Free Pattern: Colour Block Kimono Shirt

Kimono Shirt
Kimono Shirt

What is it about freezing cold weather that makes me want to sew clothing for spring? I was on a search for free sewing patterns a few weeks ago and I found a great French site Advantages Magazine, which has free patterns under the ‘Couture’ category. I have made a couple of the patterns so far, the first being this pattern for a Kimono blouse. I love the simplicity of the pattern, and I thought that it would translate well into the colour block trend that is popular this year. Speaking of translating, google translate produces a rather amusing translation for the pattern instructions. If you are experienced with patterns, I don’t think that you will have any trouble figuring it out on your own! To download the pattern, scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Telechargez le Patron’. To download the pattern layout click ‘Telechargez le Schema’.

Some pattern notes;  I sewed the smallest pattern size, which is the size ’38’. For comparison, I am a size 6 on top. I took 2 inches off of the width of the sleeves, and blended it into the side seams. The original design has the sleeve going straight across to the bodice, but because I was using linen and not the silk as suggested in the pattern, the sleeves were a little full and they stuck out in an awkward manner. I also left off the contrast sleeve facing and the contrast hem band. Because of this I lengthened the shirt by 1 1/2 inches. I used linen from my stash, but it would also be beautiful made with voile.
This photo shows how I curved the sleeves into the side seams:
If you are looking for a quick and easy sewing project for spring, this is the one!

My Sewing Studio

I have just finished rearranging my current sewing space; a corner of our basement. This space also serves as our t.v room and also the kids playroom. The light is not great, and it is a tad chilly down there, but for the moment, it works.

Sewing Room

I thought that it would be fun to chat a bit about dream sewing studios. In the past I have set up sewing spaces in an unfinished basement, a living room, a hallway and this past summer, in a one bedroom trailer. The space that seems to function best, is one that is smack dab in the middle of the action. I find that a sewing space tucked away in a spare bedroom or basement, does not get used. My ideal would be a room just off of our main floor living area. Like the sunroom room that is currently being claimed by our one year old puppy, Hugo. Ahem. Just sayin’.

Now for the fun. My dream sewing space would contain the following things: an industrial sewing machine (oh the speed, the power!), a regular sewing machine, a serger, an oversize ironing table, a garment steamer, and right in the middle of the room, a giant cutting table. I would love a table that is built to a comfortable height, and covered with a giant self heal board. The price of the boards at craft and sewing stores is very costly, but I have found a cheaper alternative that I think will work; a giant self heal matt from a drafting supply store. That way I could just use pattern weights and a rotary cutter to cut out my patterns.

Storage is also high on my list. I like a mix of vintage furniture pieces (dressers, china cabinets), and good old standbys like the Expedit shelving unit from Ikea.

Some studios of note are Alicia Paulson’s gorgeous, light filled studio, and Anna Maria Horner’s bright, funky studio.

What are some of your dream sewing studio ideas?

Birdie Pants

These pants have been in the works since my failed attempt at participating in The Kids Clothing Week Challenge this past fall. I really have to remind myself not to take on big projects right before moving! The corduroy is leftover from a skirt project of my daughters, and I have been squeezing every last bird out of the Echino fabric (also seen here).

The pockets proved to be a bit fussy. I took them off and repositioned them twice, before getting it right on the third try. Little A loved them and wanted to wear them immediately, hence the fuzzies on her pants that are drawn like a magnet to corduroy. Kids pants are so quick and easy to make. I really must make them more often!
Knee Patches