I’ve been inspired by a few ladies (here and here) on instagram recently. We live in worlds apart and adhere to vastly different dress codes, but I can’t help but admire how these ladies who choose to cover their hair and dress conservatively can look so individual, classically elegant, and fashionable, all the while having to adhere to much stricter fashion rules than I.
One of the things I’ve noticed, is that these ladies know how to layer. And perhaps it is the ability to drape and layer with aplomb, that has drawn my interest more than anything else. And perhaps because of them, I am a little in love with fluid, unfitted, kimono jackets right now. Yes, I’m also smitten with white, and yellow, and big, long dramatic hems…and no doubt there will be another whim to enter my world of fanaticism next week. But today, it is the kimono.
I would like to introduce you to my buttercup yellow kimono jacket. I love her! She is made from a beautiful, drapey, matt rayon jersey from MOOD. I cannot tell you how many yellow swatches I ordered before I settled on this one. And I did have to settle, since a remarkably more expensive 4-ply silk crepe de chine was my first choice! The jacket is a LOT heavier than it would be, had I sewn it in crepe de chine. It hangs and drapes fluidly, rather than floats. I’ve paired it with my fancy pant Ralphy tracky dacks and bad hair courtesy of night parties with two of my peeps.
The pattern I started from is B5409. The ghastly pictures on the pattern cover give no indication of what can be done with this pattern. I purchased it in the larger size because I’d originally intended on sewing it in a woven, despite the pattern calling for a knit. Usually, I would sew a size down from the one I chose.
The size I started with was a large (bust 38-40″). I’m about a 35″ in the bust. I made the following changes:
- graded down a size from the armpits to the hem (I had to draw my own lines to do this as the pattern didn’t include the size below)
- added inseam pockets. I just guessed the position of these and stuck them about 3″ too low in the side seams. I didn’t take into account how far down the jacket would hang due to the weight of the fabric and the low armscye
- added belt loops in the side seams (just above the pockets). Again, these are also too low, although I don’t think I will be using them anyway. I was only intending to tie a belt through the back of the jacket, not around the front, and I don’t think it needs this after all.
- ditched the collar and drafted the missing bit of facing. Because of the floppy nature of the fabric, even with interfacing, I stitched all the facing down, from neck to toe.
- sewed the cuffs on the opposite way so that I could fold them up. Tacked them in place.
- lengthened the front and back significantly and created a graduated hemline.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I will definitely be sewing this jacket again. Next time though, I will skip the belt loops and bring the pockets up a bit higher. I’m thinking I might put in a fabric order for my upcoming birthday to make this in a bright and boisterous printed crepe de chine. What do you think?