Thoughts I had Making a Kimono

 Hello!

You may have noticed (because we keep talking about it) that we’re really trying to up our making game in 2017 and my last blog post was all about making up Mattie’s Rob Ryan Clothkits skirt, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

This week I decided to pop open one of the Kimono Clothkits paper patterns that we sell and give that one a go, since it’s been my favourite since they arrived on our doorstep. What follows is part review, part nonsense – enjoy!

One of the main reasons Mattie and I get so reluctant to make anything is that we don’t like using up the beautiful stock that could be sold to someone etc etc, but since we’re trying to go against this instinct I boldly decided to use our most delicious fabric to make this kimono. In for a penny, in for a pound and that.

We call this our William Morris fabric, for obvious reasons, and it does sell at a rather exciting £20 a metre. But, and I know I would say this, it is 100% worth it – it’s the most beautiful colour in real life (we have a yellow version too!) and it’s amazingly light and soft and it just makes me all gooey, ok?

First things first, I traced the pattern out in a size small, basically because I was thrilled to make something in a size small and not have to even worry about it fitting (because it’s a kimono and clearly very loose in all sizes).

This is issue no.1 – I am not a perfectionist and so even while tracing things I get distracted and end up with real wiggly lines that I try to even out during cutting but never really managed to overcome. Important note: this made absolutely no difference to the finished kimono so there.

There’s 3 main pieces, plus 3 facing pieces. It said that the pattern wasn’t suitable for any fabric smaller than 115cm, but this one is 110cm and was fine…I assume because I made it in the smaller size.

Sewing this was pretty straightforward until the facings got involved. You do have to finish a lot of raw edges, and since we’re all still scared of the overlocker (it has blades! run away) I did a standard zig zag stitch…to be honest this was the downside of this make – I got super bored of doing zig zag stitch. It’s necessary but my god it’s dull.

Here’s the facing fun. This forced me to do a lot of standing still, staring at it, sticking my tongue out all deep in thought. I think if I’d cut my pattern/fabric out really neatly this wouldn’t have been so confusing for me but you live and you learn. Basically there were two ways these could have been sewn together and neither way looked like the picture in the instructions so I gambled and just went with one. Luckily it seemed to work out ok so I didn’t really even learn a lesson here.

Sewing the facing to the main piece was v tricky and I did purposeful slow sewing. Once that was done and all ironed to within an inch of its life, you have to top stitch basically all edges of the kimono, which again made me all nervous and sensible for a while.

And here’s the finished piece!

Conclusion: I loved making this, mainly because my eyes got to gaze upon this fabric for a whole day. It was pretty straightforward, but the same as with the skirt pattern I did feel that a certain amount of prior knowledge is assumed even though they’re aimed at beginner’s. It’s nothing you couldn’t figure out with a friend/the internet though.

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