Sunday, 6 October 2013

A couple of Kimonos

Pattern: Easy Kimono Dress from Pattern Runway
Size: 12
Fabric: Version 1 - stretch cotton from Witney Sewing Centre; Version 2 - viscose from

Warning: epic post (apologies).

This was actually the first Pattern Runway pattern I tried, despite having blogged about the Gathered Sundress a while ago. I made the first version for my work summer do but it ended up being quite far removed from the pattern so I wanted to wait until I'd made another, more faithful version, before displaying it to Blogland.So, about Version 1. I found beautiful, summery fabric and was very excited that I'd got a pattern that was a bit dressy but not OTT, just right for the occasion. The PDF pattern was great to put together, easy to follow, and the dress very well designed. I'm not a fan of facings, but I particularly liked how the back opening is incorporated in to the neck facing, enabling a really neat finish. 

The trouble came when I tried on the dress and realised my fabric was really too stiff. The idea, as you can see from the pattern image above, is for it to be blousey and drapey, but mine just stuck out above the elasticated waist like a tent, and the sleeves looked like American Football kit. Bad times. You will not be seeing photos of how bad it looked, sorry, I'm too vain for that.

Outdoor escalator fun
It was so awful I was ready to give up on it and start something else. But I didn't have time to make anything else and buying something to wear felt like cheating. So, I agonised, I hmphed, I cried, I drove Big Minx insane. And what followed was that every evening I got home from work and spent a couple of hours adjusting it. Fundamentally, I took a lot of width out of the side seams to try to reduce the tent-ing, and narrowed the sleeves so they were no longer anything like kimono. After about 4 evenings of angry tweaking I quite frankly never wanted to see the *%@!&#? thing again, but I had to wear it so just got on with it.

Fountain fun
I think it looked ok in the end, thanks to accessories and plenty of wine and luckily the busy fabric covered up the fact that it had been adjusted to within an inch of its life. There aren't really any photos of it in its entirety from the aforementioned do, but we took some on a recent trip to Barcelona where I very much enjoyed wearing it in all its bright glory.

Pretending to be a cactus fun
Whilst I've come to like the dress now I still felt it was a little bit of a failure as it looked nothing like the original plan, so I made a second version in a drapey viscose (lesson learned).

It's hard to see the fabric on the photos, so here's a close-up for reference

 I still fuss with it and feel a bit tent-y, but I think that's more because I tend to wear fitted clothes so it's a case of getting used to something more...froofy. Seeing the photos, I like it more than I did in the mirror so that's an interesting lesson. 

A few seconds after these photos were taken, a big wave came and soaked the bottom few inches of the dress. That'll learn me for being a sea poser.

Just before the soaking. So unsuspecting.


  1. Ahh, gorgeous! I think the second is my favourite, though frankly they're both lush. Byootiful! xx

    1. Thanks, lovely! They're dividing the country it seems (or Abingdon, at least). xx