Sew-Sew Kimono

Ahhhh silk… you truly are a delight to wear but a bitch to sew. Who’s with me??

silk kimono

I have this not-so-secret quest to sew most of the garments made by one of my favourite Aussie seamstresses/bloggers Julia Bobbin (as well as Liz. And Sophie).  I made a start with this dress and this top and the kimono takes me another step closer.

And yes. The list is very long.

Julia posted her silk kimono back in June and I knew then I had to have one.  Even the challenge of sewing silk for the first wasn’t enough to put me off.  And I’m talking the lightest, flimsy-est, slippery-est silk I think it must be possible to get.  What the hell was I thinking?!?!

Despite the frustration and many (MANY) a curse word spoken, a lot was learnt from this make and I think it’s at least somewhat successful.  It looks pretty and I’m happy to wear it in public, so long as there aren’t any bright lights or decent dressmakers in close proximity.


No pattern but this tutorial by Elle Apparel which is super basic and easy to follow.

In hindsight, I’m not sure how much I’m loving the length and how it goes straight across the front panels but scoops around the back.

silk kimono side

Size & Fit

One size, although there are instructions on how to adjust if you need.  My measurements were similar to those the tutorial described – hurrah!  You can see it’s a really loose fit.  Perfect for something to throw over a swimsuit or a casual “jacket” to brighten up an otherwise plain outfit.  I find the shoulder seams don’t like to sit on my shoulders and I was constantly readjusting for this photo shoot.  I don’t really care, it looks pretty.

silk kimono back


Silk – I don’t know much more about it other than that.  I’ve never sewn with silk before and had no idea what I was buying, I just saw “Silk” and picked a pretty one.  One thing I do know, it doesn’t like to stay still while cutting. Or sewing.  Or ever.

The Sew

I followed the mantra “Do as Julia does” and sewed french seams as well as following her construction method of sewing the shoulder seams, then arm syces, then sleeves and side seams in one go.  It made sense to me.

silk kimono seams

Not so much loving my attempt at the rolled hems with my machine.  I really struggle to get these looking nice and even.  I’ve heard it’s just a matter of practice but if you have any advice PLEASE SHARE!!

silk kimono sleeve

Photographer’s Licence: I’m showing you all the pretty ones.


Simple but not much explanation is needed for this basic construction.  I do prefer the method that Julia (and I) used as explained above, rather than the one explained in the tutorial.  Some help in the rolled hem department would have been useful – but hey, it’s a free tutorial, who’s complaining?


The tutorial and construction itself is really easy – apart from the rolled hems.  The fabric wasn’t hard to sew, just REALLY frustrating!!  Lots of pinning helped but I think next time I’ll look for a silk that isn’t quite so light-weight!

silk kimono front

Despite all the complaining I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Is anyone else making kimonos?  I’d love to know what pattern/tutorial you’re using.  I’m keen to try another one.


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