Friday, November 13, 2015

Pattern Testing: Fishtail Kimono by Chalk and Notch

You know how sometimes you are going merrily along, nibbling on that chocolate you have hidden in your sewing shelf (*ahem*) while thumbing through pattern books and sites, wondering what to make next, and then something pops up that totally catches your eye?




Well, it happened to me while browsing my IG feed. I saw this. And this. Amazing, right? And so I started stalking following Gabriela of Chalk and Notch, hoping to see more fabulous clothes. Needless to say, she did not disappoint.

So of course when she posted the tester call for her first pattern, I pounced on it right away. I had seen kimono patterns before, but none caught my eye the way this one did. They're all really lovely, of course. But this was different. It was the back detail. Love those gathers.

That said, I also love the front. It's like a Japanese "happi", which is worn during festivals, so for me it has a celebratory association. And while looking that up, I learned that happi are often worn with a matching headband. Go figure. Might have to work on that one, ha ha.

For my tester version, pictured above and immediately below, I wanted to choose some cheerful colors, so I went with a Lisette knit that my good friend brought back for me after a trip to Oz (thank you, Beth).


The instructions are impeccable, and the pictures (I confess, I am totally a photo instruction kinda gal) are perfect, too. Very beginner friendly. I know I rave about the patterns I've tested, but I really do love the ones I have talked about on this blog. I believe I have been honest about any difficulties I have had or adjustments I have made.

The Fishtail Kimono comes in a large size range (XXS to XXL) and can be made in either woven or knit. I made several in knits and also made one in a lightweight woven, which I believe was very similar to a cotton lawn. I made the size XS for my daughters, and as you can see below, it is a little big on my 2-yo but fits my 4-yo quite well.


The one on the left is in a lightweight jersey knit and the one on the right is in the woven. I got them both for a bargain price at a shop in Fabric Town in Nippori here in Tokyo. I made the button with a loop for the white one and did my own thing by adding ties to the blue one.



The ties might be my favorite, as it is closest in style to the Japanese happi. It's very easy to add your own. I just put them where the button and loop were supposed to go, and voila. The draping isn't so great in the voile, but I think this kimono would look lovely in a rayon challis, though I am not brave enough yet to attempt it. Maybe someday...

Now I will leave you with this latest one, which is possibly my favoritest (yes, that's a word -- sorta) of them all:


I made this version with some beautiful knit from Nosh fabrics. Isn't it amazing? As far as I can see, it's not available anymore, but check out their other star prints here. My daughter didn't want to take it off.



I hope I have convinced you that this is a pattern you need. It's great as a cover up in the warm spring/summer months, and nice as a cardigan in a thicker knit for the autumn/winter. I've got another one in the works as I type!

If you want to see some other lovely versions by some of the other fabulous testers, check out this excellent review by Melissa of Rebel & Malice here. She goes into all the details you want to know -- and then some!!

And Candice has made a pretty Disney-inspired version here. I know if my daughters see it, they will want one for themselves!

Andreia has (as always) made an amazing one for her daughter here. Isn't her daughter not the sweetest girl ever?

And Indu made not just one, but two!! super cute ones for her daughter. Have a look!

Finally, check out Cindy's version here!! I love seeing it on an older girl. Really makes me want to make one for myself, ha ha.

You can get the pattern on the Chalk and Notch website here. (Did you see that teaser she has up? I cannot wait to see what is "coming soon"!!!) Definitely go visit the site because it looks fabulous!

Thanks for visiting :)

12 comments:

  1. Favouritest is totally a word. That version was my favouritest too :) And OMG I thought I was the only one stashing chocolate with my sewing stuff haha

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    1. Ha ha ha thanks, Jenya! I'm so glad you stash chocolate, too. And thank you for the reassurance about the word -- even though we spell it differently, LOL.

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  2. Those pictures taken in the woods are just gorgeous!!! and yes the star knit kimono is my favorite too :) loving the contrast knit bands on your kimonos.

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    1. Thank you, Indu. I really loved the versions you made for your daughter, too. I'm thinking something with an animal print would be nice for my little one :)

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  3. Can't thank you enough for all of your great insight during testing! You are such a great supporter of pdf designers and such a pleasure to work with!! XO

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    1. It was such a pleasure to test for your Gabriela! I am a HUGE fan of pdf patterns, particularly being over here in Japan. ;) Your pattern is absolutely beautiful and I am already looking forward to your next one!!

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  4. I love them all but yeah that last one is my favoritest (😁) too! And I was so close to putting tie bands on my version but then I didn't have something that really worked but I'm waiting for some grosgrain ribbons....so maybe the next one :-)

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    1. Aw thank you, Mie!!! Your approval means so much to me -- seriously!! <3 <3 <3 I cannot wait to see your next few versions. That one with the neon is fab-u-lous!!!

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  5. I love them all but the one with the stars is amazing! Your kids are so lucky, they have the cuttest clothes ❤️😘

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    1. Thank you so much, Patricia! I could say the same about yours!!! <3

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  6. I really like that kimono. I wonder if my daughter would want one, because I would like to try making one.

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    1. Mieke, you definitely should! This is a really great pattern, and I am sure you will make a lovely one. My daughter loves hers, especially with the closures. Once you make one, please post it because I'd love to see it!

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