Kimono DIY in rayon challis | Named Asaka sewing pattern | Closet Case Files //
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Sometimes, you just need to drop whatever you’re doing, like, immediately, and make a big, sweet, tropical bowl of icing for dinner. It’s the sewing equivalent of shaking up an Etch-A-Sketch; it pulls you out of your routine, clears your brain and creates a blank, fresh slate that reminds you how much fun it is to simply make stuff for your own selfish pleasure.

Named Asaka Kimono DIYNamed Asaka Kimono DIY Named Asaka Kimono DIY

The Asaka Kimono is my latest sewing etch-a-sketch. I’ve been working on a lot of boring admin stuff and new pattern development and really needed a little mental break. I was quite taken with the spirit and general vibe of the new Named collection, and basically started panting like a dog in 100 degree heat when I saw this pattern. I was fairly lukewarm on the kimono DIY trend last summer, mostly because when I think “kimono” I think dramatic sleeves, and most of the patterns and tutorials I was seeing were basically just boxy jackets. But Asaka could be the star of a sleeve porno. These sleeves are obscene, and I can’t get enough. To be honest, it’s one of those designs that makes me a little mad I didn’t think of it first.

Named Asaka Kimono DIYNamed Asaka Kimono DIYNamed Asaka Kimono DIY

Thankfully, my buddies over at Globetex emailed me to let me know they had recieved a new shipment of  rayon challis in stock last month. Did I run over there without even finishing the email, perhaps with hair still wet from the shower? I may have, dear readers. Did I buy almost 25 meters of aforementioned challis in 6 colours and patterns because it was only $3 a meter? Perhaps. Did I immediately spot this technicolour Golden Girls wallpaper print and yell out ASAKA KIMONO! to the surprised and confused bystanders in the fabric warehouse? I cannot confirm or deny that fact. What I can confirm is that I stinkin’ love this fabric and the resulting robe. My only regret is not getting a chance to photograph it in the Arizona desert this month, but alas. There were rattlesnakes and curious retirees in golf carts everywhere I looked. The white studio wall will have to suffice.

While I may have referred to this garment as “icing” in the top of my post, I think I’ll actually get a lot of wear out of it this spring and summer. Now that I’ve retired the velvet “winter” bathrobe for the season, I’m in need of something light and breathy to wear around the house after showers, and on those Sundays when putting on real clothes feels like too much commitment. As my Carolyn Pajamas can attest, I’m a big fan of luxurious lounge wear, and what’s more luxe than a drapey, soft kimono with obscene, useless but beautiful sleeves?

Named Asaka Kimono DIY Named Asaka Kimono DIY

This was my first time sewing a Named design but I wasn’t surprised to discover it was only nested in two sizes;  I’ve heard this is the norm with their layouts. I could see this being a problem with a more fitted design if you have to grade between 3 or 4 sizes, but since it’s a loose-fitting shape, it’s probably not as critical. The pieces were also overlapped, which I didn’t mind since I am a tracer and a non-overlapped pattern would have eaten up 50 pages or more. The one thing I did find annoying was seam allowances; while they were included, it was only for 3/8″ rather than the standard 5/8″. Fine if you’re serging your seams, but considering this pattern was designed for silky, drapey fabrics, I found it a little strange that the seam allowance wouldn’t permit french seams. Needless to say, I added a 1/4″ to my seams by roughly eye balling it while I was cutting out the fabric with my rotary cutter and then french-seamed all of the guts. The rest of the construction was pretty uneventful, although my fusible was a touch on the heavy side, so the belt and collar are probably a little too stiff. Since rayon is so wiggly, stitching in the ditch along the collar didn’t result in the most even stitching on the inside, but meh. No one sees there but me. And if I ever make this again, I’m definitely adding pockets.

