Friday, 29 December 2017

A kimono for Joanne from Simplicity 1108

I had intended to do some sewing for Joanne for Christmas. She likes the lace edged shorts I’ve made for her, cloned from a RTW pair, and needs more. I’ve made her two pairs so far - they look identical but the fabric on one is nicer than the other. I’ve run out of time to order the nice fabric online and get them made for Christmas so that’s a task for the new year. I decided against using the fabric I bought when I was in Liverpool earlier this year to consider for a pair as I think it’s maybe not a nice enough quality and I don't have time to experiment. Also, it has a pattern and I haven’t discussed with Joanne anything other than plain black ones. (Edited to add that she definitely wants a black pair)

A year past in November I was at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show (I didn’t make it this year) and I bought some fabric thinking of a kimono for Joanne. David was with me. We liked this dark flocky fabric which has a very slight stretch but is really quite stable. I bought quite a bit. I can’t remember who we bought it from.

Well, I only this week got around to thinking of it. I had previously made Joanne a kimono but decided to use a different pattern this time  - just to mix it up a little! I didn’t want to use a border. I gave Joanne the choice of the previous kimono pattern or this one via WhatsApp. She chose this pattern in view D but said she’d like it longer. Originally, I had thought of making it a lot longer - around 12” - to match the length of view A but decided this wouldn’t work with the nice curved front. In the end, I only increased the length by 4”. This view also has optional lace around the edges and sleeves but I didn’t do that - if Joanne wants, I could add it later.

This was a fairly speedy make - and I’m sure many of you could make it far faster than I did. In fact, the longest time was in cutting out. I did my best to get pattern elements level and lying in a suitable place. I think there is a very big repeat though many of the large elements seem similar but different from the next one. The pattern is not symmetrical around a midpoint so I tried to take that into account too. It took me a while - yet when you lay the fabric down, it almost disappears so I decided to try to level only the largest element.

One change I did make was to cut the back in one piece rather than have a centre seam. The back seam was straight and I couldn’t see a real need for that seam. Otherwise, I followed the pattern. I used a lengthened view D with the longer sleeves from view C. There is only a back piece, two front pieces and two sleeves. There is no interfacing, no facings, no fastenings. My fabric doesn’t fray but I decided to finish all my seam allowances by overlocking in black thread just to finish off and give the inside a neat appearance.

The edges around the kimono and the sleeves are finished in bias binding, understitched and turned to the wrong side, then topstitched in place. This took me the longest time. I was wishing that I had simply overlocked, turned and topstitched - but I must admit the finish is lovely. I used a commercial bias binding. Actually, does this count as a facing?

So that was another item ticked off my Christmas list. I took photos on my dressmaking model and on me but hoped I would get a photo actually on Joanne.

I saw Joanne a couple of days after Christmas at our late family Christmas celebration in Cambridge. She liked the kimono and the fabric and it appears to fit well. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo as it was too dark and hectic that night and next day when she came round she wasn't wearing it. She says she'll send me a photo. In the meantime it's photos on Madame and on me.

I think the pattern sizing is pretty accurate.

I’ve had the fabric so long that I can actually enter PR’s fabric Stash contest. No chance of winning of course - but there is a random prize. I used 3 metres of fabric.


  1. Lucky Joanne! That's a pretty kimono and taking your time for the cutting really paid off!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. I have more of this fabric but not enough for another. I was wondering about a skirt

    2. I did have enough for another, taking slightly less care with pattern matching and major pattern position!

  2. Having trouble reading your posts on chrome on both PC and android tablet as the paragraphs don't wrap.

    1. I think it should be sorted now - I don't know what went wrong!

  3. I'm not sure why that is. I don't know if others have this problem. I use Chrome on my Android tablet and Android phone. I'm writing this on my PC - I use Chrome on that too. Sorry. Is there anything I can do?

  4. I've just seen what you mean!! This post needs changed!!


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

Gifts for my new granddaughter

Gifts for my new granddaughter Since I last posted, I've been continuing with embroidery. I made a number of things for my then gr...