This month’s make is the Simple Sew Kimono Dress, except that it is not going to be a dress. The Kimono dress is a wrap style dress with a large tie at the waist. When we were asked for fabric and pattern choices for this make we were in the midst of an extremely hot summer and I had been sweltering in my winter dressing gown in the mornings, so I decided that I would like a summer ‘robe’.
The fabric is a beautiful Lady McElroy cotton lawn very generously supplied by Doughty & Sons. It sewed beautifully, ironed really well and feels lovely on.
I cut a size 12, but kept the length of the size 20 – I like my dressing gown/robes to be quite long. This style has grown on sleeves which means that sleeve and the body are all one piece. I quite wanted longer sleeves but the front pieces are quite big due to the wrap and the sleeve, so a longer sleeve would have meant that the piece wouldn’t fit on the fabric.
I also wanted pockets so having sewn the shoulder seams together, I pinned the side seams, tried it on and worked out where I wanted to add the in seam pockets. My winter dressing gown had large patch pockets, but I felt that wasn’t the look I wanted for this. I used the pocket piece from the Lapwing trousers and placed it roughly where I wanted my hand to rest.
Having put in the pockets and sewn up the side seams the robe was looking pretty good. The instructions have you finish the edge of the front, then turn and stitch down. I thought this would not give the finish that I wanted, particularly around the neckline – and this is where this project started to take its time – I decided to make some bias tape to finish the edge. I have recently taken out of use a duvet set that was the exact pinky lilac colour of the flamingos. I used a tutorial by Colette for continuous bias binding. This technique is a bit fiddly but I find it much easier that joining lots of strips of fabric. I didn’t think to take pictures of what I did so have included the link. Quite a small square of fabric makes a surprisingly long piece of bias tape! I machine stitched the bias on to the edge, then folded it over and hand stitched all the way around the front. Having done that, I then stitched the sleeve hems and the hem of the garment.
I used some the bias tape to make a rouleau and used it to make a couple of ties for inside the robe to help keep it closed.
I added belt loops to stop the belt from falling off and I also made a hanging loop so that it can hang on the bathroom door
I am very pleased with it and a little bit disappointed that the weather has become much cooler, so I won’t be wearing this properly until next summer. It is a very easy sew and would be quite quick if you didn’t add bias tape and hand stitching to the mix!