Named Asaka Kimono DIY Named Asaka Kimono DIY

All in all, I am in complete and utter sleeve lust with this make. I’d love to wear it as a dress but it would need a few mods to stay modest all day long. As is, it’s going to be my lazy glam houselook for the foreseeable future. Has anyone else made a pattern from the new Named collection? Would you wear this pattern as a dress or is it better left as an inside only type affair?

Details: Asaka Kimono in rayon challis (a similarly beautful floral rayon is on sale here), DIY turban, Hasbeens Fredrica Platforms, Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick)

  • LaLa Sews

    Gorgeous! That fabric is delicious. And the sleeves look as if they would be awesome for swanning about the place.

    • This pattern pretty much demands swanning. I have no control over my swan arms while wearing it.

  • This is gorgeous, and so are you! MWA.

  • English Girl at Home

    Oh my god, total sleeve (and also turban) envy!!!

    • It’s an easy make my friend! A turban and a kimono is only a PDF away!

  • Beautiful kimono and perfect fabric! If it’s of any interest, I’ve done French seams on 3/8 or 1cm seam allowances tons of times and it’s never an issue. You just have to do one seam at 0.5cm, trim a little off, and do the next one at 0.5cm from your new edge. I guess it’s a touch more finicky but it definitely works.

    • Not sure about that on rayon challis (for me, anyway). It’s so wiggly and shifty! My french seams are always a little wonky with rayon which is why I personally prefer a 5/8″ SA – gives me some room for booboos. But on a crepe de chine or a sturdier cotton, yes I think 3/8″ would work. I think I’m just really used to 5/8″ at this point and anything less than that (for wovens at least) seems weird.

  • juebejue/petiterepublic

    amazing! the little bird on the wall looked like part of the outfit when i first glanced at the picture 😛 i would totally wear this as a tunic with boyfriend jeans on the bottom!!!

    • That’s a GREAT idea! I’m going to wear it with some jeans tomorrow! Maybe with a cami underneath, just in case 😉

  • So good!! That fabric is the stuff of my dreams.

    • I wish I had bought the bolt *bangs head on desk*

  • Liliana

    I love your version – the fabric is so pretty! I’m about to finish my asaka kimono, just need to hem it. I do plan to wear it as a dress, it will be fun on windy days 🙂

    • I would definitely add a little tie at the inner waist to keep the under panel secure. I made a wrap dress a few years ago without that detail and it was boob city until I fixed it!

  • Jackie W.

    It’s adorable but those sleeves would prevent me from going near water or the stove…

    • They actually stay pretty out of the way…. The slit keeps them close the body. But yeah, not making stovetop popcorn wearing this!

  • Teri Dodds

    Oh, that is amazing! Your fabric is so perfect for this pattern.

    • Thanks Teri! It felt like a little miracle when I found it!

  • Chloe Anderson

    Those sleeves are amazing. I’ve actually been living in the Alexandria trousers for the past couple of weeks. I really like the pleated front, and since I made mine out of french terry, they are secret pyjamas.

    • Those sound HEAVENLY!!!! Did you size down with the knit?

      • Chloe Anderson

        I didn’t size down, but I was looking for maximum comfort. They look pretty good, and I’m definitely going to try a woven for summer. Oooh – maybe ponte for fall… That said, the rise is very long. I usually have to add length, and I may take the waistband off and shorten these.

  • Yay – I’ve been waiting to see this! Love it. I have an Asaka in silk CDC cut out, plus I’m sewing a Delphi dress right now, and I made the Augusta hoodie a few months ago. I’m ALL about this latest collection.

    • Whoa! You’re on a Named roll! I quite liked that Delphi dress but I’d have to see it on me. Those floating top tiers can make my body look weird if they’re not exactly at the right place on my waist….

  • You are so fabulous! I love it. It is like camo for a technicolor jungle.

  • Gorgeous! Those sleeves are amazing… I’ve made a merino Augusta Hoodie, and I have grand plans for a flamingo print Florence dress for summer 🙂

    • A merino hoodie! That sounds like the most luxurious fabric hug ever.

