Washi: Stick a Fork in It

Today, I give you not one, but two more Washis. I’m officially done done done tweaking the pattern. Not so much because the fit is now perfect, but because I don’t know that I can make another Washi at this juncture. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

Riding on the high of my alteration success from muslin #2, I wanted to dip into my “nice” fabric to give my changes a test run. This brown knit with white polka dots is one of my prized fabrics, and I clenched my teeth a bit as I cut into it.

I know you’re thinking, “What is up with the lining?” The batiste lining was originally a smidge too long, so I chopped it without thinking it through. I hemmed it and didn’t realize how short it became until I took the photos. I have half a mind to just cut the whole thing off and wear a half-slip.

I’m infinitely happier with the elastic casing versus the shirring, but it causes an unintentional ruching at the waist when the fabric has no give (my muslin last time had a nice amount of stretch and it wasn’t as obvious). This knit is very odd. I guess it’s what you call a two-way stretch, but the warp (parallel to selvage) doesn’t stretch at all. Plus it curls all over the place. It’s slinky and sheer and I just love this fabric despite its weird properties. Because of its sheerness, I had to add a lining, further reducing the stretch factor. It doesn’t bother me enough to change it, but it’s noticeable and maybe not very professional-looking.

This blue floral is a slightly different colorway but same print as the one I used for a failed dress before. I’ve hoarded both the brown knit and this floral for eons, but I decided the time has come to start using up special fabrics. You’ll be seeing a lot of phrases like “who knows where this fabric came from” and “I have no idea what kind this is” Β going forward as I de-stash. I apologize in advance. Because in addition to not buying clothes, I am not buying any fabric for a year (gasp!) or until I run out of fabric – whichever comes first. My stash is out of control, friends, and I will show you just what I mean soon, because it deserves a post all its own.

Is this print not gorgeous? It might be voile. Or maybe lawn. I have no idea…At any rate, I made the elastic a little looser for this blue floral dress, hoping to avoid that pulled taut look, so this one is now more blouse-y at the top. I also added the sleeves since I felt like all I’m making are variations of the tank dress, and this too is a see-through fabric, so in went some rayon lining I had on hand. And though I love pockets, I chose to go without, again because of the sheer fabrics.

It’s not flawless by any stretch of the imagination – things got a little dicey at the neckline that I tried to stay-stitch — but you know, I kind of love it. If I saw this in a store, I don’t know if I would be naturally drawn to it, but that’s part of my aim with this sewing venture: try new silhouettes, fabrics, styles. The dress is comfortable and feminine and I don’t know, I feel like breaking out in song and skipping in it. I’m still trying to decide if I like the brown knit dress or not.

There. Done. Stick a fork in it. I wanted to try the Washi in a knit and a fabric with substantial drape, so check and check!

Here they all are, my lovelies:

You can see the first two Washis here and here.


32 thoughts on “Washi: Stick a Fork in It

  1. Ooo-la-la! I love the brown dress. With the style today, you can get away with the shorter lining. It doesn’t look bad at all, but I do get how you feel. The fit is perfect and if I can say (without sounding creepy), your legs look great in this length!

    Ha-ha… I clenched my teeth all the time when I’m sewing my fave fabrics.

    1. Thanks Venus! Encouraged that it might look okay even with the too-short lining, I wore this dress all day today and it’s SO comfy! And ha, not creepy at all! πŸ™‚

  2. I also really love the brown one! And the waist will probably look all right when you move and the ruching wonΒ΄t be very noticeable anymore? So, try that flamenco move you made with the blue one also with the brown one and it will be very stunning! It is good you put all of them together in one picture, it really shows the improvements! The longer bodice makes such a difference! And I like it better sleeveless, even though the blue one is beautiful, too and the fit looks great.

    1. Thank you, thank you Ute! You’re right, the ruching wasn’t obvious and the comfort outweighed all other persnickety problems with the dress πŸ™‚ and I didn’t think of that as a flamenco pose – must try it with a rose in my mouth and castanets next time!

