I just love the '40s Kimono Jacket by Caroline Hulse in Stitch Spring 2015. I have this gorgeous teal, silk velvet fabric that I have been dying to use, but I don't have quite enough fabric to make a full-length version. So I am going to do a little basic pattern-drafting and add a few couture touches to make a fabulous velvet, cropped cover-up that I can throw on over jeans or a little black dress. I will be doing this sew-along over the next 2-3 weeks. If you want instructions to help you follow along, purchase Stitch Spring 2015 or download the Kimono Jacket video from the Sew Daily Shop.
Step 1: Stitch magazine garment patterns are in a downloadable PDF format and the instructions are in the magazine. I printed out the PDF, almost 40 pages, and taped it together. It's a bit tedious, but I actually enjoy it. Alternatively, I could have used the video for instruction, where the pattern is downloadable as well.
Step 2: After taping the downloaded pattern together, I marked off the new hemline for the cropped jacket. The original center back measurement for the small size was 27". I decided to shorten the jacket to 17 inches for center back and add a 2-inch hemline. I like the wider hemline because the blue silk velvet material ravels easily, and I wanted to add a nice finish for the raw hem edge. Also, a wider hemline gives more weight and drape for a couture feel. (For some real weight you could add a small chain to the hemline as they do in Chanel jackets!)
Step 3: Because the center back length is longer than the center front length due to the drop in neckline at the front, I have to measure up from the bottom of the front jacket to crop. To shorten the front, I measured the length from the original bottom edge to the new bottom edge on the back, including the hem allowance and transferred that measurement to the front. Then I drafted in 2-inch hemline from new front bottom edge.
|Step 1: Tape the pattern.
||Step 2: Crop the jacket back.
||Step 3: Transfer measurements to
|Step 4: Trace new pattern.
||Step 5: Trace off front binding.
||Step 6: Lay out pieces.
|'40s Kimono Jacket by Caroline Hulse from Stitch Spring 2015.|
Step 4: Once I had my new hemline on both front and back, I used Swedish tracing paper to trace off the pattern as I wanted to keep the original pattern intact. This is a jacket I could see myself making again and again so I don't want to have to tape that pattern together again!
Step 5: I also changed the pattern to add a binding to the center front opening of jacket, as suggested. I used the same bias tape pattern piece from the neck and aligned it with the center front edge to get the width of the front opening binding. Then I traced off along the center front edge from neckline to hemline. And I do love the self enclosed French seams on the jacket. I had considered adding a light silk lining, but the French seams add that finished couture feel without having to add a lining.
Step 6: With the little velvet that I had, it was going to be a tight fit on the pattern layout shown in the magazine instructions, so I adjusted my layout. I folded one selvedge into the center, and laid the jacket back on the fold on the cross-grain and the jacket front on the lengthwise grain. The crosswise grain has less give than the lengthwise, which could lengthen a little, but the jacket is so drapey that any slight variations in hemline won't be noticeable. Happily, it all fit the fabric layout, even the bias bindings. (Here's a bias trick: Any angle beside lengthwise and crosswise grain are considered bias, so if you can't make your pattern piece fit the true 45-degree bias, you can cheat it.)
Whew! That's enough for a Saturday's work.