Making a sheer, kimono jacket is a breeze with these tips. Begin with Simplicity pattern 1108, find a pretty, sheer polyester or silk fabric, spend a bit of time planning, and you’ll be ready for a date in a few hours! Some home sewers find that sheer fabrics can be a bit daunting. I mistakenly thought it was just the tension I had to get right, but that didn’t really pose a problem. The right sizing, pattern cutting and seam/edge finishes were the areas needing adjustments. Do your own planning, follow these tips, add an extra dose of patience, and you will end with a beautifully finished product.
- Choose the right size for your jacket – Using Simplicity 1108 and wanting a flowing style, I chose “view D” and went up a size.
- Use NEW SIZE 70 needles in your sewing machines(s).
- Make sure to buy 1/2″ wide Single fold bias tape to match.
- Keep your iron and board set up close by and use MEDIUM LOW (3-4 on mine) heat.
- Decide on serged seam finishes or French seams. I went with French seams, as I love the finished look and feel!
- When laying out pattern pieces on fabric, make sure the fabric lays flat and straight. I know this sound elementary, but this fabric really likes to move around! I suggest using lots of pins AND some weights.
- This fabric will fray a lot too! That’s why using a serged edge or french seams is a MUST! Remember that to make french seams, you always begin with WRONG sides together. My added tip is to serge the edge at this first step (3-thread, right needle, 2.5 length,) and cut off approximately 1/8″. This will prevent the edge from seeping through, or showing on the right side, when the seam allowance is encased.
See Here for a great tutorial on making french seams.
- Always PRESS after each step. Because this fabric moves so much, it is very important!
- Steps: Wrong sides together, serge, press to one side, then turn over and press right sides together before sewing the encased edge 1/4″. Press again!
- The underarm seams are a bit trickier with the french seams, but will work. If need be, do a few hand stitches to close it up. OR, since the fabric is so lightweight, just skip the step when the sleeve is sewn to the dots and the arm and side seams meet at the dot. Attach the sleeves, (sew all the way to the ends) and then sew the arm and side in one full seam.
- For the EDGING, I really hated trimming seams with this delicate fabric. Using the serger really helps, because it does the trimming and eliminates frayed seams in one step! 1. Fold out one edge of the bias tape and carefully press, leaving the other side folded. 2. Pin opened edge to edge of fabric, right sides together. 3. Serge, using a length of 2.5, 3-thread narrow edge, cutting off approx. 1/8″. By cutting an opening, it’s easier to start a nice edge! 4. Press all toward outer (unfinished edge,) making sure you leave the other folded edge intact. Under stitch the seam close to edge as pattern shows. 6. Press all to inside (wrong side.) 7. Pattern says baste, but I say, “Why?” 8. Top stitch.
Stand back and look at that beautiful jacket! It will be great with my little black dress, or a camisole and a pair of jeans! So fun, and so easy with just a few revisions.