An Extra Long Asaka Kimono, Named Clothing

When my mum saw my completed Asaka Kimono she immediately ordered one for herself. Floor length, of course, my mum likes to sweep into a room.  I fussed about it but then agreed, we bought the fabric, I started…..and then it got put in the UFO pile because a newer, shiner project called to me….that was for me.

Selfish Sewer. Yikes, I don’t like that term but it completely applies to me. Sewing is my way of switching off from the world and my problems and unfortunately, especially for my friends and family, when I sew for other people I feel deadlines and pressure for the item to turn out perfect. After this project however I can see the benefits of the odd gift here and there 😉

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The Fabric

I bought this fabric back in August! So I don’t remember too many details. I got the fabric from Goldhawk Road, sorry I forgot the name of the shop. I think it was £4 per meter.

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When I first saw the fabric I was hesitant…..It kinda reminds me of an artistic interpretation of Camouflage Army print….but I just kept coming back to it! I do love the colours, they are sorta dreamy and calming. The fabric also reminds me of ink blot. Plus, the drape is lovely.

The Changes

The biggest change was to add length to the kimono. As always it wasn’t the most precise way of doing things, I added on the length I think I needed to the middle of the kimonos sides and back. Which worked out alright.

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I had cut something wrong and was running out of fabric, so my second change was to shorten the collar and unintentionally the kimono looks more like a traditional Japanese kimono.

The Pattern

The pattern was the Asaka Kimono by Named. It has to be said that I find their pdf patterns the most frustrating ever. They only print out two sizes at a time (8-10 together, 12-14 together etc.) and I was making two kimonos for two different sized women. One size 10 the other size 14. So I had to print and tape the pattern together twice.

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It is fantastic seeing my mum in something I made. She might even get a few more pieces out of me in 2016 🙂

Happy 2016 xxx

 

Charlotte Kan Tie Dress

Hello! I have something to tell you.. I’ve gone completely off my sewing schedule and have fallen in deep pattern love. This may sound ridiculous but I’ve found THE PATTERN. The one that I will make a thousand times over.

Just when I thought I was going to step away from indie designers and try the bigger companies, I discovered Charlotte Kan. She is the designer and it looks like, for the moment, she is realising her old designs to sewing patterns. I am eagerly awaiting to see if she turns her long sleeved top into a sewing pattern because the second it does, I’m buying it!

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I love how contemporary the style is, it looks very high street, which is the style I like and want to sew more of. It got me thinking about how much indie pattern companies use a lot of vintage inspiration and how in my first year of sewing I have sewed up clothes that aren’t my style or what I will up up wearing. I still liked the look of certain patterns I bought but too many I probably won’t ever sew or if I do I will hardly wear. I think a few of us get into that problem when we first start sewing and want every pattern ever!!

The Fabric:

I made a special trip to the man outside Sainsburys in Walthamstow market especially to get fabric for this dress. The hype is true. This guy has amazing stuff at such good prices! The fabric I used was Cupro, now my favourite fabric ever! Easy to work with, sooooo soft plus it looks super expensive and elegant. Not bad for £3 a metre!!!

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The Pattern:

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Construction was pretty straightforward, the dress is simple. Putting the PDF together was great because of how few pieces make up the dress (only 4, YAY). Given that the dress is easy I didn’t expect a massive guide but even so, the instructions with were really too sparse for me. I felt it didn’t give me enough options and room for my own input. Straight away the pattern wanted you to zig-zag or overlock your seams, I always french seam (in my head I refer to myself as the french seam queen…please don’t judge me). So after making my choice to deviate from the pattern, I just went through the dress my own way. I didn’t look at the instructions again until I got into a problem. I hope that in future (especially if the patterns are more complicated) Charlotte Kan will give more guidance.

The changes:

I usually go up a size on patterns at the hip but I didn’t need to for this pattern. I might in future versions because if I put on a any more weight on my bum I feel it would be too tight but for now it’s fine.

I took 5cm off the shirt length….and I really should learn my lesson and start being more cautious. I feel it’s a tad too short (the story of all dress/skirts makes) and next time I’m going to just take 2cm off. For this version I will mostly wear it with some leggings.

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I’ve started my second version of this started for a christmas party in silk (oooh la la) and another one with longer sleeves. I contacted Charlotte about making the pattern with longer sleeves (winter is here and I’m only not wearing a coat for the pictures!) and she drew me a little sketch showing me how to add a sleeves.

I want to thank my wonderful mum for the pictures and being so enthusiastic about it! She insisted on this location, chose my accessories and really got into the part of being my official photographer haha

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on which coat to sew. Burdastyle was the favourite and I’m going to buy my tracing paper and give the Burdastyle jacket a try 🙂