I’ve reached the comprehensive exam stage in my graduate studies. I don’t need to share the boring details, but essentially this means that I need to read a lot between now and October. Picture a stack of books from a short bookshelf to the ceiling. To squeeze all of this reading into my normal schedule, I’ve been getting up early and reading for a few hours every morning before the day really gets going. What does this have to do with sewing, you might ask? Well, when I wake up in the morning, the house his chilly and I ended up curling up under a blanket on the couch to read. Not the most conducive for staying awake. Enter the kimono robe. I made this with the explicit purpose of wearing it in the morning while reading to keep from being too chilly without needing to wrap up in a blanket.
The fabric is a fun parrot printed stretch chiffon that caught my eye at Joann’s. I bought two yards without a pattern in mind, and threw it in the wash as soon as I got home. While the fabric prewashed, I searched online for free kimono robe tutorials. I really didn’t want to pay for a pattern to make this robe. I figured, how difficult can it possibly be? As it turns out, not difficult at all. I ended up mostly using this 1 hour Kimono Cardigan tutorial from PeaBrain DIY. What drew my attention to this tutorial, over the others, was that it was easy to customize the size of the kimono so that it wasn’t too wide. It can be hard to find a robe that doesn’t make me feel like I’m swimming in it, but with this tutorial I was able to make the body part a little narrower and the sleeves a little longer.
I ended up using the full length and width of my two yards of fabric. I was careful to make sure the parrots are all facing up on both the front and the back. In order to do so, I had to cut my fabric in half and then sew it back together at what would become the shoulder seam. I did this before I cut out my neckline, though, which made things a little tricky. My neckline does not look like the one in the tutorial, but, rather, is more like the version in this tutorial from Tater Tots and Jello. This turned out just fine, but if I were to make another kimono, I would follow the neckline instructions from the 1 hour tutorial. The Tater Tots and Jello method ends up with some extra draping around the neck.
The first tutorial says that it will take one hour to make the robe, but I did some extras on my version that ended up taking a little longer. My ~enhancements~, if you will, were to use french seams throughout the kimono, and to make a tie belt to go with it. French seams are always more luxurious, and the tie belt helps everything stay put.
I’ve already worn my kimono for a few mornings while reading. It provides just the right amount of warmth to keep me warm enough in the cool house, or out on the deck while reading.
In my last post I talked about wearing matching pajamas as a way of “adulting.” Ironically enough, I think this parrot robe and my butterfly pajamas are nice steps in the right direction, even if they are made out of crazy animal prints.
Fabric: 2 yards of parrot printed stretch chiffon from Joann Fabrics @ $5.99/yard
Notions: white thread
Cost: $11.98 in fabric + thread from stash = $11.98
Time: 3 hours