Designer Stitch is a fabulous PDF pattern company from Austrailia and this is the third pattern I have tested for them since discovering them earlier this year.
Ann Grose is the talent behind these patterns. She has over 30 years of experience and also runs The Designer Stitch Fashion and Design School. Ann knew that I would love this design and she was right on the money. The boho style fits right in with the majority of my wardrobe!
It was also an upcycling project for me. This actually used to be a black cotton broomstick skirt that I had from the ’90’s.
I am sorry that I don’t have a before picture, but the process involved throwing it into a pail that had a mixture of bleach and water and then it went into the washing machine. I did it this way because I have a front loading machine.
If you have a top loading, you can just fill the washer with water, add the bleach and let it soak until it is the colour you want. This soaked for quite awhile. Then run it through a wash cycle once or twice to wash out the bleach.
I have been getting rid of the blacks in my wardrobe over the last couple of years, choosing instead to have some warmer, richer colours. Determining colour palettes and fabrics types have helped my sewing advance to a whole new level. I guess I really should do a post or two about my process of developing that skill 🙂
Then I cut off the waistband and cut up on one side a seam and basically had a big rectangle in which to cut out my pattern, which makes this a pretty simple upcycling project.
The skirt had this nice border along the hemline, so it seemed logical to utilise this along the hem of the kimono. It did limit me to only being able to make the short version, but the pattern does also includes a hi/lo and a long hemline option.
This design has a beautiful banded neckline and is a really fast project to whip up and if you check out some of the other tester photos, you will see some great examples of kimonos that have the optional fringe added to the sleeves and hem. I think mine would have looked super cute with fringe on the sleeves but I couldn’t find a suitable fringe locally that would suit this fabric. I did pick up enough fabric and matching fringe to make another kimono for myself and one for my daughter so I will get my chance to try out the fringe option soon!
This is the style of garment that I will wear year long. I can wear it in the summer over a tank top with shorts or a skirt. It actually started snowing the day I was doing my pictures(makes a really cool effect, don’t you think!), so I layered it over a turtleneck. It will be something I reach for when I am either the need for something to dress up an outfit or when I am putzing around the house and it is -40 outside and I just need to add a layer to keep the chill off. So this will in effect save us money because I won’t have to turn the heat up. Pretty smart, huh!?!
Here is my summary:
pattern name – Willow Kimono
options – The Willow offers 3 lengths – high/low, mid thigh, or lower calf length.
designer – Designer Stitch
sizes- US sizes 2-22
trim/no trim – trimmed pages that ensure a perfectly alighned pattern
layers – Yes!
pros – very quick advanced beginner project, unique style
cons – none
what was my experience I had with this pattern – I really enjoyed making this pattern. I am looking forward to making more as this is a staple piece that can improve many outfits.
my suggestions for when you sew your own – Use your creativity and think outside the box!
improvements – I wouldn’t change a thing!
conclusion – This is a great addition if you are a capsule wardrobe builder or like minimal wardrobe as this can totally transform the look of your outfits. The boho style is really fun and is perfect for adding that extra layer of warmth at this time of year!
***This review is based on my own observations during testing of this pattern. I did receive the pattern in exchange for testing of this pattern.***
***This post contains affiliate links that allow me to receive compensation which helps cover some of the expense of fabric and time spent writing this review. If you would like to support me in my efforts, I would be most grateful if you would be willing to choose to use the affiliate links. Thank you!!!***