kimono redeemed

When I pulled out Simplicity 1884 this week, I’m glad I didn’t remember that I was mad at it. I knew that I had already traced it and cut out the pieces, so I was happy that I was going to be able to get to the good part quickly (which for me is anything after cutting the fabric). As I laid out the first pattern piece on my fabric, I was puzzled as to why I would have already snipped the notches… huh… I knew I didn’t have one of these hanging in my closet already? Anyway, no matter, I proceeded with my laying out and cutting. (I had plenty of time to mull over this enigma because I am slooooow at this step of the process.) I concluded that I must have started to cut it out at some point. I knew I hadn’t sewn it — that I would remember. But I couldn’t for the life of me recall cutting it out, either. So I went to the fabric closet and started looking around. My eyes fell on a piece of prized rayon challis that had been part of an unfortunate cutting miscalculation several months ago. Nooooooo, it couldn’t be that one could it… yes, it was. I had gotten so mad when it happened, I guess I had blocked it out. (Why do I have so many issues with cutting rayon challis??) Anyway, the issue was no fault of the pattern’s; I just hadn’t bothered to ensure I had enough fabric before starting to cut. Please humor me and tell me this has happened to you, too.

This pattern was drafted for lightweight wovens. Apparently I will sew any fabric these days as long as it’s a knit, so I went in a different direction. This stable knit is relatively heavyweight. It’s a blend of 65% cotton / 25% viscose / 10% polyester. It was so well-behaved that this project came together quickly, thanks to the beauty of no-seam-finishing-needed! Of course, there are only two pattern pieces, so even if I had hand-sewn and french seamed everything, it wouldn’t have taken all that long.

I liked that the back neckline was finished with bias binding, as you would for the armscyes of a sleeveless top. But wow, the steps they wanted you to go through were nutty:

why i gotta do all that? / Simplicity 1884

It’s not like it would have taken that long, but I just didn’t see the point. I followed step 3, turned the bias tape to the inside and pressed, and then stitched along the edge. I can’t imagine why understitching or basting would be necessary here. But let’s hear it for secret pops of color…

now you see me: neckline binding on Simplicity 1884

(Anyone recognize the bias binding? There are more leftovers where that came from… this didn’t use much!)

I think that next time I would lengthen the kimono an inch or two. That’s a change I typically made, so I should have known I’d want to do it here. I do think there will be a next time. This is a versatile piece that could be a bit dressier or more casual depending on the fabric you use. Oooh, it would also look great embroidered around the neckline/front edges, yes? Or embellished with some great trim, or piping… it’s a simple shape and a great blank canvas.

taking flight / Simplicity 1884


S.M. – I’m guessing this doesn’t count as the tailored jacket I’m supposed to tackle this year?? Whatev…


hasta la vista / Simplicity 1884

Comments 1

  • Thanks for posting a review for this on PR and for linking to your blog. I have this pattern and was wondering how it would work out, and so have enjoyed a helpful preview thanks to you!

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your note, and I hope your kimono turns out well! I have worn mine quite a few times. ~Susan

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