Tag Archives: Lady Grey Kimono

How do you say…

Kimono-inspired Lady Grey

Lady Grey in Japanese?

The kimono-styled Lady Grey is finished (for a given value of finished, anyway). And it is warm and cozy, for a given value of cozy.

I was up half the night with a vomiting Syo, followed by home with the same recovering child today, which does not make for a glamorous day. Therefore you will have to deal with headless, as well as grainy and dark, photos. Sorry.

This was overall a fairly quick ‘n dirty effort. There are no facings, no lining, I narrow-hemmed the front opening and bottom, did a wider but not particularly tidy hem on the sleeves (I’m not convinced they’re perfectly the same length, either >_< ), and one shoulder is stubbornly pleating despite my redoing it. However, there are a couple of features that are worthy of mention:

I drafted a shawl collar!

I am particularly proud of how this worked out. Probably it would not work in a neater, less slouchy fabric, but the result is exactly what I was going for. I measured the length from my back neck to the bottom of the collar, and drafted out the following pattern piece:

Shawl collar pattern piece; cut two on fold

The long straight side is the collar length; the short straight side is the fold at the back of the neck. I sewed the two layers together, turned right side out and pressed, and stitched it to the collar, then graded the seam-allowance and top-stitched it down so that it wouldn’t flip out, since there’s no facing. This seems to be working better than I would have thought.

The collar, waiting to be turned right-side in and sewn on

I also topstitched both sleeve seams.

Yes, look at that (if you can see it):

Sleeve, showing both topstitched seams

This required a little bit of sneaky sewing I’d read about but never attempted before. I don’t think I’d want to do it on anything much longer or narrower than these rather wide, short sleeves, however it actually wasn’t too tricky and worked out fine.

Topstitching inside the tube

You turn the sleeve inside out, and basically sew down the inside of the tube. Yes, everything ends up bunched around the needle, and you can only sew about two inches at a time before you need to re-arrange your bunches.

Finally, there was the “obi”

This is lifted generally from the Kimono-Style Bunnyhug, although hers was

actually attached to one side of the front. Mine is not, because I have fantasies of making other, coloured versions to spice up the plain black. In some of my fantasies about this sweater, I actually sewed the buttons on to the front of the sweater (so it could close without the sash, too), but then the buttons would have had to go through not only the coat front, but two layers of “obi”. And I would’ve had to sew twelve buttonholes instead of four. So I didn’t. We’ll see if I come to regret that or not. Also I was worried that the front of the coat wouldn’t be stable enough—the sash itself is double-layered and I put a bit of knit interfacing at each end, beneath the buttons and the buttonholes, whereas the coat fronts are a single layer with a narrow hem along the edge. And yes, as in the photo above, the buttons are very slightly green. This may have compromised my attempt to make a neutral sweater I can wear with anything. We’ll see.

Back view

Here’s the back view, highlighting the unevenness of the peplum (this is the part where the S-curve of the swayback actually takes up more fabric length than my comparatively straight front, shortening the back). There’s some funkiness in the upper back, I think having to do with my seams stretching somewhat as I sewed, but again I’m not overly broken up about it, and it may even smooth out in the wash.

The sash nicely takes care of all that pesky lower-back fitting, too. 🙂

Front view

And here’s the front version. Unglamorous, as most straight-on shots of my front are. I don’t do cinching well, but I’m theorizing that if I cinch from right below my bust down to my natural waist (as here) it may actually work. What do you think?

The shoulders are a tiny bit wide, but that’s probably just because there are no shoulder pads in this version.

Did I mention how much I love that collar?

And just so you can trace the evolution from concept to reality, here’s the line drawing again:

Fantasy jacket, side view

front view



Filed under Sewing