Zen and the art of sewing

Print kimono

My kimono is finished. And here I am trying to radiate zen-like calm in front of the Japanese maple in the garden.

I have to say it has probably come out a touch too large, but on the other hand this means it’s an effective coverup. Which I was quite glad of on Saturday morning when one of the neighbours came round before I’d got dressed.

The thing about kimonos is that you don’t use a pattern, you just cut a bunch of rectangles. So for anyone else trying to make one and get the sizing right, I’m a 10 or 12 in Big Four patterns and I used the layout in my previous post. I made the smallest French seams I could, so the seam allowance is probably half an inch at most.

The sleeves are huge. I suspect I am going to knock cups of coffee over with them. I also had to make a very deep hem on them or they’d have covered my hands.

And here’s the back view.

I think this is a success.

If I was doing it again I’d do a few things differently. In particular I’d finish the edges before sewing the pieces together. Traditional kimonos are made out of very narrow widths of fabric, so there is no need to finish seams as all your edges are selevedge. You fit them by varying the seam allowance. I’d also make it a bit longer so I could make a deeper hem on the body. And I think I’d go for a solid colour or a larger print. Not that I shall need to make another one of these for a while!

7 thoughts on “Zen and the art of sewing

  1. I love it! I want one! Doesn’t that gravelhirt your feet?! Or are you channelling too much zen master to feel it?!

  2. Stunning! I love your blog. In your writing you always weave the project and your process together in an incredibly elegant way. Thank you so much. Elizabeth

  3. Well, that same gesture with which you will tumble coffee cups, you will just have to use to brush off complaints fromt those whose laps are scalded with hot coffee, LOL! It’s all in the wrist, right? *wink*

    And your title made me smile, because I had just read this:

  4. Gorgeous – it really suits you! Love it! Also, I chuckled at the coffee-cup concerns – I’m glad it’s not just me who worries about those sorts of things!

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