Category Archives: B5409

Refashioned: butterfly kimono jacket

I’ve made more than my fair share of kimono style jackets this year (here, here, and here). The style is just so versatile, especially at this time of year when I’m trying to prolong the wear of my Summer gear by layering them upon everything.

 
 
 
 
 

Once again I used B5409 and modified it in the same way as earlier versions. My butterfly silk CDC lived an earlier life as a floaty maxi dress. It was lovely. I loved it, but then I moved on, and there was just too much beautiful fabric in that dress to lay dormant in my cupboard.

 
 

This time round, I used goose biot feathers to fringe the kimono for a fancy, ‘festival’ look.  Google defines fringed kimonos as festival. Who am I to argue with Google. I’ve paired it with my leather shorts and floral bustier for the photos. And if I was headed into Summer, I might have even taken this outfit out for a spin. In real life, we are headed into cooler days, so I want this kimono jacket to wear over my matching, Chanel-inspired dress and pants. I’ll be unpicking those glorious feathers because I don’t think they will fare so well on the school run. But you know me. I’ll use them again for something else.

Butterfly kimono robe


I am desperately in love with kimono jackets at the moment. This is the third one I’ve made. I used B5409 again. My other versions are here and here. I made the same modifications to the pattern as before, but simply added a contrast panel and straight hemline this time.

 
 

 
 

 

The fabric in the body of the kimono is a stunning cotton/silk from Tessuti. I picked it up as a remnant many, many moons ago. Oh how I miss my favourite remnant table in Surry Hills! I used up my last little bit of butterfly silk (seen also here and here) to add a little bit of contrast and weight to the robe. The colours match beautifully.

In my photos, I paired it with my white man-shirt and a very sneaky RTW purchase of high waist flares. I see so many pairs of fabulous jeans out there in blog-land, but I just don’t feel motivated to go down that road myself yet. I won’t say never though. I never thought I’d sew myself underwear either, but I changed my tune on that a few weeks ago. Proof of my knicker sewing is on Instagram and will remain exclusively there until my six year old develops more arty and discrete photography skills

I actually made this kimono robe as a surprise for somebody special. I won’t mention her by name in case she ends up reading this post. I styled the robe as a jacket for outerwear in my photos, but it can also be worn as a featherweight dressing gown, to be slipped over pyjamas on cool Spring mornings (or nights feeding bub). I’ll always remember the pretty pair of pyjama pants my best girlfriend gave me after the birth of my peep number three. I love baby clothes as much as the next mum, but it was so nice to be given something beautiful that was just for me. Besides, the thought of sewing a baby onesie right now makes me want to poke needles in my eyes. But let’s just go with the first reasoning. It makes me sound so much nicer!

Kimono jacket in gauzy silk

I warned you all that another kimono jacket would be on it’s way soon. It all happened a little quicker than anticipated because I remembered this beautiful silk remnant from Tessuti that I had in my stash. It was such a beautiful length of silk, nearly 2m of it in total. It’s another of those fabrics that photos just cannot do justice. It’s beautifully light and gauzy like chiffon. There are also shiny charmeuse bits through the chiffon that add surface texture, but it is difficult to see this in the photos. The fabric is super sheer, as you can see when I hold it against a window.

  
But enough on this beautiful fabric. I’m guessing you’d like to see what I made with it? Remember my yellow kimono? I used the same pattern, but eliminated the cuffs and facing. I also shortened it to fit the length of fabric I was using.

 

 
 
 

The sheerness of this fabric demands French seams, so I used them throughout. I finished all the edges (including the neckline) with a narrow hem. It’s such a simple pattern but I think it suits the fabric perfectly. Anything more in terms of design would simply be lost on it.

I’m pretty happy with my new kimono. It makes the perfect cover up for a hot summer evening, and it’s already on hot rotation in my wardrobe. I love that it adds a splash of colour to my white jumpsuit.

 

B5409: Hello yellow kimono jacket!

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?