Last weekend, I went to London to see Garbage play at Brixton Academy. The trip exhausted me a bit, so instead of pushing out a proper blog post for Tuesday, I updated this one in order to make it appear a bit more like a proper tutorial. Now I don’t know how well I did, but I do hope it’ll offer aid in transforming dresses. And speaking of dresses, I made a new one for London. It’s inspired by traditional Japanese fashion, made with faux silk (or real one if you so choose), and launched today! Here’s Lee’s Dress, a kimono dress that’s ridiculously easy to sew!
I found the fabric for Lee’s Dress around Christmas. It refused to tell me what it wanted to be when it grew up, so I planned to sew it into a wrap skirt, a wrap dress, a sleeveless dress with a waterfall neckline, a circle top, and even loose pants. The fabric refused all my ideas, and then, all of a sudden, it announced its desire to become a kimono dress. I said good heavens, that certainly took you long enough, and set to work.
The idea of creating a kimono-inspired dress has been bugging me for a while now. I love the shape of a kimono-collar and the loose, square sleeves but using those elements in a modern design was a bit scary. Luckily, a quick trip around the internet proved that kimono-inspired dresses have been around for quite a while without really offending anyone. Lee’s Dress was born pretty quickly after that. I wanted the dress to have a perfect fit, and spent two days measuring and re-measuring and over-thinking it. Finally, I’d gathered up enough courage to cut the dress and to sew it. And lo and behold, it turned out perfect! The only thing I altered was adding darts the back of the bodice. Other than that, everything fit exactly as planned, and I wore Lee’s Dress out to dinner on Friday night.
Lee’s Dress is designed with a kimono collar, and empire waist, an A-lined hem sewn with panels, and a short zipper in the center back seam. Long, loose sleeves can be gathered with ribbons, and worn either short or long. This dress is best made with non-elastic materials, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that a slightly stretchy fabric would work, too. An elastic satin, for example, would be a good choice for Lee’s Dress. Jerseys, on the other hand, are too floppy for this dress. Choosing a high quality non-elastic material will make Lee’s Dress look classy and smart and, let’s face it, more expensive.
I hope you’ll enjoy our brand new kimono dress sewing pattern!
Until next time.