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.
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 ;)