Hi All – -During, the holiday season, a sewing project has to meet certain critieria to make it onto my lengthy to-do list. It must be 1. easy and quick with little chance for frustration. 2. Gorgeous fabric must be involved. 3. It must provide a healthy dose of instant gratification. This festive kimono definitely earned high marks on all fronts.
Most holiday occassions here call for ‘casual holiday’ attire; something dress-y you can wear with pants/jeans. That’s because the weather has been less than cooperative with snow and freezing rain, which has left sidewalks and parking lots difficult to navigate in high heels and dresses. Given that scenario, I decided (the day before an event, ha!) to add a fun piece to my wardrobe that I could layer to dress things up a bit. Nothing like a last minute project in the midst of the holiday craze! Luckily, I had this lovely piece of ‘burn-out’ velvet in my stash, perfect for my project.
I love this drapey and shimmery velvet. To make the fabric texture more noticeable, I decided to use black velvet for the contrasting sleeve bands and ruffle.
If I’d chosen a pattern that I’d made before, the project would have been an easy success. But, of course, I couldn’t make things simple. I had to try a new pattern…and that’s where the trouble started. Enter Simplicity 8172.
I was attracted to this pattern because I was in a hurry and LOVED that the sleeves are cut as part of the main bodice…so fast and easy!
What I didn’t notice was that there isn’t a front band to finish the opening. Instead, the pattern has you finish it with seam binding. My drapey, flimsy velvet did not like this at all. It wanted to roll constantly. Well, I could not wear it like that so I self-drafted a 4″ front band (thank goodness I had a bit of fabric left over), and stiffened it up with fusible interfacing. Yes, this complication added quite a bit to my simple project, but now, the front opening lies as it should. I am so much happier!
Overall, I think I like this project. The pattern is fun and easy, and, because you don’t have to set in sleeves, it’s a quick and easy sew. I like the fit on this pattern and the options for adding a flounce. However, the pattern envelope recommends silky fabrics and velvet. As is, I don’t think those fabrics are the best choice for this pattern, since it lacks a front band, relying on seam binding for finish. To me, that works best with a crisper fabric with bit of body so that the seam binding can do its job. Still, I will likely make view C of this pattern in the near future because it allows you to mix patterns and fabrics. And, I’ll make just about anything if it has a high-lo hem!
Have you sewn with velvet? Did it have a tendency to roll? What did you use to stablize it?
I hope you’re enjoying the festive season and can still find a bit of time for some sewing fun. Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!