Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kim-oh-no

The more I stare at this the worse it gets.  I almost didn't post about this.  It's pretty bad.  But I am hoping maybe someone has a good suggestion for fixing this kimono.  Or whether it's even worth fixing.


I used the other crazy print fabric from J's trip to China.  You can see my failed Nicola bodice still on my dress form.  I'm not removing it until I come with a brilliant idea to save it, by the way.  I had no idea what to do with this particular fabric.  I mean, it's pretty wild.   Feather flowers/dream catchers/psychedelic floral?  I don't know.   There's not a whole lot you can do with a fabric like this. 


I decided on a kimono after being inspired by Kat of Petticoats and Peplums.  She has made a couple of kimonos that I have coveted in the past year or so.   I also just happened to catch a blog post by Julia Bobbin this week where she made a beautiful silk kimono using the same tutorial.  Anyway,  I was not successful like either of the ladies of mentioned above.  Most likely due to my fabric choice.  I was hoping for a groovy Free People sort of vibe.  But...



It's like a bad Hawaiian shirt.  I originally took some photos of me wearing it with shorts, but they are so bad I won't be showing them.  It looks marginally better with skinny jeans but definitely still has the same touristy shirt vibe.  The tutorial I used tells you how to measure a bunch of rectangles to make a kimono.  I made it up as the tutorial specified but was not happy with the finish.  So I tried to beef it up afterwards.  It looked like a bad robe.  I put a big inverted pleat at the back neckline because the shoulders hung so low it looked ridiculous.  Then I finished the neckline and sleeve cuffs with wide bands instead of just turning under and hemming.  Maybe taking out some of the width in the back contributed to the Hawaiian shirt look.  Using a wild printed fabric didn't help.  I think a kimono like this should be made up in a more delicate fabric.  Sheer.  I also think the length is all wrong.  Either it needs to be shorter or longer.  In fact, I'm thinking about cropping the front up super short like so.


Let's be honest, I'll never wear it as is.  I'm kicking myself for not using this fabric to make another quarter circle maxi skirt. What do you think?  Is it worth trying to save?  Am I just wearing it all wrong?  What on earth do you wear something like this with anyway?  Or should I just admit defeat?
    

26 comments:

  1. What is the fabric content? If it was me, to tone down the crazy of that print, I would dye it, probably dark blue or purple. Or possibly a heavily diluted bath of bleach and water to lighten it. After changing the boldness of the print, I think it would be easier to decide what to do with the length.

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    1. That is a GREAT idea. I think toning down the color would do wonders!

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    2. so okay yeah, I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS KIMONO, but a darker dye would give you less crazy (sigh)-- and then you can add back the crazy with foot long black fringe added round the edges. i'm making one now actually :))

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  2. I saw it and thought solid color bands in a color from the print in anything but the red. And maybe one small pocket in the same solid color to break up the print in the front of the kimono?!

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  3. Oh my - your face speaks volumes :) Carolyn's idea to add some solid colours would help I think.....For me, a fabulously wild print like that would be best far away from my face. You said the pattern was sewn in rectangles - is it possible to refashion it as a skirt? A slightly flirty A-line, or straight skirt with a band in a solid? Teamed with a coordinating Tee in summer it would look lovely. Good luck ... Sometimes you just have to put a make that isn't cooperating to one side until inspiration strikes :)

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  4. I feel overwhelmed by really bold patterns too, but they can look amazing in something simple. The shorter kimono is cute, or you could just go the easy route and make a crazy T or pair of shorts, although I think some of the suggestions above are probably more imaginative than mine!

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  5. you are going to hate me for saying this - i think your kimono looks spectacular! maybe you'll like it more paired with maxi dress?

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    1. I was trying to channel you while I was making this! WWMD (What Would Mokosha Do?) Ha! You always do such cool things with funky prints.

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  6. I love the craziness of this material but it is sort of too much in this garment. Cut it into big squares and incorporate it into a 70's style patchwork maxi skirt.

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  7. You can't win them all but for what it's worth wearing it with some shorts or a miniskirt may reduce the Aloha factor. I love your sandals - where are they from?

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    1. I ordered them from Amazon last summer. The brand is called Lola Sabbia. They are awesome!

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  8. i say go with solid colored bands and maybe shorten the front for a more dramatic sweep. other than that, i think it's a fun piece!

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  9. I kinda love it! I like your idea to make the hem more exaggerated - and I also really like Shelley's comment about doing an over-dye. I think the red/yellow/green color combo might be what is giving it the Hawaiian shirt feel more so than the cut or drape. An over-dye in purple or black could really change the whole feel. But this whole look is one that I've been really into lately. I'd probably pair it with one of your drape-y circle tees for lotsa' volume on top, then go with a skinny pant like you did here.

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  10. Oh! Also, it looks pretty fabulous in the first photo paired with the other wild print. I think that gives it a really awesome Bohemian vibe. If you're feeling daring, you could leave it as is, but just pile on the prints! That always says 'eclectic & artsy' and definitely NOT 'tourist'!!

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    1. I'd love to be able to pull that off!

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  11. I agree that it's the color combo that's making it feel kind of Hawaiian tourist-y. I like the idea of shortening the front a little, but what about doing it so the edges are rounded? That will get rid of the boxier camp shirt edges in the front (maybe even using rounded hem bands like this: http://whatkatiesews.net/wool-jersey-julia-cardigan/).

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  12. I admit I'm chuckling...I'm about to toss a skirt that has gotten to me, cannot bear to look at the print any longer! The open doorway beckons...

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    1. I'm thinking along the same lines... :)

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  13. I think there's a lot of ways you could change this guy around a bit and salvage it! I like the idea of solid banded sleeves and collar. I'm also wondering how it would look with shorter sleeves and a curved hem? Or maybe it would look good with something higher-waisted? All that said, if you're done with this project, I'll bet you could donate it and somebody would love it to pieces.

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  14. I actually like it a lot. It looks summery and fun to me. But, I agree with others - if you want to tone it down, an over-dye or solid contrast bands would make it more subdued. It is a great style on you though - you should definitely save it!

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  15. I like it a lot and would wear it just like it is. Sometimes you feel like a nut...sometimes you don't. Wear it on days you feel nutty!

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  16. I love the idea of giving this some kind of dye bath. I also wonder if it would look better if you took it in a bit all over (increasing seam allowance) - this fabric stands away from the body with this shape, and I want to bring it closer.

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  17. Ok, I have to be honest here, I have no idea why you don't like this! I think it's pretty gorgeous! Maybe not with the skinny jeans, but over a solid coloured dress or shorts or a skirt. Obviously with anything white it would be sensational too. Honestly, I kinda love it!

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    1. to elaborate; what I mean about the skinny jeans is that they are too serious for this fun and wild kimono. And black. Again, serious. This kimono wants to be playful and colourful and summery, in my opinion :)

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  18. I think it is gorgeous and you look lovely! I would replace the white T-shirt with black. Trouble is, if you don't feel happy in it you are unlikely to wear it, which is a shame!

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