The prettiest fail: In-House Kimono Tee

MMM 9

Guys, I so want to love this shirt. Love the fabric, love the lace yoke, love a high-low hem. I even like the idea of a v-neck! But this project just makes me sad!

The pattern is the In-House Patterns Kimono tee. I’ve owned this pattern for a year or two and always liked the design, so I figured it would be a good simple project during MMM to add to my Canada Week wardrobe. front back Collage

The design is a LOT like the True Bias Sutton blouse, but for knits.

Here’s where things went wrong:

  • According to the size chart, my hips are a few inches bigger than the largest size. It looked roomy enough so I didn’t add width – good thing, because I ended up taking out 2″ total at the centre front seam, and taking the wides in!
  • I cut the shoulders at the size recommended for me (the shirt is drafted for a D-cup, which in sewing terms is right for me). However, the yoke was really wide! I ended up narrowing it by 1″ at each shoulder while sewing.
  • The front shoulders have pretty gathering where it connects to the yoke, so my brain insisted there should be gathering in the back too. Turns out there isn’t, according to the pattern, so when I narrowed the yoke I turned the extra back width into gathering.
  • There is no shaping in the back seam. Why is it there?
  • There is a centre front seam, but the instructions don’t use the to help finish the neckline more easily! I ignored the facing/binding, and turned and coverstitched the neckline instead, then sewed up the centre front last.

details Collage Now in fairness, I did add a challenge for myself by using this sheer-ish floral knit and lace that needed to be underlined to be work-appropriate. That was easy enough – I cut out two layers of each piece, and just help them together as I sewed. Because of all the gathering and the multiple layers, I chose to sew the whole thing on my sewing machine instead of the serger. So slow and boring!

But friends, here’s what makes it almost unwearable:

DSC_7080

The stupid armholes! There is no shaping at all in the kimono sleeve – it’s just an open section of the side seam. As a result, the side seam is short and pulls WAAAAY up when I lift my arm. Look, you can see my waistband, which is higher than my belly button! I cannot handle that – I demand that my clothes stay in place while I move.

Combine that with the gapey necklines that shifts about, and that fact that if I bend over EVERYTHING would be on show, and I certainly can’t wear it at work. I can and might wear it at home while lounging… but the volume is particularly unflattering when I sit, and from the side it does me no favours!

MMM 9

So what have I learned? That I must have really good luck with patterns for this one to make me so sad and frustrated. That I demand shaping in a kimono sleeve (like on a Tiramisu, or a Kristen Kimono Tee), and that volume in front and back is too much. And, that this pattern is well and truly not for me.

What was your last wadder? And how to you balance wanting to try new patterns with the annoyance of disappointing projects? Me, I’m heading back to my trusty TNTs fr a bit.


38 thoughts on “The prettiest fail: In-House Kimono Tee

  1. Aww, that’s disappointing– it’s such pretty fabric! Is there any way you can salvage some of it, like maybe add a band at the bottom or open up the side seams/add a little length to the sleeves to give it some shaping?

    As for me, I have very few TNT patterns (and now I’m not sure the ones I did come up with will still fit me!) I guess I often feel like I have so many patterns that I need to try as many as possible! So my usual method for trying new patterns where I’m unsure about the style or the fit is the wearable muslin route–that way, if I come up with something that looks/fits well enough that I’m ok with wearing it out, great. But since the fabric isn’t something I’d be heartbroken over wasting if it doesn’t turn out, I still learned a lesson and busted some stash at the same time.

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  2. It looks very pretty on you – love how you matched your earrings to the yoke colour. But agree with you that the shape/fit isn’t terribly flattering, especially compared to other pieces you’ve made. And clothes should stay more or less in place, rather than slipping around and randomly showing off boobs and belly buttons.

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  3. Awww, that is too bad. I love the fabrics you paired for it, it’s too bad it didn’t work out. That armhole situation, though, looks like it would make this pattern challenging for anyone to wear. As this was on my “maybe sometime” list of patterns to try out, I appreciate the thorough review.

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    1. Yeah, I’d give this one a pass! Which is a shame, because I think the designer is professionally trained… why wouldn’t they make the sleeve design better???? Grrr.

