Friday, 11 May 2012

Handmade Cotton Kimono

A finished sewing project - a handmade cotton kimono!

I used a sewing pattern by AtelierJoy based in Paris. It's a great pattern, simple for advanced beginners like me and well illustrated with pictures all the way through. I adapted the length so that it almost reaches the floor. I am pleased with the result and love hanging out at home in my new kimono :)

I had a question about how much fabric to buy (as the pattern was set up in inches/yard but in Germany sellers use centimetres/metres). This is the answer I received from the helpful Joy (at AtelierJoy):
The width of the fabric you buy will be either 115 cm (45" wide) or 150 cm (60" wide)

for 115 cm wide fabric

short kimono: purchase 3 1/4 meters
long kimono : purchase 4 meters

for 150 cm wide fabric

short kimono: purchase 2 meters
long kimono: purchase 2 1/2 meters

I bought 2.5 metres of a butterfly and flower print cotton in the Wednesday morning fabric market in Altona, Hamburg for EUR3.75 (bargain!)

I used a spool of vintage cotton thread (Dewhurst's Sylko). I found this lovely magenta colour spool in a box of threads that I inherited from my grandmother. I've had the box for about 15 years and I'm always excited to pull out and use a little treasure from inside. It was still wrapped in its plastic! I used almost the whole spool of thread for this project.

French Seams:
I love the french seams! It was the first time I had sewn them and they were easier than I expected. In fact, the inside of the kimono is as neat and tidy as the outside. It's amazing! Very satisfying to see such a clean finish.

Hem tucks neatly into the bottom of the collar

As well as the French seams, the finishing for the hem and collar were very nice. A deep hem adds some weight improving the drape of the kimono. It tucks into the bottom of the collar piece like a dream, no unfinished edges anywhere! 

I discovered that masking tape is my friend. I used it to help mark out my measurements (the majority of the pieces in this pattern are rectangle so you can simply measure them, there is only one paper piece for the curve of the neck). I also used it to label pieces so that I could put my hands on them quickly when sewing them together. It didn't leave any sticky residue, but a little test should be done before using it on delicate fabric.

Are you an Etsy seller? Have you linked up to this week's Etsy Stock Take? Do so, it's great exposure for your new items! 


  1. nice!

    p.s. I'm having a jewelry giveaway if you'd like to check it out. :) xx

    1. Thank you for visiting! I'll come and check out your giveaway :)

  2. It looks really nice. I don't dare start a big sewing project like this yet. One day... :)

  3. This is so cute and looks comfy!! We are so happy that you linked up to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday" and we hope you see you back next week!! -The Sisters

  4. Lovely!! I just bought this pattern, I thought I would do a little searching to see what other people have done with it. After seening yours, I can hardly wait to get started :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know, please link up with a picture of your finished item :)

  5. Oh how lovely!! It's adorable and looks super comfy!! I'm finally getting into the sewing groove (have had my machine for maybe 6 years now) and just made a set of table dressings for our new dining room. Wearables are my next endeavor, though I'm terrified of patterns! When I crocheted, I was never able to follow directions!

    1. You'll be fine! I'm also a bit nervous about making clothes that actually have to fit someone, but this was very easy to follow. I'm making another one already, in silk this time, ooooh, the luxury! :p


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