Fabric: Sunset from the Fly Away collection by Amy Schindler for Robert Kaufman. FloraDots in Violet from the La Dee Da collection by Erin McMorries for Free Spirit Fabrics. The lining is white cotton batiste. The piping is made with Kona solids.
This time around, I made the dress with the view B faux cap sleeves, but with a gathered skirt. I made two changes. I added red piping at the waist, and I added in-seam pockets.
This dress was made for Kid No 3, and is a huge hit. She loves ladybugs and the colour red, and recently asked me why she doesn’t have “a dress that twirls”. The pockets are hidden in the gathers of the skirt, and she loves the “secret pockets” too.
This was a lot of fun to sew. The pattern makes a really pretty dress that’s lined and nicely finished on the inside. But the sewing was quick and problem-free.
Warp & Weft Sewing Society
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles.
There is one little person who has been missing out of the handmade sewing this year, and that is my smallest. As kid number four, she has a huge selection of hand-me-downs, but it’s still nice to have something new once in a while.
As soon as I saw this fabric I knew it would be perfect for a summer dress and I knew just the right pattern – the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae.
I bought this pattern way back in January, so it was about time to actually make it.
This is a great pattern. It’s cute, quick, easy to sew and comes with some nice variations for sleeves, neckline and pockets. You can also make it as a top. And it’s easy to add a personal touch with piping, rickrack and other trim.
I chose the simple curved neckline and flutter sleeves. The pattern calls for the sleeves to be finished with a zigzag stitch, which sounded a bit odd to me. I saw some versions of the flutter sleeves online which were lined, but they looked really stiff. So I stuck with the directions and I’m happy with the results.
The bodice is lined and I used a very soft cotton batiste. If I were to make the dress again, the only thing I would do differently is to understitch the lining to better hide it. I thought about it as I was sewing, but I wanted to keep the inside nice and soft- as if a couple extra lines of stitching would suddenly make the inside unbearably itchy for my baby. The things mothers do for their little ones…
The sizing was really good. I made the 12-18 months size and it fits well, but will also probably last through to spring. I have a new walker, sometimes crawler here, so she sometimes finds the length a bit annoying, but I think it looks adorable.
The pattern calls for 1 1/3 yards of fabric for the 12-18 months size. Even though the print I used is directional, I still had a lot left over. I was even going to make a matching diaper cover, but my printer ran out of cyan ink – because you need that to print in black and white. I hate it when that happens.
This is possibly my favourite sewing project. I love the results. Super cute!
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. You can find the fabric used in this project, Floral Meadow from the Storybook Lane collection, online in the Warp & Weft shop.
My baby is getting so big! She just turned one and is walking and talking. It makes me a little teary just thinking about it, especially since this will probably be our very last baby. So to celebrate I thought I’d make her something sweet.
But bonnets have a rather short lifespan, so there was a little time pressure.
No one puts a newborn in a bonnet, and once you hit two (barring historical reenactments, and fashion moments from the eighties), your bonnet days are numbered. Here in Montreal, the number of days the weather even allows bonnet wearing are extremely limited. So this is also a last hurrah to summer.
For fabric I used Floral Meadow and Curvy Stripe from the Storybook Lane collection by Kelly Lee-Creel for Andover Fabrics (courtesy Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles). I love the floral meadow! So beautiful! And it has a great scale. If you look at it all spread out, it has a repeating grid pattern, but it is really easy to match. It also has a little bit of a sheen to it, a bit like cotton sateen.
The pattern calls for two fat quarters of each fabric, which is what I ordered. That would be the perfect amount, unless you also want to make matching piping and binding (you do!), in which case you need another fat quarter. Ooops!
I happen to be pretty economical at cutting fabric, but this was the biggest fabric test of all time. I just managed. And there may (ahem) be a couple more seams in the binding than I would otherwise have sewn.
This is a really easy pattern to sew up. It’s a quick project and great for beginners. I made it in a 1T-2T, but it comes in sizes 0-8+. This was my first time making my own piping, and it went so smoothly that I will be churning out piped garments in the future.
This bonnet also gets a lot of attention when we go out. I’ve had so many compliments! I would love a good excuse to make another, but I may have to wait for a baby shower to make this again. After all, winter is coming (sigh).
Seriously though, this kid is going to be wearing this bonnet everyday until the fall weather hits 😉
Warp & Weft Sewing Society
This is a Warp & Weft Sewing Society project. We are a group of talented sewists and quilters creating beautiful projects inspired by the fabrics from Warp & Weft Exquisite Textiles. You can find the fabrics used in this project, Floral Meadow and Curvy Stripe from the Storybook Lane collection, online in the Warp & Weft shop.
I am really happy with these. They aren’t your boring, everyday shorts. The pattern has a number of variations included, and there are additional tutorials for this pattern on the Made by Rae blog. I opted for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband.
I also followed Made by Rae’s instructions for how to make shorts from a pants pattern, and partially followed the tutorial for how to make super seams where the Parsley shorts are used as an example. I used flat felled seams for the inseam on my shorts.
