I’m going a bit mad with making items for my holiday in the sun. I know I’m only there for 7 days, but I cannot help myself. So this month’s project for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network I chose to make a kimono for my holiday.

I’ve had my eyes for a while on the Asaka Kimono Pattern from Named Patterns for a while. And now that I’ve been engrossed into making a holiday wardrobe for Mexico I finally took the plunge and made it in a beautiful fun woven crepe. I chose the size to cut based on my body measurements. As I am only 5ft2 and didn’t want the finished garment to be as short as on the model, I did not shorten the length of it. I’ve been so lazy that I did not shorten the sleeves length either, though I should have.

As I was working with Crepe, a fabric that is very fluid, light and moved a lot I used my very fine pins as well as using paper between the fabric and feed dogs to stop the fabric from being chewed down the bobbin housing.

In many parts of the construction, I actually basted all the layers before sewing them on the machine to keep the construction accurate. For the sleeve hems I ended up basting one fold and the second one. My love of pretty on the inside and pretty in the outside made me do it. But it did make the fabric stay in place and not shift.

I overlocked/serged all the seams after sewing them, except for the sleeve seam above the opening. I had to do use a blanket stitch on this seam by hand. Next time, it will be easier to use a 2 cm seam allowance all they way up and not just the opening, which will result with no raw edges.

The instructions have you cut really long belt loops and have them sewn into the side seam. I don’t like this technique and prefer them to sit on the surface of the garment. So I made them shorter and attached them to the waist line after the side seams were done.

I learnt from Kenneth D King that with slippery fabrics you can get good results with a few tricks such as stitch the seam with a small zig-zag. I used a small zig-zag stitch on my machine. Until Kenneth mentioned it I was convinced that for woven fabric one has to use a straight stitch for seams. How wrong I’ve been. Little tricks like this make working with difficult fabrics much easier. I want to make everything in crepe or silk now.

I am so glad that I did not shorten the length. Mainly because I can wear it as a dress or as a cover up.

I particularly like sleeves. Though, they are a bit too long for me. I think I’ll be ok as long as I don’t want to eat.

My only regret is that I did not add the pockets onto the side seam. What was I thinking? I will definitely add them on my next version of this pattern. Maybe I’ll lengthen it to make it into a maxi kaftan.

My favourite look for this pattern has to be the dress version. Looks so classy and it will be perfect for my holiday. I can dress it up or down depending if I want to wear it at the pool or for a dining experience.

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Asaka from Named Patterns – it is an open front kimono with wide-cut sleeves, which have a deep vent.

Sizing: 32 to 50 European, 0 to 18 US or 4 to 22 UK,

Fabric: 1 m of Woven Crepe Fabric

Notions: none needed for this pattern

Modifications: I cut a straight size 38/6/10. I wanted the finished kimono not to be as short as on the model so I left the length as it is on the original pattern. I am 157 cm/5ft2 tall.

Fit: relaxed.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?: yes.

Watch out for: think about how you will finish the raw edges on the sleeve above the opening. I think next time I will make the seam allowance 2 cm all the way up and

Make Again?: Yes. I want to make it again. But I’ll shorten the sleeves by 8 to 10 cm because although they look good they are a bit annoying as I find them a bit too long. I will also add pockets. Maybe even lengthen it to make a maxi kaftan just because I can.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. And please do share your makes on Instagram/Twitter by tagging @MinervaCrafts and/or using the hashtag #MinervaMakes. I’d love to see what you create.


Sewing Adventures in the Attick