All posts by Angela Lan

About Angela Lan

I make clothes and do that blog thing. Writes a 124 paged manuscript no one knows about. Proud supporter of messy hair and sweatpants. x


DIY Kimono Cardigan

DIY Kimono Cardigan

 

Kimonos are THE piece to wear during the hot days. They’re perfect for the summer, being light and flowy while chic all at the same time. Pair them with skinnies or a crop top and denim shorts and you’ve got a super cute yet comfy outfit. And guess what? You can easily DIY them so I’m going to teach you how you can make your own! It’s super simple and easy so you can make it in a lazy afternoon. Plus, the cardigan will look totally store bought! So let’s hop right in to the tutorial.

UPDATE as of 8/28/15: view the updated/revised version of the tutorial HERE.

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DIY Kimono Cardi supplies

You will need:

-1 to 1.5 yards (depends on your size) of light, flowy fabric; silk works the best but can be pricey so for the purple flowery cardigan, I used a crepe de chine from Girl Charlee which is really pretty and only $6.50 for a yard.
The exact fabric I used is no longer available, but they still have a beautiful selection of woven fabrics at great prices.

The mint green and black chevron one was made from a chiffon I scored at the LA Fashion district for only a dollar! A DOLLAR for a kimono cardigan compared to a $30 store bought one!!! You can’t beat that price!

-needle/thread or sewing machine

-the obvious scissors, measuring tape, ruler, pen, paper, pins, etc

 

Cutting Tip: Cutting silky or lightweight fabrics can be tricky since they’ll slide around and shift alot. So what I suggest is to work in a open space like the floor and cut neat, precise, and careful cuts. Also, I would first make the pattern pieces by drawing out the dimensions below on paper, cutting the pieces out from paper, and then laying the paper pieces onto the fabric to trace and cut, like a stencil. That way you’ll avoid any mistakes.

 

Also, I apologize for the inconsistency in the photos/graphics. I made this on the fly and decided part way through making the kimonos to turn this into a DIY post. I know the graphics are also kinda messy so I’ll try to keep it together next time!

 

DIY Kimono Cardi Steps 1 & 2

 

1. Cut the pieces as followed:

Front: 2 pieces- 9″ wide x 26″ long

Back: 1 piece- 25″ wide x 32″ long

Sleeves: 2 pieces- 20″ wide x 10″ long

These measurements are approx. and should work for a size XS-S. If you are smaller or larger, adjust the width accordingly by a couple of inches on the sides; smaller-subtract an inch or two, larger-add a couple of inches. If you want a longer or shorter cardigan, lengthen or shorten as desired. I’m 5’3″ and a size XS so these are the measurements I use. If you want the exact formula using your own measurements to get the perfect cardigan, use the graphic above.

 

2. Moving on, cut a gentle curve at the top of the back, 1.5″ below the top edge and the same width as your neck (mine is 7″). For the bottom curve, cut starting from the center, curve upwards and end the curve 6″ above where you started and at the edges.

 

DIY Kimono Cardi Step 3

DIY Kimono Cardi Step 3 close up

 

3. Lay the back piece pretty side up and put the two front piece pretty sides DOWN onto the back. The pretty sides of the back should be facing the front. Line up the top right corners and the top left so they’re perfect 90 degree angles. Sew the shoulder seams as pictured below. Then sew the side seams, stopping half of the sleeve width from the shoulder (the width of my sleeve is 20″, so 20 ÷ 2 is 10 meaning I have to stop 10″ from the shoulder seam).

DIY Kimono Cardi step 4

 

4. Sew the sleeve by folding it in half hamburger style, with the pretty sides together (on the inside) and sewing the short edge. Turn right side out and repeat for the other sleeve.

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5. Slide the sleeve into the body portion. The body portion should be inside out and the sleeve right side out. Just slide it right in the section you left open. Pin all the way around and sew. Repeat on the other side. Wasn’t quite sure how to demonstrate this so hope the collage helps!

 

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6. Hem all the remaining edges: the bottom, the center front, the neckline and the sleeve hems. Hem by folding up 1/4″ and then folding up 1/4″ AGAIN. Stitch all the way around. This way, you’ll conceal the raw edges for a professional finish that looks like it was really done by a pro!

(here and here)

 

Design Tip: Add a fringe to the bottom hem to spice it up maybe? You can easily purchase all kinds of trims at the fabric store to stitch to the bottom to suit your taste. Or perhaps make the cardigan in a chunky sweater knit for a cozy knit cardigan to wear during those colder days. Or maybe you want a longer, almost floor length kimono for that super fashionable look. The possibilities are endless!

 

And you’re finished! Trust me, it’ll take a lot less time once you know what you’re doing. If any portion of the tutorial was unclear or you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me! I will try to respond to you as quick as possible! Also, please let me know if this tutorial was helpful and what other items you would like me to do in future DIYs!

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Until next time (which is hopefully tomorrow or the day after!),

Signarture

 

 

Make It and Love It

Completed: Coral Ikat Bustier Dress

 

First of all, I give up on my blogging schedule. We’re not getting along very well and so I’ll forget it. Which means to you my reader, you’ll get surprise posts. Like maybe 3 days in a row and then none for a week. Sorry. But still, I’ll try to blog consistently. And often. Moving on to the main post of the day……..

