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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Genius ideas: Jalie's Melanie kimono (part one of swimwear sewing)

There are a two patterns to talk about this morning but because these two are best described in pictures, rather than words, I have decided to do this as two posts. If you try to put too many pictures up in one post Blogger will implode on me and who needs that?

The first pattern is the Melanie kimono.

Here's the line art:

Now I have made a number of kimonos in my time, and have even taught classes on making them Japanese style, but I have to say I like this pattern better than those I do working with rectangles.

The reason is that in this pattern the basic classic shape is intact but the shaping (see the slope of the sleeves above as opposed to the traditional boxy versions) and proportions, particularly of the band, just make for a better fitting garment.

I am completely in love with this pattern.

I had originally made it as a swim suit cover-up ( see following post) and took it to Portland to Quilt Mart as a sample.

Managing as I always do to pack both an overweight bag and a bad with nothing to wear in it all in the same piece of luggage, I  ended up throwing this cover-up kimono on over a black Lisette skirt and a black sleeveless top (Jalie 2682 my old favourite) for one day of the show, and felt completely chic in it - a feeling I don't often feel.

Now there aren't many garments you can wear both over a wet bathing suit and striding around at work and feel completely appropriate in both venues. 

When you find something like this it is worth paying attention.

So before I show you some pictures I have to put what you see in context.

I had intended to shoot these bathing suit and cover-up pictures outside beside some pool. However there has been an inexplicable cold snap in Nova Scotia, as in the ruining the grape vines and strawberry crop variety, and it is just too cold to do that. In fact two days ago I actually saw some poor woman in a down coat and mitts walking her dog,

Mitts in June.

This is nuts in a place where eight weeks from now folks will be saying things like "I can smell Fall in the air" as if that is a cheery as opposed to tragic thing (see previous posts over the winter on living in an RV down south as a further reflection).

So to get in the summer mood that wasn't I put on sun glasses and a sun hat and stood in the hall way in my house with the dog and tried to look tropical.

I interpreted this a meaning I should put on bright lipstick.

Of course what I really look like is a grandmother in a kimono in a hallway who should really be doing her dishes.

Oh well.

I trust your imagination.

If you weren't the kind of people who can see the picture in their mind's eye better than the reality you wouldn't be sewers would you?

Now here's to the shots:

You don't need me to tell you this but this is the back

This is not the back, you know that too, but it indicates the role this kimono plays as a cover-up

You can figure out that there are pockets too

All these pictures look the same but I had trouble deciding which one to use and of course I like this garment so much I liked looking at it a lot so that meant a series of near identical shot.

Next: what's underneath the kimono. Brace yourself. I had to. 


SewRuthie said...

Absolutely lovely Kimono!

Erika Otter said...

You look wonderful! The proportions are really nice. I actually picture a grandmotherly body as much more square - similar proportions vertical and horizontal, as my fashionable grandmother was - and this would have looked nice on her as well.