30 Minute Sewing
The effortlessness of a traditional kimono lends its ageless simplicity to this quick blouse. Choose lightweight silks or voiles for elegant eveningwear, or a weightier woven fabric for everyday wearability.
When choosing a fabric, note that the width determines the length of the blouse in this pattern: A 110-cm (44-in) width fabric will yield a blouse approximately 55 cm (21 ½ in) long, taking seam allowance into consideration, and a 150-cm (60-in) width fabric will give a 75-cm (29 ½-in) long top.
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You Will Need
Begin by taking the following torso measurements:
A: Length – shoulder to hip
B: Hip/Bust – record your measurements at the widest part of your bust and hip
C: Shoulder to shoulder
D: Top shoulder seam to wrist with arm straight down
Refer to the Taking Measurements tutorial on page 105 for a refresher on accurately establishing your measurements.
For my kimono blouse, I determined my measurements to be as follows:
A: 50 cm (20 in)
B: 110 cm/95 cm (44 in/38 in)
C: 40 cm (16 in)
D: 50 cm (20 in)
To customise fit to your size, add 25 cm (10 in) to hip (or bust measurement if larger) then divide in
half for overlap. In my case, 137 cm ÷ 2 = 68.5 cm (54 in ÷ 2 = 27 in), so 68.5 cm (27 in) is the amount of overlap I’ll need to take into consideration when cutting the pattern.
Now that you have your measurements, proceed by folding fabric in half with right sides facing and selvedges together. Mark centre line. Measure 27.5 cm (11 in) below the fold and draw a line parallel to the fold across work. Using the marked line at centre front as your mid-point, draw two lines (one on either side of centre line) using your calculated hip measurement. Start at the fold and continue marking across work parallel to the centre line to the selvedge edge. For my kimono blouse, I measured 68.5 cm (27 in) from the centre mark on either side and used my quilter’s square to draw the lines. Congratulations – you have created the basic outline of your blouse.
Next, cut away the rectangular areas created at the bottom left and bottom right, cutting through both layers to leave a ‘T’ shape (fig. 1). What will eventually become the neck and sleeves extends across the fabric along the fold with the body of the blouse below, which is the width of your widest measurement plus 25 cm (10 in).
For the neckline, mark 10 cm (4 in) on either side of centre point. Then measure 20 cm (8 in) from fold and mark. Draw two lines to connect the 10-cm (4-in) marks to the 20-cm (8-in) mark, creating a ‘V’ shape (see fig. 2). Cutting only through the top layer of fabric, cut along the centre line, then trim along diagonals and across fold, to make an opening along the fold.
Seam along the underarms from sleeves to hip. To turn work at armpit, end sewing with the needle in down position, lift foot and pivot work 90 degrees, lower foot and continue to edge. Notch out the corner. You can trim seams with pinking shears to prevent fraying, or apply bias tape for a couture finish. Apply bias tape around front opening and neck. Hem sleeves and unfinished edge at the hip.