Kimono-inspired Cardigan

Dear Niki,

I had so many good intentions when I wrote to you last. Unfortunately, I have been (badly) dealing with the end of a relationship, among other saddening things, that put me in a bit of a hole for a while. I am trying to get myself out and I’m seeing some progress, hence I have, for you, this DIY project! Incidentally, the result of this put a damper on my day lol.

Have you noticed all the pretty kimono-inspired cardigans around? They are everywhere! And, of course, since they are on-trend at the moment, they are not too cheap. I am a big fan of cardigans – they keep me from being too chilly, add a touch of sophistication to what would otherwise be a t-shirt/tank top and jeans or leggings…they are great! So I took to Pinterest to find a tutorial on how to make my own, and here is the result.

There are a lot of tutorials on this. It is almost overwhelming. The tutorials range from super simple (cut a t-shirt, tie a scarf, stitch up the sides of a rectangular piece of cloth) to…a bit more involved (download and print a pattern, divide measurements and add 3″). As with most things, I chose moderation and intended to make a minor change that I thought would make things a bit easier when sewing.

So here is the fabric I got for $20/yard. It is kinda busy (and tough on the eyes) when you look at the photo, but irl it is quite pretty. I also got some pom pom trim *grin*. Aren’t they cute?

Cheap, Easy DIY Kimono-inspired Cardigan

Generally, I am not a fan of pom poms and I am still unsure how or why they are making a comeback. Anyway, in an attempt to be “on-trend” with all the cool kids, and also to add some detail to give my homemade project a more finished look, I got 2 yards of trim at $6/yard.

The tutorial I followed can be found here. My adjustment: I planned to attach the sleeves before sewing up the side seams. By doing this, you don’t have to worry about stopping the side seam to leave a space for the sleeve. The attached sleeve will let you know where to stop/start your side seam. I like minimising the chance for error (and making life simpler).

Having said that, I made the most idiotic error while doing this project. Working on the floor, I happily and successfully cut the back and the two pieces for the front. I put the front pieces on a chair and went back to the floor to cut the sleeves. I realised that I didn’t have enough material to make two sleeves that would have the pattern at the ends. I was disappointed until I looked to my right and saw another piece of cloth that could give me my second sleeve! So I went to town, measuring and cutting, only to realise (post cutting) that I had just cut the piece of cloth meant to form the back of the kimono…

The store no longer has this print for me to get an extra yard and try again, so I have no kimono…just two sleeves, two front panels and two yards of pom pom trim.

Moral of the story, move your already cut fabric away or clearly label each piece before and after cutting.

Alas, no final product photo for you this time. Hope your projects are more successful!

Á bientôt!

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