My Denim Kimono Jacket…
I recently stumbled across The Refashioners 2016, a competition to refashion a pair of jeans into something new. My immediate reaction was ‘Wow, this is right up my street.’ It sounded a fun and straightforward thing to do, particularly as they explicitly state ‘It’s about getting you to try refashioning if you’ve never tried it before’.
The Refashioners 2016 is hosted by Portia on makery.uk
I’ve gathered a selection of jeans together from family and friends and now have a child’s pair of faded pink jeans, a man’s pair of worn out, faded and patched up jeans and two pairs of larger ladies jeans in quite a dark denim.
As seen in this month’s Hello Fashion Magazine, Kimono Jackets are very fashionable right now, so I opted to refashion one out of my selection of jeans.
I’d already bookmarked a Kimono pattern in the Liberty Book of Home Sewing from 2011, so I decided to use it as a baseline to start designing my denim Kimono jacket.
I started by getting out a roll of Dressmaker’s pattern paper. This is the first time I’ve ever used this squared paper to draw out a pattern, but I enjoy drawing so it wasn’t too intimidating a task.
Convert 2.5cm squares to 2cm squares on the paper
The pattern in the book is gridded so it can be copied onto dressmaker’s grid paper. The trouble was, in the book the squares were each equal to 2.5cm and my paper was 2cm squared.
So I did as follows:
counted the squares in the row I was copying.
eg: 26 squares in the row = 26*2.5 = 65cm
then 65/2 = 32.5 squares to draw in this row.
I hope that makes some sense. I got myself very confused. However, it worked!
After sketching some ideas, I’ve decided to split each front kimono panel into 3 pieces and the back into 6 pieces. I’m going to use the dark denim for the main strips and the light denim for the sleeves. I’m using Dylon flamingo pink dye to dye the remainder of the faded men’s jeans and the child’s pink jeans.
I’m then going to use the dyed pink pieces of denim for the cuffs, belt, belt loops, edging and pockets.
To create the length of the edging I needed to piece together lots of small sections of denim and I’m not convinced I’m going to love the patchy look. I’ll give it a go, but if it’s not wowing me then I’ll possibly cover it with a fabric from my stash.
Preparing to Sew
I’ve also got blue jean dye so I’m considering dying the main sections with that, but having laid out the fabric pieces on the floor, as they are, I think they look quite good, so for now I’ll leave them alone.
I really love the shade of pink that the originally pink jeans turned, but the light denim turned purple, which I’m not so keen on for the edging.
I love the little pockets from the pink jeans, with the rectangular shaped top that overshoots the edges of the pocket. As you can see in the images I tested placing these in the front of the jacket, but after dithering over it for quite some time, I decided it was a bit of ‘pink overload’ and I’d be more likely to wear the jacket without so much pink on the front. The same goes for the belt loops, I finally opted to place them in the centre back of the kimono, rather than add more pink to the front.
Pinning & Stitching
I pinned and sewed together the seams on each of the three pieces to make each front pattern piece and then I did the same with the six back panels. I then laid them out on the floor, right-sides together and pinned at the shoulders and side seams.
After machine stitching all the sections together I pinned on the cuffs.
I found this dark denim coloured fabric in my stash, which I thought would be perfect for a subtle edging and belt. It feels quite soft but strong, is it linen? I’m still discovering how to identify fabric types, so I’m really not sure, but I like it.
I do like Kimono jackets but I can’t help thinking of dressing gowns when I see one so whether I’ll wear it or not remains to be seen.
Hemming was straightforward, I pinned up 1cm along the bottom edge, then folded again 3cm up. I then machine stitched it in place.
I’m a Pinterest addict and some of my favourite images to pin and lust over are the latest creations from Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabanna and Roberto Cavall, I’ve been particularly crazy about the colourful pom-pom offerings this Spring/Summer AW16.
So one of my sketches included a pom-pom trim, but again, the sensible side of me, said ‘Tone it down!’ but it just goes to show you can really go to town when refashioning!
The Refashioners 2016 – My Denim Kimono
I was reeeeeeeally tempted to add the pink pockets to the front and the pom-pom trim but I was worried it would be less ‘Dolce & Gabanna’ and much more ‘Homemade’ so I took the easy way and chickened out. As it is, it’s lightweight and I think wearable, with just a touch of pink.
This is my very first refashion project and the first time I’ve sewn denim. I really enjoyed doing both. The denim was very easy to work with and I loved creating a wearable fashion piece out of old jeans as my entry into The Refashioners 2016.
Thanks to Portia for running The Refashioners 2016 competition. I really enjoyed seeing all the countdown blog entries and I can’t wait to see all the other entries