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  4. Let’s talk about the good stuff – beautiful fabric combination and I love the added gather at the back yoke! And you look great in a v-neck!

    I have trouble wearing loose and somewhat shapeless shirts too. I always feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes if there isn’t any obvious fit. I wonder if an underarm gusset would help with the raising of your arm. Looking at the photo of you with your arm up makes me think a gusset is the answer for that issue – see the drag lines? Perhaps gussets and maybe a bit of ruching at the waist on the sides to give it a little shape would be a quick fix to make it wearable… and likable. =)

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    1. Thanks Brooke! This is the first v-neck i’ve ever sewn, and I really should branch out more from scoop necklines! A gusset is a good idea, although I may not have the heart to alter this shirt any more… I do have enough of the print to make something for my niece, and that will have to do!🙂

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  5. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you because it looks really pretty! My last wadder was the (fortunately just a) muslin I made using the deer and doe bruyere. The fit was not the issue (I think, didn’t finish it properly), I just didn’t think the shape works for me.

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    1. Bruyere is an interesting shape – really pretty on some, but I think on me it would be too hip-enhancing! What didn’t you like about the fit on you?

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      1. I really like the shape, on others🙂 I think it has something to do with the length, it makes my legs look so short! And the collar didn’t look to good either, I think it needs a collar stand.

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  6. Disappointing! Love the fabrics though, hopefully there are some leftovers? Thanks for the review. My last fail was the belcarra blouse. I tried on my muslin and realized it is not for me…

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    1. There are indeed enough leftovers to make something for my little niece! That’ll have to do.
      DId you have neckline fit issues with the Belcarra? I reemmber a lot of people found it too wide… I used to love the Sewaholic pendrell, without any of the ruffles. It’s a really nice basic shape!

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    1. Seriously. I really wouldn’t try any of the designer’s other patterns based on her choices on this top. I think she’s university trained too, which usually I think is a good thing for pattern designers!

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  7. I feel like this about Sorbettos – I keep trying to make them because I want a nice summer tank top (without spending $12 or so on a pattern), but every time I make one I feel like they just tent on me and look horrible. I should just cave and buy the Little Pocket Tank or something…

    The top looks so cute from the front but that armhole and the length are just so frustrating! It should be so cute.

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    1. Oh man, Sorbettos used to be da bomb… but the one I made didn’t fit well at all. Find something that takes less work to fit!

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  8. Such a shame that the pattern didn’t work out right for you because the floral and lace look great together! My latest wadder was a T&TB Coco dress – it turned out too short for a dress & too long for a top, and my material choice wasn’t great. Thankfully it’s comfy for lounging at home though!

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    1. Hahaha – half my wadders become pjs! I guess that’s the bonus of sewing secret pyjamas… they can always just be pyjamas!

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    1. Isn’t the fabric pretty!? I’m sorry it ddn’t turn out… but then on the other hand, it’s so large scale and thin that I couldn’t ever think what to make of it, so maybe it’s just best to use it up!😛

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  9. Hi Gillian So sad to see that your Tee project doesn’t please you, after all your work! Your teal jeans look great though! I love everything about my new dress! It makes me feel happy and free, and I can forget about my lumpy zones… THAT is the magic of the pattern (and my talented thoughtful daughter!) I wish we had taken a photo for Instagram lol. Give your guy a hug for me. I was happy to see him and enjoy a glass of wine with you all last night. We thought we’d be going to see Jess C and Pia tomorrow, but our hot water tank is cutting out on us, leaving us to wonder about our next shower. Kurt is draining it and dismantling the elements tomorrow, so we’re needing to be home for the fun. Today I got the front lawn cut, yay! Let’s talk again soon, xx Mom

    Cathy Whitcombe (519) 941-9966

    >

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    1. That is the best pattern review ever! I’m so pleased you like it. You are fun to sew for!
      I said to Jamie a couple time today how nice yesterday was – relaxed, delicious family fun! But ugh, that box of teeth… shudder!
      Good luck with the hot water tank! And the lawn… and for reminding me of the perks of apartment living!!!
      xoxox
      G

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  10. Sorry to hear that this is a wadder. I love the fabric combination and it goes so well with your jeans (also lovely). Think that is was Sandra Betzina who said that not all patterns were worth making and that is such a shame as this style looks great but if it is not comfy then what is the point. Hope that you can salvage the fabric. Xx

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  11. It is such a pretty combo of fabrics; it’s a shame it didn’t pan out. I’m sure I’ve had more since, but the last BIG wadder that is seared in my mind was this wrap dress I made a few years back. It was a mess. Too wide in the shoulders, 12″ too big in the waist, barely big enough in the hips. I haven’t touched wrap dresses since because that one was such a train wreck. I suppose you just forge ahead and try and note what worked and what didn’t as you’ve done with this tee.

