This week we’re taking a closer look at the kimono dress which was the second pattern to feature on the Sewing Quarter episode that Clair starred in. It is our best selling adult sewing pattern and was the first dress pattern we released, so it’s one of our top favourites to wear too. If you don’t already own a well-used pattern, and have several different versions in your handmade wardrobe, read on!
Our well loved kimono dress is an incredibly quick make, featuring just six pattern pieces – front, back, facings, belt and pockets – meaning it makes up very quickly. You can sew it up in a variety of different fabrics, including the simple cotton ones which everyone learns to make in the classes. We’ve also seen them work brilliantly in chambray, velvet, denim, cotton lawn, silk, satin and stretch jersey too. And because the belt is what creates the final shape, the sizing is easily adjustable too.
The pattern design came from Clair’s love of clean, minimal Japanese design; it’s a very unfussy design, with no closures and no extraneous detail – just a simple outline, with a long belt that gathers at the waist. And because of the simplicity of the dress, it is not only super easy and perfect for beginners and more experienced sewers, but it is also fantastic for adapting with various pattern hacks.
We have used the kimono dress in our window displays countless times and made it up in loads of different ways. It can be made without an attached belt, creating a kaftan style garment that is excellent for beach wear; the sleeves can also be shortened right up to the curve of the arm, or lengthened and an elasticated cuff added. The dress length can be made shorter or longer, and if you go all out for a maxi, knee length splits in the side hems make it much more elegant, as well as easier to walk in. We’ve also turned it into a top before, sometimes with a shorter belt that is attached and sometimes with no belt, like a looser boxy top.
The best thing about the kimono dress is that it works all year around: with boots, a thermal top and a big cosy cardigan in the winter, with tights and trainers in the spring and autumn, and with sandals and a tan in the summer. If you’re seeking inspiration, take a look at our Instagram feed which is crammed full of different kimono dresses from our gang of lovely followers. It is just so incredibly versatile, and we are so happy that you all seem to love it as much as we do!
If you would like to buy the Kimono Dress pattern, head to our website here, and why not check out all our other patterns at the same time. There’s also plenty of fabric inspiration online too. Happy sewing!