So far, this year I have had the birthdays of two great friends to plan for. I decided, partly to drive the improvement of my sewing skills and partly to give them a birthday present that they (hopefully) feel is a little bit special, to make them each a Sew Over It kimono jacket. 

Fabrics weren’t a hard choice – they are both Architects, and true to the old saying ‘architects wear black’ they both actually do wear a lot of black. When I began my fabric search I started with this is mind – find a colour that is black, grey or one that really pops against black. Atelier Brunette had just the ticket – these lovely cambric cottons in some warm greys!

I was thrilled when they arrived, the colours were spot on and the handle of the fabric was just lovely – perfect for a lightweight summer kimono!

Since I’ve already made three of these before I didn’t find the pattern challenging, so I focused on sewing them with French seams (that I remembered to sew all in the same direction) and remembering to set my stitch length longer for the top stitching – both things I usually forget to do!  

In fact, I only recently discovered that top stitching is a proper thing. And boy does it make a difference! I am sure there are many technical tutorials out there that can tell you the ins and outs of it – the right presser foot / stitch length / thread tension etc – if I ever venture to make jeans I will be sure to read everything there is about top stitching, but for this I felt it was just a matter of personal taste. I used some of the scrap fabric to try out a few settings for the top stitching and just picked the one I thought looked best! 

I even used some of the personalised labels I had made, which I think look great and give the garments a more sophisticated edge. And a little bit of self-promotion never hurts! 

Anyway, I love how the kimono jackets turned out. What do you think?