Tag Archives: custom designs

DIY Summer Kimono

 Kimono
Hey there! Welcome to my very first sewing tutorial! Please bear with me. I am a designer and a writer but I have yet to put the two together.

Here we have the finished “kimono” top. Let’s use the word kimono lightly because in actuality it won’t be worn like a true kimono but the basics are there. This tutorial is for the brave and the strong! I’m only kidding it’s for the beginner sewer. If you can wield a sewing machine you can make this top. It’s essentially a folded piece of fabric with shortish sleeves cut into it.

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Materials: 1 metre long piece of fabric. The length of your kimono is going to be determined by the width it is sold by. This piece is about 60″ wide and then folded in half. The best fabrics for this design are anything lightweight and flowy. I’m using a lightweight rayon but chiffon, satin and silk are good fabrics for this project too. I am actually thinking about repurposing an old sarong for this design as well.

Tools: –pins
fabric scissors
-sewing machine
-tailor’s chalk
-ruler

Step One: On your cutting table, kitchen table, living room floor (ok not recommended but I’ve been there). Lay out one metre of your chosen fabric. That’s 100cm or if you’re an imperial fan 40″. Fold the piece of fabric in half with the right sides together and the selvage edges at the bottom toward you. This is the hem of your kimono top.

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The above photo with the pin is a good example of what a selvage edge looks like. It’s the sometimes slightly frayed side with the little holes in it. I’ll be writing a post on fabric direction and why it is important soon!

Step 2: Measure down from the folded edge of the fabric 10″ and then square a line into the fabric 6″. Square another line from that point to the hem. Do this on both sides.

I personally like to use tailors chalk to mark my lines on my designs but you can also use a little bar of soap. Anything that washes off (obvi).

There are two ways you can proceed from here.

Step 3: You can cut along the 6″ line you’ve drawn, curving around the underarm and down the side, then pin the two layers together and sew. Or you can pin it and then sew along the line you’ve drawn making sure to curve around the underarm seam and down to the bottom edge. Then cut the fabric out after. Whichever is easier for you. If you are fairly new to sewing I would recommend the later. These types of fabrics are hard to keep stabilized.

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Step 4: Measure from one edge of the sleeve hem to the other and find the centre measurement (should be roughly 20″). Do the same along the hem (should be about 14″).

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Step 5: Cut that centre line through the TOP LAYER ONLY! Do not cut through both layers. This is the front opening for your kimono top.

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Voila! Technically you could be done. If you are a stickler or you just want to sew some more or you would like to properly finish the top, fold and stitch a half inch hem all the way around the bottom and neck opening and around each of the sleeve hems too.

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If you would like to adjust the size of your kimono top you can go wider, pretty much as wide as you like, but it’s tough to go longer. The length of the kimono depends on the width of your original piece of fabric. Different fabrics are sold in different widths by the metre/yard depending on where you buy them.

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If you like this one you can buy it here on my etsy shop!

I tested out a couple of DIY kimono top tutorials before making my own.

http://www.brit.co/diy-kimono-tutorial – this is a simple kimono tutorial with minimal sewing (like this one) and a nice silhouette

http://www.elleapparelblog.com/2013/09/kimono-cool-tutorial – this one is pretty intermediate. There are too many pieces involved for a simple top. It’s more like an oversized shirt but the effect is nice.

 

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Cristy – The Best Wo-Man!

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In today’s world the lines of friendship and gender are no longer firmly drawn. Many women have male best friends and many men have great friends who are women and they want them included in their special day. This was one wedding that proves just that!

Working on Cristy’s tuxedo was so much fun. The girl has so much style and stood up to the challenge of looking fantastic and fashionable in her suit right down to her Jimmy Choos.

For Cristy’s outfit we took the sleeves off of her dress shirt, saving the cuffs for wearing. When she had the jacket on you would never know there were no sleeves underneath.

A few more alterations to the shirt and jacket to make them more flattering and feminine, adding some curve, then we cropped those pants!

The results were awesome!!

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Cathy’s Vintage Wedding Dress

Working with Cathy on her wedding dress was such a pleasure. Cathy wanted to wear her mother’s wedding dress on her big day but needed to give it a bit of a modern twist! What a great idea!

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Here is the before dress. Beautiful lace but the full sleeves and shoulders had to go for Cathy’s vision of what her dress needed to look like!

Here’s Cathy showing her mom the dress! She didn’t even recognize it!

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If you’ve inherited your mom’s or your grandmother’s dress why not consider wearing it on your big day? The possibilities are endless! Having a vintage dress revamped or remade is such a personal and dear way of breathing new life into a family heirloom. It also reduces the number of beautiful gowns going to rags in closets and second-hand stores!

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Catherine’s Wedding Dress

Wedding season is on the horizon! I thought I’d share this dress I made last season!

I had the immense pleasure of creating Catherine’s gorgeous and original wedding gown for her special day in August 2015.

Catherine knew she didn’t want to go through the stress of shopping for and trying to fit the dresses available in the shops and decided that having her dress custom made was the way to go.

She knew the style of dress that she wanted, bringing me a photo of a dress from a magazine that had a unique layered skirt with a pointed hem! So fun!

Every woman knows her body and Catherine was no exception! Together we designed her dress to accentuate the parts of her body she loved and downplay the parts she doesn’t so she could feel her most beautiful on her big day. She even added a little extra bling here and there and a family momento – the butterfly broach at centre waist. So pretty.

Here is her beautiful dress!

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Lesley’s Jumpsuit

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A client came into the shop last week needing an outfit for a work event. Lesley does not like her legs and was set against a dress but was armed with photographs of jumpsuits. We put our heads together to come up with the design details she was looking for and voila! Totally custom made jumpsuit for Lesley. Fits her perfectly and looks great!

I am totally hopping on the jumpsuit bandwagon this spring! Jumpsuits are flattering to the figure and well….fun!!

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