Whale Washi

Here it is, my first Washi dress! Ok, my first made-with-the-intention-of-wearing Washi dress. I did a test run with a $2 sheet from Goodwill, since I’m new to this whole garment sewing thing. The pattern is very easy to follow, so I forged ahead, and here we are.

I bought this fantastic (fintastic?) cotton whale fabric at Birch Fabrics in Paso, the storefront for fabricworm.com. SLO is a small town and we don’t have a lot of good fabric shops around here, so I was super excited to learn that all those amazing fabrics were just a short drive away. Anyhow, this fabric is “Natural History” from Lizzy House in the Whales Blue colorway,  and it’s swim-sational. Heh.

I was pleased to find that this fabric holds up really well under adverse wearing circumstances. It was unusually muggy and hot when I wore this to work, and even after an bunch of walking and bag-schlepping and two plane flights home, it was hardly wrinkled at all!

Whale fabric deets

And some more views. I made this version with no alterations, and there’s a little too much fabric in the under-bust and front waist for my liking. The sweater I’m wearing here ties in the back, which is a fine interim waist-fix until I decide to alter the dress properly. (Already on the schedule for the Twelfth of Never.)


I would have liked to do the facing and bias tape in an orange color, but didn’t have anything on hand that was the right shade. Instead I used a grey with white polka dots and it’s totally fine, just not punchy like I would prefer.

Fine-but-boring polka dot facings and bias tape


Overall, I’m pretty happy with this project. It was a good starter pattern for a beginning garment sewist, and fits reasonably well without any pattern changes. Looking forward to another!

Notes for next time:

  • Modify pattern to reduce the extra fabric in the front.
  • Be careful with the seam allowances, especially over the pleats in the front. I caught the end of one pleat sort of funky. NBD, but avoid next time.
  • Make it a little longer for wearing to work?
  • Try the variation with elastic casing for the back gathers.
  • Try the big bow variation, as well.

Whenever possible, have a Feline Supervisor on hand for your photo shoot

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