  3. Really pretty! I love the blue print and the cut. I’d love to make a similar dress for myself one day- versatile for all seasons.

    1. Thanks M! It took four tries to get the fit decent..it’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to sewing for myself!

  4. I love the blue one the best! You stuck with it and even cut into treasured fabric, so I say you had a successful run with the Washi. Yay!

    1. Yay! Thanks June! I know there are more tweaks that could be made, but I had to call it good. I have so many patterns I figure I can get plenty of fit adjustment practice πŸ™‚

  5. I like both dresses, but I think if I have to choose… the blue one it is! but just because I’m in “blue mood”. The fitting and length are perfect with both, I think you nailed it!..oh, I can hear you about those precious fabrics, those that dread to cut.

    1. Oh yes, if I’m not careful, I’ll end up sewing only blue and grey clothes! My heart was hammering when I cut into these fabrics, but I read an article recently (can’t remember where) about a woman who couldn’t bear to cut into her treasured fabrics and ultimately she never made anything and passed them onto her daughter when she died. That made me sad but also motivated me to use up my stash.

  6. Love them both – the Brown one is gorgeous for sure. I literally held my breath when I cut into my prized voile… it’s scary but satisfying to finally wear it!! πŸ™‚

    1. Huzzah, good for you for cutting into your prized voile, Clare! We should have a “cut into your most valued fabric day” (CIYMVFD — such a catchy acronym, no?)

  7. Hmmm… I posted earlier but it seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace. But I just wanted to check in to say “well done!” The last photo really shows the progress you made and the final blue floral dress is my favorite of them all! And I really, REALLY impressed that you’re undertaking a fabric purchase fast! Hope to hear about it on a future post:)

    1. Thanks for commenting again, Lucinda! I’ve had that happen to me in the past and I often couldn’t muster the energy to retype the comment, so I am extra appreciative!! And yes, I am working on capturing the enormity of my stash without freaking you guys out too much…:-)

  8. I am a huge fan of the blue floral version! I think the fit looks really, really nice and the color looks great on you. Very cool that you’re going to de-stash your fabric, too.

    1. Thanks Morgan! It’s an epic undertaking, the de-stashing. The quandary is that my taste has changed a bit since I started acquiring fabric five years ago, so I may end up using a lot of it for muslins…I hope that’s not the case though!

        1. Ooooh, what a brilliant idea and in Seattle, too! I’m in! Keep me posted — I’m so curious to see this place!

  9. wow, i really commend your perseverance. it is really hard work altering the same pattern over and over…i’m doing much more minor tweaks on a tank pattern right now and i had to take a break and make some other stuff in between. funny, all the things you point out about the brown dress, the lining and the ruching, i thought were intentional and cool design points. ha! so there you go.

    1. Haha, so glad you thought my errors were intentional! Thanks Ashley! Alterations take forever, and depending on the fabric, the alterations may not even work….such a learning process, but I’m loving it. Can’t wait to see your tank pattern tweaks!

    1. Thanks very much, Stacy! So funny, as I tried to modify the pattern, I felt like I had NO talent…a lot of it was guesswork and frantic Internet searches πŸ™‚

  10. Oh yes, I can see why those two fabrics were squirreled away. I love the brown spotty knit and the close up of the blue pattern is gorgeous. Congratulations on the pattern perseverance and good luck on the fabric purchase fast (no way could I do that…)

    1. I had to take some deep breaths, but it actually felt good to cut into the fabric once the deed was all done. And thanks for wishing me luck on my fabric fast – I need it πŸ™‚

  11. I adore the blue one. The brown is is very nice, but the blue colour just looks so lovely on your skin tone. Its vibrant, yet not too bright. And the semi cap sleeves are just fab. I think the washi pattern’s top bit extended would make a lovely top with jeans or pants.

    1. Thanks, Grace! I love love love blue, and you’re right, I think this would also be a great top! I have just enough of this fabric that I might be able to make something for K…perhaps a Washi inspired top πŸ™‚

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