  • lifeinamadshouse

    Fantastic fabric, and what a perfect pattern for it! Initially I wasn’t that inspired by the latest Named collection, but I came around eventually; I have made the Inari dress already and love it!

    • I think their styling is ON POINT. That’s the nice thing about doing a collection – you get to tell a bit of a story. I didn’t love every piece but there were a few that I thought were quite lovely!

  • Ok, have you ever seen “Evil Under the Sun”? I’m specifically talking about Diana Rigg’s character that wears this swimsuit, beach cover, turban combo that – when I first watched it – sat upright so quickly in a fit of lust I think I spilt my popcorn / chips / whatever onto the floor. Ever since then I’ve dreamed of doing something similar and then I see this and my heart just does that fluttery-boom-boom thing. You are spectacular! <3

    Pic of get up:

    • OMG. That’s basically my summer fantasy. Can you IMAGINE showing up at the beach in that?!?! I so wanted to wear this kimono and a Bombshell to the pool at my dad’s retirement community in Arizona but it just felt… showboaty. But power in numbers! If I’m ever in Oz during swimsuit season, can we just make ridiculous spectacles of ourselves at the beach??

      • Pam (Antipodean Stitcher)

        I’m in Oz and love that outfit too and would be happy to join any amazing beach outfits spectacle that happened down here.

  • Hélène

    Globetex has challis for 3$ a meter? I’m going there tomorrow first thing in the morning! You made the ultimate funky kimono. I can picture you next summer at the Montreal Jazz Festival or Les FrancoFolies, jumping on an outdoor stage and performing an improvised bougalou dance. You’d steal the show!

    • Is that a dare Hélène?!?! Definitely go check it out. Hopefully they still have some left – it was a few weeks ago. If you don’t see it, ask the guys if they still have the solid white and navy challis – its MAGICAL! I bought 5 or 6 yards of each because STAPLES.

  • Yep, definitely porno sleeves. You KNOW I have a thing with sleeves. Gorgeous make!

    • Does that make us sleeve fluffers?!?

      • Carolyn

        Hahaha!! This is possibly the best sewing blog comment I have ever read. And yes, I would totally wear this as a summer dress – it’s fabulous!! Such beauty is not meant to be restricted to the house. Go forth and frolic in this baby!

  • Jennifer R

    That’s a fun fabric, somehow I like it best in the head tie, the colors crumpled up together are really something.
    Love Named, I’ve made five of the designs from Ticket and can’t wait for warm weather to wear even more. I also prefer a 3/8″ seam for French seams, works fine unless the fabric is heavy in which case, FSs probably aren’t the best finish anyway. I like getting away from the clutter of all sizes nested. I know tracing between sizes is a standard approach but it’s not so bad to just start with the best size and alter where needed. As a petite this is what I’m already forced to take so If I also have to an inch at the hip, or whatever, I can manage.

    • I think I would have a problem with a 3/8″ SA with rayon challis – its so shifty! I like having the wiggle room of the 5/8″. But I was thinking on my walk today that it could be done with 3/8″. I just haven’t tried it yet 😉

  • Yup, rayon challis asks for a wider seam allowance (and I’m a devotee of the 1/2″); I am in hopes that it’s making a comeback so I can stop hoarding it and get back to sewing with it.
    Porno sleeves and a bird turban. I’m in.

    • It’s definitely making a comeback! IF I HAVE TO DONATE ALL OF MY ORGANS TO MAKE IT SO.

  • Pam (Antipodean Stitcher)

    Well the weather’s cooling down here and I’m finishing up a winter pajamas and dressing gown kick so the kimono isn’t on my list at the moment, but you’ve inspired me to consider making it in about 6 months time.

  • AuntyMaimu

    3/8 is a industry standart. It is possible to french seam with this allowance, just saying. Tho it might be a bit harder.

    LOVE the fabric! Very nice print indeed.

