So I am somewhat smug and self-satisfied to add a silk dressing gown to my ‘lounge wear’ wardrobe. I shall no longer lounge, I shall slink about in my silk Asaka – sometimes.
The pattern was a surprise, and very welcome gift, from the lovely Vicki Kate Makes. Some people just know the perfect thing to do to make you smile 🙂
The Asaka Kimono from Named Patterns features:-
- Open-front kimono with wide-cut sleeves
- Two-piece sleeve with a deep vent
- Relaxed fit
- Long belt wraps twice around the waist
- Longline hem (seems rather long to me but perhaps I’m conservative!)
The paper pattern does not include seam allowances. The Named PDF patterns do. I know there is probably some logic to that. I’m guessing some sort of European sewing ‘norm’? If you know, please enlighten me.THOUGHTS
Sleeve Splits: I love them. glamorous and practical. Doesn’t get much better! I turned my raw edges under twice and then stitched them down along the length of the entire seam on the outer fold. I couldn’t see how they would have stayed neat otherwise – and hand stitching on this fabric just looked awful. At least the stitching lines running neatly down the sleeve look a more like a deliberate design feature than the pucker of somewhat irregular and slightly puckered hand stitches.Neck band: I turned the neck band to the inside and then slip stitched it in place by hand (stiches not visible from the outside) rather than stitching in the ditch by machine. I almost always choose this option as I prefer the finish. As my fabric was very light, I chose to interface both sides of the neckband. It is quite firm but it also sits closed very modestly which is nice as a contrast to the slightly sexy sleeves and shorter hem length.
Seams: I used French seams at the shoulders and changed the constructions slightly to set the sleeves n flat and then French seam the body and sleeves in one long seam.
Gown hem: I chose to finish the hem with a narrow rolled hem. I wish I hadn’t. It’s OK but could have been better.
Sleeve hems: I did these twice. First time felt messy. The second I decided to run a row of basting stitches 1/4 inch and then another 1/2 inch in from the first row. I used these stitches to turn the hems up neatly and then slid the basting rows out before stitching down the hems. This was fussy but achieved a lovely neat result.Belt: I interfaced both sides of the belt and made it as long as my leftover fabric would allow. It’s probably a little stiff but I’m sure it will soften with some washes. (errrr, totally didn’t note that it was supposed to wrap around my waist twice until I typed up this blog post!). I also made some simple thread chains and inserted these into the side seams rather than using fabric loops.
SEWING WITH SILK
Some silks are perfectly agreeable and some absolutely not. This one fell somewhere in the middle ground, somewhat compliant, somewhat slippery and somewhat precious – but loved my iron.
I’ve had this silk stashed for a few years. It’s nothing terribly expensive or from somewhere exotic (Spotlight in fact, when they had a blood rush and stocked some nice fabric for a week or so) however I continued to stash it in the hope I might one day be capable of sewing something half decent from something so pretty. Like Jen from Grainline says – practice, practice, practice – it’s excellent advice. And I would also say challenge yourself and be ok with the odd hiccup (I think I’ve got compulsive hiccups some weeks). I’ve got a long way to go. I’m OK with that.
While my Asaka is far from perfect, it’s certainly better than I might have achieved a few years ago. So the stash wallowing was worth the wait.We took these photos a couple of weeks ago. Quite a warm autumn afternoon. This weekend we descended into winter at an alarming rate with a massive low pressure cell forming off the coast and moving south. Port Macquarie (and the entire east coast) has been absolutely hammered with rain and high winds. Naturally it was a the weekend of SewPort – it seems we sewed up a storm.
Thank you to wonderful sewing friends like Vicki Kate Makes and the gorgeous girls of SewPort2016 who made me smile and laugh a lot this weekend (and eat lots of food!) – you can read about it here, thanks Rachel for writing a post up so quickly. Or here by Maria! A fun weekend of sewing, laughs and food with the lovely Maria, Jenny, Victoria, Jenny, Pam, Wendy, Christine, Anna, Alison, Emma and Ruth!
Pattern: Named Asaka Kimono.
Fabric: Silk, from Spotlight a few years ago (vague – sorry!)
Also see: Bimble & Pimble | Closet Case Files | What Would Maude Wear | Design by Lindsay | Domestic Coquinette
Location: deserted corner of Town Beach, Port Macquarie on a late autumn afternoon – also photographed three other garments, including my Relax jumper.
And… it’s also Everyone Deserves Pretty Lingerie Week over at Measure Twice Cut Once with Susan. So indulge yourself with something pretty.