Wishy Washi – FO 10/2013

The thesaurus tells me that synonyms for the adjective “wishy-washy” include “insipid”, “mediocre”, “blah”, “boring”, “drab“…to name but a few.

I have to say these are probably a bit harsh on my poor Washi dress, and I think I’ll just settle for “meh“!


oooooh…my expression says it all, no? And I should have put some lipstick on! oops

I sooooooo want to love this pattern. It’s a doddle to sew and would be a great way to get some summery dresses into my wardrobe in double quick time to fill the gaping hole where my warm weather clothes should be.

It’s also a super comfortable and ultra quick school day dress.  You can be out of the shower and into something presentable in a flash, as long as you’ve remembered the fake tan for the high vis white legs.

It looks cute with ballet flats, which is pretty much a necessity for me these days.  I cannot do heels on a daily basis any more.

And yet, still, I’m not sold.

This version has a much better fit…I increased the FBA a little and it has made a significant difference to how this dress looks. Although the under bust seam could stand a little tweaking, I don’t feel quite so…hmmm…what’s the word?…’pneumatic’ this time round.

Could it be as simple as fabric choice?

This fabric is a crinkly polyester that is interlined because it’s too wibbly on its own, but stretches against the interlining so your hem looks like the cat sewed it.  I’m tired of sewing polyester.  I’m craving cotton dresses (although the dress on the table is some stash poly, and the red that I’m planning a skirt is also poly…but they are nicer than this, and when they’re done there will be many more natural fibres coming into the sewing loft).

It could also be a colour thing.  For as long as I can remember black has been my default neutral.  I love it. But I’m starting to feel that it’s an unrequited love.  These days when I wear black I feel drab and frumpy. I had to throw some hot pink at this to lift it. And whilst black might be generally considered “slimming”…I’m not totally convinced.  I feel more like I just look like I’m trying to hide something that can’t and, more importantly, doesn’t need to be hidden.

Conversely, when I wear colour, I feel perkier, walk taller, and invariably get more complimentary comments.  The Giverny dress, which is a fabric I would never in a million years have chosen for myself, is the most complimented garment I’ve ever worn.


It’s got to the point that I’m seriously considering returning a piece of black linen I was  kindly gifted, and am kicking myself that I’m making the “birds” fabric up with the black/cream side as the right side, and the navy/cream as the wrong.  Where was my head?


Anyway…the question of the day is…do I give Washi one more go in a lighter, brighter fabric?  Or do I cut my losses and go in search of an alternative quick win summer dress pattern?  The Husband thinks the former…he likes this look. What do you think?

21 Responses to Wishy Washi – FO 10/2013

  1. Jane G says:

    I like it,try some different fabric and see how you feel

  2. Michelle says:

    I felt you were being to critical of your Washi dress until I saw the photo of you in your Giverny dress…. WOW! GORGEOUS! In comparison, the Washi is less exciting, but we do all have those days when we need an easy dress to toss on, and I think it’s perfect for that. I’d give the Washi another shot in a different fabric and see if you like it any better.

  3. K-Line says:

    OMG, you look so hot in that bottom outfit! NEVER wear black again! OK, in truth, the top dress is cute, but black is such a polarizing colour. I feel the same way when I wear it. And I used to love it too.

  4. Vicki Kate says:

    Black isn’t great. Too harsh but the colours in the giverny dress look great on you, the navy with pops of colour is fabulous. The washi silhouette works I think, maybe one more go in a more summery palette?

  5. Linda says:

    The dress looks fab but you’re right, you do look soooo much better in colours. Either way, you’re a babe x

  6. Could it be related to the washi design? Though I don’t have the previous washi in front of me… I recall you just made the top, right? The bottom dress is more fitted and to me that improves the look. You’re right when you say hiding is often worse… And that’s how I feel with the washi silhouette. I even remember they used to say that on What not to wear. I love the black/pink combo and the shoes. Your legs look so great in flat shoes that you don’t even need heels (unless you want to wear them!). Another thought…maybe your not feeling happy with the dress may be skewing your perception, could it be?

