25 October 2014

It's done: two Kimono Jackets by Sew Caroline

Hey everyone!
In case you are reading more than this sewing blog, and I bet you do, they are addictive, aren't they, you might have come across a few pictures of women spreading their arms to the purpose to show the rectangular shape of the kimono jacket they just made. And because I'm such an original person I will start with such a picture myself to get over with it. So here it is:
I guess one might have been living under a rock (or behind the moon, as we say over here) not to notice the kimono jacket was one of the fashion trends this summer. And I'm not so much into current fashion trends myself and I noticed. But this one might have been a shame not to fetch. I really like how easily their add a summery touch to your outfit when it isn't all warm and sunshine. Since the shape is really simple I guess its fairly easy to draft a pattern yourself and there a few tutorials out there to guide you through the process but because I can be a lazy person I took complete advantage of the free pattern provided by Caroline from Sew Caroline and made two.
It's a one-size-fits-most-pattern and it seems I am most. The only issue I had with the pattern is that I think (maybe there is a reason for it I don't get) that the sleeve pattern is to small in width. To make it fit the armhole added 2 cm or 3/4'' and everything worked out fine. Originally it is supposed to be sewn with a 3/8'' seam allowance but because you will see the inside of this jacket a lot I went for French seams and worked with a 1/2''  seam allowance instead.

The colorfull version above above it actually my second version so let's have a look on my first one.
Let's ignore the white shine and focus on the little change I made to this one. I picked the fabric from my stash so quickly that I didn't realize that a shapeless, oversized patterns and a white fabric with a kind of geometric pattern on it is the universally applied combination for a hospital gown. Have a look yourself.
Doesn't this scream hospital gown to you as well or is it just me with my load of many episodes of ER or Grey's Anatomy in my life?
Originally I wanted to take it with me on my Denmark vacation without the suggested trim from the pattern. I thought, I could finish the jacket without it and get a proper trim afterwards on the fabric market I already had planned to visit.
A little frustrated at this point I just left it unfinished at home and took a swatch of the fabric with me, mainly because I still hadn't figured out whether the little dark stars in the pattern are black or really dark blue. We settled for dark blue after all.
Ahh, wait, speaking of finishing the whole thing, I remember a second small problem I had. I couldn't wrap my head around how to finish the front and neck seam at the inner rectangular corner by folding under the seam. In the end I had to cut into the corners to make it work but I am not sure this is the proper way o do it. Is there a proper way?
Somewhen on my vacation it got to me, I could try to apply a trim around the front opening as well to minimize this hospital gown impression. I got a lot of a really dark blue trim (a 'Chanel trim' to be precise, a least that was what the prize label called it) and sewed it all the way around in a continuous loop. So much better.
Here is a close look on the trim and the fabric.
The only thing I am unconvinced about is the neck opening. The square opening doesn't sit well and centered on my neck and the trim highlights this a lot. (I know, a real Kimono is squares only.)
So let's move on to the colorful version. I got the 'fabric' when I was about 12 years old together with a matching bathing suit to be worn as a wrap-skirt at the beach. The bathing suit is long gone but I hold on to this colorful wrap for a long time waiting for the right project to come along. I was very hesitant to use it but I think this fabric and pattern are a real match.
And the good thing about second version is, you can improve all the things you didn't like the first time aroun.
I decided to have a slightly rounded neck, so much better.
And that made it even easier to finish the front opening with some bias tape from my stash.
Two birds with one stone (or like we say two flies with one smack (?)).
In the end I like both versions, one screaming summer and the other a little bit more neutral and versatile (and I don't get to see my own back that often, so I can live with the square opening). Unfortunately fall is in full swing and these flimsy jackets not snugly enough anymore;-( Time to get out the patterns for cozy cardigans and long-sleeved tops and maybe finish my long overdue winter coat I started last year.
Stay tuned and thanks for stopping by,


  1. Oooh I love the brightly colored fish/floral one! So pretty! The muted one is equally beautiful. :)

  2. Thank you, Kristin! And all the best for you!