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Kimono casual: draft a simple and stylish kimono jacket pattern from a series of rectangles. Learn techniques for making this classic layering piece in two different fabrics to suit a variety of seasons and occasions.

KIMONO CHIC

Kimonos have been appearing in many ready-to-wear fashion collections, and it's no wonder, as they gracefully drape over the body and can dress up any plain outfit. They've recently come into vogue as a casual topper to wear over jeans and a simple top. Kimonos are often made from sheer or lightweight print fabrics, but the simple garment construction also lends itself to jersey or sweater knits as well. For a more glam option, stitch a kimono in sparkly fabric to wear over a basic black dress. To create a kimono, no pattern is required--just a few body measurements are used to draw the rectangles for the main body and sleeves.

Fabric swatch images were provided by Art Gallery Fabrics (artgalleryfabrics.com) and Telio & Co. (telio com).

CLASSIC KIMONO

Draft a pattern for a drapey kimono with contrasting neck and sleeve trim.

Skill Level: Intermediate

SUPPLIES

* Lightweight drapey woven fabric (such as silky prints or charmeuse; amount depends on finished pattern dimensions)

* Lightweight drapey fabric for trim (compatible weight to main fabric; amount depends on finished pattern dimensions)

* Pattern or butcher paper

* Rulers: curved & straight

* Removable fabric marker or chalk

* All-purpose thread

* Rotary cutting system (optional)

* Serger (optional)

MEASURE

Measure your hip circumference at the fullest point; record.

Measure the distance across your back from shoulder point to shoulder point; record.

Measure your arm from the shoulder point to the elbow; record, and then measure from the shoulder point to the wrist; record. Measure your arm to the desired sleeve length from the shoulder; anywhere between the elbow and wrist is a flattering length. Subtract 1 1/2" to account for the sleeve trim; record.

Measure from your shoulder over your bust and to your knee; record. Measure again from your shoulder to the desired kimono finished length. A length of at or just below the bottom looks flattering on most body types. For a more dramatic look, the kimono can finish at the knee or longer.

Locate the base of your neck at the point where it connects to one shoulder. Measure your neck across the back from that point to the same point on your opposite shoulder; record.

DRAFT

The basic kimono design consists of a back panel, two front panels and two sleeves, plus a neck and sleeve trim band (1).

To draft the back panel pattern, add 2" to the full-hip measurement to account for ease, and then divide that measurement by two. Add 1" to allow for 1/2" seam allowances along the side seams. Record as the back-panel width. For the length, add 2 1/2" to the desired length measurement to account for the seam and hem allowances; record.

On a large piece of pattern paper, draw a rectangle according to the recorded measurements; label as back panel.

To draft the front-panel pattern, divide the back-panel pattern width by two; record. Draw a rectangle using the divided width measurement and the back-panel length measurement; label as front panel.

Divide the full-hip measurement by two; record. Compare the shoulder-to-shoulder measurement to the divided hip measurement. The difference is the amount of overhang at the shoulder points. Subtract the amount of overhang from the desired sleeve length measurement, and then add 1" to account for seam and hem allowances. Record as the sleeve length. For the sleeve width measurement, divide the shoulder-to-knee measurement by three. Multiply that number by two, and then add 1" for seam allowances.

Draw a rectangle according to the sleeve width and length measurements; label as sleeve.

To draft the neckband pattern, determine the desired finished neckband width, multiply by two and then add 1" for seam allowances; record as the neckband pattern width. The neckband on the featured kimono has a finished width of 1 1/2", so the pattern width is 4". For a wider band that can fold over, as in the featured knit kimono on this page, the pattern width is 8". To determine the neck-band length, add the desired kimono-length measurement to the back-neck measurement. Add 2" to account for seam allowances at the lower edge and back neck. Divide this measurement by two since the band will be cut in two pieces; record.

Draw a rectangle according to the recorded width and length measurements; label as neckband.

To draft the sleeve band pattern, draw a rectangle using the neckband width measurement for the width and the sleeve-width measurement as the length.

CUT & ADJUST

From the main fabric, cut one back panel, two front panels, and two sleeves.

From the trim fabric, cut two neckbands and two sleeve bands.

After cutting the rectangles, adjust the back panel slightly for a better fit. Fold the back panel in half lengthwise with right sides together. Measure and mark the fold 1" down from the upper edge. Divide the back-neck measurement by two; record. Mark along the upper edge from the fold according to the recorded measurement. Draw a gently curved line connecting the marks (2). Cut along the marked line through both layers.

Place one front panel on a flat work surface. Designate one long edge as the center-front edge. Mark the upper edge from the center-front edge using the half back-neck measurement from the previous step. Draw a straight line connecting the mark to the panel center-front lower corner (3). Cut along the line. Repeat to adjust the remaining front rectangle, making sure to create a mirror-image pair.

