Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sleeveless Washi Dress with simple mods

I made another Washi Dress from Made by Rae's great pattern!  When I posted it on instagram for Me Made May, I got a few comments about the proportions so I thought I'd share the modifications I made to the pattern to get this shape.

The original Washi pattern has an empire waistline.  I like it sometimes, but depending on the fabric that I'm using that cut can have a maternity look on me, especially since I have a long torso.  So the main modification I made to the pattern was to add a little length to the bottom of the front bodice.  I also tinkered with the neckline a bit, which I will show you below.

By extending the bodice just a little bit, the seam hits in a very flattering place--just above my natural waistline.  At the fold, your bodice should be 1.5" longer than the pattern.  Since the pattern curves a bit, the outer edge (side seam) of the bodice will be 1.25" longer than the pattern--just follow the curve of the original pattern.  What I actually did was cut a size small, but with a size XL length, which adds the amount of length above.

Forgot to get any pictures of the back though!
You have to remember to add those inches to the back panel of the dress as well, and move your shirring on the back down slightly.  I started my shirring about 1/2 inch lower than in the original pattern, and added one extra line of shirring at the bottom so that the shirring ends at the same spot as the bodice seam in front.

You don't have to adjust the bust darts--it really is just a simple matter of adding that little bit of length to the bodice.  The shirring in the back gives it a lovely fit.  If you go much longer than I did though, the torso portion of the bodice will start to pull and wrinkle.  I tried with a less forgiving fabric--I got a wrinkled bodice whenever I sat down.  If you want an even lower waistline you will probably have to make additional adjustments to the pattern.

This particular fabric that I used is slightly crinkly, so it has a little bit of stretch.  I usually make a medium in the Washi dress, using the same bodice adjustments described above, but this time I made a small to allow for the stretch.  I find it really comfortable and flattering--if you can find a woven with a bit of stretch, it works well to size down for a more fitted look!

A closer look at the fabric--another one of my 100-yen-per meter finds in Tokyo,
meaning this dress cost me about $2 to make.

For the neckline on this dress, I used the pattern neckline as a guide but cut it a bit lower and wider.  The depth of my neckline went right to the line of the signature "U" cutout in the Washi neckline, and then I curved it out beyond the pattern neckline but made sure the shoulder straps stayed the same width.  Here's a picture of how my adjusted neckline (the blue line) looks compared to the original pattern:

There you have it!  Hopefully these adjustments will give you some more options with the Washi!


  1. Wow this dress is stunning again! Thanks for your explanation on the alterations.

  2. Pretty dress, you look great! You sure know how to make clothes fit to yourself. I tried Washi last year once, and about to do it again. Hopefully it will be something pretty like yours!

  3. This looks great on you Beth & I love the fabric. I want to go fabric shopping with you in Tokyo!


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