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Ready for Lounging: A Kimono

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For my birthday a friend gave me the Amy Butler book In Stitches (thanks, Carrie!). I couldn’t wait to make the kimono style bathrobe in it for my first project. By couldn’t wait I mean I got the book in April and now it’s August so it took me a few months of poring over fabric selections online [I knew I wanted something with a really big pattern, something vibrant, something I wouldn’t normally wear but would be a little kooky and awesome for Saturday morning breakfasts], making a Pinterest board to compare them all (I like to use Pinterest for fabric shopping because I like to buy fabric from different sites and it’s a good way to see everything I’m considering at once), choosing a fabric, waiting too long to buy it and then it was no longer available, choosing a different fabric, waiting a long time to cut out the fabric (involving cleaning the floor of the room I sew in), and so on. Once I actually cut into the fabric, though, this was a pretty straightforward and simple garment to make.  The sleeves, front panels, and back panel are all rectangles.  The neck trim is a small pattern piece that add another long rectangle to.  It all stitched together pretty easily, though I have many complaints about Amy Butler instructions.  They are always more complicated and confusing sounding than they need to be and invariably you get to the end and then realize, “oh! that’s all you were meant to do.” I must remember that for the next one of her projects that I do.
Big kimono sleeve
This also has a belt and little belt loops.  The fit was great except for the excess 10″ I needed to cut off the sleeves. Really? 10″ !? I think that her dimensions were totally off for that (for the record, the layout she suggested for cutting also did not work at all.)  At the end I decided that on seam pockets were totally necessary and so I slit open the side seam and put them in.  Unfortunately that’s not as easy to do as I  had hoped and I did end up spoiling the smooth side seam.  Should I make this robe again I would definitely incorporate pockets properly.  I also decided to add some extra lines of stitching  to the sleeve cuff.
This a very customizable pattern-you could have contrasting fabric for the front trim and cuffs, add ribbon or piping detail to the cuffs (or embroidery!), add patch pockets, a monogram, or whatever you want! I’m looking forward to wearing this for many years and for it to be soft and drapey and wonderful.
A nice neck and front trim.
In the end this turned out to be exactly what I had wanted and I’m really pleased with it.  It’s got a groovy vibe that makes me want to lounge around listening to Dylan and Joan Baez, drinking tea, and working on the crossword puzzle.


About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

4 responses »

  1. It’s lovely! I would never guess that you had any issues with the pattern or construction – it looks perfect! Which just shows what a great seamstress you are. The fabric is lovely (and I am totally stealing your idea to use Pinterest for fabric shopping!) and perfect for a kimono! By the by, if you ever want to do a post about your favorite places to shop online for fabric, I would read it right up!


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