Please welcome our newest reviewer, Sierra! Sierra is a twenty something living in New England. She is a veterinarian by day and avid sewist by night. Sewing has allowed her the freedom to create custom pieces for her body and try new silhouettes. You can see more of her makes on her blog. Thanks for sharing your Suki Kimono, Sierra!
The holidays can be a very exciting time of the year filled with family, food, and fun. One of my favorite traditions is opening gifts on Christmas morning. I get so tickled when I see someone light up as they open something I’ve curated just for them. This year I decided that I wanted to make something I could wear on Christmas morning that made me feel glamorous. That’s where the Suki Kimono by Helen’s Closet came in. I had previously made a beach cover up from the pattern and wanted to try my hand at a version similar to the fancy dressing gowns I’d seen bridesmaids wear.
SIZE RANGE (WITH MEASUREMENTS)
This pattern fits a 31 to 48 inch bust, 24 to 40 inch waist, and 33 to 50 inch hips. I made the XXL based off my measurements (full bust 53.5 in, waist 43.5 in, hips 54 in).
WHAT SIZE DID YOU MAKE?
I am 5 ft 8 in and currently wear a 42HH. The beach cover up version I made was designed to be worn open, without the waist tie. While I love it and will continue to wear it, the side seams sat back a little further than what I’m used to. I wanted this one to comfortably close and provide a decent amount of coverage. I added 1 inch to the center of the back pattern piece, which was cut on the fold. This resulted in a total of 2 inches added. I also added 2 inches to the front band to accommodate this change. These were pretty easy adjustments to make, and allowed the side seams to line up where I wanted them to.
WHAT FABRIC DID YOU USE?
I used a sandwashed rayon challis in a rose color that I picked up this summer with full intentions of making a chic kimono to wear with jeans and a t shirt. The color variations are hard to photograph but make for a wonderfully unique garment.
WHAT WAS THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS LIKE? DID THE INSTRUCTIONS MAKE SENSE TO YOU?
The instructions were great and I liked that the pattern designer offered different options during the construction process. There were steps written for exposed and fully enclosed seams for both the sleeve bands and front band. I also appreciated the suggestions listed for customization of the pattern.
I got a little confused during the steps to attach the front band and consulted the sewalong on the website. I’m a very visual person and am not always able to work from an illustration. My execution wasn’t perfect, but I know how to do that step better next time.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THE PATTERN’S FIT? DO YOU THINK THE DESIGN WORKS WELL FOR YOUR PARTICULAR BODY SHAPE?
I really like how the finished garment feels and fits. I have the option to wear it alone or over some cute pajamas. I’m glad I didn’t skip the pockets because they are big enough to fit my phone.
WILL YOU MAKE THE PATTERN AGAIN? IF SO, WHAT FIT OR DESIGN CHANGES WILL YOU MAKE?
I will definitely make this pattern again with the added room in the back pattern piece. I might adjust the placement of the inner ties and add a little to the front pattern pieces as well. I really like this silhouette and would love to try the longer length view next time.
If you would like to wear the Suki closed, be mindful of the bust measurements and your desired level of coverage.
Size Range: 4
I am just outside of the size range but was able to make the garment work due to the design. Helen recently put out a curvy sewing survey to get feedback from the community as she expands her size range. I can appreciate her doing that and looking for input from the people that will affect.
The instructions were clear to me, even during the tricky parts. The sewalong helped me and that influenced my instructions rating.
Construction Process: 4
The construction process went smoothly but enclosing the seams on the sleeve bands gave me a run for my money. It might be because I don’t typically enclose my seams or that my fabric was a little slippery.
Final Fit: 5
I really like how the Suki Kimono fits my body and the final garment drapes beautifully. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough chest coverage but I like how it turned out.
Overall Rating: 4.5
I really liked making this pattern and I think it could be customized for a variety of looks. Its comfortable enough for me to wear while I’m getting ready in the morning and chic enough to wear over a tank and shorts in the summer. I think playing with different types of fabric could give you a completely different look. I always appreciate clear instructions and ideas for hacking the pattern.