A Wiksten Haori in Kantha Cloth

I don’t know about you, but I’m craving a bit of ‘normal’ right now. So let’s just dive into the details of this new make, a Wiksten Haori jacket. 

If you haven’t tried this pattern, you’re missing out on some fun! It’s a chance to use your favorite fabrics in a way that makes them so wearable. This is my third Haori (others posted here and here), and I’m sure there will be more. 

This is an unstructured, loose-fitting jacket with three length variations, short, medium and long. I prefer the short, cropped version on me as I really like the proportions, but I’m in love with some of the longer versions I’ve seen in wool, so I might try one of those too. 

This jacket looks more complicated than it is. If you can sew a straight seam, you can make this jacket. Yes, it is lined but that’s nothing to worry about because creating the lining is simple. You just sew another jacket from your lining material and attach the two at the bottom seam.  The only modification I made to the pattern was to leave the interfacing out of the collar band as my fabric was stiff enough.

The beauty of the Haori is that it really allows the fabric to shine. My fabric is a Kantha cloth. I found a piece at Modern Domestic then found a bit more  at Cool Cottons, here in Portland. It’s amazing fabric with beautiful colors and the layers of cloth are stitched together with a long quilting stitch. It makes me happy just looking at it!  I’m wearing it with the linen shirt I made from a japanese pattern book (posted here.) I think they work well together.

Sewing is such a stress reliever for me. In these challenging times, I’m grateful that I have a pastime that comforts me, and a community to share it with. Hang in there all, and thanks for stopping by! 

Vogue 9311: Playing Dress-up

My every-day wardrobe consists of easy-to-wear layers. But once I year, I have the opportunity to really dress-up. The choir that I sing with, Oregon Repertory Singers has an annual fundraiser where formal attire is required. I always look forward to the opportunity to sew and wear something special.

In past years, I’ve sewn cocktail length dresses, but this year, I wanted something different, so I decided to go ‘long’. Honestly, in all my years of sewing, I’ve only sewn a couple of long dresses. What?? I know!! If it isn’t time now, when will it be?  

For the pattern, I chose Vogue 9311, a long dress with optional sleeves and ruffle. I love the v-neck line and think that it gives the dress a look of elegance. I made the long sleeve version, but shortened them to 3/4 length. Instead of cuffs, I used elastic to gather the base of the sleeves. I wanted to be able to push them up and away from my dinner:). 

The biggest challenge with this make was the fabric. I love the look of this burnout velvet, but it really was tough to work with. The shimmer comes from shiny gold fibres that are woven into the spaces between the sections of velvet ‘burnout’ and they tended to snag. Also, the fabric frayed like crazy so I finished all the edges with my serger before sewing the seams. I purchased microtex needles which really worked nicely! 

Even though the pattern doesn’t call for a lining, I chose to line the bodice and skirt with solid black silk. This really helped give the skirt more body and structure. The lining was easy to create and gave the entire dress a nice finished feel. It’s so lovely to wear! The ties are meant to be worn in the back, but they were so long, I was able to play around with the look, and decided I liked them better in front. 

I’m pretty pleased with my new frock and absolutely love this Vogue pattern. It’s been in my stash for awhile, and I’m so glad I finally decided to make it. I can imagine a version for Spring, maybe in linen. I really enjoyed wearing this dress last weekend. It felt so elegant. The good news is that I’ll have another chance to wear it when we sing with the Oregon Symphony in April.

This project really marks the end of winter sewing for me. I’m really ready to sew up some of my lovely woven fabrics for Spring and Summer. How about you?

Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!