Keeping it Simple with Kimono Sleeves: Two Finished Tops

How simple can a garment sewing project get? How few pattern pieces? This top has only 2 pattern pieces - the front and back, with the neckline finished with bias tape. So simple! And perfect for getting back into the saddle of garment sewing, after not making anything for myself in over 4 months.

Today I've got two, TWO new tops to show you made from this fab pattern. Here's the rundown:

Pattern
New Look 6217 - a kimono sleeved top. A real belter, this one - it includes a pattern for a top, skirt, kimono jacket AND trousers! I saw it when it was free with a sewing magazine months ago but was too late to buy the issue so I picked it up on eBay instead. Handmade Jane has also discovered this pattern recently too. Maybe we can spearhead a comeback for this gem! I've since seen it popping up on other Instagram feeds and blogs so I reckon it's a bit of a sleeper hit.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was really simple and I love not having to set in sleeves

Fabric & Notions
For the first - a beautiful arrow print voile (I think) bought in Walthamstow last summer for £1.50 a metre. It is pretty light but wonderfully drapey and I used less than a metre to make this top so still have loads left for other projects (it would make a lovely slip or nightdress). I used a vintage white glass button from my stash - love a chance to use a pretty, lone button.
 I did iron the top but you can see what a poor job I did round the back neck! Still you can see the fabric and nice button.

For the second, some fun mushroom print voile bought from Mandors for £6 or £7 a metre in 2014. As mushroom printed fabrics go, this one is very tasteful and although it's a bit sheer is lovely and drapey too.

Pattern Alterations or Design Changes

I usually add length but this time I just cut a straight size 12 for both. For the mushroom one I cut the back piece on the fold to eliminate the back seam and button fastening because I could get the first over my head without unbuttoning. Win!
I did french seams on both and made my own bias for the mushroom print top.

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
Yes, this is getting filed away as a great tried and tested pattern. I think it would benefit from a small narrow upper chest adjustment next time. This is an adjustment I often need and I think the drapiness of both fabrics makes it less obvious here, but next time I would do one.
Did you use any new techniques?
None (or else I wouldn't have chosen it!)

Would you recommend it to others?
Totally. It would work nicely extended to a dress too.
Conclusion
This was the perfect pattern to gently lift me from a sewing slump. Buy it, sew it, sew more, you won't regret it.

K x

23 comments:

  1. oooh Kerry these are lovely. I saw some linen jersey tshirts which had a v similar shape the other day, and nearly bought them but your instagram post of this reminded me that I do have this pattern and that it's perfect. good to know the back can be cut on the fold too!

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    1. Ah great that you already have it! Love it when that happens :-)

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  2. I like it! Without a dart, though, I worry about getting a good fit on the bust, since I'm usually in the FBA category.

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    1. Hi Sue - it might be challenging to get a good fit. The fit of these relies a lot on using fabric with a good drape.

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  3. Kerry, these are lush and I love the fabrics. Sometime simple is the best when it comes to sewing I reckon, and you're right, it would look fab as a dress.xx

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    1. Thank you, I'm really pleased with how they turned out and see more in my future!

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  4. Fantastic, will add it to my buy list. these look great.

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    1. Cheers Louise, it's such a fab pattern

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  5. These blouses look stylish and comfy. Plus I love kimono sleeves, so easy to work with. Nice Job ;)

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    1. Thank you Akram, I'm really pleased with them

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  6. Very elegant! I've half started something in a similar silhouette :)

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    1. Thanks Donna! It's a great style

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  7. Looks like a great basic, which is always good to have! x

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    1. Definitely, it's one I can see myself returning to again and again

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  8. Looks like a very versatile pattern, and a fab basic. Your two tops look ideal for the summer!

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    1. Cheers Sabs, yes I hope to get a lot of wear out of them this summer

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  9. looks amazing! I'm adding it to my to buy list, saw the version of handmade Jane but jour first version is even better. stylish and easy right perfect for me

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    1. Thank you Nathalie - it's definitely easy to make and such a great classic style

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  10. These look great Kerry, and I remember you buying that arrow fabric! I saw Jane's version of this & thought it looked like a very good value pattern. I like the look of the kimono jacket too!

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    1. Thanks Kathryn! I still have loads of it left, my original plan was pyjamas and I think it would make good summer-weight sleeping wear

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  11. Love your versions, need to see if I have any voile in my stash to make another one :)

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  12. Ooooh, they look fab in voile, must raid my stash and see if I have any :)

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  13. What fabulous tops. That looks like the kind of patten that would be easy to sew and that would go with everything and be very versatile. Lovely. Xx

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