I did it! I made a Washi dress for me.
This is the first garment I’ve made for myself and really only the second garment I’ve sewn.
I used the pdf pattern, taped it together on Sunday and got to work that night cutting out my fabric. So all in all, it took me three days to make the dress which is really quick I think.
OK, the pattern comes in pdf and in paper form. It’s well organized with lots of information and clear steps. With that being said, I’m a really inexperienced garment sewer and I still had to look up a few key terms like understitching and overstitching.
Then I wasn’t sure how to finish the seams. I don’t have a serger but I do have an awesome machine that has 10 different overlock stitches. Overlocking is totally new to me so I experimented with a few different types and found one I was happy with. The part I wasn’t sure about was how much to trim the seam before I did the overlock stitch. The pattern called for 1/2″ seams and only said to trim the side seams so I trimmed to a little bigger than 1/4″ and then did the overlock. I’m like to be sure of the right way to do this technique so I’ll be hitting up my sewing teacher for answers on Friday.
I left out the pockets and didn’t think I’d miss them but I’m definitely adding then next time.
I think the fit is pretty good. I made a medium and did a muslin of the bodice first which came together quickly and is something Rae recommends. I fell right between the small and medium but I definitely need the medium across my shoulders and back. I need a bit more practice with bust darts (are they supposed to be lower?) and think they might be less noticeable on a printed fabric instead of a solid.
I made my dress with the scoop neck without the keyhole which was a good choice for me. It’s still a little gappy so I’ll need to wear a tank or camisole underneath. I also had a thought that I could raise the neckline and do less of a scoop which would probably solve that issue. I think I’ll play around with that on the next go round.
I also think the skirt is a little more full than I’d like. I want to reduce the amount of volume in the skirt for the next time which is yet another thing I will be asking my garment teacher how to do this week. I’m thinking that would it would be as easy as redrawing the lines of the skirt pattern, and taking it in some but I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.
The pattern includes a cap sleeve but I opted for the long sleeve version. Rae has a free sleeve pattern on her website that is a compliment to the Washi dress. It was super easy to make and install because you sew it in as a flat sleeve. All that means is that you sew the sleeve seam and dress side seams all at the same time in a straight line. It’s easy-peasy.
I’d love to make several of these for summer. I love that they just pull on, can have several sleeve options and think they would be so cute in fun summery cotton prints. A knit would be fun too.
All this to say that my daughter will be getting some summer dresses too… after a bit more practice for me.
So tell me, what other dress patterns should I try? I’m excited to be making things to wear!