I picked up the Simply Sewing magazine for some holiday reading and found the Kimono Jacket project by Portia Lawrie.

This looked simple enough, however I didn’t want a jacket but a lightweight summer robe.

There is no pattern as such but the instructions include measurements for cutting out rectangle pieces for construction.

I’ve had metres and metres of this quilting cotton in my stash for some time and this was the perfect project to use it up.

The first step was to fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge and cut a 12cm strip along the folded edge for the neck edging. What I realised later was that this meant cutting out the other rectangles was not as economically done as it could have been. Never mind, on the second robe I used off cuts to make the neck edging strip.

The next step was to cut two identical front and back pieces based on bust size. Then the front is slashed down the middle and 8cm removed. I thought this was a bit wasteful and would have cut two fronts the correct size (I’m stingy when it comes to fabric). However, I did as per the instructions, but on the first robe I found that it would not wrap across the front at my hips. I guess it’s not intended to do that as it is more of a jacket, but I wanted a robe that would wrap across at the front.

So on the next robe I made front and back exactly the same size,  did not remove the 8cm from the centre, and extended it to make it longer. Instead of just cutting a rectangle, I shaped it a little by expanding out the hips to take into account my curvy shape, and cutting the top part as per the instructions based on my bust measurement. I could probably have gone with the rectangles as per my hip size and shortened the sleeves…maybe? Maybe I might try that.

For the sleeves, on the second robe I created rectangles by using up the scraps from making the first robe, which gave them a nice textured look.

The shoulder seams were sewn, then the sleeves attached. The under sleeve seam and side seam are then sewn in one. I hemmed the sleeves before doing this just so that I could work with them on the flat.

Then the neck/front band was sewn from hem to hem, going around the neckline. I graded the front openings on either side from shoulder seam to bustline.  In other words, instead of slashing 8cms from the entire length of the centre front, I graded out from the shoulder seam to the bust line, which was probably about 4cm either side). This eliminated any untoward curves for the neck edging. I kept the neckband a few centimetres shorter than the entire front, so that it sits above the hem.

I top stitched all the seams which gave it a nice finish. I even won at thread chicken. Yay!

Then I hemmed it, added a hanging loop and it was done. I will also add a tie from scraps, once I see how much fabric is left after I’m finished making.

Overall this was a quick and satisfying make and I will be making more 😍

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