Sunday, 25 January 2015

Silk kimono

Having seen many of your wonderful kimonos on the blogsphere (my favourites include the ones from Karen, Julia, Twinkle and many more!), I decided that it was time to make my own. A quick word of warning - this post is heavy on the pictures!

I had some beautiful Indian silk in my stash from my Dubai trip last may - this is one of those pieces of fabric where I instantly felt a tug at my heartstrings. I'm sure you know the feeling ;) 


Isn't it beautiful? I knew the silk would be great for a loose fitting garment, and it was wonderful to see the project come together before my eyes. 

The pattern I used came free with the Love Sewing magazine, issue 5. In fact, I bought the magazine because of this pattern (which is something I don't do much - see below), and it didn't disappoint.  
 How does my version compare? 

It could be worn "open", or "closed"/wrapped up. Maybe I'll see if I can make a little belt out of the leftover fabric. 
The pattern was pretty simple. It came in sizes S, M and L and I graded it down to a XS by eyeballing it. Compared to my usual pedantic and scientific measuring efforts, I felt like a complete rebel! The pattern called for 1.5m of fabric, at least 1.5m wide, but I managed to squeeze this into my 1.1m wide silk (1.5m long) without any issues. I love it when a plan comes together ;)

Now full body photos. I think it's lovely teamed up with skinny jeans, or shorts in the summer. Perhaps it could even be a nice little beach cover-up! 


The instructions were nice and clear, although I found having all the photo instructions above the words to be slightly harder to follow compared to having them side to side.

The pattern calls for most of the seams to be done by French seams, and I opted for French seams for the whole thing. The fabric frays like there's no tomorrow, so having all the seams enclosed really does help me sleep at night!  

I made a couple of minor tweaks. Instead of machine hemming the sleeves and the bottom hem, I did a hand running stitch to make it nice and smooth. I would've done my usual hand blind catchstitch, but the delicate fabric would've struggled with the tiny pinches on the right side. 

Sleeve hem
Bottom hem

Also the magazine calls for hand sewing for the band, but I opted for the good old "stitching in the ditch". I think it's pretty invisible on the outside, and much quicker with the help of my wonderful walking foot! All in all I finished this project in 2 evenings. Can't complain. 

So there you have it, my very own silk kimono! I must admit that I didn't know where I stood with kimonos. Don't get me wrong, I adore them on other people, but have always doubted whether they would suit me. I'm so glad to have tried it out! 

 So I want to hear from you! Two (or three in fact) questions for you today:

1) Where do you stand on the kimonos front? Is it something you can see yourself in?

2) Do you buy sewing magazines and sew from the "free" patterns? I generally don't, mainly on the basis that they rarely come in my size, and I am often too lazy to grade the patterns down (not when there are so many other patterns that I can just buy which comes in my size). But this experience has made me feel like I've been missing out! 

That's all from me this week. I hope you all have a great week ahead :) We are actually heading to the Caribbean tomorrow for a week, and I'm going to pack this kimono in my suitcase now ;) 

23 comments:


  1. Would you mind me sharing this on SSB in the future? I credit, link to your post and let you know when featured.
    https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees

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    1. Of course Tina! That's fine and thank you for checking with me :)

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  2. Lovely! That color is one of my favorites.

    I have been thinking about making a kimono-style robe as loungewear for a while now, but I haven't found the right fabric. I'm unlikely to wear one out of the house; it's just not quite my style.

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    1. Thank you Alice! I had the same concerns, but it would be a shame to hide this silky little kimono inside the house ;)

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  3. I love this! I wanted to make a kimono last summer but never got round to it. Maybe this summer I will, you've inspired me!

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    1. Aw that's great! I can't wait to see what you make!

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  4. very cute! I love kimono and ive bought vintage kimono jacket (they are shorter) but dont have the courage to wear them outside the house! the kimino trendy ones are definitely a lot more wearable!

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    1. Thank you! I'll see if I can be brave enough to wear my version outside... will report back :)

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  5. How stunning! Love the colour on you. Looks so luxurious to wear too. What a fantastic make and something that is timeless

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    1. Thanks Rachel! It is super comfortable to wear :)

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  6. Fab. I will let you know on this post when.

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  7. This is so cute! I love the print you used! I have never made one, but I love them on other people!

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    1. Thanks Sonja! It is such a beautiful print - I'm still so happy that I picked it up!

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  8. That fabric is gorgeous and I bet you feel very special wearing it. I wouldn't make a kimono for myself because I don't see when I could wear it, but seeing yours kind of really make me want one!

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    1. Yes I really do! That's exciting - happy to help ;)

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  9. Alice -- it is so pretty! The silk makes it special and feels dreamy. Job well done!

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    1. You are too kind! I love silk anyway, and this print is just too perfect :)

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  10. To answer your questions I love seeing Kimono's not tried one myself but love yours. Secondly if I really like a pattern free with a mag I will buy with a view to making it up. Am a fan of the Love Sewing magazine, they have some pretty fab patterns.

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    1. Thank you for your input! I have been really impressed by Love Sewing magazine, too -- I have bought 2 so far and I keep seeing versions of their patterns made up everywhere!

      Maybe it's time to try a kimono? Ready for spring?

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  11. To be featured on SSB tomorrow, thanks for permitting.
    https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees ❀

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    1. Thank you for letting me know, and thanks for hosting it :D

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