Akinori Kimono in Japanese florals

I have three weddings to attend in the space of a month starting mid-July, so I’m getting ahead on making some pretty dresses to wear to them! This one is the Wardrobe By Me Akinori kimono dress, and in pleasing synergy I bought the fabric on my recent trip to Tokyo, Japan.

Danish indie pattern company Wardrobe By Me were a new find to me. I can’t even remember where I first saw this pattern but the PDF got snapped up as soon as I clocked the line drawing. I love the wrapover front with soft pleats, cut-on sleeves and integrated tie belt.

Sewing it up was crazy fun, and very fast. It’s not nearly as complicated as it looks, with just four main pattern pieces plus the ties and facings. The pattern has some clever construction details, like a cut-on facing for the front neckline which simply gets folded inwards and connected to a separate back neck facing to make an elegant topstitch-free finish. It was also fun to sew up the semicircular waist detail at the front, cleverly constructed in a such a way that all raw edges are concealed inside.

The PDF is a manageable 23 pages, with instructions to self-draft the ties rather than needlessly print a large piece, a detail I always appreciate. The instructions are great too; I would say geared towards non-complete beginners as only the trickier aspects include illustrations. The only thing I thought was missing was a direction to finish the raw facing edge, which I did early on before basting to the semicircle panel.

I made a straight size 8 with no adjustments and the fit is perfect. Just a note that the given final hip measurement in the pattern booklet is wrong; as written it appears as if it has negative ease but actually there is about 10″ ease in the hips. 2.7m of fabric is recommended but I squeezed it into 2m with a few liberties taken where grainlines were concerned. (If you look closely, my inset waist panel has flowers growing sideways – whoops…)

The fabric is a polyester that’s doing a pretty damn good job of imitating sandwashed silk. At least I don’t think it’s real silk by the price I paid for it in the Okadaya fabric store in Shinjuku; it wasn’t more than £6 a metre. Not all polys are created equal; this one is slinky and drapey yet was remarkably well-behaved to work with. The sandwash effect gave some grippiness and it pressed well with no melting or plastic smells.

The ties can also be omitted, which gives a really nice loose but still shapely fit, and are long enough to wrap around to the front to tie there too.

I’m thrilled with this dress; it was such a nice sew and perfect for a summer wedding. I’m plotting a daytime version of the Akinori now, perhaps in an ikat cotton or chambray without the ties.

18 thoughts on “Akinori Kimono in Japanese florals

  1. AvatarMeg

    Looks fabulous! I love the version of this dress I made for myself. I’ve been meaning to make another one… it’s so comfortable!

  2. AvatarJane

    Oh that’s absolutely gorgeous Katie and perfect for a wedding. I love the fabric too, what a fabulous find. VERY tempted to buy the pattern now!

  3. AvatarBella

    I love this dress! The wrap neckline is so flattering. I’m completely sold – now the fun part, choosing a fabric from my stash :) thanks for the inspiration!

  4. AvatarSarah Smith

    How good is it when so,eyeing that looks complicated turns out not to be; it’s a great shape and style on you – I’ve never heard of this Co so I’m going to have to check them out now!!

  5. AvatarAlex

    This is gorgeous. I love a floral on a black background, it always seems abit more sophisticated and grown up somehow. And the style is great on you. Another inspiring make, thank you!

  6. AvatarSam

    Oh, that’s really lovely Katie. Wardrobe by Me are a new discovery of mine this week too. I’ve got my eye on the Summer Tulip top, but this pattern could be making it’s way into my queue as well.

  7. AvatarKelly

    Beautiful dress! I love the shape, it’s got that effortless look to it. Such a nice shape, and the fabric is lovely too. Hoping you get through all those weddings with at least a little energy to spare!

  8. AvatarEmma

    Loving this , what a fab shape , had to laugh at your comment on pressing without melting , guess we’ve all been there!
    Like the fact that facings and sleeves are all grown on details like this make it so easy to make and wear really well , thank you for sharing this make , you’ll be a wow at the wedding.

  9. AvatarAnita

    Thankyou for introducing me to another great indie pattern company, I love this pattern! It looks fantastic on you, what a great make x

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