Sunday, April 13, 2014

Find me on Instagram

Did you know I am on Instagram. I enjoy taking shots with my iphone and can quickly post them. I have to spend quite a bit time more creating a blog post and usually have to be at home to get it done.
I think this is just a change in the way we share and communicate. The blog is a great journal for me to share my process. The images for Instagram don't have much explanation or planning but can get the image to many more friends.
I love both, but find myself using Instagram to share my daily ComfortCircle due to its ease.
I hope my viewers will follow me on both as I try to keep up with the ever evolving life.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Real Washi Dress

Here it is! The real Washi Dress, not from muslin this time. Though I do love the muslin one. This beautiful dress has the feel of a super casual dress but looks like a million bucks! This one will work for a wedding, interview, or just everyday. I loved this fabric when I walked into Bolt, it just lended itself to a dress and to be a true any occasion dress. The vertical vines just pull the eye down the dress
I spent a lot of time testing out the pattern on my "muslin" and was able to get the fit just right before chopping up my good fabric. I was so glad I spent all that time and waited for the tracing paper.
The fit of the original pattern Washi Dress from Made by Rae was very good. I just added in lower bust darts and moved the pleats out so it hung straighter down the front. I hope to try more of her patterns.
So glad it finally looks and feels like spring here in the Pacific Northwest. I've had enough of the grey rain for now.
Those sweet tiny sleeves and bit of shirring are the best details of the dress!
Kuma approved of those pockets in hopes I will fill them with her treats!
Such a cute little keyhole neck, I loved the simple ease of creating this detail and the yoke behind it so it will stay smooth and crisp.
I am now thinking this pattern would make a fabulous skirt with some altering. Well, now that I have successfully made my first clothing item from pattern after following every instruction, its only fitting that I would want to make it my own! Oh well. I loved the techniques this pattern forced me to learn. I stepped out of my comfort circle and I love it! Even if I make this exact dress again it will always be different fabrics and handmade by me!

Washi "Muslin"

 I decided recently I wanted to make a dress from a legit pattern. I was in Portland a few weekends ago, and found myself in Bolt fabric store on Alberta.

I flipped through patterns of all kinds. In my heart this is the pattern I've always wanted wanted to make. Simple dress with nice details that fits well. I sold formal dresses for years and know what looks good on my body. Empire waist. Lower neckline. Darted short bodice. Loose skirt, but not too full.
The Washi Dress Pattern is from Made by Rae. Before seeing it in Bolt, I had seen many originals and improvised Washi dresses in blog-land and knew that the pattern was well-made and had some options open to adding in my personal style. After being treated so warmly in Bolt, and getting beautiful black with vines fabric, I was giddy on my ride home. 
I read the pattern the next day. I have never made a quilt or clothing item from a pattern, as you know I am a "do-it-my-own-damn-self" kinda gal. I set out to cut out my size and then decided to read some reviews and tips. I set off starting with her website. Then, I ventured into the world of the internet. It is amazing to me how much crafty folks like to share their experiences.
One tip suggested not cutting the pattern, or any pattern ever, for that matter. Instead it instructed to use Swedish tracing paper so you have a sturdy pattern that can be altered. All the while, the original pattern stays intact for making different sizes later. Against my normal tendencies, I ordered the special tracing paper and decided to wait. Waiting is hard for me and has been the downfall creative nature of quite a few projects. I knew I wanted to make the pattern more than once. I wanted to do it right. Not just fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants like I normally do. 
I waited a whole week while bursting at the seam, no pun intended, wanting to slice up my fabric and pattern and get to the sewing already!

When the tracing paper came, I carefully measured myself and fell between two sizes.  So I traced the bigger size carefully and cut out my pattern from the waist line up only. Focusing on making a muslin of the parts where I needed it to fit the best in the bust area instead of the whole dress, is a must! Another great suggestion. Then, I traced again and made a "muslin" out of super sale blue scrap fabric in the bigger size. The muslin was way to big everywhere, even with my awesome push-up bra on, so I ripped out my basting stitches. I lined up my patterns again and then traced and cut my tracing paper down to the next size and re-sewed the muslin. Still a bit big but under the bust, so I decided to deviate a bit and add in darts in the waist up to the bust. Another rip apart, tracing of a pattern and trimming and re-sewing.
Again, I was glad I reviews suggesting darts under the bust apex. I put on the muslin again and it looked pretty good without the shirring, that would eventually make it fit well.
Then I grabbed the pretty flower vines on black and I cut all the pieces and went to bed. 
The next morning the blue muslin was put on the table when I cleaned up my sewing area. I realized I really really liked it, I only had bit of the blue cotton I got on super sale. So all of it was used to make the top "muslin" of the dress.  It worked well with my Kaffe stripes, this was this by far the best choice. I loved the pairing and knew this would be a great go-to casual tunic dress
Quickly, I found myself making two Washi Dresses.   I put the black one aside and decided to test out all the fittings on the "muslin". 
All in all. 
I love this pattern. I intend on making many more. It fits very well with out a need for major adjustments. Super glad I read the comments and reviews on her website. I hope to buy the expansion pack soon. Lesson of the day: It pays off to make a muslin and if you do it out of super sale fabric you get two dresses!
Woah watch out...its me who you never see!
I was initially daunted by even trying a pattern and then attempting shirring.
The shirring is an easy way to make an elastic area that doesn't need to be encased. It also enticed me to dream up many more items so that I can do more shirring. It makes it the dress comfortable and easy to get on without zippers or buttons. 
I chose to only do every other shirring line so it would be more loose on this casual tunic.

A little stripe binding on the sleeve to make it sleeveless and give it more detail.
Of course this pattern has pockets which was a major selling point. 
Stay tuned for the other one. It's a beauty.