Saturday, March 9, 2013

Things I've Sewn Lately: Washi Dress

When I went to Seattle, the ladies in one of the fabric stores I visited highly recommended the Washi Dress. It looked like a cute dress, and I was intrigued by the fact that one of the recommended fabrics was quilting cotton, so I snagged a copy.

I also snagged two super cute high-quality quilting cottons. I do think high-quality matters in using quilting cotton for apparel because the nicer fabrics have higher thread count (which means they drape a little more nicely.) The pattern itself is printed on really nice thick paper. It says you should trace, but I am so not a tracer, so I cut. 
Also, it has pockets. Any dress with pockets gets automatic points in my book. I love pockets. 

The instructions are super clear and all on one big page, single-sided, which I appreciated, but they do NOT adequately explain the fact that the back should be all one piece. It's two pattern pieces, which is the way I cut it the first time, but BEWARE. You should cut it all in one piece. Live and learn, right? I did it correctly on my shirt version.

The dress came out cute, but I have to say, the cut is not super flattering on me. (I apologize for the poor photos. Unless I can get pictures on a sunny weekend day outside, I have to use a LOT of flash.) I feel like it's a little.... maternity on me. However, I do think that would be fairly easy to solve. Also, I think this dress would be PERFECT for working in the garden/hanging out on a summer weekend day. It's so loose and easy to wear -- and light because it's quilting cotton -- that I feel like super flattering or not, it would be a dream on a super hot summer day. 

I did learn a couple of new techniques on this dress. I'd never done shirring before and I'd never used bias tape before (which is really hard to believe, because it seems like the sewing blogger community is crazy for the stuff -- but my mom always told me that bias tape is for people who don't know how to finish their seams nicely. Woops.)

One thing about quilting cotton that kind of sucks is that the edges fray LIKE CRAZY. So there's a lot of seam binding to do.

I also messed up the neckline on the dress a bit. I had to unpick it and that stretched the fabric pretty badly. Hence the wrinkle at the neckline. Lame.

I also made a shirt version out of a super cute (also grey and white -- yikes) quilting cotton with little anchors on it.

The above picture clearly illustrates what I think is unflattering on me about this shirt. It's just... too wide. It made me little a little pregnant, I think. 

Here's that shirring detail I mentioned. Shirring is super fun! You get to sew with elastic thread in the bobbin and regular thread in the needle. And then when you're done, you steam it and VOILA! it shrinks up into shirring.

Ultimately, I think I'll take a bunch out of that front panel. Don't you think this is much more flattering with a smaller silhouette?

I also made an awful mistake of cutting the actual shirt when I was trimming the hem. Ugh. It needed to be slightly shorter anyway, right??

All in all, it's a really cute pattern and the instructions and printing are wonderful, so I highly recommend it.

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