Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wishy Washi

I love puns.  I'm not sure why but they always make me crack a smile - or get a large, loud laugh out of me.  Today's title is a pun indeed.  Wishy Washi can be taken two ways.  "wishy" as in: I don't know how I feel about this Washi, OR "wishy" because my fabric has dream, believe, wish, etc. written all over it. HA!

On to the review.

I love following Rae's blog over at  She has a great personality and super cute designs.  When I saw the Washi I was in love.  I had to have it.  I purchased this bad boy way back on January 24th this year.  Then it sat.  It sat because it was winter out and I didn't want sleeves, I wanted a tank.  Then in March I took it out and made my first muslin. Yikes.

My measurements put me exactly at a size medium.  I cut and traced. Then it didn't fit. at. all. The medium was clearly way too big.  My upper chest was like a balloon of fabric and the sides puffed out as well.  Then the pattern sat again because I just didn't want to deal with it.  The bust darts were re-worked time and time again.

I picked it up again in May and attempted to do my own modifying, making muslin #2 but it still wouldn't fit right.  At this point I became a hopeless mess.  I didn't want to give up but I was seriously deflated by all the "perfect fitting" Washi's popping up everywhere.

In August I picked up an excellent book (of which I highly recommend and use a lot now).

Seriously cheap and seriously worth a lot more.

I learned more about my body and how to fit it than any other book I've read through, and I've read many. There are no convoluted hard to understand steps in this book.  It is fast, easy, and works. It is a pivot and draw sort of method that my brain understands.  That slash and move crap confuses me.

So I came back to the Washi and drew up a new muslin, #3 if you are counting.  I used a size Small, recommended by Nancy and my measurements.  Then I performed a square shoulder alteration (OMG the difference with this is huge - I'll always do this now).  I also did a full bust adjustment.  Now I know I don't have a large bust and all but my measurements between my high bust and full bust show that I do need the FBA.  I wanted to argue but went with it anyway.  It worked!  Muslin #3 was much better. The only thing to address was the front and back neck gape of a freaking inch! ~ This happens a lot for me.

modified new on bottom, original on top - FBA
and bust dart moved up 3/4" 

square shoulder adjustment of 1/4"

modified new front on left, original on right

modified new back on bottom, original on top

Muslin #4 I used  a slick technique I found here at Phat Chick Designs. I slope or slant out the front and back neck 1/2 inch and the muslin was perfect.  Sigh. of. relief.  The fabric has been washed and dried for this Washi since March.

original on top, I penciled in where I sloped out the front neck gaping

The Washi itself was not hard to sew up at all.  I went with the tunic length and no pockets. I didn't use facings - detest them.  I used self-made bias and the tutorial over at the Grainline Studio website to insert it for the neck and arms. I should have went with the 1/4 but I had already made the bias up and didn't want to trim it at this point.

I also used 1/4" elastic x 3 instead of shirring for the back and used my self-made bias for the casing.
My back measurement from seam to seam of the knit shirt I had on at the time was 17" so I went with 15" for the elastic but after sewing down the ends on each side it was more like 14" long.

The instructions are superb. Rae explains things very well.  The pictures are super helpful too.

(note: for the following pictures: I literally finished the binding facings 3 minutes before I had to get the kids from school.  1 minute was spent throwing make-up on, 1 minute was spent yelling and chasing the dog, and the last minute was spent on pictures. So they may look funny! lol.)

After trying the tunic on it hit right were my thighs are the largest so I didn't think that was a good idea.  Plus I'm a pear shape so I should have went with the front "skirt" in a M instead of a S.  I took off 2.5" in length and put in 1/2" hem by folding up 1/2" and then again 1/2".  I think the length looks much better on me now.

Not much else to say.  The sewing and product are awesome.  It was getting the fit that was so difficult.  I see from my pictures that I have a bit more to work on.  I see some pulling lines around the bust still so I'll go back and see about altering them 1/2" instead of 1/4" for next time.

So in my rush today to finish this, I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.   I dropped things, I burned my hand on the iron, I stabbed myself many times with pins.  The puppy would not leave me be.  The only part good was that my eyelashes turned out looking good today.  Love this mascara! lol.

Oops! The fabric: Riley Blake Flutter Dream Blue 100% cotton, 2 yards. $14.38, from Jan 20th, 2013

 ~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. Your life sounds a bit like mine! I sew in-between other stuff, the most I usually have is an hour to sew. I leave my machine out which really helps. It's very interesting to me to read about your fitting adventures as I have a few issues in fitting the bust area myself, luckily I mostly prefer a loose fit! You were very patient to do so much work. I will have another look at this post and maybe the book when I hit my next snag!

    1. Thanks Philippa. Chaos sometimes produces wonderful things :D
      I really do recommend the book - very helpful and not long, it is a quick read with many pictures - I found it first at my library before I ended up buying it

  2. Well done! That is a lot of alteration for one top :)

    1. Thanks Jeifner! I agree! a lot of alteration - it's that darn perfectionist in me ;-)

  3. Ok, I so wish I was patient enough for clothing. I hope to get there some day, right now I'll just dream.

    1. Thanks Dawn. You can do it! Take it slow, 1/2 hour each day?
      I really don't have much patience myself - trust me! lol

  4. Wow, I'm glad you got it to work after all those trials (starting to sound like a folk song...) The square shoulder adjustment is one my top ten best discoveries of all time, probably number one in the sewing department! Yay, I can wear shirts!

    Anyway, the top is really lovely.

    1. Thanks Joy! I agree, shirts feel "right" now! :D

  5. I hope that was an affiliate link, I just purchased a copy for myself :) I already have her "Busy Women's Sewing Book", which I don't use much since I've been doing mostly kid's clothes. I'm not a fan of Rae's patterns (at least, the free one's I've tried), so I'm glad you were able to get this to work for you!

    1. Thanks Angie! (it was). You will love the book - no matter how many I accumulate, I reach for that one first and most. I agree, I'm not really a fan of the fit of Rae's patterns. It was soooo much work and it is still a bit off. I liked the empire waist-ness of this one but it certainly wasn't worth the purchase.


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