Friday, 26 January 2018

Simplicity 1563, a pink kimono



Earlier this winter, when I was freezing while preparing breakfast, I felt the sudden urge to make a more comfortable and warmer robe to replace the old frumpy one I'd been wearing for years. I added 'stylish' to the list of required characteristics, and it absolutely needed to be pink. Don't ask me why, sometimes an image pops up in my head and it won't go away. (During the search for fabric that image became a bit of a burden as it made me reject lovely fabrics in fine shades of blue and green) 

The pattern choice was easier. Simplicity 1563, a kimono style robe with a front band, long sleeves and a tie belt. I ordered the pattern a few years ago for the pyjama pants for guys and gals but so far no inspiring images for those popped up in my head.






After searching high and low for the perfect pink fabric I ordered Japanese cotton online. And, as happens so often, I was in for a surprise.




I knew the fabric had an ombre border print, grading from dark to light and back to dark again. When the fabric arrived the light band in the middle was almost white and looked horribly faded and the dark was a really dark wine red. Those colours didn't qualify as pink!! There also was a silver print on top which I didn't expect but I like the subtle sparkle it adds to the overall look (top right). On the selvedge, bottom right, you see the seven shades of pink/red used in the print. To make my kimono as pink as possible I cut the fabric in single layers, trying to avoid the darkest and lightest colours as much as I could. That worked quite well, the only concession I had to make was adding a centre seam to the back.




 You may have noticed this pattern is a 2 hour one. Those two hours were spent on cutting out alone!
I like the effect of the lengthwise colour gradient though and I managed to cut identical sleeves that match the bodice at the lowered armhole seam.
By the time I finished cutting it started snowing so as an after thought I added a few extra hours to the production process by cutting and sewing a slippery satin lining.


  

The only thing that didn't quite work out as planned was the belt. I only had a light strip of fabric left and I did not like how it interrupted the carefully created colour placement.




I found pink nail polish to paint large snaps and also looked for cord to make a knot closure like this one


And then I discovered I didn't need a closure after all. Miraculously this robe stays closed even when I raise my arms.




All hems are hand stitched, as well as the front band. By then this had turned into a 2 weeks rather than a 2 hour project but I think it was worth the effort for a garment that is worn every day.
I can definitely recommend this pattern, at least for a winter robe.  Due to a generous overlap of the fronts this robe has a rather high neckline, which is much appreciated during chilly mornings. For summer I'd prefer a lower cut and shorter sleeves.

One bonus picture to show more of the Cashmerette Concord T nightgown that is underneath. It matches so nicely!





Wishing you all a happy weekend! 

14 comments:

  1. Very stylish. Sewing a robe is on sewing list too as well as pajamas.

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    1. Thank you. I started sewing sleepwear just a few years ago. Never bothered before, because RTW was fine, or so I thought. Never underestimate the joy of custom fit nightees!

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  2. This robe is really gorgeous and you did a masterful job of fabric placement. So glad to know someone else’s two hour project somehow turns into a two-week one! But it was time well spent! Does your husband recognize you in the morning in your new kimono?

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad the puzzle worked out. Who likes two hour sewing projects anyways? They're over before you know it! By the way, it is impossible for mr F to overlook me in this colour, even when still half asleep!

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  3. You were very brave to go outside in the snow for a photo shoot in your beautiful new robe. The careful placing of the pattern has produced a beautiful effect with this fabric. I love it Marianne.

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    1. Thanks! I initially thought about placing the light stripe at the waist, thinking the belt would hide most of it. The placement kept me awake at night! So glad I could avoid the lighter and darker stripes by using another layout, especially when I found out I didn't want the belt at all!

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  4. So beautiful. And I love the pink lining too.

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    1. Thank you! I bought the lining a few years ago without any specific plans. I felt really lucky when I came up with the lining idea on a Saturday night and it was waiting for me, prewashed and all!

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  5. Such a lovely robe Marianne. The lining really takes it up a notch and you pattern placement is perfect. Well worth the extra time and effort.

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    1. Thanks Jean! I'm glad I finally replaced the old one.

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  6. This is one classy robe! The extra effort you took certainly shows. I'm thinking of making a robe - but just a basic boring winter one, sadly! I need it to cycle with one I wear a lot.

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    1. But Anne, why would you spend time making a boring robe when you can make a colourful one that puts a smile on your face in the morning?

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  7. I cannot believe you went out in the snow to model these for us, but they do look wonderful together. I think the robe could work as a jacket / kimono too.

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  8. What a beautiful robe. All of your hard work with the fabric placement certainly paid off. The nightgown is gorgeous too.

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