Saturday, February 15, 2014

Late majority adopter or laggard?

Washi


According to the theory of "Diffusion of Innovation," new ideas are picked up first by innovators, then early adopters, majority adopters, late majority adopters, and finally, "laggards."

When it comes to the Washi, I am either a late majority adopter or a plain ol' laggard. Only time will tell (it may be relevant here that I got my first smart phone in 2011). All I know is that this pattern has swept through the blogisphere and back. I resisted it for a long time, because I feared it would not flatter my large busted frame, and because I was intimidated by the idea of doing a full bust adjustment, and because. honestly, I just didn't sew much for myself. At the same time, I watched with interest while everyone and their sister made this pattern, and saw how it could be flattering on a variety of body types.

Washi



When the Washi Expansion Pack came out, that was the final push I needed. What can I say? I am sucker for a neck bow. I bought both the original pattern and the expansion.

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Before sewing the whole dress up, I made a couple muslins of the bodice. Here is what I did:

  • A full bust adjustment, to make space for my F cups.
  • Lowered the bust dart. I don't want to talk about it.
  • Lengthened the bodice by about one inch in addition to the length added by the FBA, in hopes that the dress would cinch in at my smallest part rather than right under the bust.
  • Added small vertical underbust darts, see above.
  • Shortened the front skirt to account for the longer bodice and reduced the pleats slightly to account for the wider bodice piece.
The advantage of being a late adopter is that you can scrutinize 500 million Washis and determine exactly how you'd like to modify yours based on what looks most flattering on other women with a similar body type. I like to let other people do the initial work of "debugging" new ideas then I hop on the train at the very end.

So then I cut it out in this fabric, which I've had in my stash for several years now, from the Cloud 9 Nature Walk line. The background color of this print is definitely brown, but the print reads olive-y green from a distance. I had just enough fabric for the bow-neck version. It was meant to be.

Once I had done the work of altering the pattern, it was an easy sew. I did an elastic casing in the back rather than shirring. My first version had sleeves, but I didn't like how poofy they were, so I took them off and made the dress sleeveless. Since I wear a cardigan 10 months out of the year, this actually works better anyway. The neck bow was easy to sew on and I love the extra interest it gives the dress (I think it counteracts the "monoboob" look that this style can sometimes give).

It is a very comfortable dress, allowing for the full range of motion required by mothers.

Washi


Washi


Washi 

And it looks especially great accessorized with a cardigan, belt, and baby girl! 

This first Washi dress isn't perfect. The armholes gape a bit (showing the top of my bra) and the waistline still needs a little tinkering. But the flaws are minor, and this dress is wearable and practical for my lifestyle. I am looking forward to making more Washi dresses or tunics in the not so distant future. 

Does anyone else plan sewing projects based on the color of thread in the serger? After threading it with brown thread for this project, I am ready to sew up a cute vintage pattern for Maggie in brown corduroy ... stay tuned!

22 comments:

  1. All that fitting work you did definitely paid off because this is one off my favorite washis. It has a really flattering fit on you!! I think the higher bustline would look somewhat maternity-ish on me, but I am digging your version!
    Oh and Ive always considered myself a late adopter but after reading your post I think I might be a laggard because I got my first smart phone two weeks ago. What can I say? I like to resist change until it's absolutely forced down my throat.

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    1. Haha, yes, I think I'm solidly "late majority." I like to see what everyone else does with something before I bite. The advantage to being a late adopter is that you get to see 500 million other Washis before you start and develop a clear plan of alterations based on your observations of what looks good on similar bodies. I agree that it could look pretty maternity-ish - I do not do well with empire waists generally - hence lowering the bodice which I think counteracted that some although possibly this dress will get my coworkers gossiping - who knows?

      Thank you, Carolyn!

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  2. Okay, now I really must try this pattern, I adore your version!

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  3. You look gorgeous! I especially like your choice of accessories (I'm a big cardigan and toddler girl myself). I'm looking forward to future Washis.

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    1. They make the best accessories, right? Thank you!

