Sunday, 9 March 2014

My first Washi Dress

Yes Yes I know the Washi dress/tunic pattern by Made-by-Rae is old news in the indie pattern circles but it is new to me.  I spent ages looking at other peoples versions and how it fit differently shaped women before I decided I really wanted it.  I took the plunge and downloaded it.  I was worried that by the time I had printed it out and fixed it together I would have lost my motivation and given up, however it wasn't that bad and I had a fully functioning cut out pattern in just under 30 minutes.

At first I decided I wanted to make the dress version with short sleeves and had some pretty cotton fabric in my stash that would be perfect, it is a quilting cotton but it is very very soft and drapes well, not like some of the crunchy cottons I have had in the past, unfortunately it still creases real easy.  It is a soft lilac with almost white flowers and leaves, I believe it is called buttercup designed by Kitty Yoshida for Bernatex fabric
I cut out my fabric and started to sew, the instructions were easy to follow but then I got to the shirring part for the back of the dress,  OMG!!!   what was I doing wrong, I tried and tried and tried, watched some youtube tutorials, searched the web, tried some more, tried again..... ARGH!!!   I gave up, that is one technique I really need to work on.  Eventually I decided to sew a band on 2inch stretched elastic across the back where the shirring should have gone, and actually it worked out fine, next time I will sew a casing which Rae has a tutorial for on the Washi web pages. 
This was also my first attempt at pleating and I think you will agree I smashed it, my pleats are perfectly balanced and look professional.  Apart from not matching up the pattern of course but hey, you can forgive me that right?I carried on following the instructions until I needed to sew the bodice lining to the bodice enclosing the sleeve.   All I can say it WOW!!!!    Rae's video and seemingly magic trick to sew the lining in was amazing, I completed this after watching her video tutorial a few times and am super impressed, I am going to try it on another one of my favourite dress patterns too it saves a hell of a lot of hand sewing and gives a tidy enclosed sleeve.  Once all steps except hemming were complete I tried it on, I love how the bodice fits but the dress length is not for me.  I have a huge derrière (backside) and the dress just looked sack like, there is no way I would ever wear it in public, it just didn't hang well, I decided to cut it down to tunic length and now I love it.
 I have plans for at least two more Washi tunics, I really want to make one for work with 'The Hungry Caterpillar' fabric and one with my mannequin fabric (I already purchased this)