You know it’s love when you can’t stay away…yes, this is the Easy Kimono Dress from independent label, Pattern Runway, again.
Scant moments after I finished working on the first version and pulled it over my head, I wondered, “could it work as a knit dress?”
And lo, the Dusk Kimono dress was born.
The fabric is a knit I retrieved from a remnant bin and which I immediately fell hard for. The graded colour starts with a deep indigo, transitions into a turquoisey sky blue and then the lower half of the fabric is taken up with a dark flower print, accompanied by splashes of trippy absinthe green and hot pink. As much as a piece of balled fabric with a suspicious spandex content in a plastic crate can, it whispered of the gardens of Coleridge’s Xanadu, glimpsed in the fading light of dusk. For£2 a metre, it also whispered.
When the fabric talks, I listen. So to ensure I got the full range of shades, I laid the skirt pattern piece much further down the fabric from the bodice front and back. This excised a large section of turquoise sky and flowers.
On the subject of excising, I also left out the neck and sleeve facing pattern pieces, preferring to fold a little fabric under and finish with a twin needle. I also didn’t include the keyhole opening at the back, so simply pinned the back bodice piece on the fold minus the seam allowance.
I ended up with only four pieces of fabric. So it should be a snap to sew up right?
Should have been. But the elastic waistband ended up as quite a struggle. I’m still struggling to understand how could have avoided messing it up, my mind is unwilling to revisit the event. Basically sewing the elastic directly onto the waist seam becomes a lot trickier when using a zig-zag stitch than it was when I was using a straight stitch with my woven Kimono dress. Plus sewing elastic to something that also stretches was tricky and it moved around a lot. The stitches ended up being visible on the outside of the dress.
But people, that’s why the world gave us belts! After these pictures, I made up a little sash belt out of the bottom bit of the skirt I chopped off and it works a treat. Lizz of A Good Wardrobe made a far more elegant sash belt for her own second Kimono dress but it pays to rip off those with taste.
- This is a great pattern; the neckline, the sleeves, they rock.
- The colours.
- It’s the right length this version.
- Four pieces of fabric.
- Elastic waistband trickiness. It doesn’t cinch as neatly as the woven version.
- It’s not mine. >sob< This was my final Christmas sewing job (or my first for Christmas 2012, alllll over it), and it’s now in the hands of my friend, and follower of this blog. I’m going round her house and taking it back if she stops reading though. You’ve been warned.
And now for the chalk lovers in the audience, some hot notion action:
The nifty tool pictured above might be the cure for my marking-knits-woes. It’s a chalk wheel stick by Pym, with a serated wheel on the end that dispenses the chalk in a strong, even and visible line. Washable ink pens and normal chalk pencils never move smoothly over my knits but this rolls over the surface without me having to saw away at the fabric. Recommended.