I said I'd post photos of the kimono I made for my youngest daughter H when she sent them. She sent three from her iPhone tonight.
She told me on the phone that she hasn't had it off her back and is very keen for me to make her more - or to make for herself. She is very keen to take up sewing but her fiancé hasn't been keen due to their considerable shortage of space and the fact that she took a large piano with her and doesn't play it enough perhaps to justify its presence. She told me that she'd like to over-rule that and take up the offer of a sewing machine from me. She's clear that she wouldn't let the paraphernalia run away with her! (Yeah) She's been looking at wedding dresses and bridesmaids' dresses and is keen to help. Of course, she actually knows nothing at all about sewing at the moment - she didn't get any at all at school and of course I didn't teach her. Though my middle daughter reminds me that we once together made a rag doll which she still treasures. She hopes to sign up for a beginner sewing class in London where she lives - there's plenty of choice there, but cost is a big issue. She and her fiancé are trying to break into the housing market but finding it very hard going. Their first accepted offer was for a flat that lenders wouldn't give them a mortgage for, so they couldn't go ahead with it though they thought it was a great buy. They can get a mortgage for an appropriate property (lenders' definition of appropriate of course). Unfortunately, while they have had their offer on another flat accepted, I still wouldn't be able to stay there when I visit them.
My daughter has come into professional contact with a dress designer who offered to design her wedding dress - but she declined, saying she already had a designer! (Me, with her help!). I told her she should have accepted - but her reasons for not doing so are sound. Besides, she is very keen on the family related, heirloom tradition.
Anyway, back to the kimono. In February, we went together to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia and H chose fabric that she fancied made up as a kimono. I had a few kimono patterns that I'd picked up, mainly coming free with magazines. Eventually, I got around to offering her a choice of patterns and she chose New Look 6217, though she requested that the body and arms be lengthened as much as possible (she was aware that there were limitations as to what was possible). She is 6' tall and slim, UK size 10.
The fabric she chose was a knit, a polyester jersey, I assume, though I'm not sure. It is patterned on one side and black on the other. It isn't hugely stretchy, but I was a little concerned that it wouldn't work for this pattern. The pattern match was huge!
I lengthened the body pattern by 10 inches, initially, but due to a measuring error the end body length was only 6 inches longer than the pattern. This was really just as well as I'm not sure I could have got the additional length fitted into the fabric - the width being the limiting factor. She said she'd like the sleeves three quarter length if possible. I lengthened them to the size 22 mark, but felt that going further could compromise the design. I had to modify the sleeve shape slightly.
The biggest issue was trying to get the pattern on the fabric to match at the front. I didn't manage that but I did cut out the back, which was on the fold, so that a large design was in the centre.
I used a conventional sewing machine to sew. Then, however, after reinforcing the fairly sharp bend underarm, I decided to overlock this area - and while I was at it everything else too! This worked nicely, using black thread. Also, to give her maximum length, I simply overlocked and turned the hem.
It turned out very nicely and H loves it. It was really nice to do some easy sewing that didn't require to be fitted, endlessly, while I was in the middle of coursework.
I had it ready to take down to London when I went for my birthday and she wore it that evening and says she hasn't had it off since. On my birthday, she wore it with a black outfit and I like that better than the red in the photo I'm showing here.
I could consider making one for me, too. I only have one project on the go at the moment - a dress that I'm trying to alter fit to suit. I need to decide whether to try this on my own just now, or wait and try something else, like this kimono perhaps. (no college now until September)
I have some nice stretch lace fabric which would look good and is in H's colours s I might try that as I wasn't sure what to do with this fabric. I picked it up on a whim while shopping in Mandors in Glasgow. If H does become serious about sewing, as she says she'd like to, she can't afford impulse buying!"
I also put in a review to Pattern Review, as I hadn't completed anything in ages.