The red kimono

I made some kimonos for Christmas presents last year. One was made from a dark red cotton poplin from John Lewis that I was rather sorry to part with. Despite the fact that most reds clash with my (entirely artifical) hair colour I am still drawn to anything in that shade. So when I noticed the same fabric was back in stock last week but running out fast I grabbed the last five metres to recreate the red kimono. I needed a really simple project after the seriously fiddly Burda 111-02-2012.

And here it is. Excuse the indoor pictures; it was snowing heavily when we took them so no way were we venturing out of doors! The first one’s a little orangey. The colours are much truer on the back view.

Red kimono front view

Red kimono back view

This particular kimono is a very quick project when made in a solid coloured cotton. (If you pick a print and have to match the pattern, not so much!) It’s the fifth one I’ve made so I have it down to a fairly fine art now, but it’s easily doable in a weekend from cutting out to photos. And most of it’s sewing in straight lines which was about all I was up to after an unusually exhausting work week. It comes from this tutorial. The tutorial leaves finishing seam allowances to the end, but I find the end result is improved by finishing all the edges before sewing any pieces together. I made a narrow hem on these but I’ve used binding in the past.

Kimono sleeve hems

At some point I want to make a much more authentic version with lining and things (check out Chanel No 6’s detailed series on the subject for inspiration) but this week I just needed some instant sewing gratification. And I like the Cardinal Richelieu effect of all the red draping.

7 thoughts on “The red kimono

  1. Yep, I’m feeling a bit of that jealousy thing coming in, too! I would look a bit of a dumpling in a kimono, I think, due to being so short. But you look fantastic in it.

    I really, really like the shape the draping creates in the torso area. Love it. So elegant. Truly so.

    And I thought your hair was naturally red (despite having bleached and dyed mine artificially red for a year or two in the not so distant past).

    Back to business…really fab handywork!

  2. I can see why it was hard to part with the original and you know what? I don’t know that the colour clashes with your hair rather than competes with it. I think you can wear this colour, and why not as you are drawn to it so, and perhaps a few contrast colour elements on your top half (scarf? bag? necklaces? earings? etc?) will reduce the competition thing.

    My red head girl looks fabulous in orange so I am changing my views on clashing colour. Well some at least.

    Oh and the kimono is fab – It looks wonderfully snuggly so I wonder if you kept it on while the snow fell outside.

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