December 7, 2015

Washington Dress sewalong: Fabric inspiration

One of the things I love most about the Washington Dress are all the creative possibilities of using awesome combinations of fabrics. As I’m sure you’ve seen by now, the dress is unique in that it combines different fabric types for a comfortable but stylish look. It’s excellent for stash busting!

In terms of what you should be looking for in your Washington Dress fabrics:

  • For the bodice, you want a light to mid weight knit with at least 50% stretch to get a good fit. I’m particularly fond of rayon and viscose jerseys, but you can also use ITY, or even a slightly heavier knit if you size up.
  • For the yoke, you’re looking for a beefy heavier knit, like ponte or scuba. In a pinch, you can use a double layer of jersey, but you may find it a little thin. If you want a tummy panel, then use a coordinating woven for the front yoke (but make sure the back yoke is still knit or you won’t be able to get it on!)
  • For the skirt, the sky is the limit! It’s designed for wovens, so you could use canvas, denim, quilting cotton, chambray, voile, silk, upholstery fabric… Pretty much anything. You can also make it out of a heavy and reasonably stable knit, if you’d rather, so you have a totally knit dress.

How about a chic French look? Pop a red scarf on and you’re ready for the Continent.

Cashmerette Washington Dress inspiration

Navy striped Jersey //Navy Ponte // Textured Shirting Indigo

Here’s a super feminine version with a beautiful floral crepe which would take you through all the seasons:

Cashmerette Washington Dress inspiration

Luxury Aubergine Jersey // Ponte de Roma  // Olivia Crepe

If you’d like a two-piece look (check out all the colour blocking options here!) here’s an option: a lovely April Rhodes knit bodice with a solid navy ponte yoke and skirt:


Bound by April Rhodes Knit // Navy Ponte

Maybe you’ll find an amazing fabric like this metallic feather-print canvas, and construct your fabric combo based on that!

Cashmerette Washington Dress inspirationSpeckle Cotton Jersey // Plum Ponte Leggero // Feathers Metallic Canvas

Or how about the octopus Washington dress of your dreams? Just me?!

Cashmerette Washington Dress inspiration

Bamboo Rib Knit // Sophia Knit // Cotton + Steel Mystery Food

Finally, what about something monochrome and chic with an edgy yoke for a drop-waist look?

Cashmerette Washington Dress inspiration

Organic Cotton Knit //  Pleather Scuba Knit // Black & White Donuts

All the fabrics featured here are from fabric stores that stock Cashmerette Patterns. You can see the full list of stockists here.

Finally, here’s a blank Washington Dress croquis which you can print out and colour in to try out fabric combinations!

1301 on croquis

Happy fabric shopping! Do you already have any fun ideas for what you’re going to use? Do you have any questions about what would or wouldn’t be a good fabric choice?

Come back tomorrow when we’ll be preparing our pattern and fabric.

Note: the dress fabric illustrations are meant as a guide – the fabric patterns may not be totally to scale, so always check before you order. 

3 thoughts on “Washington Dress sewalong: Fabric inspiration

  1. Louisa says:

    I just downloaded the pattern. I’m excited to give it a try. I don’t have a local source of scuba to have an idea of what it feels like. The ponte is a bit too scratchy to make me happy I’m also not sure that it is significantly heavier than the rayon jersey. I have some cotton/poly spandex sold as a jegging material. It is much more substantial than the rayon jersey it is fairly close to the Ponte Roma from Jo-Ann I’m hoping that will work well for the dress.

  2. Michell Lehr says:

    I love these fabric inspiration posts! The combos all look great, but I particularly like the feather print one. I don’t think I’ll be able to make mine in time for the sewalong since I have a ton of Christmas gifts to make this month, but I’m looking forward to it either way. And thanks for the printable croquis!

  3. ACS Blog says:

    The octopus-printed fabric is definitely something I’d wear on a fun and quirky day! I plan to make my Washington dress in a grey top and candy cane printed skirt. Hope I’d look festive enough but not too much.

Let me know what you think!