Washi XP Easter Dress in Cotton + Steel

easter dress (3 of 8)I’m back to share with you my Easter dress! I don’t know how the rest of you are, but at times half my “sewing” time is spent searching for inspiration. I’m a visual person, and normally I have to see an idea of something before I get inspired and create something of my own. I was searching for weeks for the perfect pattern for an Easter dress and just couldn’t nail down something that I liked that would also be flattering on me.easter dress (1 of 8)

While I was searching for patterns, Pink Castle ran a 40% off apparel fabric sale, (seriously, how awesome is that and why did I not buy more? 😉 ) and I picked up several Cotton+Steel prints that I’d been admiring: some Ephemera double gauze and Mochi floral lawn. I had intended for the double gauze to be my Easter dress, but changed my mind after I saw the lawn in person. This lawn is my new favorite fabric. It is so lightweight, airy, and silky-smooth without feeling sticky or clingy.

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I only bought two yards of the lawn so that narrowed down my dress options immensely. I decided to try out the Washi dress again, this time using the extension pack options. I have loved my previous washis (blogged here, here, and here) but they didn’t get much use during the pregnancy/nursing stages that I’ve been going through the past few years. Now that I’m not nursing anymore and my *ahem* bust is back to a normal size, I have been excited to add them back into my rotation.

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I’ve been meaning to try out that Peter Pan collar option with the Washi XP ever since Rae released it but never managed to get around to it. Now was the perfect time to try some fun options! I made size M of version C from the expansion pack: sleeveless, fully lined bodice, pleated front, the elastic casing in the back, and the pointed collar. The one change I made was to piece the front bodice (similar to view A) in order to squeeze this dress out of my 2 yards. I also added some length to the back elastic due to being wide waisted.

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I love, love, love how this turned out. It is so very comfy and perfect for hot summer days- did I mention pockets?! The collar is made from some Essex linen in Aqua that I picked up several years back from Pink Castle fabrics (she’s out of that color but has several other colors in stock still.) Such a happy accident that it matched my dress so well!

easter dress (2 of 8)Because the lawn is fairly sheer, I ended up lining the entire dress with a lightweight cotton batiste. The bodice lining instructions are included in the washi xp pattern, and I just gathered a rectangle of fabric and attached it to the bodice/elastic casing seams for the skirt lining. Quite easy but it does take some of the give out of the elastic so you have to take a little more time getting the dress off and on. I loved making the lined bodice- so much nicer looking than facings in my opinion. And Rae is so good about walking you through techniques like this. Another reason to love Made by Rae patterns!

easter dress2 (1 of 1)As I mentioned earlier, I had to piece the front bodice due to limited fabric, and it ended up being a little too noticeable for my taste- you can see how it made some pulling across the bust. So I decided to add some buttons to the bodice, and I’m so glad I did because it totally completed the look of the dress. You can also see some wrinkling at the bottom of the bodice that showed up after I attached the lining. Sooo…. guess I still need to work on my lining skills a bit still. easter dress (6 of 8)All little imperfections aside, I really do love this dress and foresee it getting lots of wear this summer as it is so easy to throw on and so crazy comfy to wear! Lawn is definitely going to be my go-to summer sewing fabric from now on- might even beat out my love of double gauze for a bit!


Bianca Top

bianca top

This past week I was able to test an upcoming Made-By-Rae pattern- the Bianca. You guys, I may sound like a broken record sometimes, but this Rae, she really knows her stuff. I really, really love this top. In fact I love it so much that I cut into my hoarded double gauze to make myself an Easter dress version of this pattern. It has some really nice customization options to make it the most flattering fit on every body style. The pattern was set to be released very soon, but Rae’s adorable little baby boy made an early appearance so she’s busy snuggling up a little newborn, and I’m not too sure what the release date is now. I’m sure it won’t be too long; she has a great team that is continuing to keep things running. I will update this post and let y’all know when you can go and get it! In the meantime have a look at mine and enjoy brainstorming what fabric you could use for this. I think it’s the perfect style for a comfy summer dress… and that makes me long for summer and warm weather to finally be here! The calendar says it’s officially spring, but we’ve had some pretty cold, nasty days this week.

bianca top

If you recognize the fabric used in this top, it’s because I got a bolt of this Joel Dewberry voile on clearance a while back so I use it for all of my samples and testing before I cut into the good stuff. I now have about 4 tops that use this fabric in some way. I’m not sure what I’ll use for testing when my bolt is gone! Oh and I have a bit of bragging to do. My mom and sister came over when I had this top on for picture-taking, and they both commented on how cute it was. That’s pretty high praise because they’re not so much into the whole sewing-thing. They’d rather buy something at the store than make it, so I do a little happy dance when they think something I made looks like it could come from the store (but better because it’s perfectly adjusted to my measurements!). I can’t wait to see everyone else’s version of this top/dress once the pattern is released!

bianca top