sew off challenge: Mini Washi Dress
of all the items on Rae’s list that i narrowed down for our sew off, this is the one that jumped out as an immediate MUST MAKE. in fact, i believe i had started thinking about a mini version of her wonderful washi dress pattern around the first time i made it for myself! (here are my washis one and two)
funny how a gal like Rae can finally make the leap to selling adult patterns and people immediately want to shrink it down for littles, right? well, that’s what happens when it’s SO DARN CUTE to make things in miniature.
there is no washi pattern for kids, so i created one myself. and then i sewed it using the exact same methods detailed in rae’s adult washi pattern!
honestly i’m amazed and so proud that i got this to work. it feels like luck! i created every pattern piece that the original washi has – front bodice, sleeve, front and back facings, front skirt, and dress back. i started with the 3T flashback skinny tee pattern for the bodice, which i love to use as a basic pattern block for my slender little gal. i chopped it a bit shorter than i did for her amelie dress, since the washi is closer to empire waisted. i also curved it just slightly so it went up in the middle. obviously i omitted the darts. (!)
i laid out my adult washi pattern on the floor and used it as a reference for how to shape the front skirt (with room for pleats) and to see how it related to the bodice. then i used the bodice and skirt pieces together to draft the one-piece back. i just kind of built the pattern up bit by bit like a puzzle. it was a super fun challenge that drew on every bit of my knowledge. sewing has such an amazing learning curve!! i couldn’t have made this dress even a couple months ago.
the shirring in the back makes the front fit pretty darn well, but keeps it comfy for a little gal. the adult version has shirring too, which is one of the things i love about it – the comfy factor is off the charts!
i did have trouble getting the neckline right. my daughter’s head is proportionately large for her body. i originally made the neckline too small, and it didn’t fit over her head. i trimmed it and kept trying it on her until it fit (interrupting her afternoon leaf-painting, but she didn’t mind too much). it was scary because i wanted it to pull over her head without struggle, but it was also really important that it remain appropriate for a four year old to wear and keep the look of the original washi’s neckline.
it does gape a little bit when she lifts her arms, but hey – i got pretty close for my first go!
best part is, she loves it! she really does! we’re calling it her “fireworks dress” (due to the anna maria horner shattered circus fabric). plus, who can resist a dress with pockets?
not me, and not this girl either.
have you sewn a mini washi? i’d really love to see it! karen did! if we all rally together, i bet we might be able to talk Rae into releasing a mini washi pattern for sale one day. wouldn’t that be fun? a bunch of mini me washi dresses! 😉
Rae made hers in actual washi fabric, and had a different solution for the large head small child problem. here it is!