Thursday, 16 May 2013

Washi Dress by Made by Rae

I finally got around to making this dress. I bought the Washi Dress PDF when it first came out and kept putting it off out of sheer fright at making a hash of it. My fears as it turns out were all a bit silly as it is reassuringly easy to make.

This is a seconds fabric and has got a couple of quirky marks on it, like the line across the pleats. Damn. Luckily not so noticeable in the flesh.

I made up a muslin for the bodice to see if the darts fitted correctly and to my joy, they did! I was able to jump straight into the construction without any need for fiddly dart adjustments. 

 I chose to finish the facings by folding them to the inside and zigzagging over the edges. The finish on them is actually really nice and they sit smoothly inside the bodice. I made the scoop neckline instead of the 'u' so the sewing was nice and simple at this step.

I even did the shirring! Ha! This is new territory for me, I have never shirred anything before. Rae's guide was nice and clear but I did reference one of my books to see if I was doing it all right. I kept the stitch length at 5.0 while shirring and the dress gathered beautifully. One thing to note however (and bear with me I am a newbie) is that I did the first two rows on a half full bobbin of elastic and they didn't gather well. So I rewound the bobbin full and tried again. This time was perfect, instant gathers. I just went back over the first two rows again and they caught up with the rest. Weird, but this seemed to make all the difference.

Rae's instructions didn't say to knot the ends of the elastic but my book did, so I tied the ends of each two rows together at the side seams and this held the elastic in place.

I took my time with this dress but still got it completed in two days. The fact that the pockets are cut out within the main skirt piece made the side seams quick to sew.

The pleating is enough to give the front of the dress some volume, but not too much that it feels matronly. I can't tell you how much I love the pockets!

The bodice fits beautifully and feels comfortable. The combination of the darts fitting in all the right places and the shirred back, makes you forget about what you are wearing and there is no need to be constantly fiddling or adjusting the dress anywhere. Also as an added bonus, it completely covers your bra straps - always be thankful for clothes that manage that!

The fit is perfect. This Washi Dress is definitely one of those patterns to make a few staple versions of. I really like the lightweight denim ones I have seen. I must try the tunic version as well for colder days when I want a bit of Washi but with the warmth of my jeans.

 As well as making my dress, I have been a busy bee and made a pair of Parsley Pants also by Made by Rae. It seems to be 'Made by Rae May' in my house at the moment. I wonder if I could fit in a Flashback tee before the month is out just to keep that going?!

I will blog about these pants later, but for now here is a sneaky peek.....



  1. The dress is lovely, Katy, and fits you so well - glad you made it!
    Love the pants fabric - can't wait to see them

    1. Thanks Justine! I have never made anything that fit instantly before, I can see why you were so taken by this pattern.

  2. Love this fabric, what is it?

    1. Thanks! I honestly don't know. My local fabric shop sells some fabric by weight and there are a lot of cut offs in the pile. This one had no info on the selvedge.

  3. Just about to purchase washi pattern as I am a huge fan of geranium, having made 4 so far for my daughter. I looked on the Flickr pool for some inspiration and your version is my favourite! I hope mine will turn out as well as yours, I'll let you know when it's done... Fingers crossed!

    1. Thank you very much! Considering how many beautiful versions there are out there, that is so flattering!

      Hope you get on okay with yours. I am currently working on the tunic version and it may be timely to not that I am making one modification to the pattern. It niggles me that the shirred area on the back rides up whenever I wear it and so I am adjusting the position slightly to make the lines of shirring fall lower. Only by about 1-1.5" but I hope this will help them fall more in line with my waist and so stop the movement.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.