The Ishi Dress by Straight Grain Patterns

This sewing project was a bit of a "selfish sew" in the sense that, like many of the dresses I make for my daughter, it was not something she actually "needed" or asked for (though had she seen it, there is no doubt in my mind she would have requested it - namely for its large pockets, perfect for storing treasures). It was something that I had been wanting to make as soon as I had seen the tester call, and I bought it as soon as it was released. I told myself that after all my pattern testing was finished, it would be my sewing "reward." In fact, I got so carried away that I ended up making three of them, ha ha! I won't subject you to my first attempt, since I think it was a bit of a failure in terms of fabric combining. Instead, I'll show you my pretty second version, in nani IRO.

You just can't go wrong with nani IRO!
I'm convinced that my version looks decent because of the fabric and not because I can sew!

I will make no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of Straight Grain An's aesthetic. One of the very first patterns I bought once I discovered the PDF world was the Hanami Dress (you can get yours here. Get it! You can thank me later). It was everything I loved in a dress. I mean, come on! Who can resist "tulip flutter sleeves"? But I'll save that discussion for another time.

Back to the Ishi.
Please don't ask me why she has a cat face sticker on her cheek. 

I have always been lazy wanted a "relaxing" sew after the challenges I faced sewing a jacket with lining and welt pockets, and when I saw that there were only 8 pattern pieces, I thought, "Woo hoo!" But after I'd cut the pieces, I realized what it meant to sew a princess seam (something I'd never done before) and I thought, "Ohhhhhhhh...." Nevertheless, I was sure the instructions would guide me well, and fortunately I was not wrong. Plus I used a lot of pins. A lot.

Sewing with nani IRO double gauze just makes everything that much prettier!
I mean, look at that! Reminds me of Monet. Yes, I like the Impressionists, okay? Let's just move on.
If you're waiting for a picture of the back, I'm sorry, but I forgot to take one. It's cute, though, I promise! I went with yellow buttons rather than a zipper. I know what you're thinking -- but no, seriously, I have a good excuse reason! Do you want to hear it? Well, I'll tell you anyway. Every time I go to buy notions, I almost always end up with some fabric in my basket. Don't ask me how it happens. It just does. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that the other day I went to go see a movie, and somehow ended up getting some fabric. Don't ask me how!

Anyway. I love this pattern. Okay, maybe not as much as the Hanami Dress, because let's face it, that dress has flutter sleeves, sorry! But I do really love the Ishi, too. Hey, maybe I have something for Japanese names....

I made the 4Y for my 4-year-old, no alterations. This is just my personal preference, but I might try to make it a bit longer when I make it again. I suspect that my daughter has a long torso compared to other children her age, so that might be part of it.
Do you like the little ribbon I added? I just couldn't resist. 
Do you know about the Ishi Contest? There are so many amazing prizes -- and frankly it's just fun looking at all the Ishi dresses for inspiration! Go have a look!

Thanks for reading!


  1. SOOOO beautiful....I love everything about this project.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much!!! I am such a huge fan of nani IRO <3


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