Sew Caroline: Florence Kimono

Nani Iro. Double gauze. So beautiful. So wearable. So expensive. All but the latter are true when it’s a bolt end in the John Lewis Clearance. So what to make with that perfect summer fabric?

  • Pyjamas? But then you’ll never get to wear it outside.
  • A simple blouse or top? That just won’t show off this gorgeous piece of art to the degree it deserves.

These were my thoughts after holding on to this lovely abstract print for over a year. I’d already made my holiday sewing plans but then I realised that I don’t have a light jacket for the evenings. With no time for toile-ing anything fitted, nor for self drafting from an online tutorial, a floaty kimono pattern it was to be.

And what better fabric than a double gauze? There are a surprising number of kimono patterns out there, and the Fold Line pattern database really helped to narrow them down. In the end I went for the Florence Kimono from Sew Caroline, with its bias cut front and different length options.

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I was working from a bolt end, and Nani Iro is a particularly narrow fabric, but I could just about squeeze out the cropped version, including making my own binding. However, in squeezing it out I made a bit of a mistake and managed to cut out small sleeves and medium bodice, so was forced into some ad hoc adjustments during construction, but you can’t tell at all.

Double gauze has a reputation as a particularly tricky fabric, but having read a couple of blog posts on the topic, and careful, minimal handling of the fabric, I didn’t run into any major problems. I opted for French seams, and although I’d worried they might be a bit bulky, they turned out great.

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This is now a wardrobe staple, and is thrown on at any opportunity. Having said that, as I wear a lot of prints, the opportunity isn’t always there, as the kimono is often difficult to pair with the right outfit. On those few occasions that I wear plain, I love letting this gorgeous fabric shine.

Outfits-wise, me made May was a great opportunity to try out different combinations, and there were definitely some hits and misses. Still figuring out the best combo, but it’s clear I need to sew more garments from plain fabrics.

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