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.
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.
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.
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.
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!