A valentine’s gift – a Man’s Kimono

Simplicity pattern 8318

The simplicity 8318 pattern is part of the costumes section – I think as a response to the film the last Samurai. I chose this because I wanted a more authentic style of kimono rather than using a dressing gown pattern.

Technical drawing

A kimono is virtually made up of rectangles – I did contemplate drafting a pattern myself but as it was a valentine gift for E, I wanted to ensure I had the style right.

A great tip is to use a photocopy of the technical drawing to record your measurements – it gives a great reference sheet when you are creating the garment.

The pattern was very large and unwieldy, the difficulty with this project is that E’s measurements were not rectangular – I needed a certain size at the waist but had to scale it down at the shoulders. So it became more of a trapezium with the bottom edge slightly wider than the top.

Geometric fabric blue grey.

One thing I will adjust in the pattern next time is that there is a back seam – my fabric was fairly geometric, but the pattern itself was tiny, to have spent time matching would have taken an age!

If you are using this pattern, cut the back piece on the fold, there is no shaping – it is a straight line. I was not making the long version of this Kimono so there was no need for a back opening (which is why the back patten piece is in two).

kimono simplicity 8318

As this Kimono was not lined – I did not want the interior to have overlocked edges showing. So I did a combination of French seams – and a lapped seam. (I might post how to do this soon). As you can see from the photograph this creates a seam with no raw edges showing. It is also a very strong seam – usually used on jeans.

I used bias binding for the sleeve edge and the bottom edge of the Kimono. It gives a flash of contrast but also gives a crisp finished edge.

Kimono male Simplicity 8318

The neck facing was odd, the pattern suggested a double faced edge that was velcro’d together. I could not see any point to it (perhaps it is what authentic kimono’s detail). I decided to make just one neck edge – but I gave it structure with a firm interfacing.

The obi belt is a lovely feature – it does finish off the kimono nicely. E was rather delighted with his kimono and it was all ready for Valentines day!

Happy sewing x ttfn x

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How to introduce Vintage elements to modern dressmaking patterns

1930's style

I posted this dress previously it is one of my favourites however many of the original patterns are long gone, and while pattern companies do sell ‘vintage’ patterns I have struggled to find patterns that incorporate elements that for me lift a garment out of the ordinary and into the fabulous.



Butterick B6168 Front Illustration

I saw this pattern on the Butterick website and thought it would make a great starting point to pay homage to the Vintage Dress.

Pattern adaptation Vintage Style

I think we appear to have lost our skills on how to enhance a figure, if you notice the gathering under the midriff section it is really adding bulk even if you have a flat tummy all that fabric would bulge out and is not flattering.  Scroll back up to the original dress and the use of pleats has added interest without bulking up at the front, a perfect hideaway for a little rounded tummy.

Butterick B6168 Technical drawing 1

I am big busted so I shall have to have excess fabric  in the bodice – I like the idea of the gathered smocking just above the midriff. If I choose to do this it might be easy simply to adapt the fabric allowance for pleats here and change it to a gathered section however, I am not sure how it would work with the cross over. Only time and my Toile will tell.

The final element I will change is the cap sleeve – I would like a full sleeve that finishes just above the elbow. Sleeve variations were around in the 1930s but I know that the full sleeve is a signature detail of Vintage style, so I want to incorporate it into my dress.

Proposed changes

I am not going to replicate the smocking on the upper bodice and sleeves or the yoke details of the vintage dress because I am busty and it would make the bodice rather fussy. I will see if I want to add the round embellishments when I have made the dress.

back soon …