Monday, 5 March 2012

Kimono Wrap Top - second time around

When I buy fabric, it's not always apparent what it should be made into. Some fabrics shout out exactly what they should be as soon as you clap eyes on them.  For others, it's more of a slow burn, with ideas coming and going.  I prefer to wait until the perfect combo presents itself, sometimes this happens whilst I'm on the bus, when I'm asleep (yes, I dream about fabric...) but sometimes it's when I see a garment on another sewing blog.

That's what happened with the 2m of blue/grey wool mix I found in the bargain bin of my local fabric shop over a year ago.  I've had lots of ideas of what to make with it but it was only when I saw Stephanie's blue knit wrap top that the penny actually dropped. There's a bit of a story here....at the end of last year, I sent one of my vintage patterns (Advance 7701) to Steph to copy, after she put out a plea for a 1950's wrap top pattern.  
It was only after she made up her version that I knew what my wool fabric was destined for. I would make another wrap top from Advance 7701, but this time in wool - a kind of kimono cardigan.  As a further little twisty turn in the life of this pattern, Steph has now created her very own Kimono Wrap Top pattern using the original vintage pattern as a starting point.  Her pattern is available for sale on Craftsy.  I can't tell you how happy this makes me!

Anyway, Advance 7701 was the first vintage pattern I bought and the first one I sewed back in November 2010.

I struggled a bit with the instructions and seem to remember the whole process taking a long time. The end result was a wearable muslin that happily has been worn a fair few times.  Second time around and it was like I was sewing a different pattern. Everything suddenly made perfect sense and the cutting out and sewing was a doddle.  It just goes to show how sewing on a regular basis really does improve your skills, whether you're using vintage or modern patterns, or even just making a few cushion covers - it's all practice.  The whole process of cutting out fabric and following instructions don't seem quite so daunting when you're doing it virtually every day.
MUCH happier this time round! Can you tell?
So in summary, it was a smooth, easy make.  I did think of lengthening the ties -  the ties on my first version refused to go very far round my distinctly non-1950's waist and I ended up wearing it knotted at the front here, without any actual wrapping being done. I still like it worn that way, but it's a bit of a shame not to wear it the way it was intended. This time round, I banked on the wool having more stretch to it and it did.  Way more stretch actually, it wraps around and ties quite easily.  It's a simple pattern - there are only three pieces and one of those is just a tiny rectangle for the back collar.  The main piece is absolutely enormous though, so you can really only cut it from fabric with a decent width to it.  The only other change I made, which I copied from Steph, was to hem the edges of the top instead of using bias binding, which saved a lot of unnecessary fiddling time. 



Verdict?  I love, love, love it.  The colour, the kimono sleeves, the vintage look of it and the cosy, cosy feel of the wool mix.  I know I'm going to wear this a lot, especially as it goes so well with my high waisted sailor trousers. The fabric's quite light so I'm fairly confident I'll be able to wear it in the summer too.  Yippee! A great outcome for my bargain fabric.

How about you?  Do you always know exactly what you're going to make with your fabric or is it a long, tedious process?  I'd love to know. Happy Monday. x

58 comments:

  1. Jane, you are such a stylish lady, loving the flower in your hair! This top is just gorgeous, the colour and the style suit you perfectly. It's so true what you say about sewing and instructions becoming easier with lots of practice.

    I often buy fabric 'just because', so it's rare that I know what I'm going to do with it. An exception was buying fabric for my Mad Men dress challenge. It's so much better buying fabric with a purpose, but sometimes you just can't resist a pretty print for the sake of it ;o)

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    1. Thanks Marie! Yes, buying fabric specifically for the Mad Men Challenge was one of those rare occasions I knew exactly what I was going to do with it! How are you getting on with yours? I cut mine out yesterday.... it's a start! x

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  2. Such a lovely top, gorgeous colour and looks amazing with those trousers. Thanks to you I've discovered that sewing with double knit needn't be feared. I've only made a trial run skirt to date, but have many plans to use it as often as possible from now on (well, at least for the cooler months, as I'll be sticking to yummy cotton prints for the summer!).

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    1. That's great about the double knit Nathalie. I just used Calico Laine again for my Mad Men dress fabric - will let you know how I get on with it! x

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  3. Fabulous top, very flattering. I find I buy fabric mostly on a whim, which means I still have a lot of stuff sitting around. When I have bought fabric with a specific idea in mind, strangely, these things get made up a lot quicker!

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  4. What a gorgeous look that whole outfit has on you. Love, love, love it too!
    Px

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    1. Aw thank you Portia and welcome back! We missed you! x

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  5. Oh very nice indeed! Will you be wearing it on Thursday? Please! Nicely styled with the trousers - a perfect match!

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  6. Sweet! Love the wrap blouse. I know what you mean about the fabric thing, as I am stash busting I am finding some slow burn fabrics, but this is a winner Jane! Love it.

