Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Suki Kimono

I had the great pleasure of getting to pattern test the latest pattern from Helen's Closet, the Suki Kimono.


The official description is as follows: The Suki Kimono is a luxurious and comfortable robe, perfect for everyday use. It wraps around the body for a flattering waist fit and flares out over the hips. Kimono sleeves offer a classic look while still being a practical shape and length for getting ready in the morning. Inner and outer ties keep this robe closed so you can move around freely. The outer ties are anchored to the back of the robe so you will never lose them and inseam pockets ensure your phone is always at hand. Two lengths are provided and you have the option of contrasting front bands, sleeve bands, and ties. The Suki Kimono will surely be your new favorite lounge-wear!


I held off on posting about my Suki because I had hoped to use it as part of an outfit for The Monthly Stitch's last contest for Indie Pattern Month.  But alas, I haven't had a lot of sewjo lately, so I didn't get my "work from home" outfit finished in time.



The fabric I used was a 4 yard pre-cut poly crepe de chine I got from Fabric Mart for $3.20 back in February.  I didn't love the fabric once it arrived, but I decided that made it perfect for this test, in case things didn't work out.  It frayed more than any other fabric I've worked with so far.  Although, to be fair, I have way more experience with knits than wovens.


Not the clearest photos, but yeah, that's fully half of the seam allowance frayed away.  :(  I did french seams on the body and I had to increase the seam allowance to allow for the fact that my seam allowances frayed away.  Helen advised using spray starch next time I'm working with a woven that frays.  I'll definitely need to remember that tip!



Also, the instructions say to put the Rouleau loops in the side seams so the ends are encased in the seam for the belt loops.  However, I was extra frustrated by my fabric fraying and I stupidly started a couple of my french seams the wrong way round, which exacerbated the problem.  So, in all my frustration, I was a bad tester and I forgot to actually check back to the instructions and I missed attaching the belt loops and the hanging loop at the time I was supposed to.  I just left the hanging loop off, but for the side loops, I just attached them flat with the ends folded under.  I might actually prefer it this way, but for my next version I'll try the right way so I can compare.


Even though I didn't like the fabric much at first and I had problems due to my fabric choice that made this a frustrating sew, the finished kimono more than makes up for it all my issues.  I LOVE this robe!  It's very warm in Seattle this summer and this is 100% polyester, so I'm not wearing it right now.  But once it cools off, I'll be living in this thing.  I definitely plan on making more and I already have plans for a summer friendly version and a slightly hacked version that I hope will give off the essence of an old Hollywood dressing gown.


This is the tester version, but the only real difference between what I made and the final release is fixing some minor mistakes to a couple pattern pieces to make construction easier.



I definitely feel very glamorous with this kimono on.  Since I've been working at home for the past 2 months, I find that I usually don't bother getting dressed.  So this kimono just goes on over my lounging clothes for when I need to answer the door for a package or step outside for some reason or another.  And the sleeve length is perfect for not getting in the way of daily activities, like sitting out on the back deck drinking coffee.


If you haven't seen them yet, you really should check out the rest of the versions from the tester roundup on the Helen's Closet blog.  And today (August 1, 2017) is the last day the Suki Kimono is on sale for 20% off!  So get it now!  And while you're there, pick up her other two patterns too, which are both equally as wonderful.





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