{Tutorial} The Camas Kimono

Once upon a time, I had a dream. It was a sheer, drapey dream - a kimono, more gathered and girly than those of kimonos past.

I sought the wise counsel of the Capsule Wardrobe group, asking about a pattern to hack. Ultimately we agreed that a yoked cardigan would be easiest adapted - and that the Camas Blouse from Thread Theory made an excellent candidate!

It had been a while since I made the Camas (last sewn right after it was released two years ago) but I remembered that the pattern - which already features gathers on both front and back - had a lot of ease and should be easily adapted for wovens. (Per the pattern's own admission - the only part of the design the necessitates the stretch of a knit fabric is the sleeve. So if you have bigger arms, or you're between sizes, definitely size up the armscye/sleeve cap for comfort!)

As for the fabric? It had to be chiffon. Nothing else would gather this well without adding appreciable bulk at the seams, or look light and flowy despite an extra foot of ease. And as luck would have it - I'd been hoarding a floral-on-black chiffon for just shy of a year now, and recently promised all two yards of it to my spring capsule:

If I could pull this off, i knew it'd be epic! I even grabbed some scrap trims to go full boho on this project. But first? I'd need to do some pattern prep, which, in this case, meant a lot of slash-n-spread:

**Please note that on the sleeves, where it appears I've slashed all the way up to the sleeve cap, I in fact only slashed up to the SEAM ALLOWANCE of the sleeve cap. That ensures that my pattern piece will still fit the armscye as it was drafted.

**Please note that on the sleeves, where it appears I've slashed all the way up to the sleeve cap, I in fact only slashed up to the SEAM ALLOWANCE of the sleeve cap. That ensures that my pattern piece will still fit the armscye as it was drafted.

Camas comes with excess width for gathering as it is, so you won't need to add too much. I'd add three inches of width to both front and back bodice, and "swing "each sleeve fraction out to 3 inch gaps at the hem. I made the mistake of adding more like 6 inches of width to the bodice pieces - and my end product looks more like a cropped graduation gown than the inspiration piece.

Now...I just had the muster the courage to cut the fabric. Sadly, it took sharing this project after it was complete to hear about the awesome "Gelatin your Chiffon" trick - so if you think you'll be using chiffon for yours, I definitely recommend trying this out.

The rest was assembly per usual! Along with a few construction adjustments for my fabric choice - which for chiffon means I used french seams, and bias bound the hem. There are plenty of other "correct" ways to finish chiffon seams, these just happen to be my preference!

I did fully line both front and back yokes, and in place of the pattern's placket piece, I used a narrow bias binding. I think the pattern's original placket is it's own design feature, and with a busy floral print and TWO different style trims, thought it best to eliminate the additional competing design element.

I'm pretty obsessed with the end result! (And those blue hexie tiles in my bathroom floor - but my reno design process is a blog post for another day!) Anytime you hide all the raw seams of a garment, the result is infinitely more professional-looking (...and time consuming - but well worth the investment!).

So here I am, week 2 into Melissa's Self Love Sewing Challenge and already I'm one full outfit into my Spring Capsule Wardrobe! 


Now's where you come in. I have vague ideas (below) for what I want that navy/white stripe (top/left) and blush DBP (bottom row) to become - but now that you see the kimono in action, what style knit shirt/tank do you think will work best? Suggested patterns? I'd love to hear your thoughts (and any kimono-tute questions you may have) in the comments! As always, if you make your own kimono from this tutorial, I'd love to see it! Ttag me on instagram or facebook!

Thanks friends :) It's awfully good to be back and sewing with you all again! XOXO, Becca