 

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You ever see a dress and you think “I NEED that!”? Yeah, I saw about a thousand of them, all the same style but all not in the exact print that matched me or my style. While I could have bought it to save time and money, I really really love the one I made. And besides, if I bought it, I can’t prance around saying “I made this!”, amrite? ;)

Oh yeah if you’re wondering, this isn’t sponsored by H&M and I’m not modeling for them (I WISH). It just happens that the store is part of the back ground…..

 

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The concept of the dress is pretty simple, just a sweetheart neckline with an attached skirt and a strip of fabric for the waistband. There are an endless amount of these dresses out there but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have found one that actually fit me cause I’m just so small busted. And so I made one. I also self drafted the pattern, which was a pain in the bum. I had to draft a basic bodice block just for it, and all the pattern instructions out there didn’t work for me cause well, I’m still going though adolescence so my measurements aren’t the standard “adult” size, ya know. And I do have a chest, unlike 6 year olds who are flat chested so I couldn’t exactly go with pattern drafting instructions for kids either. Last resort? I “winged” it. Could have been better but not too shabby I suppose.

 

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I made three muslins in order to get the correct fit. And then 3 finals. Why? Cause there’s an outer fabric, an interlining, and then a lining. So you could say I made 6 versions of the bodice. What I really do like about my version is that the back has super cute bows. It’s not something most dresses have. I originally planned to have a halter band/facing thing on the bodice but what a disaster as it just made me look really square at the shoulders and I couldn’t get the edges sharp or crisp enough to my liking. I ended up using self-made bias tape to finish off the edges which turned out quite nice although unexpected. The straps aren’t actually stitched, they’re just single fold bias tape with ribbon fused on the back with Seam-a-seam. This makes the straps a lot softer and bulkier. Plus, I wouldn’t have to worry about my stitching being wonky.

 

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If you’re wondering why the bodice looks so contoured at the center front, it’s because there’s a center front seam. Surprise! The seam’s actually curved, because I pinched out a dart and did pattern rotation so there isn’t an actual dart, but the fullness is pinched out. I tried matching the print to the best of my ability and it paid off. There are also removable bra cups in there, since I can’t wear a bra with this thing (there’s the bow back).

 

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I didn’t attach the lining  to the skirt and waistband the correct way cause I was pretty annoyed already by the time I had to do the zipper. Hence the serged seams and almost invisible zip on the side. As I said before, each part of the dress has 3 layers of fabric. The outer fabric is a really pretty orange lawn from Mood which was kinda sheer. The color is actually orange, but I like to call it coral since it just sounds a lot better. Typical me. :) The interlining was just a cheap white lawn and the lining just a cheap polyester lining fabric, all from Jo-ann.

 

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OMG VINTAGE PHOTO AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! <3

 

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I made a half circle skirt and didn’t go with a full circle skirt cause I though it would be too bulky with 3 layers. The skirt kinda stretched out when I was going to attach it to the waistband, which made me do a center pleat on the skirt which I actually quite like.

 

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These pictures were taken on Wednesday at Santana Row, which surprisingly it a really great place to take photos. There are so many settings and different moods so I kinda got a mini photo shoot. I was suppose to take photos of 4 outfits but I was so tense and unnatural in the first half hour which wasted a ton of time. Therefore, we only took 2 outfits which is fine with me cause I can always go back and take more. And did I mention I got pomegranate fro-yo? My mom’s friend said that I was the most natural when I was eating. LOL!

 

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I should probably stop ranbaling now. I’ll post the photos of the other dress next week.

Love ya guys,

Signarture

 

UPDATE:

I’m joining a few link parties! Woo hoo!

 

Make It and Love It

 

Creating Really Awesome Free Things
 

Skip To My Lou


Brewers Craft Interview and Maturity Problem

*Edit as of January 2015. LOL How my writing style has changed. I’m a lot more sarcastic and less naive now. I laughed really hard when I read what I wrote below, so just skim over it for your personal entertainment and don’t be afraid to laugh at me too. ;)

 

YAY! My first interview. Haha. It’s nothing big but hey, it’s an interview alright! April and Jenna from the Brewers company were kind enough to talk to me over the phone and write about me on their blog. I’d have to thank them both along with Eddie from Eddie’s Quilting Bee for making this happen. You can check out the post here.

However, I do wish they had put the pictures of any other dress that I made. The current one on the blog looks hideous. And I just noticed that the bodice looks like Micky Mouse ears. LOL

By the way, those photos look NOTHING like me. Fun fact: when I was still overseas taking design courses in Feb, I’ve been mistaken for being 16 and a college student. Do I really look that old?! Maybe cause I changed a bit since December. Or a lot I should say. I even got fined by the high-speed-rail inspector because she thought I was a college student trying to pass for a kid on a kid’s ticket. I tried explaining to her that I was only 12 but she didn’t believe me. I nearly was in tears at that point and was so mad but I don’t blame her. What kind of twelve year old is independent enough that buys her own rail tickets (expensive!) and takes the rail from Taipei all the way down to southern Taiwan? Alone? By herself? And I told her that was from America and didn’t have much money with me. I was even writing English in my notebook! Ugh. I guess the fact that I speak fluent Chinese doesn’t help. Partially cause the way I dress is considered “college-student-y” over there too. Kids my age are suppose to be wearing much simpler clothes. Sigh. Maturity can be so complicated at times.

Signarture