Sunday, May 18, 2014

Washi Dress

**Warning --->
Due to the stark white severity of the exposed skin in the following photos, sunglasses are recommended for your own viewing protection.**

Washi DressThis weekend, I took a break from scrub caps and finally made my very own Washi Dress. I don't sew many garments, but one of my short term goals is to do that more often. It's nearly impossible as a gal at 5'10" to walk into a store and buy clothes off the rack. Making my own clothes is the obvious solution, albeit intimidating.

Rae Hoekstra's Washi Dress Pattern is so cute, and very easy. There were only 6 pieces to the version of the pattern that I made. First I made a muslin for the bodice, because I was pretty sure that I would need to lengthen just about everything. I was right, and the muslin only took a few minutes (well worth the effort). I added an inch or so to that, a few inches to the skirt length, and a bit to the sleeve as well. I learned how to make pattern piece adjustments from the Fast-Track Fitting class with Joi Mahon on Craftsy. It's a great class, and it saves so much time and heartache to make the adjustments to the pattern pieces instead of making an entire garment and then trying to alter it when it's finished. Ask me how I know. :/

Washi DressI used my serger to finish the seams, so the inside looks and feels great. No raw edges. Surely an overlock or zigzag stitch from a regular sewing machine would produce a great result as well, if you don't have a serger. I opted for the facings instead of a full bodice lining, and I chose to topstitch those down, because I like the look.

I can't tell you how excited I was when this dress was finished, because it actually fit, and it's comfy! Woohoo! I'm not in love with the fabric, but the reason I used it was because I bought it on clearance a while ago, and I didn't expect my first attempt to be a success. The quality is nice, though. It's soft, light, and doesn't wrinkle too badly. I can't wait to go pick out some wicked fabric to make more of these dresses! I'll likely make a few different versions that include different sleeves and tunic-length. Check out the Washi Dress Flickr Pool to see different versions of this pattern.

Washi Dress Back

Washi Dress

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jelly Roll Chop

I love Jenny's tutorials over at The Missouri Star Quilt Company. Every Friday I look forward to seeing her newest one. They are usually all about fast and easy quilts or other quilty type projects you can do with precuts.

When I first got the Gracie Frame to go along with my Juki 2010Q, I was so scared to load up my first quilt! A long-armer friend told me how pointless it is to practice on scraps, though, so I finally conceded to use a quilt top I made with Jenny's Jelly Roll Race tutorial for my first quilt on the frame.

Jelly Roll Chop Quilt

I was shocked at how easy it was to load up the quilt layers onto the frame. The tutorials that Grace Company provides are excellent. I can't explain how intimidated I was by this whole process, but I was also thrilled at the same time.

I used a pantograph that I traced from a stencil for this first quilt and squealed gleefully all by myself down in my basement shop after I got going. It's so fun to quilt on this Juki/Grace Frame combo. It is lightweight to maneuver and very easy to follow the pantograph with the laser.

Jelly Roll Chop by Trina Peterson

This quilt is really special to me, because of the whole experience. I wanted it to go to someone who I knew would appreciate the process of quilting as much as I do. I gave this quilt to my Grandmother in Maine for Mother's Day. Grammom is also a quilter, and she never keeps anything she makes for herself, so I knew she would love it.

I call this quilt the Jelly Roll Chop, because after I completed the tutorial, I chopped it up and added some sashing to make it a little bigger and give it a different look. The jelly roll is Summer House by Lily Ashbury, and I used Kona White for the sashing and binding. The back is a vintage sheet, and the batting is Pellon Nature's Touch (as always - because I love it so much!!).