Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Made By Rae Washi Dress

Have you ever fallen in love with a quilting cotton or even a printed cotton/linen that's not really a traditional 'garment fabric', and really, really wanted to wear it? Here's your answer: the Washi Dress, named for the fabric that designer Rae Hoekstra made her original version in, a quilting cotton print based on strips of colourful Japanese sticky paper 'washi tape'.
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Our shop sample in the first photo is made in Field Study 'Fine Feathered' (denim colourway), a quilting cotton designed by the amazing Anna Maria Horner.

This dress truly is fabulous: comfortable and flattering to a multitude of shapes and sizes. It's fitted only around the top of the torso to just under the bust, where pleats and a slight A-line make it skim beautifully over everything on the way to your dainty knees. It's worth taking the time to make a muslin (rough test version) of the bodice section to get the size and fit just right.

Somehow, the genius design of this dress really works for quilting cottons, which can't be said of a lot of garment patterns. This leaves you with a wide open choice of amazing fabrics to use!
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The back is shirred - the pattern includes full instructions for how to achieve this using shirring elastic on your bobbin. This gives the bodice great shape but the stretch leaves it super-comfy. And if shirring isn't for you, you can easily substitute narrow elastic stitched down with a zigzag or make channels to thread elastic through on the inside. (We'll happily explain these options in detail, in store.)

And did we mention pockets? Oh yes, in-seam pockets!

Here's a Washi that Jane made last summer in linens - similar available in store.

For more Washi Dress inspiration, have a look at the Washi Dress Flickr Pool and for information on options for long sleeves, linings and more, visit Rae's own blog.

Washi Dress printed pattern and a multitude of fabric options now available at The Drapery!

- Fiona & Jane xx

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