The indigo Kimono Jacket featured on the cover of the pattern was dyed using a kit you can find here. We used one of our Kimono Fabric Bundles in the color Natural to make the jacket and then garment-dyed it once it was sewn. The bundles already sold out so quickly, but more are on the way!
The Jacquard website has instructions and even videos for using their kit. It was so fun and easy, and we found that the only downside is that it can make a bit of a mess and take up some time. If you're going to tackle this project, we suggest doing it outside on a day with nice weather. Plan on being nearby your project all day. You can do other things, but you'll need to dip the jacket into the indigo every 20 minutes or so until you get the shade you want.
Elizabeth headed up this project, and you can see her in action here. We followed the Jacquard directions, and ended up dipping the jacket five times to achieve a rich, dark shade of indigo. After the jacket was finished, it was washed with Synthrapol to set the dye. As with anything dyed with indigo, the color will fade with time and washing.
One tip to pass on: if you want your thread to match your jacket (which we recommend to hide any sewing mistakes), you'll need to sew it with cotton thread and not polyester. The cotton will take the dye, but the polyester won't. Alternatively, you could sew your jacket with indigo-colored poly thread.
This new pattern is now available for preordering right here.
You may have seen the Oversized Kimono Jacket sewing pattern in Making magazine issue no.4/ Lines. Tempted by Carrie Hoge’s inspiring vision, last year I designed my first women’s sewing pattern in years. I always enjoy working with Carrie and her team, and it was a huge thrill to see my piece in the pages of Making.
After it was published, it was super interesting to read the feedback about the pattern posted on social media. I took all of it to heart and was inspired to improve upon the pattern before publishing it myself. I love that I get to have this connection with my customers out there so that I can see how to best serve you with a pattern you’ll love.
I put a whole lot more work into it, and I want to tell you about the changes I made so that you’ll understand what’s different. Here we go:
-I noticed that many people sized down two sizes when making the original, so the the newer version has a slimmer fit. It’s still roomy but in a less exaggerated way. I think you’ll find it’s more flattering. Please make sure to check out the finished garment measurements listed on the pattern when choosing your size. I advise that this new version runs true to size.
-The new version has three different length options-- short (hip length), mid (just below hip length), and long (mid-thigh length-- the same length as the original, shown here in indigo). You can make so many different versions of this jacket!
-I went with a more refined shoulder fit this time, more sloped instead of straight, to reduce some of the fabric bulk around and under the arms.
-After wearing the jacket a ton, I decided to raise the pocket placement higher for a more natural position on the body.
-I originally designed the sleeve length to hit right where I wanted when the sleeves were rolled up. However, I found that some people didn’t want to roll the sleeves up, and the unrolled length was just a bit long and slightly awkward looking. I ended up shortening the sleeve so that it hits the wrist at a more flattering point.
-The size grading is a bit more nuanced in this new version, and you’ll find that an extra size has been added-- an XXS. XL (fits up to US size 18) is still the largest size offered because I wasn’t able to go any larger without distorting the proportions of the garment, and I apologize for that. I hope to figure out better solutions for grading larger sizes with future patterns, but for this one I had time constraints. If you find yourself not quite fitting into the measurements on the size chart, keep in mind that the oversized jacket may still fit but just with a different look than what’s pictured. It will be more fitted. Check out the finished garment measurements on the pattern to see if it’s something you can work with.
-In the new version, the collar is made from one fabric instead of a different fabric for each side because in the end that’s what I preferred to wear and make.
-Lastly the instructions and illustrations have a bit of additional editing, and the yardage requirements have changed to fit the new pattern pieces.
I'm going to be showing you the jacket in different sizes and lengths right here on my blog in the coming weeks, and I'll include tips for different ways you can do it. There will be lots of notes on things like sizing, interfacing, etc. Check back soon or sign up for the mailing list here to be notified.
This button loop tutorial is used for the Wiksten Iris Pullover, but is a great technique for adding afterthought button loops to any knitting - the front of a kid's cardigan, the end of a flip-top mitten, the edges of a buttoned scarf. It can be made to accommodate any size button, and is also an opportunity for a little hit of contrast yarn if you so choose.