Wow it is so hard to photograph navy sheer brocade! But I think it was finally managed. Having sewn the original Washi Dress pattern with a successful full bust adjustment or FBA, and loved the shape on me I was ready for more. So when Rae of Made by Rae, gifted the expansion pack for testing the extended size range of her Ruby pattern I couldn’t wait to try to make the dress into some tops.
This fabric was picked up in Downtown LA at a discount fabric seller, I didn’t know what to do with it but my fabulous fabric finding friend said I should get it, the price was right, and I rarely put a good fabric or friend down. I love to fabric shop with others, if you can I highly recommend it. I am so glad I listened because the drape of this fabric made it perfect for a Washi top. The construction of this was seamless and fairly quick project for such and elegant wardrobe addition. I have already mentioned that I did a full bust adjustment on the Washi dress which the expansion uses the bodice and skirt. If you are larger than a B cup I would recommend you do an FBA as well. I did a rough cut how to video on how I do them here. A simple guide would be half an inch for each cup size above a B but your individual data points ie: measurements, will help you choose the right amount for you. Everyone’s body is unique and you are trying to make a two dimensional pattern fit your three dimensional shape.
I love the way this top came together. I had to serge all the pieces because the fabric did unravel while I worked and if you haven’t worked with elastic thread in your bobbin before it can be tricky. I used Gutterman brand and had a bobbin case with decreased tension just for the shirring portion of the top, then a quick blast with the iron or steam and BAM! gathered back and cuffs. That way when I was constructing the top I had thread in the bobbin and the case had the proper tension, when I moved on to the shirring I took out the bobbin case and bobbin and used the loosened bobbin case and a bobbin hand wound with the elastic thread. Lengthen your stitches and take your time.
This dress is one of my favorite garments in my closet. It’s busy but in the repeating black chevrons hides a peek of fuchsia and the pockets hold EVERYTHING. This is the Washi Dress from Made by Rae patterns. I have tested a few patterns for Rae in the past but purchased this pattern.
The pattern is very easy but for a beginning sewing person there are a few skills you learn while putting this together, like how to work with elastic thread in your bobbin or how to burrito method your lining fabric. I did a quick video of it here.
For this being my first go with the pattern I also gave it a full bust adjustment, here is my video of how I do a FBA. I know that Rae will be releasing more sizes for the Washi so this may be an obsolete alteration for some in the future. I really love this dress in the lightweight cotton lawn from the now gone The Fabric Store LA, it was just a bit see thru so I lined the bodice and to about the knee with white cotton batiste. Up next is a top I made with the altered pattern and the Washi Expansion pack….
Lander pants oh Lander pants why did it take so long to try you out? I don’t know what my initial hesitation was. It was probably the button fly, I was nervous about putting in those exposed buttons, but really it seems now they were easier than a zipper. The Lander pants are a sewing pattern by True Bias and had a moment of fame in the sewing corner of Instagram with the hashtag #landerpantsdance. People were so excited by them they danced in their finished pants with glee.
I ALWAYS have to do some alterations to sewing patterns. Would this pattern be any different? Doubtful. So I thought. These are wide leg trousers with large pockets on front and back so they do take up quite a bit of yardage. I found the perfect colors for shorts and pants versions, I made the shorts at a sewing retreat. It wasn’t love at first sight.
I get worried about trying to sew patterns that a large group of people have success with, my body while the statistical average, isn’t the body most patterns are designed for.
You see I have what they call in the medical biz a “shelf”, growing up it was called “spare tire”, “tummy pouche” or my favorite now that I’m a mom “mom belly”. I can’t remember a time not having it. So when I wear high waisted flat front pants the front fly area is more curvy. Not really a complaint just a statement of fact. So if I want these pants to have a flat’ish plane to rest on I have to add power mesh in the construction phase (I didn’t) or wear foundation underwear.
So back to the lander pants they are a surprisingly fast sew, there are not as many pieces as a traditional jean but it has many similar styling features. My only trip ups were the grain line of the back pockets, then when I ran out of fabric and had to piece together my waistband, but you won’t make those mistakes. After adding all the pockets to the back and front you are instructed to baste the side seams, this is where it gets a bit magical. They actually almost fit! I didn’t have to add to the generous seam allowance to make them my size. After making the shorts and grading out two sizes, I had rolled the dice and cut out the largest option even though it measured two sizes too small. I had to take out the half inch seam and instead did a little over a quarter, but they fit! I also had to adjust the back darts in a bit more to remove my usual back gap, gotta love a big round booty.
I am going to do better next time and make note of the knee and thigh length to make sure I have that shortened for my 5’4” frame, and I think I am going to try adding some height to the front waist band to see if I can’t get a high waisted look like I want. These and other pants are a bit tricky because there is such a change in size from my natural waist to hip measurement and there is no where to hide that transition like there is with gathered waistbands, belting or stretch fabrics. There are some styles that just work right from the word go and some that need more alteration and tweaking. Amazingly these pants work for many and they are in heavy rotation, still a ways to go for larger sizes in patterns but it was thrilling to have a pair of pants made up so quickly.