Just a short post this time as I have made this dress many times before so there isn’t a huge amount to say. I just wanted to show you my latest version of the Cashmerette Washington dress.
As many of you know, I do love the versatility of the Washington dress and I’ve already made six previous versions:
My absolute favourite of the dresses is the first one I made where I sort of broke the rules and made a ponte knit rather than a woven skirt. I also really like the one with the red top and multicoloured skirt, the one with the grey top and black/grey skirt and the one with the black top / multicoloured black floral skirt. I’m pretty sure the reason I like those is because I used a lovely jersey for the top and a good quality stretch cotton for the skirt which means they fit and hang really nicely.
However, the other two versions, the pink/black one and the all blue one I just don’t like and can’t ever see me wearing. Don’t get me wrong, it is nothing to do with the pattern (which is brilliant) it is 100% to do with my poor choice of fabric. For the pink/black version I used some very thin slipperty ITY fabric for the top and seersucker for the skirt – what was I thinking? I didn’t like either fabric to start with so what possessed me to put them together into a dress? Did I think that they were magically going to perform alchemy and transform themselves into something nice? Doh!
The other version I don’t care for is the all blue one. Again, not the pattern’s fault. For some reason I decided to use cheap cotton poplin for the skirt, all I can think of is that at the time I made the decision the colour matched the blue ponte top, it wasn’t my brightest idea. The cotton poplin wasn’t particularly good quality, I bought it because it was cheap and I had a thing about polka dots. Now it might work for a skirt with gathers and more fabric but it definitely wasn’t the best choice for the Washington skirt. It doesn’t hang nicely and it doesn’t feel good to wear. To be honest, I can’t ever see me ever wearing either of these two versions.
But, in many ways, going through this process has been a good learning experience and has shown me that it is important firstly to use fabrics you love, not just because you have them in your stash and secondly, to use good quality fabrics, it really does make all the difference in the world.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to get so side tracked so back to today’s dress. As I mentioned, my favourite version to date is the teal ponte Washington (the first one I made). It feels so much more comfortable and definitely warmer than my other ones and as spring hasn’t reliably arrived here in the UK, warmth is still my top priority when I’m making decisions about clothes. So when I came across this gorgeous wine / berry / maroon coloured ponte at Dragonfly Fabrics I bought it specifically with the intention of making a second all ponte Washington.
The fabric has a composition of 70% viscose, 25% polyester and 5% elastane. It is beautifully soft to the touch and has a great amount of four way stretch.
The Washington pattern is available both in paper format and as a downloadable pdf
What I love about Jenny’s patterns is that they are designed specifically for curvy gals and there is no need to do a FBA and also no sway back adjustment – just look at that back view – no wrinkles and the skirt hangs straight! After all of the recent fitting issues I’ve had with my two previous tops this was a delight to make, pretty much straight out of the packet. I shortened the sleeves by a couple of inches but other than that, nada, zilch, zip – I just cut it out and made it up, bliss!
For sizing I used the C/D bodice and started with an 18 around the shoulders, graded to a 20 at the waist and out to a 22 at the hips. The construction and pretty much everything else was exactly the same as per my teal Washington so I won’t repeat it again here.
My overall view – I love it. It is comfortable, warm, fits well, looks good and is easy to dress up or down – what more can you ask for from a pattern?
Going forward with this pattern, whilst I love the flexibility of the woven skirt and the options to mix and match different fabrics and patterns, I really, really love my two ponte versions the best and I think that I’m going to stick with what works for me.
Cost to make
2.3 m of fabric at 12.00 per meter
1 reel of gutterman thread at £1.70
1/4m of clear elastic – 25p
Total cost – £29.55