This week, we’re featuring two new kimono patterns! Both feature 3/4-length sleeves, a collar band, and generous patch pockets. The sleeves are set off the shoulder, but are not traditional kimono sleeves (i.e., part of the bodice piece). The Jalie kimono is knee-length, while the Wiksten can be short, mid- or knee-length. Read on for our take on each:
The Jalie Melanie Kimono
The Jalie Melanie kimono is unlined, with a sash. Made up in a lightweight rayon or voile, it has the look and feel of a dressing robe. It’d be great for lounging around the house on a summer morning, or beside the pool at your next tropical vacation! (A girl can dream, right?) The version we made, in this gorgeous Picasso Poplin Print Rayon in Mustard, may not be something you’d want to wear out in public. But made in a different fabric, say a cozy knit or sophisticated wool, it could easily be an outer layer over a dress, leggings, or jeans. While the pattern is designed as a knee-length robe, it can easily be shortened to your taste, especially if it’s meant to be worn more as a cardigan or jacket. The side belt loops help keep the sash in place. They could be omitted or resized if your plan is for outerwear and you’d like to belt it with your own accessory.
The Wiksten Kimono/Haori
The Wiksten kimono is a fully lined and reversible garment. We love having options! The fold-over collar extends from the traditional neckline down the full length of the center front. This unique design is in contrast to the Jalie’s flatter, mid-front crossover collar. The Wiksten is not technically a kimono, and in fact the company just announced a name change: the pattern will now be called the Wiksten Haori, to better reflect the style. (Traditionally the haori is worn over a kimono as a jacket). It is very generously sized, resulting in a cool, slouchy, easy-to-wear coat. Even in a lightweight fabric, the full cut could detract from your figure, so we recommend erring on the side of smaller. Bonnie made hers in a size Small with the length in between short and mid. (The short seemed just a little too short for her liking).
She used two different rayons: another Picasso Poplin Print, this time in Navy, and for the lining our Cotton + Steel Bandana Print Rayon in Wine. She didn’t alter the fit at all (besides length), but she did opt to split the sleeve lining between the two fabrics so that when they are rolled up you see the main fabric.
Two Kimonos, Many Possibilities!
Both kimono patterns have the classic square sleeves, a collar band, and a loose fit. Their distinctions, however, can help inform which is best for your skill level and desired finished look. The more traditional kimono (Jalie’s Melanie) is a good beginner project which results in a gorgeous finished piece. If you’ve not ventured into drapey fabrics, this is a great way to get your feet wet. The Jalie pattern is probably the best bet if you want something lovely to lounge in.
For a more versatile option, the Wiksten may be a better choice for you. Between the jacket’s reversibility, cleaner lines, and a fold-over collar, this garment is an easy choice when grabbing a jacket on your way out the door. If you’d like a bit of loungewear and an outerwear item, this pattern easily lends itself to both. Simply change up the fabric choice and the length for very different finished looks. The Wiksten is slightly more difficult to work up, though it is still within the beginner/intermediate skill-level range. Whichever you choose, you’ll find clear instructions and a relaxed finished garment you may never want to take off!