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