  7. Try something brighter with a pattern. If you’re still not sold in the pattern after that then at least you gave it a good chance.

  8. I thought about the Washi at one time but I prefer a more fitted silhoutte so I’ve avoided it. I think it’s worth trying in a lighter fabric though just in case. It’s a perfect dress for throwing on on a sunny day! That second dress is stunning but the washi is a more casual dress.

  9. Rachel says:

    I’m torn. I think the black is adding heavily to the meh, but the bottom dress is so great I also wonder if it isn’t just not the right silhouette. That being said if it is a fast sew and you have some bright happy fabric you’re willing to risk- I would make up another one.

  10. The Washi dress is too short and square in my humble opinion, the Giverny dress is longer and has a definite waistline, so suits your body shape better. Also I’m not convinced that black is your colour, you look much healthier in the second photo and it’s not just the lack of lipstick in the first one.

  11. Susan says:

    My vote is yes, to try one more time with fabric you really like. I think this pattern is cut beautifully and I’ve liked most versions I’ve seen. You’ve got the fitting sorted, which is way more than half the battle! Even if I make my favorite patterns with fabric I hate, I’ll hate the make.

  12. Anne-Maie says:

    I agree with northenstitches — if you really like the pattern, give it one more go in a brighter fabric and then decide. Having said that, I’m not keen on those loose-fitting dresses for busty women (I’m one of them) as they tend to make one’s bottom half look much bigger; the fitted dress plays up all your good points and you look great in those colours!

  13. Sue Taylor says:

    I agree with northernstitches that the length may not be right. I also agree that black is a very harsh colour to wear, especially as we ladies “mature”. As our skin tone changes black is very draining and anyway as you say, bright colours always make you feel better when you wear them. That said, I like the neckline of the washi dress, so maybe give it another go in a brighter colour. The giverney dress is absolutely fab, by the way!

  14. Fiona says:

    I think give it one more go in a bright colour or print and then see how you feel, it’s a quick and easy make so at least you won’t feel like you’ve wasted too much time if you don’t like it. That floral print really does look gorgeous on you!

  15. I love it but then I love black, but I think you should try it again in a happy fabric!

  16. Sandy says:

    I think it’s about the shape. The washi dress is a cute design, but its high empire waist favors only certain figure types. The bottom dress’ silhouette makes more of your particular assets, imo.

    I’ll be interested to see, though, how different it looks in a brighter fabric. 🙂

  17. Tiffany says:

    Both dresses are actually quite flattering. The black dress would be cuter in a brighter color and with your fair cool toned skin I think you look better in color than in black. It brightens your skin and makes it look like luminous, while the black doesn’t do much. You definitely look better in the dress that is cool toned and brightly colored. The Cut of the black dress is great on your figure, though I do think the under bust seam would be better on you as a band and not a plain seam (if that makes sense). I enjoyed this post.


  18. sophie o. says:

    I really like the praticality of your black version but I also see what you mean about this dress, I’ve made two versions and I’m not entirely convinced by them either. I keep them because they’re the only woven dresses I can still wear (I’m dreaming of fitted summer dresses :)) but I’m not sure they really suit me. I think your reflection about colour is interesting: my two versions are rather dull but they’re the colours I reach for when fabric shopping because I know they will go with everything in my wardrobe – so easy.
    As the pattern is really a quick make and since you’ve already done the hardest work (printing, taping, fitting), I’d say give it another try in a bright fabric, maybe with prints and see how you feel

    • I think the colour revelation was the biggest for me. It’s been bubbling for a while but that picture really crystallized it for me.
      I’m putting Washi on the back burner for a little while, as I’m pondering a couple of tweaks to it to see if I can make it work. It would be a great “school run” dress if I can crack it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *