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Friday, 23 September 2011

Lady Kimonii - experiments!

This week, I have been working on my 'Lady Kimonii' project - to produce my Kimonii design in adult sizes (Somehow saying 'Adult Kimonii) sounds a bit ... dubious, sort of like adult diapers? Anyway...

I found a sari for sale in my local charity shop, it's quite a good one and sometimes has pieces of fabric, and sometimes I find these nice lengths of sari fabric with the sale stickers still intact. This one was a beautiful pink and green, with a lovely gold border.
I was hoping it was more green than pink when I saw it folded up, but it turned out to be more pink than green. The fabric it's self was most odd - sometimes I find sari fabrics to be a little strange in composition, as they are not designed to be cut and tailored as western fabrics are. It had a heavy waft thread, and an almost invisible weft thread, which meant that when it was cut, any pointed shapes such as the crotch shape, were almost fraying out of existence before I could start sewing. I had to over lock every edge of each pattern piece before I could put them together, and although the end result looks good, I don't think that actual sari fabric is the way to go for production - though it's very attractive.

But I am more excited about my next one - a kimonii made from jersey fabric.
If you don't know about these things, jersey or any knit fabric with a stretch can be a bit of a nightmare to sew without the right machines, and I had been advised that what I'd need would be jersey binding to finish the edges.
But that would mean having some made, which would mean an investment I don't have right now, so I decided to think round the issue.
I have never worked in jersey before, so I had to read up a little and then ignore all that and kind of go for it! I put the regular pattern down, sort of blended it together to remove as many of the seams as I could, and reduced it down from a 10 piece pattern to a four piece pattern. I even 'grew' the sleeves on, so that it would eliminate sleeve fitting issues.

This is half way through construction - I decided to not try and hem or turn any of the loose edges but to simple use my over locker to finish the edge and let it ripple where it wants to - in fact, I decided to encourage it to ripple, always believing in making a strength out of a vice as ever!
When putting it together, I over locked the seams together first, then stitched them with a wide stitch afterwards, and it worked really well.

To finish the front edge, I used a grown on facing, and wiggled with delight at my own cleverness by also including a back neck facing to the front facing which I sneaked into position, thus making the whole process much quicker and easier - also removing the need for binding the back neck, way hey!
Anyway - here it is all finished - rippled edges and all -

Black is a wardrobe staple, but it was also the cheapest jersey I could find - however, now I have worked out a few bugs ( crotch depth needed to be dropped by 4 cm, obi belt needed to be shortened and made a little deeper) I shall be looking for a more interesting fabric -

Like this one! Yummy!!!

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