Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Colour Blocked Kimono Tee

The real reason that I made the blue kimono tee is to test the pattern out as a candidate pattern for this shirt.

This shirt all started when I was preparing to cut out my pink merino plantain. I laid out the pattern pieces and saw just how much left over fabric there would be if I just cut the one shirt out of the fabric. I tried seeing if I could get a shirt and a singlet out of the fabric, but failing piecing one of the pieces of the singlet it wouldn't fit. I had thought of adding a horizontal seam across the back of the singlet to make the pieces fit, and asked other's opinion on instagram, at which point the suggestion of colour blocking came up.

I did some searching, and with some moral support from Jen I decided to have a go at making a shirt like this one I found on a google image search:

I selected some grey merino jersey from my stash that didn't have any immediate plans as the other colour for the colour blocking.

I considered a few patterns for this, but settled on the kimono tee as the most promising prospect, but decided to first make a wearable muslin.

As mentioned in this post I extended the sleeves to just above the elbow, to similar to the inspiration pic. Following the wearable muslin I also took a wedge out of the centre front and centre back, about 1" wide at the top tapering to nothing at the hem. I also adjusted the angle of the hem on the sleeves slightly.

Then I altered my base pattern to cater for the colour blocking, splitting the front and back pattern pieces in two, by drawing a line starting about 1.5" to the edge of the neckline on the shoulder seam and ending at the centre front at the hem. I then added the seam allowance to these new pieces.

If I were to do this again I would start closer to the neckline and make the seamline continue across past the centre front.

This time around I finished the neckline with a narrow strip of the grey merino and it's a much nicer finish than the clear elastic I used on the blue one. (I used the 85% rule for the length of the strip)

Overall, it's not as similar to the inspiration pic as it could have been, I probably could have added more ease through the bust. However, it's very comfy to wear as pictured here with jeans, and also works tucked into a skirt, so overall I'm pretty happy with this experiment.

Pattern: Modified Maria Denmark Kimono Tee
Fabric: Merino Jersey from the Fabric Store
Notions: Thread


  1. This is a great experiment for leftover pieces! Those colours are really great together.

    I'd have made a wider neckline, and like you mentioned maybe a bit of easy to make it floppy (a nice look with the kimono sleeve) but it's very sweet right now!

  2. What a cool top! Such a smart idea for using up leftover fabric. I love the pink and grey together.

  3. Huh, that is really cool :)
    How hard is it to do? ie, would it be a reasonable amateur sewer project?

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