As much as I love fabric shopping (way more than I ever enjoyed buying clothes!) I do like to use up fabrics from around the house and unloved charity items too… A while back I made the Bed Sheet Ballgown and more recently MrA’s Spring Blossom Shirt, which actually won me a copy of Jenniffer Taylor‘s ‘Girl With a Sewing Machine’ book as runner up in an upcycling challenge hosted by Sewing Directory. (Thank you!)

Soon I’ll be flexing my refashioning muscles harder than they’ve ever worked, as I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to be a part of the blogger line-up for Portia Lawrie‘s #therefashioners2017! It’s a great challenge, I really enjoyed it last year but the pressure’s really on this year! … Blogger line up…? Me…? Are you sure…?! I’m so excited and totally daunted at the same time! Head over to Portia’s blog for the details and full line up.

Anyway, back to this kimono story…

So my friend Rachael had this ikea duvet cover. It was too big for her duvet and had ended up in a ‘fabric bag’. MrA & I were staying with her for the weekend & so we decided to make a kimono on a lazy Sunday morning.

I’ve made a few dressing gowns and a fancy robe, but never a kimono and never without a pattern! Here’s how it went…

  • Turn the cover inside out and press.
  • Fold in half with the opening at the bottom.
  • Take the bust/ waist/ hip measurement, whichever is the larger, and add 5 cm or so for ease. Divide by 4 and measure from the folded edge.
  • Measure down about 30 cm from the top then in a straight line to the side.
  • Cut out the rectangles.
  • Lay flat and cut a front opening in just the top layer. (I eyeballed the first bit of the neckline then flipped it over to copy it on the other side)

I could have cut the side seams angling outwards to widen the skirt and hem. As it was, I ended up sewing in godets, made from the cut-out rectangles. I positioned them right up from the underarm seam.

(I should probably say here that Rachael had already cut a couple of chunks out of this duvet cover so I wasn’t working with the full allowance… out of a whole duvet cover, you might be able to get the ease and sleeve length without the godets by maxing out the body ease, but, alas, I didn’t have that luxury!)

  • Sew the sleeve seam.
  • Sew in the godets.
  • Cut a strip to hem the front edge, about 10-15 cm wide.
  • Sew the edging to the front edge. Right sides together.
  • Fold over and press in the raw edge. Pin so that it covers the stitches.
  • Tuck a hanging loop at the centre back.
  • Sew in the ditch from the outside, catching the folded seam underneath.
  • Attach pockets and belt loops.
  • Hem the sleeves and the bottom.
  • (One of Rachael’s prior off cuts was the perfect size to sew up & turn into the waist tie… bonus)

The whole thing took about 3hrs from start to finish. I did have helpers to iron things and turn things through. And Rachael didn’t want to take it off, which is a good sign!

All in all, a nice productive morning!

Happy sewing!

Notes to self:

  • Sewing is much easier with a big table and a bit of floor space! (… dreams of a sewing room…)
  • Stop stalling and start cutting up suits! #suitsyou #therefashioners2017