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.
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.
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).
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.
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