Most of you know that I love, love, love EVERYTHING stocked by Linda at Emma One Sock (EOS).  Man, does this woman have amazing taste! As far as internet ordering is concerned, I have zero fears of getting a dud when ordering online from here.  One day, this AMAZING panel print showed up.  Within the EOS collections, I have two favorite types:  digital prints and poly-silk.  I also travel to Washington DC for work (a lot), and LOVE the cherry blossoms there.  So when this showed up, I had to have it!  I didn’t know what I was going to DO with it, but I knew I could make it work!  I bought two panels, and I anxiously awaited the fabric.  I would happen that my mail was stolen … so I was extremely lucky that Linda had more.

Feeling like it was fate, I was armed with passion to turn it into something amazing!  I searched for a pattern.  At first, I was thinking a skirt, maybe pleated .. but then I saw this one (Simplicity 1318) and I KNEW THIS WAS IT – I could envision it already.  It was like pattern-fabric-clairvoyance …

Only problem was that the panel print was not well suited for the longer version of the kimono top, which had the structured bands around the collar and front.  I was really drawn to this design feature, but the shorter version didn’t have the banded collar … so I made a mash up of the two.  I used cues from the shorter kimono to make hem alterations and shorten the bands in the front.

One of the biggest challenges I encountered was the layout.  I wanted to highlight the print as much as possible, but include the ombre pink graduations as contrast on the bands (sleeves and collars).  I rearranged the pieces multiple times until I figured out how to “make it work”  … I found that leaving a little peek of pink at the lower hem accented the print, and I managed to cut the sleeves so that they had a graduation from the base to the shoulder.  And I still had 1/2 panel left when I was done! Sweet!  I’ll use that for something else.

This kimono was part of a 3 pattern coordinates set: A burda ruched top in a metallic tissue knit from EOS and a pair of TNT Vogue skinny pants in a pale tan stretch shantung with metallic highlights (fabric from FFC).

For the interfacing, I used some of my lightweight sheer knit from a bolt I purchased at JoAnn’s many years ago.  I really should stop using this stuff … it doesn’t wash well.  I need to restock on my sheer knit from Fashion Sewing Supply (all of those products are FANTASTIC)! But I was impatient and used the JoAnn stuff.

I mostly followed the instructions.

  • I substituted 4-thread overlock for the seams and did stitch-in-the-ditch to secure the facings (instead of handstitching down).
  • The use of a microtex needle and a dual feed foot (or walking foot) is important when working with this fabric type – it keeps the fabric from bunching up or feeding unevenly.
  • Another tip:  Starch poly-silk before hemming – this will help you iron in creases and stabilize the fabric.  It washes right out in the washing machine!
  • While I didn’t do this, I think you should:  Trim the neckline and facing to 1/4″ seam allowance before sewing.  It will help make the piecing of the neckline cleaner.

Sizing – it’s hard to get this wrong.  It is oversized, so it’s pretty forgiving.  I recommend staying with your usual size to ensure you get the drapey fashion effect.

I’ve gotten so many compliments on it – and it was such an easy project with such great satisfaction! Give it a try!