Saturday, 27 July 2013

Made: A maxi length Washi dress (also with birds)

You might remember that the first Washi dress I made in grey, with birds, was made with half a Primark reversible duvet cover. Well, this is the other half.
Maxi length Washi dress
 This is the maxi length version of the basic Washi pattern. As before, my big design change was to make the bodice princess seamed. Other than that, I obviously followed the Washi Maxi tutorial to make the dress significantly longer and fully lined. One slight difference, more visible on the back view, is that I bound the lining and outer together using a bit of leftover bias binding from the previous dress. I wish I could say this was a specific plan, but actually I screwed up and this was the only way I could think of to recover from the screw up without unpicking 8 miles of stitching. I've nothing new to say about the pattern -- it makes up very quickly when you're making it for the second time, I still like all the same things I liked before. I didn't do the best job with the full lining and I wish, in retrospect, that I'd blind hemmed rather than top stitching the very deep hem, but I'm still pretty happy with this dress, even though I'm not sure I'd ever willingly leave the house in it.

Back view

The fabric, being cream, desperately needed a lining. In the absence of any time/inclination to go and shop anywhere, I once again bought a cotton sheet to do the job, this time from Tesco for €10. I used pretty much the whole thing making this dress. Overall, I think it cost about €20 to make this maxi dress. That seems like a lot, but wow, it's fabric hungry. There's like 5m of fabric in this dress, so €20 isn't ridiculous.

Close up of the pattern
 I managed to get the border print to behave exactly the way I wanted to this time. However, I had real problems with the two layers of fabric and the princess seams. I am going to steam iron it again later and see if I can improve it any, but I fear that it's just too many similar-weight princess seams in one obvious place to ever look good.

I had a bit of a crisis of confidence with this dress because, I have to admit, it's a little Bride of Dracula-ish, and my friend T. also right pointed out that the very plain cream bodice is kind of blah. I've been wearing the dress this afternoon with a little blue empire line cardi, and I think actually that's a much better look.


  1. Your dress is lovely! You'd never guess it's previous life was a duvet cover!
    I really like it - truly stunning - I can just picture you in a formal garden with a glass of something sparkly, but if you're not sure, the bodice would look even more fab with a chunky necklace that either mimics the neckline or drops down lower with a single chain and chunky pendant.

    1. Thank you! Alas, not too many garden parties in my future just now, but that idea about the necklace/pendant is really great, thank you!

  2. I like the princess seamed bodice on the washi - great idea! I would never know this used to be a duvet cover. :) and I agree, a nice colorful necklace would really set off the dress.

    1. Thank you! All my possessions are currently in storage but I have exactly the big chunky necklace in mind to wear with it now it's been suggested!

      I find that with my very large bust if anything needs to be close fitting I prefer princess seams. Darts the size I need are really hard to manipulate on a relatively small bodice pattern piece like this.