I have long been enamored of the traditional kimono shape. I have made many, usually from the Folkwear pattern, Japanese Field Clothing. It is composed strictly of rectangles, a conventional Japanese kimono construction.
Recently I've seen a plethora of posts on Instagram for the Wiksten Kimono. I resisted ordering the pattern as long as I possibly could. After all, what could be so different in a kimono pattern?
Ultimately I fell under the Wiksten spell after seeing one image after another of this kimono on Instagram. There are a ga-zillion of them, all lovely, IMO. Wiksten patterns are produced by a designer out of Oregon. She has a few patterns, but I am certain that nothing has sold like the Wiksten.
It took about 10 days to arrive. The Wiksten is nicely drafted, unconstrained by a need to rely on rectangles and so is different from a Japanese kimono. The front and backs are curved out at the armcyes. Also the shoulder line is sloped in a more natural fashion than a typical kimono. And the sleeve is slightly shaped to reduce the amount of bulk under the arm.
Fabric came from stash - a medium brown washed linen for the face fabric and a plaid linen for the lining. The Wiksten is intended to be fully lined. It is lined in a manner appropriate for a reversible garment though I'll not reverse mine.
The pattern has 3 suggested lengths. I chose the longest one which is about three-quarter length. I chose my size based on my hip measurement as that is the most crucial one for me.
Once I had the pattern pieces prepared, it was pretty straight-forward to cut out and make.
The lining is sewn to the face fabric on the lower hem first. It called for under-stitching to keep the lining from peeking out. I used the standard bag lining procedure for sewing the sleeve hems. The band was stitched to the remaining raw edges, then wrapped onto itself and slip-stitched in place.
When worn, the band/collar folds back on itself, creating 4 layers of fabric. The sleeves are long enough to create a fold-up cuff. Due to these 2 features, the lining is highlighted as trim.
At first I thought it was much too heavy. But that was simply because the weather has been so warm here. As soon as we got a cold snap, I was totally in love with this piece.
And it provided a nice canvas for sashiko, always a plus. I have a number of stencils for sashiko and chose the hemp leaf one. The brown linen was dark enough to use a white powder pounce to mark the pattern. It rubbed off as I sewed, sometimes before I wanted it gone.
I may add some more stitching. There is still space. I enjoy having a project to wear that is still a work-in-progress.
So, have you fallen under the Wiksten spell yet?