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  4. I love your taste in fabric. You look beautiful in this dress, and Maggie looks beautiful adjacent to this dress.

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    1. Thank you!! I was so thrilled to finally find a use for this fabric, which I loved at first sight, but didn't know what to do with. And yeah, Maggie looks beautiful adjacent to practically everything. :-)

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  5. Wow, this is great. I had to look up the fabric because it looks, from the pictures, like it has an amazing drape; I thought it was rayon but it's actually quilting cotton! Also your fitting is fantastic and the neck bow really adds. Your assessment of the "monoboob" problem made a lightbulb go off in my head - THIS is what I don't like about my Washis. The monoboob. Thanks for helping me figure that out. Though you may have convinced me to buy the expansion pack when I try again.

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    1. Hahaha! Happy to help! Yes, it is kind of the same problem I have with sports bras and nursing tanks - monoboob! The addition of the neck tie kind of breaks it up.

      The fabric is cotton, and technically quilting weight, but I was drawn to it immediately by its lovely weight and drape - it is somewhere between a fine quilting cotton and a voile in feeling. Hard to explain, but definitely nicer than your usual stiff quilting cotton.

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  6. It's gorgeous! All your adjustments have turned it into the perfect Washi for you - and that fabric is awesome for your colouring. I could picture you making another with a little button placket down the front of the bodice maybe? Hmm as for phones I am obstinately holding onto my old Nokia with the querty keyboard buttons that take up half the phone. Laggard or maybe just perverse.

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    1. Now you've got me dreaming of Washis with button plackets!!

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  7. Well, I must be living under a rock because this is the first I've seen of this pattern. And I love it! Of course, I also don't sew for myself... not because of bust size issues but because of body length issues. As in - everything must be lengthened a LOT. So, this pattern might have to be coordinated with a trip to my mother in laws who can then help me adjust the pattern to my "higher" needs. As in all 6 feet of them. This is all assuming that I ever have time to ever sew at all - even for the girls. Maybe once the baby is well again we can start working on sewing...

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    1. Well, lengthening is actually quite a bit easier (in my opinion) than doing a full bust adjustment! You should check out the Flickr group for Washi dresses - I bet you can find some other tall ladies who have made the pattern work. I studied pretty much every single Washi ever made before tackling this one.

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  8. Inder, it looks beautiful! The fabric is perfect for your coloring and the cardigan is a great pairing. I haven't yet succumbed to the Washi yet, though I was an early adopter with the Geranium and that is in my top 5 girls patterns!

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  9. Wow, Inder, the Washi looks awesome on you! This is one of the best I've ever seen. I love it! On me it would definitely look maternity-ish and I don't find it particularly flattering in many of the photos I've seen. But on you, it looks fantastic. I mean, you look stunning! Gorgeous! And such nice photos here, too! Lovely job!

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  10. I think this looks great! I'm with you on being a late-adopter. I too like to see lots of versions before committing. Plus the Washi would be a pain with nursing, right? The dress version is clearly out and I don't know how the tunic would work with the nursing tank I always wear. And then post-nursing I'd need to take the bust in a bunch more. Hmm.. guess I'll need to think a bit more :) But your version, so fun!

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    1. I am actually able to squeeze a boob out of the top to nurse. I think with a lower neckline, this would be quite nursing friendly, as the elastic in the back allows some flexibility.

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  11. This is so great, I love the neckline on yours! I must have been late to the party too, since I just sewed one up for the first time also!

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  12. oh, and I am even later to the party...own the pattern and expansion pack...have for about 6 months!! AND still havent sewn...i have conquered the FBA but wasn't sure how this would look on my plus size figure and still waiting to decide... ;-)

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  13. What a great Washi! I too love the neck bow and maybe, someday, when pigs fly and I sew another garment for myself I'll try one with this. Oh and I hear ya on the bust adjustment. I got to do it in the other direction though (lucky me) and I still have some gapping at the neckline. Maybe I'll work out the gapping problems for my next Washi. Or maybe I'll magically grow a cup size or two ;)

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