I like kimono cover-ups. Not the traditional Japanese clothing, but the festival fashion spawned summer cardigan thing. They are super comfortable.
I’m not one for runway trends and season must-haves. I make a lot of my more interesting clothes so my wardrobe is definitely not going to have many super polished, professionally made stuff. But kimonos are legit cool. And 1970s inspired laid-back chic is very appropriate for Australian summer. And apparently bang on trend.
They are also shockingly simple to make. Two simple folds, three major cuts, seam, hem, press, and embellish. Done. Half an hour.
The first kimono I made only has fringe embellishing on the sleeves because I didn’t buy enough. But this fabric is a beautiful corded chiffon with an amazing black and white tropical fern print so yeah.
The scariest part was opening up the front, but once that was done, everything else was easy. This is also some fairly neat sewing on my part. The seams and hems are very tidy and well pressed. They are still laying flat over a year on from making, and nothing is coming apart.
There’s something about floaty sleeves and tropical prints that is uplifting.
I cannot remember which of these came next but this one is a long kimono – it goes down nearly to my knees if you count the fringe. It also has fully fringed edges, meaning both sleeves and bottom hem. Another light chiffon fabric, the print is what caught my eye. The colours and starbursts are exciting and the contrast fringe really pulls it all together.
This one is my second favourite, though I really shouldn’t love one piece more than another. This is a shorter kimono in a beautiful ocean blue silk chiffon. The tropical print once again makes me happy, and the odd, stiffer fringe
is an interesting detail. I seem to pick some weird colours when I really want a contrast. But this works well, and the silk chiffon is cool to wear in the summer heat. Warning: crushes easily. See pic.
This last one is more recent. Made at the end of last year, it is free of embellishments, allowing the gorgeous print to stand out. Another chiffon, this kimono is butterfly sleeved, which gives it that beautiful drape when it sits. The colours too are incredible, and the ‘jungle roar’ style print makes me happy.
So yeah, kimonos. Heaps cool, heaps comfy, and heaps easy to make. Make heaps. Stay cool.
Photos by Karen De Lara: instagram.com/k.dela