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Patterns For Pirates Kimono by Sue

Here on the coast we rarely get snow. We dream of opening our curtains to find deep, billowy piles of the stuff but to be honest this year even we are totally over it and ready for the sun to kick in, so when I saw this pretty floral Jersey Knit Fabric at Minerva Crafts, it screamed out to be used for the summer kimono pattern by Patterns For Pirates. They are a PDF only company but don’t give up at this point if you are not usually a fan of PDFs as their patterns print out ready to stick together without the need to trim any of the edges and assemble quickly.

The fabric has a lovely soft feel and is a slightly heavier weight to the jersey I’ve used before. This actually makes it perfect for a summer cover up to pop on when things get a little chilly later in the evening and your strappy top isn’t enough, or on days when the great British weather isn’t playing.

If you are new to sewing with jersey this would be a great place to start, the fabric isn’t as structured as ponte roma but is fairly stable as far as stretchy material goes plus a kimono is a forgiving pattern without any fitting to worry about. This particular jersey was extremely easy to cut out and didn’t curl up at the edges or slip around. I’m a pin and scissors girl though you might find pattern weights and a rotary cutter are more your style.

Now I’m lucky enough to have an overlocker, my husband would substitute the word spoilt in here, but if you don’t have one you can still make this garment. Your sewing machine might have a stretch stitch that you can use but if not you can substitute a zig zag stitch adjusted to make it small and neat. In actual fact none of the seams need to stretch and the jacket is loose fitting so you can even go rogue and opt for a straight stitch, just use a slightly longer one than you would normally. If you are using your regular sewing machine and you have a walking foot it’s a good idea to use it with jersey fabric to help stop your seams from stretching out of shape.

I’m going to hold my hands up and admit that when I’m sewing with jersey I will do my best to whip up the whole thing on my overlocker, mostly because I like to maximise my sewing time, but in this case when I had sewn the shoulders and side seams and I tried on the basic shape of the kimono the fabric had such a lovely drape that I have just used a simple hem round the majority of the edging and only overlocked bands on to the sleeves. It really would have been a shame to overlock a band to the collar and hem and ruin the flow of the garment. At this point if you have a twin needle for your regular sewing machine or even a coverstitch then the double row of stitching would finish the edging off in a very professional looking way. I have used a single line of stitching in keeping with a beginner’s project.

The edge hem runs all the way around the neck down the front of the jacket and along the bottom and so to stop it from stretching out I’ve used iron on hem tape which I cut down in to two strips half an inch wide. As an added bonus this makes folding over the hem less of a chore as the measurements have been done for you. I decided to fold a double hem to enclose the raw edge which is actually unnecessary as the jersey would not have frayed but because of the style of the kimono it lies in such a way that the front can flop open and reveal your internal finishing. This is really personal preference but it’s such a quick make that the minimal extra time it takes is worth it.

In the end the hardest part of this project was taking photos of the finished kimono as we’ve had almost constant rain but then at least that’s progress from the snow.

Even without an overlocker this is a quick project. If you really don’t like PDF patterns, or you are more experienced, there are You Tube tutorials for pattern free kimono jackets that you could make just as quickly.

It's well worth checking out Minerva Crafts for their drapey Jersey Fabrics, their summer range looks stunning, and if you haven’t tried jersey fabric before why not have a go at making yourself a quick kimono?

Thanks for reading,

Sue @craftysue103

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