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  12. I hate it when things don’t turn out. About this time last year, I made a wrap skirt from instructions I found on Pinterest. I should have known it was going to be bad when I couldn’t get the pleats sorted out. The instructions were vague and it took me four tries to sort out where the pleats should go. I’m still not convinced I got them right, but by that point I was ready to just throw the thing out. Against my better instincts, I finished the thing. I tried it on and went ‘nope, not happening’. I still have the stupid thing hanging in my closet. The only saving grace was I used fabric from my stash that had been lingering there so long, I no longer remember when I even bought it.

    What got me going again? A deadline. I was making a dress for my vow renewal. Couldn’t miss that one! In case you were wondering, that dress turned out perfect.😀

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  13. How annoying! It looks pretty on you, in my opinion, although you don’t usually wear such loose tops. Can you cut it into a Mission Maxi tank? I made two pairs of Fehr Trade Steeplechase leggings over the weekend and the curved seams are lumpy and disgusting. The fabric doesn’t press at all and it just looks unprofessional and homemade in a bad way. Ick! I guess they’re fine for working out, but I’m not very happy with them. Maybe if I had a machine capable of flatlocking they would have turned out nicer?

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  14. That fabric is so pretty! That is such a shame! I have made several linen tops with that sort of armhole– just an opening in a big rectangle. I find that it only works when the sleeve is very short, like almost sleeveless. If the sleeve hits further down the arm there is definite pulling and shifting. I know that’s very un-technical info🙂 ha! That’s how I roll.

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    1. I”m sorry your top didn’t work out either – but I admit I’m comforted that I’m no the only one!😉

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  15. Makes like this are so frustrating aren’t they? For what it’s worth I do really like it but I get that it’s not practical if you bend over and flash the whole world.

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  16. It’s a very pretty top – perhaps it will be good for Irish dancing? You know, when you keep your arms down??😛
    I made the Lou Box tee this week – that was nearly a wadder, the sizing is ginormous! I graded it (with my overlocker) and that seems to have fixed it, although the neck is super low

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  17. Awww. Too bad this one turned out a wadder, ’cause I love the fabric combination! I tend to be pretty lucky with my patterns, too – the last true wadder was my try of the Colette Hawthorn dress, which I made about a year and a half ago? I’m not that adventurous, though, I tend to go with styles which I’m pretty sure will suit me – or modify until the pattern works for me. The Deer&Doe Bruyere shirt I made looked aweful until I took it in a bit and shortened the sleeves to 3/4…🙂

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  18. Hi Gillian! It’s Alexandra from In-House Patterns. I’m so sorry to hear this pattern didn’t work for you! I just wanted to jump in an comment on some of the issues you found with the pattern.

    First of all the centre front and centre back seams were intended simply as a detail which can be quite interesting in a solid fabric. This pattern can definitely be cut with no seams simply by removing the seam allowances and cutting on fold. The seams definitely don’t do your fabric justice, the beautiful print you used would have been better cut with no seams.

    I understand your frustration with the hem lifting when you raise your arm. This is due to the angle or slope of the kimono sleeve. I chose this particular slope to keep the underarm free of obvious wrinkles and drag lines which I felt would be ok since the top was quite loose fitting. A reduced slope and narrower body width would definitely make this more comfortable for you.

    The neckline of the bodice will definitely gape without the rib trim attached. The rib trim is designed to hug your neckline so that the top sits correctly. That being said, I know others have said my instructions for attaching the rib trim are difficult to follow. I will definitely take this into consideration for future patterns.

    I thank you for your honest review of the pattern. Your comments are very helpful to me. I hope your next project is a greater, more satisfying success.

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