Skater, I present my first Washi dress:

 I admit, when I started seeing these pop up on blogs last fall, they didn't do much for me. First of all, I thought I was still the person who no longer sewed clothes. Second, I didn't really dig the neckline. Third, "quilting cotton" and "comfortable dress" are counterintuitive for me so I quickly closed my mind to the idea. But as my Lady Skater texts to my daughters turned into involved Pinterest and Flickr sessions, the Washi pattern came to the forefront as the "must have" pattern for a summer dress. And Anna Maria Horner's voile naturally became the only fabric option.

I downloaded the PDF pattern (all 3, 789 pages, it seemed) and set about cutting, matching, and taping until I had a pattern. And then (I can't believe I'm saying this) I made a muslin. Yes, kids, unheard of in my past sewing life. Not only did I make the muslin, as the pattern suggested, but I took the seams apart and fooled with it and altered it until the bodice fit my daughter nicely. Then I altered the actual paper pattern. No kidding, I really did that. Then I waited. Patiently (or not). We ordered the fabric from the nice people at Hawthorne Threads and had it sent to the border because mail coming into Canada from the US needs to be manhandled by everybody at Homeland Security, Canada Border Services, and Canada Post. That's a lot of people; that takes some serious time and I needed to get these sewn before I lost my dressmaking mojo!

As you can see, I took out that scoopy cutout thingy on the neckline. What you can't see is I lined the bodice back and front following Rae's directions (super easy) and I used French seams throughout. I made each dress in an evening (disclaimer: I used to sew all my girls' clothes when they were little, so I have had some practice).

I worried a bit about sewing with voile; I read some posts online before getting started but really, it was a breeze. I didn't encounter any issues or difficulties (but it does wrinkle easily, as you can see from the photo). The pattern itself is very well written and super easy to follow. Rae generously created a series of videos which show how to do the lined bodice; they are posted online and a great resource.

So that is what I was up to last week. A second Washi dress is also finished and I'll get some photos of it when my daughter has a chance to come over and model it for me.

As for the Lady Skater? Pretty sure I'll be making one of those real soon...



  1. Hmm...well, I don't sew clothes, so...this doesn't interest me in the slightest. Nope. Nope. Nope. Which is why I clicked on all your links and talked myself out of ordering yardage of voile instead of fat quarters... :)

  2. You are making me seriously wonder about your sanity.

    Linda Z

  3. Ooh, what a great use of that print! It's one of my favorites. It was interesting to hear about your process, and the result looks lovely.