Here are the shorts are on my 6-year-old. I was going for a surfer girl look, and I think this is a success largely because of the fabric. It’s fun and not too precious for my big girl. I made the shorts in a size seven, though according to the pattern sizing my daughter should be in a six. But seven fits perfectly and should last the summer. I’m so glad I opted to go bigger.
I used a 2.5 inch inseam when making the shorts. They end up being long enough that the box pleat pockets have enough room, but still look girly.
I love this pattern! And kid #2 has already requested his own pair of shorts, so the kids like it too.
There was quite a bit of extra fabric, so I decided to make a headband to match. I used this German pattern from Erbsenprinzessin. But things went badly awry. The headband turned out to be way too small. We don’t have a shortage of small heads here, so I was hoping it would fit my two-year-old, but no!
The only head that would fit is my 11-month old, and she has no hair! I’m not usually one for headbands on babies (I think she looks a bit like a ninja), but since I had already sewn it up, I figured it should be worn at least once.
So back to the drawing board! I made the whole thing again much larger and it seems to be a big hit.
Now that I have the sizing right, I’ll probably make this pattern again.
Sewing Level: Intermediate (with the modifications below), or beginner.
Modifications: I followed the included instructions for added pintucks on the front and back, box pleat pockets and a flat-front waistband. I top stitched and edgestitched the pockets and pocket flaps. I also used flat felled seams in the inseam.
Results: Great. I would recommend this pattern and will definitely make it again.
Pattern Review: Haarband für Kinder by from Erbsenprinzessin (in German)
I’d seen the dress and tunic on so many blogs, always with great results. Now I noticed that many of the Washi’s I saw were being worn by people who were taller and less curvy than me. Then a couple of photos showed up in the flickr pool that looked a little more like me, so I had hope! Maybe I too could wear the fabled Washi. I bought the pattern.
The printed pattern is great. I love that the pattern sizes are each printed in a separate colour. Genius! Why doesn’t everyone do that? I love that each piece of paper is printed with a grid overlay along the sides of the paper. So easy to assemble! I liked the instructions, especially the part on making a muslin.
So I dutifully got out some (hideously ugly) fabric from my stash, and made a muslin. And then I did a full bust adjustment (FBA) which I had figured I would have to do. I used the instructions for a FBA on Megan Nielsen’s website, which Made by Rae lists on their site and which are very clear. It still wasn’t working. I went down a size, redid my FBA and lowered the darts. And anyway…. five muslins later I had something I thought looked fairly decent, so I cut my fabric.
There is only one thing in the printed pattern I would change: the way the bust darts are cut out before assembly. After just one muslin, it was clear that by basting and pressing the dart to start, you can get a much better fit, because you can adjust that seam. But if the fabric is already cut, and you need to fine-tune the dart, there’s nothing you can do. You are stuck with the dart placement, as is. The curvier you are, the more this matters.
Assembling the tunic was a breeze. The instructions are great. The smocking with elastic thread was so easy! Everything came together so quickly.
It just didn’t fit, at least not as well as I’d like. Boo!
I’m pretty sure it has more to do with my shape, than the pattern itself, since so many people have had such great luck with this pattern. I am extra curvy (and a breastfeeding mama as well) and I just had a baby six months ago. Can we say problem areas? I figured the pattern would be good for midsection coverage. However, this pattern, like any empire waist look, requires an excellent fit in the bodice. I needed to do the FBA, make sure the darts were in the right place, and make sure that the seamline where the bodice joins the skirt fell at the very thinnest part of my ribcage. This last point is important for avoiding the pregnant look. My muslin did not include the skirt portion of the tunic, only the bodice. It was all a bit frustrating.
In the end I had to take the tunic apart, and shorten the bodice a bit to get the skirt falling at the right place. It’s wearable, but could be better. The front view is good. The side view is only so-so. There is a bit of gaping at the neck. I think this tutorial on avoiding neck gape with a FBA from the Naked Seamstress would help. I would also add a couple tiny under bust darts, as suggested by the Queen of the Flies in her review of the Washi Dress. And there is still some pulling at the shoulders. Maybe I should go down a size? Hmmmm. Suggestions welcome.
Oh, and as a side note… if you disassemble your washi and abandon it in frustration for a couple of weeks (ahem), you may find that the elastic thread has worked its way out, so that you have to resew it. Entirely my fault of course.
I also made a poor choice of fabric. I used quilting cotton. It’s a bit, um, crunchy? Something with a lot more drape would have been a much better choice, especially with sleeves. The pattern recommends “Light to medium weight cottons or cotton blends (e.g. shirting, voile, double gauze, quilting cotton, poplin, or cotton/linen blends)”. Voile, lawn or batiste would have been better choices, at least for my figure. I also would probably have been better off with the dress, instead of the tunic. I suspect the weight of the extra fabric would make for a more flattering line. The garment would hang a bit more straight.
Would I make it again? Yes. The hard part is over. Now that I know how to get a good fit, and what fabric to use, I’d like to try this again. I would also prefer to line the bodice and there are instructions for lining a Washi bodice on the Made by Rae website. (Even though I attached the facing at the side seams, I find the facing pops out sometimes, which is annoying.) It’s such a cute pattern. Let’s call this a wearable muslin and move forward.