Monday, December 3, 2012

Kimono Reveal (BurdaStyle 07-2011 #124)

What better time to finish up some lounge wear than right in time for the holidays!?!?

Unfortunately, since this is lounge wear, all photos are by necessity indoor photos and have awful lighting thanks to the lack of sunlight this weekend. Oh well. So much for my goal of better photos on the blog.

Still in PJs at noon.

But can't you see me on Christmas morning creeping down the stairs to see what Santa left under the tree all cosy and wrapped in my luxurious kimono? I think so.

Action Shot on a lazy Sunday morning

That said, for clothing designed for relaxation and for a pallet cleansing "easy" project mostly involving sewing straight lines, this kimono was no picnic. Most of the problems were caused by my fabric choice. The inside of this robe is stretch silk and it is perfect. The outside is an inexpensive stretch lace and it was a PITA to sew. It stretched like crazy. There were several points where I thought I had made a cutting error because the pieces did not seem to match up length-wise. Nope. No error. It was just that some pieces stretched when others didn't. Sheesh. By the end, I was desperately wanting to be done with it.

Action Shot: Clio Steps on a Pin! (Ouch!)

It all worked out in the end. And once I slipped into my new kimono, it was all bliss. The robe feels lovely on my skin (yay silk), and I think it looks pretty luxe (it sure feels luxe). That said, this is not one of those projects that I would want another sewist peeking inside and inspecting the seams.  But there are some nice details:

I think this is actually the best shot that we got.

I love the sleeves, which have a sort of pocket for hiding love letters and other secrets.

The tie.

I also like the tie, which stays hidden on the inside of the robe when not in use.

However, my favorite feature is that I used a decorative stitch on the lining hem. It's about time I start using some of the 100+ pre-programmed stitches that came with my SM.

Chaff of wheat stitch

Nice, no? And since this stitch has some stretch, it's perfect for the fabric. I used a metallic variegated Sulky embroidery thread for the top thread and a neutral color for the bobbin.  Do you ever use the decorative stitches on your SM? What do you use them for?

Keys to success on this project:
  • Really, there was just one: Ignoring Burda's instructions. Aside from being near impossible to figure out, Burda has you sew the Kimono in a way that encloses all of the seams so that they are between the lace outer layer and the lining - this way the inside is finished. The problem is that the outer layer is lace and all the seams show thru it. (How dopey is that?) So I bound all of the lace seams in strips of the lining fabric so that they would be camouflaged and more stable, given the fabric's stretchy nature. I did this pretty quickly and messily, to be honest. It worked well. Anyway, do yourself a favor and read Inkstain's handy tutorial over at Chanel No. 6. It was particularly helpful on the sleeves. 
Overall, I'm thrilled with my robe. It's just what I wanted. Thank you to those of you who weighed in on the color of the lining. I'm really happy with this more neutral shade, which I've decided to call "whatevertheheck neutral metallic." I think it tones down the animal print lace to point where it doesn't look quite so gaudy or tacky.

Creative use of a yard stick and skirt hanger.

Now, what to hide in those sleeves? 

PS - Pattern Review here!


Evie said...

Very glamorous...and PJ's at noon is a splendid idea

Meg the Grand said...

OH. MY. GAWD. It's positively stunning! I love how the lace works with that beautiful metallic! Do you find yourself reclining in poses to show off the robe to its full glory? Because I would definitely be doing that all the time. Well done!! Your hard work really paid off!!

Reethi Jagannathan said...

How very luxurious and lovely!

Clio said...

Yes! I'm totally guilty of acting like I'm in a glamorous old movie. And I've been secretly plotting scenarios in which I get Phin to make martinis so I can sip one while lounging. ;-)

T. Sedai said...


Karin said...

It's really lovely. Makes me want one! Then again, I don't want to do the hard work, lol!

Elise Lin said...

It's a lace snow tiger! If it were mine, I would wear it all day I'm afraid.

Peter said...

Wow -- gorgeous!

devra said...

i think that robe demands lounging. allow me to add some lobbying to your plots for phin's martini-making :-)

poppykettle said...

ooh it's lovely!! The fabrics and comfort-factor are fabulous :)

Faye Lewis said...

It's so beautiful! I need a robe really bad.

Lisette said...

What luxury around the house! Your kimono really puts my attire to shame ;-)

Clio said...

LOL - I would be mortified to show the thread-bare robe it replaced! An upgrade was WAY overdue!

mdealmeida said...

Love! And very very luxe. :)

Catherine Daze said...

Very glamorous! Now you need some marabou mules to go with it and your martini.

House of Pinheiro said...

its so glam and so are you! This is really lovely!

Ginger said...

This is gorgeous! I bet you feel like a princess lounging around in this!