Summer Boho Vibe | Papercut’s Kochi Kimono

Kochi Kimono | Style Maker Fabrics

I have been on the search for the perfect kimono pattern for a while. Something shorter, a bit more fitted, just a simple, classic style. In searching I felt a little like Goldilocks—lots of patterns that were close but not quite right. Then, Papercut Patterns released the Kochi Kimono! Slightly more fitted through the shoulders and the sleeves aren’t too wide, this pattern combines all of the elements that I was looking for into one nice package!

Papercut Kochi Kimono | Style Maker Fabrics

Now to pick fabric to compliment Papercut’s Kochi. As it is still summer and quite warm here in the Pacific Northwest, I thought go with something light weight and with great drape. I also love that Anthro-inspired Bohemian style which lead me to choosing this amazing block print rayon challis.

Now to get cutting and sewing! If you have sewn with Papercut before you know these patterns run big, I am typically a medium but in their patterns I always make a small. To keep with the classic look I am going for I selected View C of the Kochi—no pockets or tie and added neckband. In looking at the finished garment measurements, the finished length was a bit shorter than I wanted it to be. I decided to add an 2″ to the body length, making the hem hit right about my hip. I added the length in the bottom third of the front and back pattern pieces. The back piece is almost square making this change very easy. The front required a little extra tweaking as one side of the piece tapers a bit. Don’t forget to also add the length to the neckband pieces!

Papercut Kochi Versions | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing my Kochi together, ALL of the raw edges are finished with my serger. The pattern clearly directs you when to finish the edge before sewing and press the seam open or finish the seam allowance after it is sewn. I think the pattern did miss a couple so I made sure all my edges were serged. I also serged my hem and sleeves before folding them up and topstitching. On a heavier fabric I might be tempted to finish the raw edges with bias binding but for this I didn’t want a lot of extra bulk and that is a lot of extra work on a first try of a pattern.

The only other change I made to the Kochi pattern is how I attached the neckband. I decided to kick the Boho vibe up a notch and add a geometric trim insert in the seam. A great added detail without a lot of extra work. The first question was how to attached the neckband to one side of the trim? To keep a nice finished edge I folded the neckband right sides in and sandwiched the trim between the layers. Then, I stitched a long tube with 1/4″ seam, turned it right side out and pressed.

Neckband Hem Piece | Style Maker FabricsNext, to attach my new “neckband” to the kimono I finished off the front edge with the serger and pinned my neckband in place, starting at the back neck. Now for the trickiest part, at the hem I trimmed the neckband 3/4″ short of meeting the hem. Weird, right?

I also cut a roughly two 3″ squares from my fabric scraps and folded all the raw edges to the wrong side and folded this in half. This created a little hem for my neck band that is about the same width as the actual hem on the kimono. Lining everything up in place, I sandwiched each end of the neck band (about 1/2″) between the folded hem piece and top-stitched. You want to keep everything pinned so that it all lines up correctly.

Kochi Neckband Trimmed | Style Maker Fabrics

Last but not least, I stitched the finished neck band on using a 1/4″ seam allowance, taking care to catch only the edge of the decorative trim. Pressed the seam to the body of the kimono and I was set!!

Now for the big reveal…

Kochi Kimono Front | Style Maker Fabrics

Kochi Kimono Side | Style Maker Fabrics

My Kochi Kimono is the perfect addition to my summer wardrobe. I love how the fabric feels almost weightless and kind of catches in the breeze. And that print… so fun for this Boho style. It kind of reminds me of a bandanna or even henna designs. Overall, the fit is just right and I like the added length and the side slits and it the perfect layering piece for a warm day.

Kochi Kimono Trim Detail | Style Maker Fabrics

I am so happy with my choice to add the trim insert, such a fun extra detail and the finish turned out amazing. Trims like this are so easy to add to just about any garment—insert them in an existing seam, split a pattern piece and slip it in between or even cut off the hem and add it just above it. I was thinking after the fact that adding it to my kimono sleeve hems would be another great option. Maybe next time!

Kochi Kimono Back | Style Maker Fabrics

Guess I need to start thinking about a fall version. Any thoughts of fabric choice? Maybe a soft wool or go crazy and try a stable knit? Oh, and pair it with a turtle neck! So many ideas, not enough time to sew…

Michelle

Summer Watercolor Ebony Tunic

Redrawing the Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

I have been practically living in my Closet Case Ebony Tees since first sewing up this pattern earlier this year! Now that summer is here in full force it is time to add another to my wardrobe.

Shibori Ebony Twirl | Style Maker Fabrics

While I love the amazing swing to the Ebony, sometimes all that extra fabric does get in the way and I long for a slimmer version. A few fellow sewists on Instagram tackled this issue using various methods but I decided to take the simple, straight forward approach. First, I traced a fresh copy of my front and back pieces on pattern tissue. On each piece, I then measured along the hem 6 inches from the side seam and drew a straight line up to the underarm. This decreased the circumference of the hem by about 24 inches (that seems like a ton, right?). I settled on the 6 inch amount by trying on my shibori version again and pinching in the side seams to get the fit I wanted—seemed like a good place to start.

Redrawing the Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

With my pattern pieces trimmed down, I needed to make sure my side seams matched up. In looking at the original pieces, the back pieces should be trimmed/curved up to be even with the front. I laid the back piece over the front, matching the side seams at the under arms, and drew a gentle curve from the edge of the front piece out to the hem, shown below. With my alterations complete and I continued on as directed in the pattern and with the changes that I made previously for my 3/4-length raglan sleeve tunic.

Trimmed Ebony Pattern Pieces | Style Maker Fabrics

Now for the fun part, fabric choice! One of my favorite pieces in the shop right now is this watercolor stripe jersey knit. Lighter weight and perfectly drapey for a summer Ebony tee! I think my favorite part though it the color and the amazing movement and random look of the print. In cutting my pieces out I did my best to match up the “stripes” as best I could. The variegated look made this a bit more difficult and not an absolute match but close enough. I also decided to cut my sleeves out so they DID NOT match, embracing the abstract look of the knit.

Watercolor Stripe Jersey | Style Maker Fabrics

Sewing this Ebony up was quick and straight forward. I finished my necklines and hem with my cover-stitch machine for a professional look and I am loving the results!

Watercolor Ebony Front View | Style Maker Fabrics

I was worried I took out too much of the swing (24 inches is a lot!), but I think it was the just about the right amount, especially for the front. I might continue to tweak the back a bit, add a couple inches of swing back in and shorten the curve of the hem. Nothing major but I think these changes may help fix a bit of clinging that I noticed in wearing this top on repeat over the last week.

Watercolor Ebony Side View | Style Maker FabricsWatercolor Ebony Back | Style Maker FabricsWatercolor Ebony Front | Style Maker FabricsAll in all, I think my watercolor Ebony turned out to be the perfect addition for the summer wardrobe! And this pattern continues to move up my list of favorite patterns. If you haven’t sewing this one up yet, you need to now! And this jersey… I think the photos say it all!

Michelle