Half machine-sewn, half hand-sewn, cos I’m weird like that 😄. This started out as a voile or muslin aka prototype for a simple kimono-style top for my neighbour Diane. I wanted to see whether it would turn out as anticipated.
The above was the inspiration behind this project, taken from Pinterest. I have some green cheesecloth material similar to this, and Diane was agreeable to me making a similar garment for her. She just wanted it a bit longer, to mid-thigh, with the sleeves a bit longer too. Which is easy enough to achieve, seeing as this garment is essentially 1 piece of fabric with a cut out neckline and just a couple of seams sewn on either open end to create channels for the arms to slip through.
I happened to have this dark blue fabric lying around, so I decided to make my voile/muslin/prototype out of it. The construction is easy enough – folded in half, then with a neckline cut out. I over-estimated the neckline measurements and cut it a little too big. I didn’t realise, novice that I am at this whole machine sewing malarkey, that I should really be adjusting/cutting/pleating the neckline to make it smaller, BEFORE attaching the bias binding tape. As it is, I’d handstitched the bias binding tape in place around the entire neckline before I decided I needed to bring some of it in, to reduce the width of the neckline. So, it’s a little bulky around the binding, but not too bad.
For the “sleeves” I simply sewed bias binding tape around the ends, to show on both sides of the fabric, same as on the neckline. However, instead of finishing the bias binding tape ends off by sewing them together on the sleeves and cutting off the excess, I tried a little creativity and tied them into a double knot instead. I think the result is quite cute! I think also that the pleat I created at the front works well, as it adds some flounce and shape to the front of what otherwise is simply one piece of cloth folded over. The neckline at the back goes down over the nape of the neck a little bit, reminiscent of traditional Japanese kimonos.
In some ways, it looks quite simple and modern. In other ways, I think it does look somewhat Oriental.
So, here’s my 2nd ever garment. My Boho Kimono. I found a simple black sleeveless knit top to go under it. Without a shirt or vest underneath, the kimono itself is quite see-through.
So, the dark blue fabric was $1, the black sleeveless knit top was $1, both from the $1 bin at my local thrift store. The bias binding was made from a denim fabric already pre-sewn as a patchwork on the roll, which cost me $12 for a meter (of which I only used about a quarter to make the continuous bias binding tape). Sewing time – oh, about 8 hours (would’ve been much faster if I’d chosen to sew the binding and bottom hems by machine instead of by hand…but I wanted to watch tv while sewing 😄).
Very pleased with this one.
(Observe in the first photo below the invisible photographer. Yes, I’ve been perfecting my powers of levitation 😉).