Washi #1

I titled this post ‘Washi #1’ because there will be a #2.  And a #3.  Aaaaannnd probably a #4.

Really.  I love it that much!

If you follow any action in sewing-blog land, you’ll have seen many Washi dressses and tunics floating around.   It’s a thoughtful pattern created by Rae.  Rae has some great patterns and tutorials out there- I’ve learned a LOT from her site, so it was no question that I’d give this pattern a try.  The back of the dress/tunic has several rows of shirring that help to keep the bodice fitting comfortable, yet snug at the same time….the skirt piece is pleated….and I’m convinced this would look good on anyone.

I solicited some advice from Kristin (thanks girl!) who’s two Washis are some of my favorites.  (You can check out tons in the Washi Flickr pool)

I especially loved her second (who didn’t?) which has a lovely scooped out neckline.  I took her advice and cut about 1″ more into the pattern and shaped it a bit wider at the bottom to give it a fuller U shape.  I lengthened my bodice 1″ since I’m tall (as in 5’11” kind of tall)… I’m so glad i did- it pretty much fits perfectly.  I also lengthened my skirt piece by a good 1 1/2 ” to hit right where I wanted it to.  Better to give yourself a little wiggle room if you’re not sure…I added 2 1/2 inches to the pattern and then cut about an inch off before I hemmed it.

 P.S., if you think you need to lengthen your bodice too, add the inch on the back piece above the highest shirring lines… the bottom shirring line should be right at the seam where the bodice meets the skirt.  It seemed to work out nicely for me anyway.

My fabric choice is one I’m super happy with. It’s Marqueterie in Berry from Pat Bravo’s Indie line. I don’t own a whole lot of floral in my wardrobe, so I wasn’t too sure when I ordered it, but it spoke to me, so I went with it and crossed my fingers. I think it’s fallish, but at the same time i think the colors lend themselves to any season. Oh, I also cut my fabric pieces out oppostie than way Rae suggests, just because I liked the flowery parts to go across my body instead of up and down, just perferred it that way when I took a long look at it.

Oh, and don’t get ahead of yourself- make a muslin to make sure it’ll fit before you cut into your nice fabric.  All you need to do is cut the bodice out and sew the bust darts…. depending on your chest size, you may need to do an FBA or SBA (as in a full or small bust adjustment).  I did not have to make any adjustments… but I’m still nursing.  Believe me when i tell you I will be making an SBA on this pattern when i stop!  Bye, bye boobage….

I would say the ONLY thing I would change next time around is the armholes, which for me and my somewhat broad upper-body, fit just a little too snug- I’ll blame that on my years of competetive (update: *cough*…highschool) swimming growing up- not the pattern!  I’ll probably cut into the armholes an extra 1/2″ next time around.  No biggie.  I’m still gonna wear the heck out of this.

It’s so satisfying to sew for ME!  I’m still somewhat of a novice sewer (got 2 1/2 years of practice under my belt)… so if I can make one of these, so can you. After the last couple of dresses for Ell got hung up in the closet- probably for good- it was really nice to focus on my own wardrobe… which is now hurting just a little bit less thanks to this shirt.  🙂

I am envisioning a few more… one with long sleeves (Rae is working on that, yay!), A dress version, a mini version… yup, I said mini…. check out Kristin and Rae’s MINI Washi dresses for their girls…. riDONKulous!  The possibilities are endless, which is the mark of such a great pattern- props to Rae for perfecting the design and sharing it with all of us who love to sew!


32 thoughts on “Washi #1

  1. Well, you already know I love it! It matches up so nicely with the yellow cardi. And your fabric choice rules- so cool that you thought to draw the pattern accross instead of lengthwise. You will excuse me if I had a little chuckle at, “all those years of competative swimming”! te he he!
    ~ Caroline

  2. ARGH yay! It turned out beautifully! Love all the little adjustments you made, they turned out the perfect top for YOU! Isn’t that the beauty of it all…to know yourself well enough to know exactly what you want out of a garment? Nicely done!

    (and thanks for the shout out!)

  3. This is beautiful! I love the color and how it looks with the sweater. My armholes turned out a little snug too, right across the front especially. I am not used to working with a 1/4″ seam allowance and I wonder if I accidentally made it a little too deep as I sewed. Next time I am going to add to the seam allowance, I think.

    1. Thanks Adrienne :). I love your olive green version… I’d love to make a dress next time around, but choosing a fabric for that will be a tough one for me! Maybe a solid is the way to go? I was actually thinking black just because it would be more versatile in my wardrobe. We shall see!

  4. Out of control amazing! Beautiful!! How do you do it? I want to make one, but the thought of pulling out fabric and sewing machine mayhem in my not yet unpacked house sends me into a cold sweat….maybe I’ll just stick to easily transported and tucked away little knitted items for Souder grandbaby #7! 😉

    1. Hehe…I think that’s a smart move Grayson. when you ready, we’ll come to you and hunker down for a real sewing day! We got do it this winter one weekend- at your house of course! 🙂

  5. Love it. I bought the pattern the minute it was for sale and it still sits. I am soooo anxious to make a washi like the rest of the sewing world. I loved Kritstin’s scoop version too and that’s what I’ll shoot for on my first try. I imagine I will have many washi’s in my wardrobe once I get started.

  6. Soooooooo impressed by you once again! I seriously don’t think I could do this. I don’t know… But clothes for big people just intimidate the heck out of me!

  7. I’m in love with this pattern as well. I’ve made two pieces so far and have plans for a third. I’d be interested to hear how the armhole adjustment works for you. I might try that next time myself!

  8. Thanks for the help with lengthening your tunic. I am currently making my first washi tunic and need to lengthen the bodice too and was glad to find your blog. Your washi is beautiful by the way!

  9. okay, the top is beautiful, great fabric choice!!! and I swam all through high school and college and have the same problem with things being tight fitting under the arms/shoulders area!

  10. There is nothing that I don’t love about your version. The fabric is gorgeous (I love it with the yellow cardigan)…such a fantastic choice! And the fit is perfect! Perfect, I say!

  11. I so love your version of this, found you from Flickr- I bought the pattern today, now i just need to get a little time to try and make one! Thx for the info, it’s always great to hear others advice on these :o)

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