Catching up: the SOI Kimono

I was going through my blog stuff the other day, with the intention of getting back to it in 2019, and I realised that I’ve had this post all ready to go since AUGUST and never actually got round to sharing it. It’s cold and wet in Seattle at the moment, so here is a slightly-edited-yet-still-seasonally-inappropriate post with some nice and sunshine-y photos, because why not?!

Sometimes you just need to scratch an itch. I got back from a week-long canoe trip with the Girl Scouts at the end of August with a hankering to sew something. We were out and about a lot over the summer, and when we were at home I didn’t feel too much like sewing in the heat. Switching on the iron in an already stifling flat feels like too much, but when I touched down in Seattle, it actually felt cool enough to whip something up.

These photos were taken on Labor Day weekend. We went for a drive up to Anacortes and stopped off at Sharpe Park for a picnic before driving back via Deception Pass and Whidbey Island. The views are stunning.

When I say I had an itch to scratch, I mean I needed something quick, simple and satisfying that would fit with my stash. Before I left for my trip, I ordered some rayon poplin from Hart’s Fabric (still available!) that I had originally designated for some Sew Over It Carrie Trousers, but since I didn’t have any suitable elastic to hand, I decided their Kimono would be better instead.

And, oh my Lord, was it quick! I think I went from printing and assembling the pdf pattern, to pinning the neck band in ready for hand sewing (the final step) in about 3h 30. That must be some kind of record for me! It is super simple to put together – straight lines only – so if you’re a beginner, the only tricky part is handling slinky fabrics. By the time I had finished, though, it was getting late and I wanted to go to bed, so I finished it off by hand stitching the band sitting in a hotel on a work trip the following day. Usually, I wouldn’t bother taking it with me, but I was so excited to finish it (and wear it!) that I packed it up in my hand luggage.

Can we take a second to admire the fabric? This rayon is so lovely! It’s lightweight and drapey, but it’s dense enough that I don’t feel like I’m going to rip it any time soon. It was listed on the Hart’s website as being Liberty, but the price-tag doesn’t reflect that, and do Liberty even produce rayon? Anyway, it was great to sew with and presses very nicely. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, or maybe it’s just the pattern hiding it, but I don’t think it creases all that much either!

“I don’t think it creases that much either!” Hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Anyway, I wore this the day after I finished it, thanks to the iron in my hotel room. I was at our San Jose office in California, and it was just the right weight to switch between air-conned meeting rooms to the heat outside (the Bay Area is nowhere near as hot as Southern California, but I thought it was plenty warm for me). I had some lovely comments on it, and for something that took an hour or two from start to finish, I’m really quite enamoured with it. It makes me feel stylish and immediately dresses up my jeans just a little bit more (even if I’m wearing Converse). Unfortunately I didn’t get a lot of wear out of it before the seasons changed but I am very much looking forward to the spring when I can wear it again.

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