Tuesday, 20 October 2015

To Japan, well kind of .....

Japan is the one place I have a passion to visit, but due to current lack of readies, I decided to do the next best thing, and sew a little piece of this fascinating country.

Have you guessed yet? 

Of course, a kimono. A Named Patterns Asaka Kimono to be precise. 

However, gorgeous as it may be, the downside (for me) is , this was a bit of unselfish sewing as it was a present for my daughter in laws birthday, so no wearing this gorgeous piece for me!

However, a bit of unselfish sewing never hurt anyone. Check out that lotus flower style design. This fabulously Japanese-like fabric was an excellent find from fabric heaven Ditto in Brighton. The story  behind this beautiful print is that the design was purchased in Paris and the fabric was printed in Japan by the factory that makes liberty fabrics for the Japanese market.  I do love this story and love the fact that this fabric has a story behind it.

My very favourite part of this pattern is the sleeves which, when you lift your arm, have been designed so beautifully, they're like an oriental butterfly. The pattern allows for extra fabric on the sleeve vent so it's not merely a hem where the sleeve seam is and makes the garment hang beautifully. Of course you do need to use the right fabric and this example was from a light to medium weight cotton lawn style material , vey libertyesque. 

The most taxing part of this make is the collar band, joined at the centre back to make a long piece to work with. If you do choose to make this garment, I'd recommend using a walking foot on the collar, as the first time I made this kimono, I made it from satin and used a regular foot. Much swearing ensued as the slippery satin refused to align. No such problems with this make though using my trusty foot, and once the collar band was attached it was merely a case of some careful top stitching on the right side to ensure neatness. 

Neatness continues inside in the form of French seams, perfect with a lightweight fabric.

The pattern itself contains six main pieces - front, back, upper and lower sleeve, collar band and belt so it's not a difficult pattern for a seamstress with some experience. You can also sew belt loops but I went with looped cotton belt carriers on this occasion. 

As I was slightly short on fabric the inner collar and inside of the belt was made from black cotton, which seemed to work really well as a contrast. 

Finishing off I made the effort to tie the belt in a very geisha like bow. 

Now, where's my hair chopsticks? 

Basics:  I used 2.2m of lawn/cotton plus 30cm for the collar band and belt lining.

Pattern: 10 euros from Named Patterns. 

Happy sewing

Linda x