Sew the Kimono Look – Simplicity 1318 

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If you’ve abandoned your sewing machine to visit the alluring aisle of your favorite retail haunt, you’ve probably seen a kimono or two on display. I first noticed this fun trend, when we visited San Diego this Spring. Kimonos were everywhere, worn over cut-offs, shorts, jeans, even over short dresses. The look seemed easy-to-wear and I liked the lightweight fabrics in prints and solids. In short, sign me up!
For inspiration, here’s one by Herve Leger.
Herve-Leger-NYFW-2014-Blue-Kimono-Inspired
And another. Love the fabric combo here!
spring-2015-season-runway-kimono-belted-herve-leger-dress-7
I like how that one’s belted.
Maybe I’ll make a belt for mine.
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Pattern: I used Simplicity 1318, a very ‘easy-to-sew’ pattern with trim and hi-low hem options. From cut to finish, it took only two hours. Other great pattern options: Butterick 6176 or Vogue 9115. 
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Fabric: Simplicity suggests using lightweight woven fabrics with drape for this pattern. I used a cotton lawn with a border print that I found at Mill End. I think it would be great out of a silky fabric as well.
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Modifications: The pattern includes lots of sizes, ranging from  XXS – XXL. I cut a small which fit, but I did have to adjust for my narrow back. If I make another kimono, I will go a size down as the pattern is so loose-fitting. I’d like it to hang open a bit more in the front.
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Challenges: Because I used a border print, I had to figure out how to lay the pattern on the fabric to capture the border trim most effectively. This was tricky and at one point, I headed back to the fabric store to buy more. Lesson learned! Do not be cheap. Buy more! Tip: If you’re using a border print, buy an extra half yard (at least) to give yourself some wiggle room.
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Do I recommend this pattern?  Yes!!  It’s super easy and I love how you can fiddle around with it to create your own look with a fun fabric. Because it’s summer, I’m definitely into patterns that offer instant gratification and this one fits the bill.  There’s nothing tricky about the techniques required, and you can whip it up in an afternoon. I might try it again in a silkier fabric with contrast bands.
Stay cool! And thanks for stopping by.

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