Fashion with Fabric Kimono Jacket

From the moment I opened Fashion with Fabric I wanted to make this. It looked beautiful and I didn't have a kimono jacket in my wardrobe yet, but had seen lots of beautiful ones worn by friends (so obviously I had to get one too). In the book it was described as something that would be suitable for beginners, and was based on a 'three hour slouchy cardigan' looked entirely doable for me. As it turns out it was doable, but not in a short space of time (because of my inexperience with the fabric really).


I used a viscose fabric from the Remnant Kings that I got for £4.99 a metre. I loved the bright tropical print and thought it would be perfect for hot sunny days and evenings. I hadn't worked with viscose before but seeing as it was listed in the book, and it was still under 'beginner' I reckoned it would be alright. And actually it mainly was. It pressed neat folds when I needed it to and I didn't have any problems with it going through the machine. It was definitely more difficult to cut than the cotton I had worked with before and I ended up using pattern weights and a rotary cutter.

I did have an issue with thread tension...I'm not sure if I accidentally changed the setting, or if it needed changing. Either way I had to unpick and restitch the whole front and back as it was stitched with very loopy threads. I didn't even notice until the next day *weeps*.

I had bought a lot of this fabric, so much so that I had enough left over to make a no pattern maxi dress out of the rest (which was much easier to sew in the end). This dress receives lots of compliments when I'm out, and I think it's due to the bright fabric.

Fashion with Fabric Kimono Jacket

Pattern and Instructions

The pattern comes on one of five multi pattern sheets that accompany the book. These patterns are on paper and need to be traced off. They are all printed in different colours and clearly labelled, though I did manage to miss one first time round. Luckily there are only 6 pattern pieces to think about, and there is a layplan in the book to help.

Fashion with Fabric Kimono Jacket pattern

The instructions are set out clearly in the book, with a fair amount of explanation compared to commercial patterns. Where things are a little more complicated to explain there are some diagrams included to help. I have to say that I did not manage to understand how to attach the neckband properly, with the result being it was attached, unpicked and reattached. This was also the first time I had come across understitching. There was a short sentence explaining this in the first section of the book, but I still wasn't sure what to do, and spent a while being confused. In the end I took a chance and it turned out right, though it would have been nice to have had another diagram or photo here to help make it clearer (especially if this is a book for beginners, which is implied by the first section which is basically 'how to sew').

I didn't make any alterations to the pattern, but I did slice through the jacket as I was trimming seam allowances. *weeping again* I fixed the slashes by ironing on a scrap of interfacing to the back of the fabric. Fortunately the fabric is very busy so it blends in. If it was plain it would have been a disaster.


The finished project looks pretty much like I expected and hoped it would. I wore it on holiday last year and I have to say it was very comfortable. However, I feel like it's too big and billowy on me (mainly I think because I'm used to more tailored and close fitting items). I made mine in a size XS, and usually take a UK size 10. When coupled with the fact that the fabric does crease a fair amount I have to say that it doesn't get much wear. 

I would say that this pattern is fine for beginners, but does take time to figure out construction. I made a second one as a gift, and it took a lot less time as I knew what I was doing.

Fashion with Fabric Kimono Jacket


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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