this Phillip Lim lamé from moodfabrics.com is a must. At first glance you think this fabric is way over the top until you realize over the top is just what you need. This shimmering beauty is paper thin, easy to sew and irons very well. The kimono was made using Burdastyle downloaded pattern 02/2012 #116 with the following alterations: -Added 4" to the length -Added (2) 7" seamed bands to the sleeve -Added shoulder pleats -Added a 1" hem band The tank was made using a self drafted pattern and the softest ever hacci knit from moodfabrics.com.
Layering is one of the best things, even in the summer. Often I'll want to bring something with me when I go out in case the air conditioning is blasting. Plus, as September rolls nearer, I can never have too many shawls. And so, I made a new one! In under 15 minutes, too!
Since Mood put up this geometric lace I've been absolutely in love with it, so I knew right away what I'd be using for this project.
Since this lace had scalloped edges, I decided to use them for the sleeves. This meant folding the fabric in half, with the scallops on either side, and cutting up the center of the top layer to create the neckline/front opening. A simple rolled hem finished it perfectly.
To create "sleeves" I stitched about 2/3 up the sides, stopping roughly 10" from the top fold. And just like that, I had a new shawl! 2 yards of Black Shell Fringe along the bottom brought the whole look together.
So what lace will you be using to try out this project?
I was going to start this post off by writing how I try to sew easy, simple pieces during the warmer months so I can spend less time sewing. But then I thought, who am I kidding? I opt for the simple stuff all year round now. Keep the design details to a minimum and let the fabric do all the heavy work, I say!
Case in point, this très simple silk kimono top I just made in only a few hours, from cutting-out to final pressing. (This is so easy you can make it without a pattern, but I cheated and used Butterick 5790.) It’s very similar to this wool version I made last fall, which received many compliments every time I wore it. I call it my Fabric Store Diva Kimono, because I feel very divalicious when I wear it to work. It floats behind me when I walk down the aisles! You can dress it up by pairing it with a little black dress or a pair of silk pants, or down by wearing it with white jeans and a tee, which is my Mood outfit.
Mood has the most gorgeous silk panels in-store and online, and I was aching to sew something with them. I found this silk crepe de chine black-and-peach print panel at our NYC store. Two panels were all I needed to make this kimono. In fact, two panels are all you usually need to make most dresses, tops and tunics.
Tip: Panels are sold by the yard and by the panel. A panel is like a piece of art that has to be sold in its entirety—you wouldn't buy half a painting, right? Panels vary in size, but most are a little longer than a yard. If you can, bring your pattern pieces with you to the fabric store so you can lay them out on the panel and see how they will fit. If you're shopping online, note the size of the panel and compare it with your proposed pattern layout.Bottom line: Immense payoff when compared with time invested. This kimono cape is now a favorite addition to my spring and summer wardrobe. You should sew one too! Be a Coachella style icon and make one out of white lace that you pair with a tank top and cut-off jeans shorts. Or make one out of a cotton voile print that you can drape over your bikini as a coverup. Or go the silk panel route. Whatever your style, this kimono delivers maximum impact for minimum effort.
Warning, fabric gushing ahead: Everyone at Mood is in love with this 4-ply silk crepe print from Thakoon' s Spring 2012 collection. I usually can exercise some restraint when it comes to acquiring more fabric (a nice trait to have when you work at Mood!), but I had to snatch up a few yards of this luscious material. Four-ply silk is one of the most delightful fabrics to work with—it's not slippery like other silks, it presses well, and it feels like smooth velvet to the touch—plus, look at this print! I adore the Indian-influenced design and colors. You can tell just by looking at it why celebs like Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore and Michelle Obama are Thakoon fans.
This particular fabric actually had the power to make me do something I rarely do—sew for others. [Reference numerous posts by sewing bloggers from around the world as to why we prefer, as a rule, not to sew for anyone but ourselves.] I made this kimono and two others just like it for family members as Christmas gifts. Ever made a kimono before? They're fast and simple to sew, no fitting is involved and a beginner could easily make one. (Here I used a vintage early '80s Simplicity pattern found on Etsy.) French seams would have been nice, but I serged all seams instead for speed's sake and they look fine. Four-ply silk has the power to make even serged seams look good!
Seriously, you could sew a kimono robe like this, from cutting out to completion, in under four hours. What added the most time for me was pattern placement of the big paisley motifs. I cut all pieces on a single layer of fabric, strategically placing the large motifs on the sleeves, center back, and side fronts. When you have a large print like this one, always buy enough extra fabric to allow you play around with your fabric—here, I factored in another 3/4 yard per kimono to my fabric total.
I used pink silk charmeuse for the contrast band.
Three kimonos finished and I am still in love with this fabric! Take a look here at how Thakoon used this print in his "super-vibrant collection of searing turquoise, saffron, orange, and gold" (Style.com):
Have I sufficiently whetted your appetite for this fabric?! Mood Fabrics was lucky enough to acquire several of the fabrics from Thakoon's Spring 2012 collection, including this 4-ply silk print in three colorways. Click here to buy, and don't wait long because quantities are limited Don't forget to post a photo of your garment on the Mood Fabrics Facebook page when you're done!