washi dress

Now that I’ve started sewing my own clothing (ha, look at me, talking like I’m making a whole new wardrobe already) I’ve been thinking a lot about fit. When I shop for clothing in retail stores, I try items on to see how they look, but I don’t think about how they fit. I realized, in making a Washi Dress, that I don’t know how to really assess how something fits yet. But I like to think this one looks pretty good on! (All photos by Caro Sheridan; the last photo by our host, Phil!)

chevron washi dress

I didn’t make a muslin of the Washi—my bust measurement went fine with one of the existing sizes, and I knew the skirt was forgiving enough to not matter. It came together fast once I got the shirring to work (which, upon further reading, I’ve learned I did not do correctly, but it functions fine, so I’ll just be improving my technique for the future. In case you are wondering, the problem is that the elastic is wobbly on the back, which means I didn’t have it properly under tension. I’ll be playing with that once I get more elastic.). I went with a tank instead of sleeves and made white bias binding out of Kona Snow for the armholes. (Now I wonder if I should’ve used that for the neckline too, but I’m not doing it now.) I tried it on once it was all assembled, modeled it for my boyfriend and a friend, and asked if I needed to change anything. They said it looked fine.

chevron washi dress back

But does it FIT fine? I’m not convinced it does. The bodice should probably come lower. The bust darts don’t make the bodice shape to me in any real way. The neckline gaps just a bit (maybe partly because my “featherweight” interfacing was too heavy in combination with the cotton, lightweight though it is, or maybe because I forgot to clip the curves). I know there’s room for improvement if I take this one on again.

chevron washi dress

Wearing it while tromping around Star Valley Flowers‘ farm in Wisconsin, however, I discovered it is a great garment for wearing. It’s comfortable, breezy, and the fullness of the skirt means it requires absolutely zero effort at all. If I add a white cardigan, I’ll happily wear this to work and show off my handiwork. But I won’t make this dress again without significant revisions. This field of sunflowers are actually part of Driftless Organics‘ farm, across the street—we couldn’t resist them!

in the sunflowers in the sunflowers

9 Responses to washi dress

  1. Hannahbelle says:

    Erin, is the dress zippered (on the side?) or a pullover? It looks cute but I agree that the empire is a little high for you (it would be for me, too.) I have been meaning to make this one but I am still busy DIY/refurbishing a sewing cabinet before I can put my machine in it!

  2. miko says:

    what a gorgeous setting for the photos. we should plan a frolic in nature day in the fall. :-) The fabric you chose is adorable. If I’m not mistaken, the fabric used for the pattern photo is actually a quilting cotton (or can be used for that, as I have some of that fabric…).

    The dress looks super comfy and cute but since we’re talking about fit, if you were to make it again I would suggest, if these are not already in your revisions, that cutting the tank shoulders in further would make it even more flattering, and maybe raising the the bust line so it’s more of an empire waist (although dropping it would work too).

  3. Kristy says:

    Great dress, especially for this being your second garment! I’ve made the Washi dress twice in the past couple of weeks and I’ve had the same issues on the neckline. And I also think that front seam might be in the wrong spot for me also– maybe it should be raised?

  4. Janieb says:

    Wow it looks amazing! Plus a dress with pockets I’m guessing from the pics, pure fantastic. Eeeee I may even end up learning how to use my machine now….

  5. Chris C. says:

    This is one of my favorite recent dress patterns, and your version of it is super-cute! The only issue I see with it is that it is maybe a little wide for you in the back and front. I would probably make the shoulders a bit narrower, so they fit your actual shoulders instead of starting to creep a touch onto the tops of your arms.

  6. AngelaH says:

    I’ve been thinking of making this dress too! I’ve never done shirring either, so maybe that’s something to try out before I take on the full dress. This looks like a great casual summer dress – what fabric did you use?

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