Some lovely sunny weather here in the U.K lately has really put me in the mood for Summer. I feel that a kimono is a really useful part of my Summer wardrobe, I own several and have made a couple ( if you are interested to see my review of another Simplicity kimono please click here).
However, as we all know the British weather can be unpredictable. So when I spotted this Simplicity 1108 kimono pattern which was the free gift in this months Sew magazine, I decided that I wanted to make it up in a cosy tropical jersey fabric. I am then covered (literally) if the temperature drops, but the tropical print still gives out the Summer vibe.
The fabric I chose is a really cheap jersey from the ‘£1 a metre’ stall at Leicester market. You can really pick up some bargains from this stall, but it is not there every day, I think I was there on a Thursday and happened to catch him that day. I only wanted 2 or 3 metres but he ‘threw in the rest’ and I probably ended up with 5 metres of it for £3. What a bargain! Beware – as a result you will be seeing lots more makes with this fabric!
Just a note here to mention that I used ballpoint pins on this project, and the ballpoint needle and twin needle on my sewing machine. It is important to use these when working with jersey as the rounded tips of the pins and needles glide through the fabric rather than cutting through it.
The pattern has several different options – short, medium or long length, and with or without the trim/band. I decided to go for view B, which on the pattern cover is the image on the bottom right corner.
Cutting out was straightforward as it is basically 2 x front pieces, 2 x back pieces and the pieces to make the band. Take your time when constructing the band and the band facing. It is easy to make an error here if you are not careful. Use the pattern notches to make sure your pieces are correctly placed together.
If I were making this in a regular silky fabric like a crepe, I would certainly take the time to use French Seams. As I was using a jersey fabric I decided that this would have been too bulky and chose to use the overlocker, this still gives a neat finish on the inside that I can live with. It also made it super quick to make up! – until you get to the band…
The band, when constructed, is basically a curved piece of fabric which attaches to the entire opening of the kimono. When attached, the seam allowances are clipped and the band facing is then attached to this. The seam allowances of the band facing then need clipping. All this snipping took me SUCH a long time, but it is worth it as the facing will lay nice and flat if you clip it thoroughly.
Interfacing is required for the band pieces, and this was the first time that I had used a knit interfacing. I had no problems with it, it was iron-on and did the job great!
A cute feature on this pattern is a small gathered section just at the back of the neck.
I decided to use the ‘cord’ method of gathering on this project – this is where you place a cord along the length you want to gather, then simply zig zag over the top taking care not to catch the cord with the zig zag stitches. Simply pull the cord to easily gather your fabric. I have seen this done using dental floss as the cord – I had some thick cotton cord in my sewing basket and used that – it worked great and allowed quite a chunky fabric to gather easily and smoothly. I will definitely be using this technique again!
I’m pretty pleased with how the kimono came out. I feel that the shorter version may have suited me better as I think this is a little long for me, but hey ho! never mind – I will still enjoy wearing it on those cooler Summer days and it will just keep me extra warm!
Just for reference – I am 5’2″
I should also mention that it does sew up a little on the large side. I understand from other reviews that this is how it is supposed to be, but you may want to take this into consideration when choosing your size.
It’s a great pattern, with a size range from XXS-XXL.
Sew magazine issue 99, July 2017, (which is still current at the time of posting this), has helpful hints and tips on fabric choices, tools, sizing advice etc.
‘ Yours truly’ also gets a mention in the magazine on page 37 where they announce the results of the Dressmaker of the Year competition. I won first place in the ‘ready to wear’ category, and will be writing a blog post on this soon.
I hope this review has been helpful, have you made a kimono recently? Have you used jersey? Do let me know how you got on as I love to read your comments.
Take care and I’ll be back soon,