Ruffled Kyoko

Today is picture day at Miss L’s school, which meant I felt compelled to sew something for her to wear. As luck would have it, Sarah mentioned last week that she needed an updated Kyoko sample for the shop, so I decided to knock out both tasks with one dress.

I’ve sewn several of the Kyokos and the pattern continues to be one of my favorites. I love the style and fit, as does Liesl, which certainly helps things. Of course, having sewn it so many times, I wanted to see if I could mix things up a bit. I vaguely remembered seeing a version with ruffles and decided to try one myself.

The fabrics are a new line by Alexander Henry and actually weren’t the first choice. Initially, I’d pulled the same fabrics in a colorway that’s more “me” (aquas and pinks) but decided to go with more Fall colors instead. I can’ really explain why I did it but looking at the dress tells me I was right to make the switch (although I’ll probably grab some of the other fabrics to use for another outfit).

The bodice is lined and I skipped the neckline binding, instead adding a 1/4″ seam allowance and sewing the lining and exterior together. I understitched the lining to the seam allowance so no topstitching shows on the neckline.

I again skipped the binding on the hem and sleeve edges, replacing it with ruffles. Oh, how I love those ruffles! They were worth all the math and measuring to figure them out. The ruffles are finished with a rolled hem, which I’m only meh about: I didn’t have any brown Wooly Nylon on hand so just used regular serger thread and it doesn’t have the fullness I wanted. Not really a big deal and I doubt the majority of people will even notice so I’ll just keep quiet and live with it.

The obi is probably my favorite. I was on the fence about which fabric to use and Sarah suggested I make it reversible. Brilliant! Liesl asked to wear the apples today but the reverse is the same yellow fabric used on the ruffles. Overall, I think it’s one of the tamer Kyokos I’ve made but, oh, how pretty it is!

By the way, I’m teaching a Kyoko class (which will include tips for modifying the pattern like I did) on Oct. 9.

Kawaii Kyoko

I’ve got to ‘fess up: Patty‘s Kyoko pattern is the one of hers I was most looking forward to getting my hands on. I just love Asian-inspired clothing and the cross-over bodice combined with stripwork skirt made this pattern a must-have-NOW sort of thing.

I knew right away what fabric I was going to use (Robert Kaufman’s Kawaii Asian). What I did not know until Patty sent me an email after she dropped everything in the mail was that the pattern called for five yards of binding.

Say what?

Yeah, not huge on sewing on binding. I think my response to Patty was something along the lines of “I hope you know how much I must like you to be willing to sew on five yards of binding.”  As you can see, it was totally worth the effort.

And, honestly, sewing on all that binding was really not that bad (I used some of the Michael Miller red pindot and it sews like a dream). Patty’s pattern has you do it a certain way that actually made it easier than I’ve done it in the past and the final product is just so pretty that I really do think it’s worth the (minimal) effort. That’s not to say I may not try to do it without some time, but I’m not in a huge hurry to try.

I think this pattern will work with a lot of fabrics but I really like how these came together. I think you can tell from looking at my past sewing that I really enjoy working with vibrant colors and prints and you really can’t get much more vibrant than these. I’m itching to make another one and am already toying with a few fabric combos in my head (like Sugar Snap!).

The dress pulls over the head and is nice and loose without the obi but I really like how the sash just cinches it so nicely and changes the profile. L prefers it without the obi so it’s nice and twirly (big surprise there).

I probably could have sized down on the dress and cut a longer length for a slimmer fit but I’m also hoping she’ll get lots of wear out of this in the next few months, so I don’t mind it being a bit roomy. Patty shows a shorter tunic version on the pattern cover with her Sophie Three-Way Pants, so I’m already planning ahead and thinking how cute a fall version would be with a long-sleeved top and pants.

Now if I could just talk Patty into designing a grown-up version of this for me women …