Follow my blog with Bloglovin Home of the Kimonii: January 2012

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Aventures in silk...

Probably not what you were expecting from the title, but this is a blog about my working on the designs in my children's wear collection which adults have expressed an interest in. Chief among these is my Rapuru coat, above, which people really like. As do I, but the simple a-line, bat wing sleeve shape does not work for women's styles - perhaps if you are a 1960's Japanese model then it would, but my attempts to copy the design directly just looked like clown outfits at adult size.
So we'll keep it for the little ones!
But I have been working on elements of the designs to translate into a jacket for women, namely the big ripple collar. I had the idea of developing the coat with a belt section at the middle which will allow the same pattern to be used for a short and a long jacket. And I also had the idea of making it in lovely Chinese satin. But that's very thin, so I decided to try interlining each panel with fleece fabric. Traditionally  one might use wadding, but this does make for a very thick and bulky effect - think body warmer - so fleece would allow me to interline the sleeves as well.
I had a Kimonii I'd made in Chinese satin, so I sacrificed it in the name of progress. There wasn't enough fabric to make the collar as I wanted, or the sleeves, but I've managed to get the body panels out.

It's given me enough of an idea, and I think that it's worth the investment in fabric to continue - despite the argument the fleece and satin have as they're stitched together, they get on okay when finished, and it'd nice and warm. I even quite like the inside, though I plan to line it, the seams pressed open and stitched down are such a nice finish I am tempted to simply use facings rather than cover them up. If I were being really swish, I would be tempted to use Hong Kong seams, but I'm not that swish!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Today I have been buying fabrics...

I have signed up to do a market with the lovely Designer/Maker people. My first outing with them will be on February 18th 2012, so if you are around and about do come and find me.
With this in mind, I have been buying fabrics from Fabric Land, (worst website, best fabric!) which is where I shall go when I die. I bought a lot of fat quarters, which are 1/4 meter squares of fabric, which they sell in bundles of four, so that each bundle gives you four lovely printed cottons. As I now have a Kimonii pattern for sizes 6-12 months, which can be cut out of one meter of fabric, I shall be making a whole load of these in mixed up printed cottons, so although the colours will match the finished garments will have one side different to the other, creating a (hopefully) delightful rag-bag/vintage look. I am hoping to get them down in price - although fabric is fractionally more expensive that bought on the roll, I can buy a much greater selection of prints than is possible when purchasing whole rolls. By the time I've made 12, I should be pretty speedy also! I can also make my funky Kossack pants with crazy multi-print legs in smaller sizes, all of which will make great gifts.
Anyway, right now they're just delightful bundles of fabrics, so here are some of the colours you can look forward to seeing in February!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Well hello, it's been a while, but it's that time of year - sleeping, eating and hiding from the weather.
But this is also a time to experiment with things, and here are the results - my Lady Kimonii!

The finished article.

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For the adult version, because I can use tie belts with gay abandon - I have worked out the pattern for jersey fabric, which really makes good use of the designs wrap around style and layering - rather like a wrap dress crossed with a trouser suit!