Fabric off the bolt in the United States and Europe is so much wider than the fabric that would be used for traditional kimono construction, so I start out by folding my fabric, not in half, but to a width that approximates the width of a tan of kimono fabric. This is usually about 14 inches wide, from the fold to the selvage. If your pattern pieces are wider or narrower, you can fold accordingly so that they will sit on the double-layer with little fabric waste.
|Cats are not vital to the sewing process, but they like to think they are.|
|Pattern piece for body laid out and pinned.|
|We have a cut piece! The scissors are pointing towards the neckline and center-back seam.|
|Overlap piece pinned to fabric. The longest edge is along the edge that was formed when we cut out the body pieces.|
We only have two more pieces we need to cut-- sleeves. For this project, you will want to create your own pattern piece for the sleeves as a traditional kimono sleeve is not the ideal shape or fit for this garment. Fortunately, the pattern is little more than a rectangle. You will want it to be a bit shorter than your regular kimono sleeve, as well as much narrower. My sleeve is 9 3/4" x 14" and this includes a 1/2" seam allowance.
Remember when I folded my fabric to approx 14" prior to laying out my body pieces? The length of my body pieces did not extend that full length and that is where we'll be getting our sleeves. As with the overlap pieces,we're going to fold the fabric back on itself to the length we need for the sleeves.
|The pin is marking where I wish to fold the fabric over on itself to create the fold needed for a full sleeve piece.|
|Sleeve pattern pinned in place against fold of fabric.|
The sleeve could be done in two pieces, but I think this way is much easier. Not only does cutting on the fold mean that you have one less seam to sew, but also means that you do not need more fabric to account for that seam allowance. It maintains a smooth line over the top of the arm and reduces bulk. This is how kimono sleeves are constructed, so there's no reason to not use the same technique here!
With the cutting of the sleeves, we now have all of the pieces we need to begin construction! Please join me again next week when we get to sewing and finishing.