03 Sep Washi Dress Wednesday
I’ve always been intimated by garment sewing, especially after watching the chaos of Project Runway. The contestants are running around like crazy attempting to put together ridiculous materials into something resembling clothing. I realize real life doesn’t involve Heidi Klum, harsh judges, and time limits, but I’ve never wanted to attempt to make clothes for myself. Until now!
I walked into Sewn Studio last month and saw Jessica wearing an adorable Constellation dress. It didn’t look “handmade” but after talking to her I learned that she had made it by using the Washi Dress Pattern by Rae Hoekstra. Conveniently she was teaching a class the next week on how to make one. After leaving the shop, I quickly called my mom (aka my sewing buddy) and we signed up for the class. I ordered the Waterfront Park fabric to use for the dress but it didn’t make it in time. I decided to use Lotta Jansdotter’s Glimma Fog Soba instead.
Two classes later, my mom and I had a finished Washi dress. The shirring was a little/LOT tricky (I fear the shir). I read a ton of blog posts about it, but my machine was not having it. I may or may not have gone through an entire spool of elastic thread between classes and contemplated throwing my sewing machine out the window. Fortunately Jessica was able to help me get through it and had more patience than I did. The pattern was really easy to follow (other than the shirring) and I’m happy with the way it turned out. I still need to shorten it a few inches because I was not blessed with legs for miles. I’m thinking I can even wear it into the fall with a belt, tights, and boots.
As luck would have it, Rae was going to be in Columbus talking about her Washi dress the same day. My mom and I were super excited and after finishing our dress in the morning, we drove up to Sew to Speak to meet her.
Sew to Speak reminds me a lot of Sewn Studio in Cincinnati. It is a quaint, modern sewing shop with love fabric and an incredibly friendly, helpful staff. My mom and I couldn’t resist purchasing some fabric and April Rhodes’ Staple Dress Pattern. I was able to meet April that night and she is adorable. I’m really looking forward to trying this dress and already have the fabric that I want to use.
The night started with a meet and greet and was followed by a Washi Trunk show and presentation by Rae. We were able to see all the variations of Washi’s that she’s made as well as concepts for an extension pack (Peter Pan Collar, small and Large Bow, Sleeves) that will be coming out in the future. My mom and I were able to sneak a few moments with Rae and it was fun to get to know the person behind the pattern. Rae is incredibly sweet and humble. She was a former teacher, like myself, and with a lot of hard work has created a successful business. It was fun to listen to her talk about how the Washi began and all of the modifications she had to make throughout the process to make it what it is today. She has definitely sparked my interest in garment sewing and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. Shan and Sooz’s excellent sewing adventure ended with a delicious dinner at Eddie Merlot’s. It was a perfect Washi Wednesday.