I recently bought nine metres of silk for £25 in a sample sale. It’s liberating owning silk that costs only £2.70 a metre – you get adventurous. Enter the Kimono Cardigan, after I saw two versions on a friend’s blog.
I’ve felt ambivalent about this summer’s trend for kimono tops. I truly love the aesthetic, as it sits with my lifetime obsession with The Great Gatbsy and all things flapper. But I never have enjoyed the athletic figure to make me a true flapper girl and kimono tops are not as flattering as we would wish their drapes to be. Drapes which hang from the widest part of a figure. For anyone with a sizeable chest, this means that your waist line is not only hidden from view, it’s exaggerated.
Making this top – beautiful though I believe it to be – did nothing to change my opinion. I’ve photographed it as day wear, but I intend to use it as house wear, with jim jams and loose tops. But what very beautiful house wear. Who could possibly complain?
For the first time in a long time, I used French seams on every detail. I honestly don’t think I’ve sewn a French seam since I bought my overlocker. Overlockers are great for speed, but I did feel sad to realise it had been sooooo long since I’d indulged in this touch of quality that speaks only of care and time taken.
There are loads of free kimono top tutorials on the web, but I was taken by this one because extra care was taken over hem bands and a graded front seam that gives a waterfall effect. If you use the same tutorial, please be aware that seam allowances are added further into the video – don’t take first measurements as sacrosanct.
It’s easy to think, Kimono? It’s just a bunch of rectangles. Well, yes. But this does mean that you’ll want to take so very much care. As you can see from the above, every seam will easily fall out on show.
Isn’t this silk fabulous? What is that print? Amoeba?! It was a devil to get a needle through. Even my teeniest, finest Japanese hand sewing needle did not want to penetrate that warp and weft. A sign of quality? Can someone let me know? I have about eight more metres to use up.