Washi Dress: Part Deux

Washi Dress: Part Deux


My first attempt at making clothes for myself was a Washi Dress that I wrote about here. I was so proud of the fact that I made something that I could actually wear that I overlooked some minor issues with the fit of it.  I remember wearing it to the event above hoping someone would compliment me on my dress. It didn’t happen, other than my kind sister, but I was still proud nonetheless.

What I didn’t realize in the fog of my new found love of garment making, is that I had grossly overestimated the size of my chest.  I mean, I realize there’s nothing there but I thought I had a few more inches than I actually did.  This incorrect measuring led to a bodice that was quite roomy.  Roomy enough, in fact, to fit my water bottle and straw. Not kidding. Yes, it was surprisingly convenient to be able to drink water without hands, but not at all attractive.  I still love this dress, more for emotional reasons, and I can cover up my inadequacies with a scarf this time of year, but I wanted to make a second Washi dress to try to redeem myself.

I’ve read several blogs that suggest making a muslin before tackling a pattern so you know it will fit you perfectly.  Brilliant, however given this was my first attempt at a dress I had no desire to make two dresses in order to finish one.  Now I now why making a muslin is a good idea. Lesson learned.

For my second Washi dress, I decided to downsize and it ended up fitting perfectly.  I used Robert Kaufman’s Oxford Yarn Dyes in Black which felt more garmenty (made up word) and I like the way it draped.NEF_4385

The only thing to consider with this fabric is it frays more than quilting cotton.  I used Fray Check on all of the cut sides to make it easier when I was constructing the dress.  It was definitely a pain in the buns but it was worth the extra time.


Hooray for Me Moments:  Shirring!  I finally figured out how to shirr.  Pause for applause. With my machine (I have a Husqvarna Viking 100Q) I found that I have to wind the elastic pretty tight around the bobbin instead of loose light most tutorials suggest.  I threw myself a party when it worked and had a huge permagrin as I was sewing each of the seven shirring lines.  Each sewing machine is different but for mine I found it worked better when the elastic was tightly wound.  DSC04356

And now for my big Blooper (womp, womp):
+I think I accidentally French Seamed my shoulders.  I honestly still have no idea how I attached them and need to figure that out (Help Rae!).  This was the last step in my dress construction and I wanted to finish them so badly I was  about to use a stapler or glue or safety pins.  Anything really that would allow them to hold on enough for me to wear the dress. They don’t look terrible, but they definitely don’t look like they are supposed to.

Once I was finished, I made my husband take me to a random field to get pictures of it.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was changing outfits, not so discretely, in the car.  Love patient boys.  He never grew up with a sister so he’s had to learn fast the craziness that girls present.  NEF_4386

Not sure what I’m doing in the following one:NEF_4389

I first debuted the dress for my sister’s birthday:DSC04412

And then at the Sewing Summit:DSC04535-2

And finally (actually not finally I’ve worn it more times that I can count) at my dear friend’s baby shower:DSC01575

Now that it’s cold outside I’ve had to layer this baby with tights, a sweater, and boots.

The Washi Dress is a great pattern and I would highly suggest it if you haven’t given it a try.  I’m excited to make another one, possibly sleeveless? I realize this sounds completely counterintuitive given that we are approaching winter, but I figured it would fit better under a sweater and not give me the shoulder pad look.

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