I wasn’t sure what I was going to sew for sleeve fest but with a little patience it all came together. I had plans to sew a long kimono to wear with my Valentine and Stitch Dune Maxi. I went shopping in the Downtown LA fabric district and picked up this beautiful yellow floral print fabric. I was initially going for a black printed fabric that I thought I could wear more often but then I saw this print and fell in love. Anyway my friend and I decided to walk out of the fabric district that day and stumbled upon a cute little shop. They had these beautiful dresses and tops with the fluttery flowy bell sleeves. She bought a dress and I bought a top. The more I thought about what I wanted to do with my kimono I realized that the sleeve of her dress would be a perfect match. So I went ahead and traced the sleeve when I got home and created my pattern. I ordered my kimono pattern from Simplicity and with a little work this kimono was born.
The Low Down:
The New Look Pattern 6378 Misses’ Easy Kimonos with Length Variations from Simplicity Patterns comes in a paper pattern and has 4 variations. Long with sleeves, long and sleeveless, mid-length with sleeves, short with sleeves. I had been eyeing this pattern for a while but couldn’t fit it into my sewing schedule. This is a very stylish pattern that can be sewn in a variety of fabrics perfect for summertime.
This pattern has several fabric options including:
- Batiks, challis, charmeuse, chiffon, cotton lawn, lightweight cotton types, crepe de chine, double georgette, lightweight linen types, silky types, voile
- All-purpose polyester thread
- For pattern B – Two packages of ½” wide single fold bias tape
I purchased my fabric from the Los Angeles Fabric District.
My process was a bit thrown off with this pattern. I had ordered it on August 14. The order confirmation stated that I would receive shipping confirmation once shipped. A week passed and I received nothing so I checked my account and it said my order was still being processed. I was very disappointed so I ordered an alternative from Simplicity. This time it was a PDF pattern. I printed the pattern and was ready to put it together. The very next day I received my original Simplicity pattern. I was a little annoyed that I now have two patterns but relieved because the PDF of the other pattern was not user-friendly.
I started on this project on a Friday night. I traced pattern B in XS, cut it out then cut out the fabric.
The next day I stole a few minutes away and sewed up the back seam and staystitched the back neck. Realizing I had a few more minutes later on in the day before we were going to head out for the evening I quickly sewed on the sleeves and the side seams. The directions call for a double stitch on the armhole then to trim the excess seam allowance as you can see in the photo below.
Then I got home a little after 10 p.m. with no intention of sewing but the machine was calling and I answered… I added my flutter sleeves and it was EVERYTHING! My face was the heart eyes emoji!
If you want to make a similar flutter sleeve measure the sleeve opening for the garment you are working with. Draw a circle using the measurement as the diameter then split that circle in half. You should have a half moon now. Draw a line away from the edges of the half circle on the top, bottom then draw a line away from the center to the length of your preference on each side. Connect each point to create a larger half circle/moon. Erase the original diameter line. You should be left with a thick backwards “C”. Add seam allowance to each side. The small half circle part of the pattern should be cut on the fold. As you can see on my pattern the “cut on fold” lines are not in line with each. I traced this sleeve from another garment so I improvised while cutting instead of making a new pattern. I may just have to write a pattern hack tutorial post but for now hopefully this helps.
That had to be my stopping point for the night. All that was left was hemming the sleeves and adding the single-fold bias tape which I completed over the next few days.
To the say the least I love this kimono! I want to wear it with everything. I think I’ll do just that! There are just a couple more weeks of summer left but I’m certain I’ll be able to transition this kimono into fall as temperatures won’t be dropping drastically for awhile here in Los Angeles. Yay!
First hiccup – ordering a second pattern I didn’t need. 😦
Second very minor hiccup – the armhole opening of my flutter sleeve was slightly larger than the armhole of the pattern. I didn’t spend too much time measuring this out so I just sewed the excess back into the sleeve seam so it just adds more flutter.
Third hiccup – I followed the directions on how to pin the single-fold bias binding but once I sewed it on I came up short and had to cut an extra 3 inch piece to be able to attach the beginning and end pieces. The main fabric ended up stretching a bit while I was sewing causing my binding to come up short. I’m not too thrilled with the bias binding as I think it looks stiff compared to the rest of the garment. You can see a bit of how it curls in the photos.
Be very careful when cutting. This pattern calls for mostly slippery fabrics so you just want to make sure that you don’t inadvertently move the fabric while cutting or stretch it out.