Jenny La Fleur
kimono serendipity - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
kimono serendipity

Yay – back to sewing! I worked on my kimono yesterday and today. The garment was initially very simple to construct but it took me a while to put together because I used French seams. Finished seams were a necessity as this rayon ravels like mad and it’s the type of garment that will be constantly taken on and off.

The problem with French seaming is that if your garment needs to be adjusted at the seams you have to take out twice the work. I used French seams, therefore I of course had fitting issues. When I tried my kimono on for the first time I discovered that the shoulder piece was way too long. Kimono type sleeves are supposed to fall below the shoulder but this one was like halfway down my upper arm. That made the … oh what is it called… anyway the part of the sleeve where your armpit is… it was way too low. Made me feel rather ridiculous actually.

The best way to fix this would have been to remove the sleeve, shorten the shoulder piece and re-attach the sleeve. Because of the way the kimono was constructed however, that would have meant taking the whole thing apart. Yep, all those French seams. Can anyone say “AS IF!”? *takes deep breath*

So I tried to come up with a more creative solution. In the end I decided to take the excess fabric up in the center back and center front. I was already a bit unhappy with the shape of the front. I found when I tried it on that I didn’t really want the cross-over front (like an authentic kimono) but something more straight, (like the FM version). I had also planned on adding darts at the back waist so I just extended those darts all the way to the neckline.

I took the shoulder up about 3”, gathering the excess fabric at the neckline. I then smoothed out the front, creating a more tailored opening. In the back I took two large darts on either side of the center back, beginning at the neck (where the shoulder seam was) and ending a little below the waist. I did all the pinning right side out so, when I was happy with the pinned darts I turned the kimono inside out. I then marked along the pinned seams with chalk, being cartful to mark both sides. Once I had taken the pins out I laid the back out flat, marked the center of each dart and pinned wrong side out.

After I’d sewn the darts I tried it on once more. I’m pretty happy. I kinda like the way the darts give fullness to my rump area while still being tailored through the back. Perhaps my little “snag” was serendipity after all. :> I re-pinned the front to give a bit more ease. I may re-sew the back darts to give the back more ease, as well. It’s very fitted right now, good for a corseted figure but perhaps not as practical for Christmas morning type events. :> We’ll see.

I’m also working on finalizing the paisley design. This black blob definitely needs some embellishment! I’ve decided to go with black beads, gold beads, gold sequins and a few green beads to accent. I know, green and gold - how Jenny right? I just happen to have tons of gold and green beads in my stash that I’m tired of looking at. Not that I won’t have to buy more beads at some point I’m sure. This is going to be one of those huge bead-sucking projects.

Oy. What have I gotten myself into!! :>

Oh yes... sorry about the lack of quality on the pics. My camera doesn't like to take pics of shiny black rayon apparently. Stinker!


9 comments | comment?
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: December 4th, 2004 03:46 pm (UTC) (link)
*shakes head* Mental, completely and utterly mental. ;) Have you do any work on B's gown?? *looks closely at Jenny*

Not that I have room to talk--haven't finished the sister's Juliet cap for the Buttercup dress yet. :p

It is really a lovely design--I definately have to borrow that pattern!! Of course, I'm being sucked into a silk site and contemplating silk charmuese.... *le sigh* I can't wait to see the beading design you come up with!!!! :D
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 4th, 2004 06:58 pm (UTC) (link)
Bridget, do I know a Bridget?

*hangs head in shame* No, I am a very bad sister and haven't touched her gown yet. It's next on my list though, I swear! *wink*
From: misscrabtree Date: December 4th, 2004 09:55 pm (UTC) (link)
Looks very nice. Cant wait to see the embellishments.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 5th, 2004 03:27 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks much Elizabeth! Bridget said she was impressed when she saw it today too. I wish all my projects were this simple and fun! :>
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: December 4th, 2004 11:02 pm (UTC) (link)
Looks great Jenny! What, you didn't make it see through like the Titanic one? ;-)

Can't wait to see it all beaded! :-)

From: misscrabtree Date: December 4th, 2004 11:52 pm (UTC) (link)
padawansguide, I friended you, if thats ok :)
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: December 5th, 2004 12:55 am (UTC) (link)
Sure - no problem - I'll friend you back! :-)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 5th, 2004 03:30 am (UTC) (link)
No I didn't. I thought a non-sheer version would be a bit more... ahh, versatile shall we say? *giggle*

Thanks, I can't wait to get started either!
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: December 5th, 2004 05:29 am (UTC) (link)
LOL! That's true! I mean, what are the odds, you'd be around Leo and a sketchbook anyway? ;-)
9 comments | comment?