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Sarah's Carolyn Friedlander Straight Sewing Dress

When Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai Collection came in, I knew that it was game on! I love every one of the fabrics from this collection, but I couldn't resist this adorable quilting cotton printed with beautiful, geometric bone forms. Right up my alley! All I needed was the perfect pattern to use it with.

Pattern: Gather One-Piece (from Easy, Cute, Straight Sewing by Yoshiko Tsukiori)
Materials: 2.25 yards The Big One in Iron from Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai Collection
Size Made: One Size
Modifications: Added Bias trim to neckline finishing

Christina, one of the wonderful instructors at Fancy Tiger Crafts, blew my mind when she showed me her copy of Easy, Cute, Straight Sewing, and it immediately went on my Christmas list (shout out to my lovely momma who ordered it from Japan for me!). This book is full of simple, sharp designs based on square forms. They range from ultra-feminine dresses, to unisex outerwear, and each item in it is flawless to me. The garments are designed in only one size, big. Which is how I like clothing to fit. Perfect!

I have a history of falling in love with Yoshiko Tsukiori's designs including the lovely Sweet Dress Book, and I knew this would be no different. The fabric and pattern were a perfect match.

This book doesn't come with pattern pieces, rather it gives you small diagrams that tell you the dimension of each pattern piece, allowing you to draw them out on pattern paper. Also, this book hasn't been translated into English yet, so it's all written in Japanese and provides measurements in centimeters. After some google app-aided translation and measurement converting, I was ready to go. It was a little labor heavy on the front end, but that made the whole process even more gratifying. The book gives minimal step-by-step instruction in the form of helpful illustrations, giving the maker the chance to rely on their knowledge of garment construction. This is not a book for new sewers, but it's a fun adventure for those who have a bit more experience.

I wanted to start simple, so I selected the short sleeve version of Gather One-Piece! I loved how quickly this piece went together! After drafting the pattern and cutting everything out, it took about 2.5 hours to create this cutie. The gathered bust detail adds femininity and softness that contrasts beautifully with the sharpness of the short sleeves. I love the detail of the underarms, the yoke of the dress is sewn into the skirt, not overlapping, but perfectly butted up against itself to create clean and interesting armholes.

This piece is so versatile, I can't wait to wear it year round. It will be perfect on its own with some sandals in the summer, and great to layer with a long-sleeved shirt, cardigan, tights, and boots in the colder months. I can already tell that this (and the inevitable future versions of it) will become staples in my wardrobe, along with a handful of other items from this designer.

I love the bias tape finish on the neck (stolen from my Fen making experience) and will continue to make this modification to my future makes from Yoshiko Tsukiori.

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