Organic cotton warp into a SAORI handwoven dress…

This past weekend Tara was staying here for a weaving retreat. We had a wonderful time and spent a lot of time out in the studio…..sewing, weaving, creating….

We made a pair of legwarmers, a book cover and a small case to hold pens for her dad’s birthday gift, a pouch for her mom’s cell phone, a T-shirt weaving, and THEN we made a dress!

Tara had brought with her a beautiful length of cloth she had woven on the organic cotton pre-wound warp from Japan. This is colour-grown, textured cotton…

She picked a dress pattern (# 35) from the Shitate-no-Hon book. We measured the cloth and didn’t have enough to make it as shown and so I made some adaptations – instead of long sleeves, we would have just enough to make tabs or small cap sleeves at the top to hold it all together…

I had never tried sewing this pattern before and so I had to make a paper copy first – to see how the folds, cuts and sewing would go together to actually make this dress.

Once we were done sewing we put it on the dress form and Tara decided it needed a button for embellishment. She looked through my buttons on hand and chose a leather button from a local artisan that does leatherworks.

I’m really quite amazed at how it all came together. Tara has such a great sense of design, the patterns (luckily for me) are easy to follow (once I can visualize them) and of course with SAORI everything is adaptable and there are no mistakes!

Congratulations Tara – a beautiful handwoven dress!

Happy Weaving,

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SAORI Dress in a beautiful garden

When Lynn was here making her 8-ways tunic, another Lynn was also here designing and sewing.

Lynn (from Victoria) had her own design and ideas that evolved as we worked together and then she finished the details when she got home. She has sent me some wonderful photos of the dress (and a vest now completed too) and details of it in her beautiful garden setting.

So, here’s the dress – a beautiful neck line with a slightly frayed edging that shows off the colours …

Side panels, pleats in the front…

Open at the bottom of the sides for easy wearing and walking…

Wonderful pocket details with her requisite “Bob” button (made by her husband, Bob)…

I hadn’t even done the blog post yet and she already finished a vest from the same fabric – and sent me photos too – so here it is (no button yet – it is to come). The front…

The back….


Well done Lynn! Both so wonderful and wearable.

Now, the rest of the story of this whole length of fabric is that the warp was a great find at a Thrift Store. It is a cottolin (cotton & linen blend) warp, already wound, tied, a good cross in it for threading – but in golds, browns, greens and very “70’s” looking says Lynn. She took it on as a challenge to see how she could use it and incorporate other colours to make it more to her liking. I was amazed – look closely at the detail photos and you’ll see what I mean.

Happy Weaving,

My website:

Tara’s Dress

I spent a wonderful morning with Tara and her mom Eve. Tara had purchased one of the pink pre-wound warps and wove the whole thing – 12 metres of it – washed it and brought it back to sew into a dress. She had seen a picture in the Saori Photo Report book that she wanted to try.

We had to decide whether it would be a dress or a tunic – or a bit of both. It’s long enough to be a dress, but could also be worn as a tunic.

Basically, it’s two long pieces sewn together at the shoulders…

The front and the back are quite different – and it can be worn either way…

We sewed in a side panel for a bit more room – using 1/2 of the width of the fabric and it was too wide. Eve had the great idea to fold it in half again and just sew it down, leaving the bottom the full width as a ‘kick pleat’ for extra room for walking, sitting, etc.

Everyone was pleased with how it turned out.

Now Tara has another 6 or 7 metres of fabric to make something with – or to sell.

It’s always interesting to see how things come together when sewing Saori-style. Each piece of fabric, each garment is different!

Happy Weaving,

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