Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Kimono With a Difference

I'm pleased to announce the completion of the cover-up made from my 'fabric find' mentioned here.

In that post I described the fabric as being 'a sheer material, opaque rather than see-through, with a slight crepe texture, very drapey but not slippery at all'. The pattern used for this top wasn't really a pattern as such. I went along with a friend to Geelong's newest sewing school and work-space, The Sewing Room Geelong, to participate in a kimono jacket class for beginner sewers. We started with a piece of fabric the the required length of the finished garment (plus a hem allowance). We cut the fabric in half crosswise then one of the two pieces in half lengthwise. The larger piece being the back and the two smaller pieces being the front.

From there it was a simple matter of joining the two front pieces to the back with a french seam to form the shoulder seams, then finishing all the raw edges with a double fold hem on the machine. The side seam was achieved by stitching front to back leaving armholes, not unlike my Lazy Summer Days Top described here.

For beginner sewers this was a straightforward project incorporating some useful sewing skills. Being a little further up the evolutionary sewing ladder, I felt a bit of tweaking would benefit my finished garment.

The tartan style check in the fabric lent itself to some additions cut on the cross. My first deviation from the original was to cut the back panel in half lengthwise, resulting in four pieces of equal size. I cut a strip of fabric on the cross and stay stitched on the seam line to eliminate stretching then, using french seams, I stitched this panel into the centre back as seen in the photo above.

I had enough fabric for a band cut, once again, on the cross to edge the front panels and finish the neckline.

The result was pleasing but I felt the side seams needed refining. This I did by running a double row of gathering stitches on either side of the seam and pulling up the gathers to form the ruching at the side. 

Almost finished.

To complete the project I made a rosette of the same fabric plus some creamy-white organza and finished it with a button in the centre.

I thought it best to have the rosette removable in case the top needs laundering at some stage. Because the fabric is light in weight I made up two small squares and hand stitched them to the garment (one on the right side and one on the wrong side) before sewing on snap fasteners.

I'm very happy with the overall result, it being the ideal cover-up for this Chemise of a previous post.

It might be the perfect outfit to wear on Christmas Day when warm, even hot weather can be expected here in the southern regions of Australia.

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