Thursday, October 4, 2012

My First Washi Dress

A few weeks ago, I joined the Made by Rae Washi Dress Pattern craze!  I just couldn't stand it anymore.  I mean, I loved the look of the dress the very first time I saw it, but I don't normally sew for myself or spend that much money on a pattern!  That is until now!

Everywhere I looked, people were posting their pictures and blogging about their versions of the Washi dress, and there are no telling how many times I kept visiting Rae's Washi pattern page and Flickr group to mull over the idea of whether or not this dress would be something I could successfully make for myself.  I don't remember which post or picture did the trick for me, but I finally couldn't stand it anymore and ordered the pattern!  So glad I did!

I read through the instructions, took my measurements, and determined my size.  Next, I picked some Lisette sateen fabric from my stash that was enough yardage to make the dress version with sleeves.  Then I began printing, taping, and cutting out the pattern pieces.  Now I will say that is one thing I don't particularly like about pdf patterns for adult clothes--there are so many pieces of paper to put together.  After this laborious task, I cut out the fabric and began the fun part:  sewing!

Things progressed pretty quickly with sewing the pieces together.  Rae's instructions were spot on and her hints/tips were very useful.  I definitely suggest that you read through the entire set of instructions before beginning to make sure you are familiar with what comes next!

Since I already know how to shir, that wasn't a big deal at all.  What did slow me down was pinning on the sleeves and then attaching the bias tape around the armholes.  I'm not sure if I didn't  cut out my bias tape to the correct width to begin with or if I didn't iron it to the instructed width, but when I edge stitched it around the armhole opening, I thought the seam width was way too wide.  I'm pretty sure this was an error on my part somehow and had nothing to do with the instructions, so in the end, I ended up removing the bias tape and redoing the work using a smaller seam allowance.  I was much happier now!

I finished sewing the dress in an afternoon and wore it the next day.  If you are like me, when you get something new you want to wear it right away!  I love the look of the dress on, and I received so many compliments (from both men and women) the first time I wore it!  Plus, it is super comfy!

Since this was my "test" dress, I decided there were a few things I wanted to slightly alter for the next version (and yes, I immediately knew there would be many more dresses and tops made using this pattern).

  • First of all, I am not crazy about facings, and although the facings for the dress work well, I decided I wanted to line the top next time.  Lining the top would also eliminate the need to use bias tape around the armholes.  Plus Rae has a video tutorial for how to go with the lining option.  
  • Secondly, I wanted to lower the dart for the bust by at least a half inch to give me a better fit.
  • I also felt like the back was trying to ride up some because the shirred back was sitting a little high on me.  Next time, I will shift the rows of shirring down by at least a half inch if not more.
  • Lastly, the neckline of the dress seems to gape open more than I would like.  I'm not sure yet how to resolve this, so if anyone has a suggestion, please leave me a comment!
Curious about Ella's dress?  I'll be blogging about it soon!
Overall, the Washi Dress pattern is well worth the investment.  The instructions were clear and helpful, and the dress itself was fairly simple to sew.  Always a plus in my book!  I can foresee me using this pattern for years!  Thanks for a great pattern, Rae!


  1. Oh, I hope you post pictures of your Washi tunic too!!! It was so cute! :) And I can't wait to see more pictures of Ella! :)

  2. Looks great!! YEs, i agree, putting together the pattern was a bit tedious!! But the sewing is so quick, which is awesome! I will say that, although i love the u cutout, I've been hesitant to do it because I was afraid it might be a bit too low and gape a bit more than I'd like too...Great Job!

  3. very cute!! can't wait to see it in person :)


Please feel free to leave a comment! I love reading what you think about my post!