Handmade Closet: Two Dress Staples

As soon as Christmas is over, and certainly after Valentine’s Day, my mind starts to wander away from jackets, scarves, sweaters, and boots, and towards lighter weight dresses, short sleeves, and sandals!  And though I really loved all the clothes I made for myself over this past fall and winter, I am ready to challenge myself again with some beautiful new spring and summer clothes!

As I look through all the beautiful and amazing new spring patterns from my favorite pattern designers, I am drawn to two favorites over and over…one that I purchased last summer, and one that I purchased just a few weeks ago.  They will certainly become staples in my sewing and in my closet!


The Washi Dress from Made by Rae


I have now made 5 washi dresses, with the one above being my most recent.  I made it right after Thanksgiving, and if you received a Christmas card from us (or saw the photos on Facebook), that’s the dress I was wearing!  I am OBSESSED with this pattern, and have made it 5 times now because it is such an amazing pattern with such a wonderful fit.  Plus, in addition to the regular pattern, you can purchase an expansion pack, which includes variations on the bodice, the sleeve length, adding a collar, etc., that change the dress and make it look completely different!  In fact, these two dresses that I have shown on the blog before, and this one that I posted on Instagram,  are from the Washi Dress Pattern and Expansion pack:

longsleeve washi dress


This is one of my very favorite patterns, and it will certainly be on my Spring Handmade Closet list!  I see many, many more Washis in my future.  And in my closet!

The Emery Dress from Christine Haynes Patterns

emery dress

The Emery Dress is the most recent pattern that I have purchased and sewn, and I love it so (sew?, ha!) much!!  I know that just looking at it, it looks a lot like the Washi Dress, fitted bodice, gathered skirt, or at least similar, but the Emery was a bit more challenging and introduced a few new skills to me.  The Washi Dress is made with an elastic waist, utilizing either elastic thread or elastic running through a casing, so there are no closures (zippers, buttons, snaps, etc) that are necessary.  It slips on and off which is easy to wear, and really easy to sew.  The Emery, however, is made with an invisible zipper that runs down the back of the dress.  I have made one skirt with an invisible zipper, but it turned out prrrrrrrretty rough (I like to blame the poor instructions, though I know I was getting impatient and rushing through it, and not minding the details which is pretty important in creating a quality product when sewing!), so I was excited to try it again.  The instructions throughout the pattern imply that you have a beginner’s sewing knowledge, but even with that being said, they were very thorough and clear, and helped me create a pretty flawless zipper closure!  I felt really proud of this dress, and with the back and bust darts, the lined bodice, and the invisible zipper, I felt that this dress really upped my skill level!  So thank you, Christine Haynes, not only do you make a beautiful pattern, but you also boost confidence!!

I am really anxious to make another Emery Dress, and plan to make it for my Easter Dress this year.  It really makes for a beautifully fitting dress, and the pattern offers a few variations that I plan on incorporating into the next few dresses.  This is another one that will certainly be on my Spring Handmade Closet list!

So check back in the next couple of weeks or so, as I compile the full Spring Handmade Closet list of garments that I’m going to challenge myself to sew up for the warmer weather to come!

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