  • Yeah I’ve made the geneva top – simple but beautiful curved raglan seams. I like their things – they’re different and clever.

  • oh this pattern is totally out of the house wearable! make it maxi in black and you’re totally like a 70’s studio 54 goddess! awesome job!

  • No wonder you bought so much fabric/rayon, that’s super cheap and this is just gorgeous! Yes, this is gorgeous and I’ve loved seeing the Asaka made up like this, I’m the same… why a ‘kimono’ style without a dramatic sleeve? OTT for me please!

    Do you french seam this kind of fabric because it’s sturdier/neater? I’m sewing a lot with a French designer’s pattern in Sewing School and the seams are always 1cm (so I guess 3/8 maybe?) … and I quite like it, but yes, I haven’t/don’t really french seam…


  • Beautiful ! I’d love to make one to wear as dress … the sleeves are great!

  • could you please come down to new york and HELP ME PICK MY JAW UP OFF THE FLOOR?!!!! (oh, and bring your kimono.)

  • sallieforrer

    Wowie Zowie!! I LOVE it!! Hell yeah I’d wear this as a dress!! Whip yourself up a little Nettie body con dress to wear under this thing and take it out on the town STAT! That is an order, missy! I love a good dramatic sleeve, too. But I’m also a big robe fan. I’ve been meaning to make myself a summer weight kimono to wear about the house in the warmer months, and this looks pretty dope. But it also looks too damn good to not show off to the rest of the world!

  • Ack!!! So good! I love the colors so, so much! You must feel like a total glamazon when you’re lounging around in this beauty!

  • Francesca Amodeo

    OMG Heather you look sooooo stunning! Total movie star! that turban too… icing on the bloody cake! the fabric – the style – the lipstick – you are like someone out of my favourite Agatha Christie movies – I can just see you swanning around in a lido with all the men falling over themselves in your wake (and some of the women too).
    And those sleeves are not just freakin cool, they’re clever – when I wear my kimonos round the house in summer, I am constantly catching on handles – those wouldn’t!

  • Laura

    Love, love love this pattern and you look adorable. You got photo bombed by your bird wall hanging. Keep up the great work.

  • Wow! Just fabulous! I LOVE those sleeves and the color. You should totally wear this to the beach or pool-you look amazing!

  • I love that there’s a sleeve-twirl shot instead of the typical skirt-twirl shot! Fucking fabulous.

    I really want to try a little turban like that because Austin is so disgustingly hot in the summer and this would hide all my crazy frizzy baby-hairs, but I’m afraid I’m just going to look like a giant doofus! Secrets to pulling off a turban?

  • THIS IS AMAZING!!! I have no other words!

  • You need to make a video of you just twirling those sleeves around with some “bow chicka wow wow” music on in the background bahaha! So good.

  • I am so glad you made this, as it is soooo you! You look glamourous as always, and you could so rock this outside the house. I know Montreal gets hot enough. Add huge sunglasses, a big floppy hat and you’re set! And that fabric is amazing!!

  • That. Is. Amazing! The colour/print, the sleeves, the turban. Perfection from top to bottom. I love it!

  • Amy

    Awww, Heather girl, thank you for making my day (month!) with this explosion of color. Just a fantastic kimono! And lipstick (impassioned? full fuchshia? some other dreamy color I’ve never heard of? I’m a fuchsia lipstick lady.)

    Great fabric score, too–sounds like you have years of rayon challis ahead of you! (Oh and btw, I do French seams with 3/8″ sas. The first pass is 1/8, the second 1/4″. I picked that up from Pattern Scissors Cloth a few years back but I’m just generally addicted to doing things with small seams.)

  • I need to order this patter, it is lovely :))

  • Incredible. That is all I have to say!

  • What size did you cut? I’m about to make this and I’m trying to figure out what size I should cut.

    • I think I did size 10? It’s pretty easy fitting, I wouldn’t stress about it.