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1920's-inspired kimono coat

Added Feb 27, 2012

by olystyrene

Sydney, Australia






I’ve been meaning to share this project for a while now, so here goes…

I don’t know ‘bout you, but I just adore the coats of the 1920’s. What I really love about them is the simplicity of the shapes (an obvious influence from Japanese kimonos) – nice big sleeves, asymmetry of closures, big button detailing, squarish body. I had a design in my head that was much inspired by these 20’s coats that I wanted to experiment with. I was going for simplicity, as with the classic 20’s shape, but wanted to extend this to fabric choices and colours as well. So the op shop trawl uncovered a good amount of run-of-the-mill grey tracky dacks fabric (fleecy on the inside), as well as a smallish remnant of FLURO red ribbed knit. It looks like fluro orange, but it is very much the hottest, most intense red you have ever seen. I didn’t think fluro extended beyond the traditional orange-pink- yellow-green until I’d seen this fabric!!! Aaaanyway…

Seeing as I was going for big simple shapes, I decided to draft the pattern for this myself. It was fairly simple to work out and the tricky bits were finished via draping. Not too difficult a process, but there will be some changes for next time, e.g. I’d make a slightly deeper neckline at the front where the collar attaches, as well as adding facing to the front of the coat so that it keeps its shape (at the moment we’re getting a bit of curling and stretching). This was really an experiment initially, so there’s still a bit of room to add the changes later down the track. Another interesting feature for future could be the subtle addition of a pocket in either of the red parts of the sleeve. I just read ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, where the main character’s red full sleeved gown also conceals a pocket in the sleeve, and I just loved the idea.

I’m quite pleased with the overall result in terms of shape – the red bias binding outlines the shape of the front so nicely. I used press studs to hold the coat closed at the collar and at various points down the front. I found the button on the ground at a train station and thought it would be a great way to finish the pointed top section. Also, I used a triangular bound buttonhole, just to try something different [photo to be added!]. The tutorial for this can be found here: http://thesewingdivas.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/bound-buttonhole-triangular-shape/

The other red accessories are two of my absolute favourite wardrobe goodies. Both are luuurvely vintage pieces and their colour matches the button on the coat more so that the fluro ribbed sections.

Material Notes

fleecy tracksuit fabric, fluro red ribbed knit, red bias binding, red found fabric button




Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Evening Wear, Vintage

16 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Img1401055272558_large

    Aug 26, 2015, 09.39 AMby SassyT

    Would you mind me sharing this on SSB in the future? I link to your post and let you know when shared. https://www.facebook.com/SassySewingBees

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    Sep 21, 2012, 08.35 PMby gipsou

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL !!!

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    May 21, 2012, 05.55 AMby buddingnaturalist

    Oooooh very Phryne Fisher, I love it!

    1 Reply
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      May 22, 2012, 05.23 AMby olystyrene

      Thank you! How I covet all of her outfits!

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    Apr 2, 2012, 09.38 PMby mkonieczki

    This coat is incredible! I am in serious awe of your abilities!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Apr 18, 2012, 07.09 AMby olystyrene

      Blush thank you!!!

  • Firstroll-3_large

    Feb 29, 2012, 02.07 PMby integerclub

    OHMAHGAHWD this is amazing! Your whole look here reminds me of Mrs Bradley…have you seen the ‘Mrs Bradley Mysteries’? You totes need too, she has fantastic outfits!

    3 Replies
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.44 PMby olystyrene

      Fanks, Moycey!!!!!! Another good one is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which is an Australian show that’s currently on ABC. You would love it for the very same reason!!!

    • Firstroll-3_large

      Mar 13, 2012, 12.34 PMby integerclub

      Awesome, I’ll have to check that out then, ladies solving crimes in pretty outfits is my favourite genre at the moment.

    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 14, 2012, 03.45 AMby olystyrene

      Agreed!! There’s only been 3 eps so far, and at every point the fashion has been incredible!!!!!!!

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    Feb 29, 2012, 03.01 AMby elenay

    I love this coat and it looks great on you. It may inspire me to design a new jacket. I like the Asian influence, so simple yet so smashing.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.42 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you, Elena! I’d love to see your design when you have completed it :)

  • Me_pecks_large

    Feb 28, 2012, 11.23 PMby nessys

    Move over Essie – here is the REAL Phryne Fisher! Is that a gun I see hiding in that red pocket? ;)

    You look so gorgeous in this Honey! Love it! I really like the fact you found the button at the train station. This is a lovely part of the story. A triangular bound buttonhole! Wow wee!

    PS those grey tights are AMAZING! Please let me know where you got them from! xxxxxx

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.41 PMby olystyrene

      Hahaha! Thank you, Nessy!!! That triangular buttonhole was super simple to make, and it looks fab with a bit of red fabric to match the other red trims. Thank gawd we have the interwebz to lead us to such creative ideas! I’m grateful to that particular person’s blog entry :)

      Meanwhile, I’ll give you one guess where the tights came from :)

  • Charity_21_048_large

    Feb 28, 2012, 07.08 AMby kastronut

    You absolutely “own” the look. It is amazingly fun and approachable with the fabric selections.

    1 Reply
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      Mar 12, 2012, 11.39 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you, kastronut! I think it’s easy to do so when you’re wearing something that’s suuuuper comfortable. I tried to make this jacket very casual and accommodating without being too stiffly of an era.

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    Feb 27, 2012, 04.33 PMby pamchar


    1 Reply
  • David_headshot_large

    Feb 27, 2012, 03.31 PMby mynameisdavid

    I looove this coat! Everything about it is great.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.37 PMby olystyrene

      Why, thank you!

  • Blogkusinekjolegr_nactionportr_tt_large

    Feb 27, 2012, 12.35 PMby groovymama

    This is so cool!

    1 Reply
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    Feb 27, 2012, 11.42 AMby suzetewilliams

    Gorgeous! I love the style and colour combination.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.37 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks very much! That colour combo is becoming a bit of a recurring theme in my wardrobe..

  • Lexi_large

    Feb 27, 2012, 07.40 AMby Lexicon

    WOW – design and colour are amazing. I am in awe.

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.36 PMby olystyrene

      Thaaank you! :-D

  • J_s_painting_large

    Feb 27, 2012, 02.35 AMby lizajane09

    So freakin’ amazing! And I am totally enamored with that link about the triangular bound buttonhole. This is incredible!

    1 Reply
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      Mar 12, 2012, 11.36 PMby olystyrene

      Thanks, Lizajane! How awesome is that buttonhole?! And it was so simple too! I highly recommend you try it :)

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    Feb 27, 2012, 02.14 AMby Adriana Orozco

    Really lovely]]!!! I like it all, the colors, the style, the confort to wear…..really a wonderfull job with a wonderfull result!!!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.35 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you, Adriana! Just between you and me, I’m a little bit obsessed with teaming red with grey. :)

  • Img_6207_large

    Feb 27, 2012, 02.05 AMby The Tropical Sewist

    I LOVE this. The shape, the colour, and the assymetry – so absolutely wonderful! Would you mind awfully if I made a version based on yours? And your red cloche is a true thing of beauty :)

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Mar 12, 2012, 11.35 PMby olystyrene

      Thank you so much! And I’d love to see your version!

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