Completed project: Arrgghh kimono

Hooray – a day where I finally had time to actually put this little beauty on and photograph it!  This is my Arrgghh Kimono – that’s an impression of a pirate by the way, me hearties.

Arrgh kimono

I gave a sneaky peek of this last week but I hadn’t quite finished hemming it. Which proved to be quite difficult actually given the slipperiness of both the outer and inner fabrics – crepe de chine from Marc Jacobs and a slippery plum charmeuse. With multiple ironings and a bit of luck I managed to get it looking even without it slipping on me. I ended up hand sewing the hem as it gave me much more control than using the machine.

So this is my first attempt at a Salme pattern. I’m pretty pleased with it overall. It was very simple to put together which made lining it much nicer. Note you must add your own seam allowances though!

I decided to underline the kimono but I was worried about the seam finishes on the inside… so instead of just attaching the lining wrong side to wrong side, I sewed it to the fashion fabric right side to right side with a quarter inch seam allowance, then turned it  the right way out and pressed, thus enclosing the seams within! This meant a much neater finish although again given the slipperiness of the fabric was bladdy tricky. I then used a half inch seam allowance instead of a 5/8 seam allowance to put the dress together. (Boffins will note that my quarter inch plus half inch adds up to more than the usual 5/8 but what’s an eighth of an inch between friends eh?)

I raised the waistline by seven centimetres because I wanted the gathers under the bust rather than at the waist. On reflection I wish I’d taken some of the width out of the pattern or cut a smaller size as the gathers feel a bit bunchy, but a belt disguises the join anyway so I’m not too bothered about this.

Here’s a peek at the lovely plum lining!

I LOVE how the plum is repeated in the parrot beaks! This lining makes a huge difference to the body of the crepe de chine and makes it feel uber silky when I’m wearing it. This is my second lined dress – hooray!

I like that this is a little different from the vintage styles I’ve been doing recently. It feels quite modern and practical. Less frosting – more cake, albeit a glamorous cake. Not sure what Gracie makes of the parrots though. Should I make her walk the plank?

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31 thoughts on “Completed project: Arrgghh kimono

    • Thanks Kerry! I certainly would recommend them – seemed pretty straightforward and simple to use. Plus because they’re PDF they’re really cheap… so worth a try.

  1. Lovely! I’ve just ordered some of this fabric. If I can make something half as nice as your dress I will be happy

  2. This may not be frosting, but it’s delicious cake! I love it so much and you’ll clearly wear it loads. The parrots, the lining, the shape…are all looking fab on you!!!

  3. Oh, I love this, I would eat the hell out of this cake! This is lovely and yet on some level looks really practical, like something you could just throw on for any occasion. I approve wholeheartedly!

  4. Nice dress… I’ve been seeing this fabric creep up here and there and it’s just lovely!
    I am yet to try a project where I have to add my own seam allowances… I’m a little afraid to be honest (that’s why there are a few Burda patterns lying around that I haven’t had the courage to pick up yet)

    • Oh it’s so easy (if time-consuming) Emilie. I just did another lines about 5/8″ out from the pattern line – I did this using a ruler, making little dots/marks. Then I just joined up all the dots using a french curve for any tricky bits. But there are even little tools you can get now to do the same thing quicker. Or you could tape two pencils together and make sure the distance between them is what you use for your seam allowance! Then just trace over your original pattern outline whilst the other pencil adds in the seam allowance.

  5. Oh it turned out so pretty! I do love that fabric so SO much and the simple pattern makes it look modern and wearable, but still exciting you know?

  6. Ah – I love it!!! Great job on the lining too – it makes it look uber professional!
    I’m new to sewing, only made a skirt and a jacket type top so far….but I have a Salme pattern for my next attempt and after seeing this I can’t wait to get stuck in!

  7. Very stylish, but in a timeless, wearable way – you look great in this dress! I like that you choose a lining in an associated color rather than just boring black.

  8. This is the sort of dress I wish I could wear every day–comfortable but polished. Clearly, I need to explore Salme patterns. Also, I absolutely adore that print! Beautiful job!

  9. Really really classy Joanne….I love the style – it’s a lovely modern shape – & the fabric with them squawkers is wonderful. Congrats on sewing such challenging fabrics too …lush is the word

  10. I’ve been waiting to see what you did what the amazing fabric. And wow, I love how you’ve used it! This print really needs a simple shape to show it off and this is just the ticker. I’m a real sucker for kimono dresses anyway and I’ve just tried a Salme pattern top with satisfying results. Unfortunately I just want to steal your idea now!

  11. Incredible! Beautiful dress, insanely profesh looking – in fact I’m sure it’d put any shop bought dress to shame (I guess that’s why we sew, no?)! The fabric is to die for and well done for resisting the frosting and making more cake!

    Elisalex x

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