Welcome to my debut blog for Simple Sew! As the new kid on the block it was difficult to choose from the vast range of patterns on offer, but with summer hot on our heels (hopefully!), I chose the Kimono wrap dress in this beautiful Lady McElroy flamingo cotton lawn from Doughty’s.
With holidays on my mind I wanted a dress that could be used as a bikini/swimsuit cover up. I needed something that was easy enough to slip on and off, as I have limited mobility in my shoulder. The majority of options I have seen on the high street are kaftans that are too sheer or short. I was looking for something that made me feel like I was ‘dressed’ enough to go to a restaurant for lunch, without the faff of going to the room to change.
The Kimono wrap dress firmly ticks these boxes… throw it on and mosey on down to the taverna; and whip it off afterwards to sleep off the meal!
This will suit many lightweight woven fabrics. My choice of fabric admittedly is out of my comfort zone with being such a bold print, but I must say I’m so glad I followed my heart and not my head in choosing the fabric. It’s a match made in heaven with the pattern: the fact that there are no darts on the dress means that you can let loose and choose that big print you’re lusting after.
The pattern has no fastenings other than an unattached sash style belt. It doesn’t require you to set in sleeves, and apart from the belt, it is only two pattern pieces. The cotton lawn provides the dress with a good amount of drape and movement, but is stable enough to be a dream to cut and sew. All of these factors add up to what I believe is a rare bird in sewing: an ideal absolute beginner project.
Once I received (and stroked!) the fabric, I felt I really wanted to give it the royal treatment. As the make is so simple, I decided to slow down and use this as an opportunity to learn some new skills (I have only been sewing for 18 months). Instead of overlocking, I used French seams for a clean look inside. To keep the wrap secure I added a fine satin ribbon to create a waist tie. Around the neckline and front edge of the dress I finished the edges with exposed satin bias binding. I used just under 3 meters to do this.
I made no adjustments to the pattern (and I ALWAYS have to make adjustments!). I decided to use the belt extension pattern piece to have a longer belt to play with. This allows me to have the option to tie it as a bow, or wrap around my waist a couple of times and tie at the back for a clean silhouette.
I am delighted with outcome of my first simple sew pattern! Thank you everyone for joining me; see you next time!