A Dress for Me & A Washi Dress Pattern Review

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. 
The pattern: 
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. 
The fit: 
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! 


  1. 1


    It looks amazing on you! Congrats!
    Next up, maybe the AMH Socialite? I love that one, so comfy and definitely don’t skip the pockets, they are the best part (I mean in the socialite). I’m sure your teacher will have answers for you, but I think to change the fullness of the skirt it is easier to move the fold line in and not mess with the outside edges; I would just do a small bit at first.
    I love it! Great color, too!

  2. 2


    Your dress looks great! Recently I made the Sis Boom Rebecca shift dress. It is more fitted and has a zipper, but Kay Whitt’s invisible zipper tutorial is amazing. I also recommend her book Sew Serendipity. I made the tunic, which was great (it calls for a zipper, but I didn’t need it). And the book also contains all sorts of advice on fitting too! Though, I imagine your teacher will be even more helpful!

  3. 4


    I really like the Lisette patterns by Liesl Gibson from Oliver + s for JoAnns. The explanations are awesome.
    The same is true for Colette patterns, and they gave some really good and useful tutorials on their website.


  4. 5


    Great job Jennifer! I love the neckline without the keyhole, I think I prefer it the way you did it. I love the Washi dress, but the gap with the keyhole neck line has always made me hesitant to go with this pattern! Of course it can be modified, duh! I love the color too. I’m inspired to give it a go before summertime, I would love to add one of these beauties to my wardrobe! Awesome!

  5. 6


    You did a great job! I would love to take a garment class. I also have the PDF pattern for the Sis Boom Rebecca shift dress but haven’t made it yet. You should check it out.

  6. 7


    Beautiful; it looks so professional! One thing about the volume — it looks like that is fine-wale corduroy? A drapier, lighter weight fabric or a knit would likely look *much* less voluminous.

  7. 9


    I made myself the anouk dress by victory patterns and I looove it! It looks much more complicated than it is. And it was a quick sew. 3days working on it, but I have a toddler, baby, and the all need food and attention so it was a little sewing here and there. Without distractions I could have completed it in a day easily.

  8. 16


    I love your dress! I have seen others made with this pattern and must say I like yours the best. I love how you modified the neck and especially the sleeves. After seeing your creation I may make one for me! Thanks for sharing.

  9. 17


    Fantastic job! From the pictures it looks like it fits pretty well. I have only sewn a convertable dress and a maxi skirt–both really simple and didn’t have patterns (still working on how to follow them!)

  10. 18


    What a great job, and you chose such a beautiful color. That was one of the first things I sewed (the washi). I just purchased the Angle Dress from Sis Boom patterns, it has no buttons or zips, and is supposed to be easy. :)

  11. 20


    I love it! It looks perfect on you. I’ve still got plans to sew up some more Lisette patterns…if only I could stop adding to my sewing to-do list!

  12. 22


    fantastic job. you did a great job. it looks so cute on you, and the color is so perfect. lol i havent made any clothes for myself since high school. lol long ago. buy i have made tons of childrens clothes. have fun.

  13. 24


    Your washi is great! I love the sleeve add-on. I started a washi myself in the fall and keep meaning to finish it. I extended the hemline since I’m quite tall and it’s hard to hem to a good length now without help. I made a Shearwater Kaftan and posted about it last week if you want to give my blog a peek. It was SUPER easy and straight forward, definitely a good quick project to learn some new garment sewing skills on :)

  14. 25


    I usually just use a zigzag stitch to finish seams, although I also have a number of different over lock stitches. My trick for lighter weight fabrics is to use a foot with a little tab that the stitch goes over, which keeps it flat.

  15. 26


    This is a great style for you and the color is perfect! I think the bust seams look like they are in the right place, but I haven’t seen you actually moving in the dress. :) I am particular about the neckline (I’ve had a double mastectomy and have to wear a ginormous compression bra to counter lymphadema) so I would much prefer something up higher around the neck for myself. But it looks like you did a great job! Congrats!

  16. 28

    Trina says

    This looks awesome, Jennifer, and your tips are very helpful. I’m glad I found your post before I tackle this. :)

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