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    1. Thanks Gina! Yes, it's especially satisfying when you get to use fabric that's been in your stash for ages! x

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  7. Oh, what a gorgeous top, and you're so right it looks fab with your sailor trousers (which I also love. Great job x

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  8. Very lovely! Looks great in a slightly stretchy fabric. Hmm... I wonder whether I should brave my vintage wrap top pattern again...? x

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    1. You should definitely give it another go - a slightly stretchy fabric works much better than a cotton. x

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  9. Great Outfit ! ! !
    It's going to be a fun wear.
    hugs
    Gerry

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  10. Man, this is AWESOME. Love the entire outfit.

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    1. Thank you, you've made my day! x

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  11. Love it! Love it! Love it!

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  12. You know, I actually picked up a pattern that is similar to this (except mine is from the early 90s!) after seeing yours - I think I need one! I love that you made it in a stretchy wool, it looks like it would be a lot less fiddly to wear than something made out of a woven. And that is a great color on you!

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    1. Thanks Lauren. Yes, it's much less fiddly to wear than my woven version and I think you need one too! x

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  13. Love it!!! And it tickles me no end how this pattern has taken over the world, geographically if not politically anyway! :)

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    1. I know it's so strange isn't it? It's a small world where patterns are concerned! x

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  14. Really nice top, Jane :)

    I tend to buy on a whim because I fall in love with a print. Then it sits about for far too long trying to decide what it wants to be. Procrastination is my biggest sewing problem!

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  15. Beautiful top! It's very flattering!

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  16. This looks so soft and warm, and goes great with you trousers! Chic

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  17. Beautiful top! It looks so chic! I hold onto fabric like you until I find *just* the right pattern!

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  18. This looks so cute! What a winner :-) You look beautiful!

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  19. I must say I'm so glad I found your blog - you are so inspirational! Love the Wrap Top, its really nice! I tend to have a plan of what to make whenever I buy fabric but I change my mind all the time.

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    1. I do exactly that too, I change my mind all the time! Thanks so much for your lovely comment Kezia. x

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  20. The top is soooo beautiful! I adore your sailor trousers, they are very cute and the whole outfit looks very vintage yet modern. :-)

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    1. You've made my day too, thanks! x

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  21. I'm totally the same way; sometimes a fabric says 'make me into THIS pattern' right away, other times I know I must have it but I'm not entirely sure why, until the right pattern appears, and then I know why that fabric called to me :)

    I love the outfit all together, it's very chic and elegant - lovely job :)

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I do! Thanks for your lovely comment too! x

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  22. I don't always know, but I normally have something in mind when I buy, it does occasionally change though when I have it in my stash for a while.

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  23. I'm so happy to see this project - I've just bought a very similar vintage pattern (I will be posting about later in the week) and couldn't remember on whose blog I'd seen the original wrap blouse that sprung to mind when I picked up the pattern - and it was you! :)

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    1. Haha! I've seen the pattern on your blog and it's LOVELY! You should definitely give it a go Kerry. x

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  24. Oooo, it looks gorgeous Jane! loving the colour! Talking of which, I eventually found some grey cotton denim, in my mum's local fabric shop - it was £2.20 pm so I bought the bolt! (let me know if you want some!)

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  25. I love your blouse. I really love vintage wrap blouse patterns.

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  26. Oh wow!! It looks so great on you (also, thinking you must be tiny!). :) The kimono wrap love keeps spreading. hehe.

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    1. Thanks for the idea. I'm not tiny, that stretchy wool is very flattering! x

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  27. Oh this is gorgeous I love it! It suits you down to the ground!

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  28. (To echo what others have already said ...) it looks beautiful, and totally suits you!

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  29. You've made a beautiful top here - your smile says it all :-) interesting how different fabrics play out.

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  30. Perfect fabric great pattern and such a flattering look. I have a compulsive urge to check out fabric remnants in charity shops whenever I pass them. They do get used eventually but unless a stash piece suits what Im doing completly, I feel like I'm compromising the project. I take more care with and pride in a project if I've selected the appropriate fabric. Not only because it costs more! ;-)

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    1. Yes, I can't resist charity shop fabric either. Sometimes it works, sometimes I feel like I'm just using it for the sake of it and it's not what I'd have chosen at all! x

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  31. It's a winner clearly Jane! Love everything about it. Looks perfect with your trousers and I get a real snuggly feeling about it!! Cute and cosy :-)

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  32. Blue grey is a great colour for you. Love wrap tops and your vintage pattern is a really sophisticated style.

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  33. What a stylish outfit! Love it!

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  34. Love the kimono tops. In your next version, you might consider lowering the darts, as they appear a tad too high. Otherwise, the top looks great with the sailor pants.

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  35. Love your Kimono Wrap! Just as much as I loved your first one :). It's such a great style

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    1. Oh I remember you liked the first one! Thanks so much Stephanie. x

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  36. Your top looks awesome on you! It's a great color that seems like it will go with a lot, too.

    I usually match a fabric to a project when I buy fabric, but sometimes it's general like "I would like this to be a dress". Of course sometimes none of that ever happens. :)

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  37. It looks great, especially with the styling of the rest of the outfit and it looks very, very comfy. Bethx

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  38. This top looks gorgeous! Love it with those fabulous trousers and the glorious splash of red! x

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  39. The cut and style of this ensemble really suits you.

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