Asaka Kimono

I don’t wear a robe often, but when I do it’s with heels on a windy day in downtown Richmond in broad daylight.

As soon as I realized I was going to need a robe for Camp Workroom Social this weekend, I knew the Asaka Kimono was the pattern for me. Just. Look. At. Those. Sleeves.

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The sleeve design – two piece and wide cut, with a deep vent from wrist to elbow – is somehow both glamorous (look at them!) and functional (they won’t hang into my cup of tea or ever need to be rolled up).

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Several seamstresses have made this garment to be worn as a dress. You can see my very favorite example here. However, I made mine out of a rather boring but soft and breathable cotton/linen blend, specifically to be worn as a robe. So the thought of going out in public to have my pictures taken was a bit awkward. (And Brian rightfully pointed out the irony when I commented on a passerby wearing his pajamas outside. Touché.) But as soon as the wind hit those sleeves, making them flutter every which way, the awkward feeling passed and I felt a bit like a super hero who happened to also be a movie star. And that led to some twirling. In the empty parking lot. With people walking by and watching.

It is unlikely that I will make this pattern again – how many robes does a girl need? – which is sort of too bad. It was a quick and easy make that really stands out between the sleeves and the nice neat collar finish.

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Pattern: Named Asaka Kimono, size 6
Fabric: Fire engine red linen/cotton blend with red velvet ribbon trim inside the sleeves
Modifications: Shortened the sleeves by 3″ but left the robe length long
Mural: By Gaia, for the 2012 G40 Art Summit in conjunction with the Richmond Mural Project presented by Art Whino. Located at 11 West Grace Street, Richmond, VA.

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Kielo wrap dress: The hippie chick

I had to – er, I mean, got to – give this beauty away today.  The hem needed to be shortened just a bit, but otherwise, it looked like a perfect fit.

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There is not much left to say about this dress – I mean, it is the *sixth* one I’ve made. Here are the first, second, third and fifth (the fourth, done in a deep navy cotton/linen blend, was a gift and un-blogged).

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If I did not love the recipient of this dress as much as I do, I would have considered shortening the hem and moving it into my closet. The colors are even perfect as we move closer to autumn.

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Unfortunately, I did not have enough fabric to match the pattern down the back center seam, but I was able to make sure the edges of the medallion lined up in the back.

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All I have left are the tiniest of scraps – just maybe enough to make pockets for my next pair of Ginger jeans…

Pattern: Named Kielo Wrap Dress, size 4
Modifications: Facing for the neckline only, rather than the combination facing I had drafted for earlier versions, and shortened the hem to knee length
Fabric: 100% Indian cotton tapestry in navy with orange, turquoise, green and red

Kielo wrap dress: In the sun

This beauty isn’t for me; it’s for a friend – my very first friend who I met when I was about 4 years old – who kindly asked me to make it for her.

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Sewing for others is incredibly stressful for me.  When sewing for myself, I know what sort of “imperfections”, i.e., visible hand stitches, under stitching that is not perfectly straight, etc…, can be expected and can decide if I am okay with how something turned out or go back and try to fix it.  When sewing for others, I do not allow myself any wiggle room,  and often find myself dreading that I agreed to make something for somebody else.  That said, I know very well, that when somebody makes something for me, I never think it is anything but a generous gift made with kindness.  I suppose the best thing I can do is to keep sewing for others and hope I get over it, eventually.

Pattern: Named Kielo wrap dress, size 10
Modifications: Self-drafted combination facing, shortened length, narrowed “wings” for better fit at the waist, lengthened ties for wrapping
Fabric: Nicole Miller “In the sun – multi” twill, 97% poly 3% spandex

 

 

Kielo wrap dress: Step one…

… is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, that’s done. Whether I’m willing to stop making these dresses is another matter. I’ve been tinkering with the pattern and this variation is pretty close to perfect for me. It is made from purple linen that I picked up at Mood almost three years ago.

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If you are interested in having a custom version of one of these dresses, please send me a private message. Sewing for others is stressful for me, but I appreciate people’s interest and am willing to give it a try. Turnaround time depends on how many dozens of you want one 🙂

Kielo wrap dress: Quilting cotton fireworks

Leave it to me to make a pretty simple dress more complicated the second time around. However, thanks to some re-engineering on the inside, in the form of a drafted combination facing, this one should hold up a bit better over time.

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I’ve had this vintage quilting cotton in my stash for a couple years now.  I’ve been itching to use it and felt the pattern on the fabric would look great on this dress — which it does.  However, the drape of the fabric made it a red decision, so to speak. It’s too stiff, causing it to ride up around my legs when I walk.  But I’m hoping a few trips through the washer and dryer will soften it up a bit.

Pattern: Named Kielo wrap dress, size 6
Modifications: Self-drafted combination facing, shortened length, narrowed “wings” for better fit at the waist, lengthened ties for wrapping
Fabric: Vintage quilting cotton

 

Kielo Wrap: My outdoor market dress

This is my *perfect* summer dress.  It also just happens to be made out of a tapestry I bought in the late 80’s/early 90’s, that was later used as a paint drop cloth (and there are green splatters of paint on this dress to prove it).

This was not intended to be a wearable dress; it was a practice run for a dress pattern by a designer I have never worn before. I had no idea I’d turn out loving it this much. The added bonus – it was super quick to put together. I can see myself making more of these for sure.

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My only concern with this dress pattern is that neckline and armholes are finished by simply turning under the fabric and stitching.  If I do make more of these dresses, I’ll likely draft facings instead.  I think they’ll hold their shape a bit better over time. Plus then there will be no visible stitching besides the hem.

Pattern: Named Kielo wrap dress, size 6
Modifications: Shortened to knee length
Fabric: Light cotton tapestry/former paint drop cloth