You might remember that one time I made kimono for a friend. I posted about the process here and here. I used Simplicity 4080, which by all measures is a might difficulty pattern. A lot of the steps are really hard to understand. However, when it comes down to it, it is a beautiful pattern. Kudos to Simplicity for making a good pattern even if the instructions were terrible.
My PatternReview for Simplicity 4080
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! The neckbands don't sit quite the way they are supposed to, which confuses me because I used a lighter interfacing than recommended., but it's not a huge difference that anyone would particularly notice. Another small thing that might not be noticed is that the bottom does not close and fully overlap exactly the way it does in the picture. I think this might have to do with the different body shapes between asians and my friend (pictured). So, it looks just the the package, but it wears slightly differently, but it's not a big difference and it still looks absolutely beautiful on.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
No. I ended up doing a mock up of the sleeve using small pieces of fabric and a ken doll because I seriously could not understand what the instructions were telling me to do. Granted, I do not have a whole lot of experience with fully lined garments, but the instructions were pretty incomprehensible in certain parts. The fabric I used for the outside was a kind of polyester faux silk crepe and it frayed really easily. So, I tested the harder parts with small mock ups so not to ruin my fabric.
Ken and the mock up sleeve
You really do need to be careful. One comment says she ended up with a mobius strip for the sleeves! Yes! This is exactly the problem that I was forseeing. The sleeves open for the hand on the front, are closed down, and then are open in the back so that you can see the lining. It's authentic but confusing to make. I'm really not sure that there's much more that Simplicity really could have done to make this easier to understand, though.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The instructions were difficult. Otherwise, it was a pretty decent pattern. I really like the way it looks, and I'm very glad I picked it over the easier looking alternative patterns. The construction quality is surprisingly good - they picked garment integrity over easy in multiple places. Although I do complain about the confusing instructions, I'm glad that the instructions were for a fully lined kimono instead of unlined, because I would have been dead meat trying to figure out how to line it myself.
All of the lining is a black broadcloth. The robe is a polyester faux silk crepe. The obi is a quilting cotton. Polyfill for the pillow support. Covered plastic boning for the obi.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't understand exactly what the instructions were telling me to do with the batting for the padding on the dickey. I quilted it in. Other than that, as far as I know I made it the way they intended
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't know that I would ever need to use it again. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not an experience sewer with a lot of patience. If you are experienced and you are looking for a kimono pattern that really is pretty, I do recommend this pattern. It came out very nicely and I'm super proud of it.
Thanks to my friend, Kay, for taking pictures :D
Questions? Comments? Leave a comment! Also, follow me!