My first post on The Monthly Stitch, I’m a bit nervous 😉
Last June Papercut Patterns launched a whole new collection, named Sakura. I don’t know this pattern designer so long, as I only recently discovered them in a sewing shop not so far from where I live. I really loved the packaging, which made their lovely patterns seem even more interesting! I purchased 2 of their patterns then, but didn’t yet get to making one of them… oops… When I saw the new collection was launched, I immediately fell in love with the Kochi Kimono and just had to buy it 🙂 Not much later the pattern arrived in my mail box, and around the same time I had let my eye fall onto a gorgeous, embroidered, but very pricy kimono in a fancy store. As I really ADORE all things embroidery, I really wanted a kimono like this, so I decided to try it myself. It took me a bit longer than anticipated, as is so often the case with me… Something about a head full of (sewing) plans but a day with only 24 hours 🙂
The Monthly Stitch sewing contest came right on time! I just discovered this blog at the beginning of Indie Pattern Month, and think I will be able to find a lot of inspiration here! The Kimono fitted right into the theme, as it is the first time I am making a pattern by Papercut Patterns. And it is also the first time I’m using an embroidered patch as well 😉 That is worth mentioning, as unfortunately I saw after the photoshoot that a tiny piece of it, the top of the patch, has come loose. I assume I didn’t iron that good enough. There was really no time for a second photoshoot, but with a little extra ironing this little problem will surely be solved. I am considering handstitching just a little bit too, to make sure it can’t get loose.
Because I really need to lessen my big fabric stash, I didn’t buy new fabric, but used 2 crêpe fabrics I already had. The dark blue one has a very subtle golden shine in it, which isn’t visible on the pictures unfortunately. I bought about 4 meters of it in the sales corner of a local sewing shop. For 3 dollars a yard you can’t really leave that there. I had a shirt for my husband in mind when I bought it, but knowing myself that will probably become a project for his next birthday in February. Sometimes I am a little selfish 😉 I wanted to do the bands in another color, just like the kimono I had seen in the shop, and the rest of the fabric had to be sober, in order to have the patch really stand out. I purchased that patch more than a month ago online, together with some other flower embroidered patches. Not with this kimono in mind, but just with general sewing projects, so many possibilities for this kind of embroidery! I even saw an embroidered dress too in the dresses competition! I feel lucky that suddenly embroidery is all in fashion (again), so I can find these treasures so easily!
I specifically chose these light fabrics because I wanted something easy to wear on summer evenings. I think it will also be good in fall or spring as well. The color will go with many things too, that’s always a win. I specifically chose this patch out of my new mini-stash of patches, after reading the blogpost here with an interview with Papercut Patterns. There I read this:
The inspiration behind the Sakura collection was Japanese minimalism, focusing on easy wear garments with a relax fit. ‘Sakura’ means Cherry Blossom and there is so much to love about the delicate beauty of these flowers. They are feminine and elegant but dramatic and striking at the same time; the perfect description for a great outfit.
This patch, a cherry blossoms patch, suddenly seemed like the only right choice!
I was very much in doubt about what size to chose. I am rather slender on the shoulders, arms, and chest, but -ahum – ‘a little less ‘slender”, down that region (unless you count my feet, those are tiny as well ;-)). I always need about 2 sizes up at the hips than I do at the chest. Here I needed an XS on the chest, but a M on the waist and hips (oh yes ladies, the sizing chart makes you happy!!). I obviously see it’s a loose, slightly oversized model, but I was worried I would end up with way too oversized on the shoulders, or too tight to get the kimono closed with the ties. I didn’t feel confident enough to make adaptations given the straight lines of the pattern pieces, and as usual I also didn’t have time for a muslin. I ended up, based on the measurements of the finished garment, to go for XS and I am happy with it. The slits in the side seams make for some extra room, which I think I did need, but I don’t think it’s bothersome when looking at it, at least not to me.
The sewing went very easy. I think the ties were the step that took me the most time of the whole process. Not the turning, but the closing of the ends. Grrr!! Next time I will close one side already and turn it then (with some little tricks that’s not hard at all). The other end can be inside the kimono neck band seams, or inside the kimono, and that makes only maybe 2 or 3 ends to close. Maybe you’re not really following this right now, but it’s something to think of when you would want to make it in the future 😉 I also left out one half of a long tie, as I didn’t want a visible tie on the side of the flower patch. I will always close the kimono with the flower on the front, so I don’t need a tie on that side. So there is only a tie inside, on that side. (wow, sometimes I think I am writing complicated things… sorry! If you make this pattern, this will hopefully make sense!). One last thing I ‘changed’ is not using pockets. I didn’t want a pocket taking away the attention of the flower patch, and it didn’t seem necessary either.
Other than that I can’t make any remarks on the pattern or its instructions. It’s not difficult, I even think it’s beginner friendly. I myself am very happy with the result. When I had it finished last night, I hung it on a hanger on the window and looked at it for a few moments. I felt proud and happy when I went to bed! It’s so much my style! I hope you like it too and I can inspire other people with it 🙂
This is almost an exact copy of my own blogpost about this, but feel free to have a look at my blog Lilliepawillie to see a little more pictures and links.