Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pattern review: Papercut Patterns Kochi Kimono in Nani Iro linen

The kimono-inspired jacket trend has been around a few years, and we're the first to admit we are not always first aboard the trend-train. Bt slowly, slowly, these things can sneak up and then lo and behold, there's a kimono-shaped hole in our wardrobes we never noticed before.
Papercut Kochi Kimono pattern line drawings
Fiona first tried the Kochi Kimono by Papercut Patterns (released June 2017) in a 'wearable muslin' made from a variety of linen and light denim scraps. She decided the shape wasn't working for her and put it aside. (But she's currently working with another kimono-inspired pattern so stay tuned!) Then recently I needed to dress for a Japanese-themed dinner and borrowed Fiona's Kochi. What do you know, I loved it, and immediately wanted one of my own.

There are several variations in the Kochi Kimono pattern: with or without neck band, lining, patch pockets and tie closure. I made the simplest, most pared-down version which has just four pattern pieces: front, back, sleeve and neck band.


It comes together in almost no time. I like the look of it fastened simply at the front with a brooch.

The fabric I used is the divine Nani Iro linen 'Situation'. It's a match made in heaven if I do say so myself. We have quite a few new season's Nani Iro linens in stock (see the Nani Iro section of the store here) and they would all make the most beautiful Kochis.

Fabric requirements only specify 140-150cm fabric but the Kochi is entirely possible out of 110cm wide fabric. After laying the pattern out I cut 2.1m. There was about 5% shrinkage when I pre-washed the linen, and I had a bit of a panic when I thought I'd ended up short. But after a lot of 'pattern Tetris' I was very pleased to actually end up with about 20cm to spare. It took a lot of juggling and single-layer cutting (especially with a directional pattern) so beware! It's a fairly fabric-hungry beast with all that volume. If you'd like to play it on the safe side I'd recommend around 2.25m of 110cm wide fabric, possibly more for larger sizes.

One of the advantages of making a popular pattern when it's been released for a while is the number of reviews you can find on the internet, which help guide the making. Fiona read many reviews suggesting to size down, and made Size S. I was very happy with the fit of that and so also made that size.

Notes:

Seam finishes
Looking around the web at other sewists' Kochi Kimonos, I noticed some nice details and suggestions like bias binding all the raw edges, or increasing the seam allowance (which is 1cm) to make French seams easier to achieve. Either of these would be a nice touch, especially if you like to wear your Kochi like an open jacket, because seam finishes will be somewhat visible. After reading right through the instructions, I overlocked all raw edges except neckline before assembly, and turned the overlocked edge of the hem under again to hide it when I completed the sleeve and body hems.

'Fusing' = fusible interfacing
The instructions for the view I made said to cut strips of 'fusing' and attach to the hems of body and sleeves. I found this a little ambiguous, but yes it does mean you should use strips of fusible interfacing to stabilise the hems and give them a bit of structure. I feel this is a subtle but important part of the lovely shape of the Kochi, so don't skip this step. Our lightweight cotton woven fusible interfacing is ideal for this.

Follow the order of construction
I wanted to attach the neckband earlier but then I realised other parts needed finishing in (surprise!) the written order.

It's ideal for dressing up jeans
Been wearing jeans all day but need to go out and look presentable somewhere? Throw on a Kochi and instantly feel a bit fancy! And despite the amount of volume in those sleeves, they're cut the perfect length to not get in your way at all. So you can still do all your jeans-wearing practical things while feeling a bit fancy.

Summary:

PATTERN: Kochi Kimono by Papercut Patterns, Variation 3
FABRIC: Nani Iro 'Situation' 100% linen, 110cm wide, 2.1m
SIZE: S, no alterations
COMMENTS: The hardest part about this make was fitting all the pieces onto my fabric. With the different views and different fabrics you can use (pretty much anything woven!), the Kochi is a versatile pattern that could produce quite varied garments. Simply lovely.


- Jane & Fiona xx