Helen’s Closet: Suki kimono

Birthday Gift

My mother in law had a special birthday approaching, and as the lovely person who bought me my sewing machine, I figured it’d be nice to make her something. I wanted it to be a surprise, and so it had to be something that wasn’t fitted as guessing measurements isn’t something I want to spend my weekends doing!

I’d seen a few posts on Instagram of lovely kimono gifts, and decided this was the best way to go. I was between the Seamwork Almada and the Suki. Although the Almada is gorgeous, I worried it would be a little too short and maybe a bit too revealing, whereas the Suki in the longer version is a great length, and the fit is more in line with a traditional gown. So, a Suki it was.

Fabric

Finding the perfect fabric took quite a bit of research – I find it really difficult to pick the perfect fabric for a gift. At first we looked a Liberty tana lawns for that feel of luxury – looking at the amazing abstract prints they had on offer was really tempting, but none were quite right.

Then I saw a garment made with ikat, and headed straight over to Merchant and Millsikat would be perfect. I roped in my husband for help, and we spent a few days narrowing it down to choose the right one.

This is Glacier Navy (at the time of writing it’s still available online). I love the contrast the arrows create, and the nature of ikat means that no two arrows are the same. They look a little blurry in the photos – it’s because of the contrast between the white of the arrow, and the paler blue at the bottom and how that blends into the deep, almost navy, blue background.

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Construction

The pattern was a dream and I didn’t really have any problems. Although the fabric requirements are based on non directional prints – the layouts include one of the front pieces placed upside down – and the print of this fabric is directional, it wasn’t an issue for us as we planned to make a feature of the print facing in different directions.

For that bit of luxury, I opted to do French seams, so this wasn’t a super fast sew, but still pretty quick. The instructions on Helen’s patterns are really detailed and easy to follow so it didn’t feel difficult. I love the practical, professional touches within the pattern too like the hanging loop worked into the collar.

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I’m really happy with the final result, and my mother in law seemed very happy with the gift. Before wrapping it we took a few photos of me wearing it, just for the blog.

As much as I love my Almada robe, the Suki is so cosy, and a bit more practical – I might just need to make one for myself!

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