Feather Washi Dress


This lightweight feather lawn caught my eye when I taught the Luna class at Dry Goods Design in Seattle last month, so I bought a few yards along with a handful of other lovely fabrics. Keli finds some really amazing apparel fabrics and they often move fast, so it’s always a good idea to pounce when you see something you like. A few days ago I got inspired and turned it into a tea-length Washi Dress with a bow.


I am so thrilled with how this turned out. I was worried that the fabric might be too busy for a big bow (from the Washi Expansion Pack), but I shortened it so it can hang down without being tied and I love it.


I’ve been sewing a lot this week at the expense of many other things that need to be done, but being able to fully immerse myself in creative work is restorative. Creating beautiful things is exhilarating for me. It reignites my passion for my work and reminds me to be grateful to be able to do it. Creative work is such a luxury, and such a gift, isn’t it? I am fully aware that as such, it is also temporary.



The dress is a slightly modified version of View A from the Washi Expansion Pack, with the main changes being length, some width in the front, and a shorter bow. Here’s a quick recipe for this dress!

You will need:
Washi Dress Sewing Pattern
Washi Expansion Pack (“XP”)

Cut the following pieces from the Washi Dress Pattern:
1 Back, extend length of the skirt by 11″
1 Front Skirt, adding 3″ at the fold to add 6″ total to width, extend length of skirt 11″
(see the pattern instructions for how to add length to the dress)

Cut the following pieces from the Washi XP:
2 Bow bodices
2 large bows, subtracting 6″ from length of each
bias strips for armholes (I made mine 1.5″ wide)
1 elastic casing

Follow the instructions for View A from the expansion pack, except gather the front skirt instead of pleating it, as shown in the View B instructions.


18 thoughts on “Feather Washi Dress

    • Hi Laura,
      I don’t actually know; apparel fabrics often don’t have selvage information. I do know that as such it’s unlikely to be available again, but watch the Dry Goods site for new arrivals — Keli always brings in fantastic stuff.

  1. Gorgeous dress and left me flush with ideas! I have a few different pieces of lawn and I’ve been wondering what I would do with it…I’m not in the mood for a shirt. I’ve been busy a dress and have some knit sitting on my table getting ready for another but seeing yours in lawn has inspired me to consider making up a nice, old fashioned cotton shift 🙂

  2. oh I LOVE it. So inspiring. Makes me want to make another Washi Dress. Im definalty going to look out for new fabrics.

  3. Such a pretty dress, but my favourite is your line ‘creating beautiful things exhilarates me’. That’s exactly it and my new response to people when they ask me why I sew!

  4. This dress is really fantastic! From the post I’m thinking it’s unlined? I have some great lawns I want to use, but have been nervous about using for a dress or skirt without lining them. But then I feel like lining will change the drape. Hmmmm…. Maybe I should just get on with it!

    • Thanks, Cate!
      I didn’t line this one, but I will wear it with a slip for sure. That’s definitely an issue for me too, and yes like you mentioned, I don’t like to line my dresses because it tends to make them heavier. I’ve found a good slip does the trick though!!

  5. Beautiful fabric choice for a beautiful long flowy garment!

    Would love to know the name/manufacturer of the fabric. I looked at Dry Good’s online shop and don’t see it. 🙂

    • Hi Alison,
      Unfortunately this lawn sold out pretty quickly; I subscribe to their newsletter to stay on top of new arrivals, though!!

  6. Hi Rae!
    Thanks for such an inspiring post and dress! Made me stop hemming and hawing about a gorgeous fabric I have been hoarding in my stash and actually cut into it to do my own version of this dress. Have run into a wee cutting problem tho (maybe I was a bit too rash!) and I think I have to piece the back together rather than cut it all out of one piece. I want to do the smocked version. My question to you is, would you make the seam hit at the top of the smocking lines, in the middle of the smocking lines, or at the bottom of the smocking lines? It’s a very busy pattern so you won’t really notice the break. It’s also a really super drapey fabric (I want to say silk crepe de chine but it has a bit more body than that? Can’t remember where I got it).
    Your advice would be a lifesaver for a stalled project! Can’t make up my mind what to do.
    Thanks for all that you do,

  7. Hi Katherine,

    When I need to piece the back (this happens a lot actually), I try to make the bottom shirring line the seam; you can actually sew the seam together with elastic thread in the bobbin, which helps it gather up nicely at that line!

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