CONSTRUCT

Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.

With right sides together, stitch the front and back panels together along the shoulder seams (4). Press open the seams, and then finish as desired by serging, zigzag stitching or binding. If serging, serge the seam allowances together using a 3-thread overlock stitch, and then press toward the back.

Fold one sleeve in half lengthwise; mark the center along one short edge to denote the shoulder-seam matching point. With right sides together, align the marked short edge with one kimono side opening, matching the mark to the shoulder seam; pin. Stitch, and then finish the seam as desired. Repeat to stitch the remaining sleeve to the opposite kimono side opening.

With right sides together, align and pin the side seams and the underarm seams. Stitch these edges, pivoting 90[degrees] at each underarm point. Clip the seam allowance at the underarm pivot point (5). Finish the seam allowances as desired.

Double-fold the kimono lower edge 1" toward the wrong side; press, and then pin. Edgestitch the first fold.

Align the neckband pieces with right sides together. Stitch one short end; press open. Fold the neckband in half lengthwise with right sides together; pin, and then stitch the short open edges. Turn the neckband right side out; press.

With wrong sides together, baste the neckband long raw edges together using a 1/4" seam allowance. With right sides together, align the neckband basted edge with the kimono opening, matching the neckband seam to the kimono center-back neck and the short ends with the kimono lower corners; pin, and then stitch (6). Finish the seam allowance, and then press toward the kimono.

Fold one sleeve band in half widthwise with right sides together. Stitch the short open edge to create a circle; press open the seam. With wrong sides together, fold the sleeve band in half lengthwise; press. With right sides together, align the band raw edges with one sleeve lower edge, matching the seams (7). Stitch, finish the seam allowance, and then press toward the kimono. Repeat to attach the remaining sleeve band to the opposite sleeve.

SHEER SOPHISTICATION

For a lovely lightweight kimono, use a sheer fabric. Because the seams are visible through the fabric and sheers tend to fray, learn how to construct a kimono with French seams.

Skill Level: Intermediate

SUPPLIES

* Lightweight sheer woven fabric (such as chiffon or georgette; amount depends on finished pattern dimensions)

* Pattern or butcher paper

* Rulers: curved & straight

* Removable fabric marker or chalk

* All-purpose thread

* Hand sewing needle

* Rotary cutting system (optional)

PREPARE

Take your body measurements and draft the pattern pieces according to the Classic Kimono instructions on page 53. Omit the sleeve-band patterns, and don't subtract the sleeve-band width from the desired sleeve length measurement.

From the fabric, cut one back panel, two front panels, two neckbands and two sleeves. Adjust the pattern pieces per the Classic Kimono instructions.

CONSTRUCT

Align the kimono front and back panels with wrong sides together. Stitch the shoulder seams using a French seam. Press the seams toward the back.

Stitch each sleeve underarm seam with a French seam. Double-fold the sleeve lower edges 1/2" toward the wrong side; press, and then edgestitch the first fold. Mark each sleeve shoulder point.

With wrong sides together, align each sleeve with the kimono side openings, matching the shoulder points; pin. Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance, and then trim to 1/8".

Stitch the kimono side seams up to the armscye using a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8".

Complete the French seams by stitching the armscye seam with right sides together, using a 1/4" seam allowance. Then, again with right sides together, stitch the side seams up to the armscye using a 1/4" seam allowance (8).

Double-fold the kimono lower edge 1" toward the wrong side; press, and then edgestitch the first fold.

Join the neckband pieces. With right sides together, align one neckband long edge with the kimono opening, matching the seam to the kimono center-back neck and allowing the ends to extend 2" beyond the kimono lower edges; pin, and then stitch. Press the seam allowance toward the band.

Double-fold the band lower edges 1" toward the wrong side; press. Fold the band long raw edge 1/2" toward the wrong side; press. Fold the neckband in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, aligning the previous fold with the seam and enclosing all the raw edges. Slipstitch the band fold to the kimono (9).

BY LINDA REYNOLDS

TIP: A rotary cutting system works well for cutting the pieces because all the edges are straight.

FABULOUS FRENCH SKAMS

Follow two simple steps to stitch a French seam with a 1/2" seam allowance.

* Place the fabric with wrong sides together. Stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim the seam allowances to 1/8" and press to one side.

* Fold along the seam so the wrong sides are together; stitch again using a 1/4" seam allowance, enclosing the raw edges. Press the French seam to one side.
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Title Annotation:#DraftYourOwn
Author:Reynolds, Linda
Publication:Sew News
Article Type:Instructions
Date:Apr 1, 2017
Words:1753
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