Fishtail Kimono + Ninni Culottes for me!

It's no secret that Chalk and Notch makes some of my favorite patterns for women and girls, and I have wanted to make a Fishtail Kimono for myself ever since I first tested this pattern way back when. One of the advantages to being short is that sometimes I can fit into girls' sizes. I'm happy I finally got around to making one!



I love this pattern so much that I made four of them during testing, plus this modified one for World Book Day two years ago now. Ever since then, I had been waffling between using a Japanese style silk fabric or a regular knit for a big girl version. One of the things I like about this pattern is that it's sort of like a kimono, but closer to a "happi" (which I tend to associate with festivals and celebrations) because of its length. When this Nosh Organics jacquard in Rose caught my eye, I knew my search was over. 



I love the weight of this fabric for a cardigan style top, and as you have probably already guessed, I adore almost all shades of pink - especially dusty rose. I also really like the combination of rose with navy, and I thought this cool print could work quite well for a kimono. 



For the neckband and the hem facing, I used Nosh's Stretch Sweatshirting in Navy. I wanted to use the 1x1 rib knit from Nosh, as I am a huge fan, but I had run out, so I thought I would give the Sweatshirting a try. I think it works. I used a lightweight knit interfacing as well, which is recommended in the pattern. 



I made myself the largest size, and the only thing I changed was to bring the shoulder seam forward by 1cm. Should I have moved it forward more? I'm not sure. I guess it's kind of hard to tell in these photos, sorry!

As for my culottes, they are also made with Nosh fabric: Jersey Plus in Navy (I'm excited to try other substrates, too - just look at the ones made by the woman with impeccable taste, who was the one to recommend that I try the Jersey Plus, thank you Mie!). They are so comfy and I love them! The pattern is the Ninni Culottes by Named Clothing, and now that I have seen who else has made them (I mention a few ladies below if you want to click over to their blogs), I realize I am in good company. 



I am never sure what length anything that is "cropped" is meant to be. I am 5'1", so usually anything that is cropped ends up being pretty much the "right" length (meaning I don't have to shorten them), or sometimes they are ankle-length on me. I think I once read somewhere that 3 inches above the ankle is a good start for cropped trousers, so I was hoping that would be okay for culottes too. I made the size 34 (US2) and shortened them by about an inch, figuring it would be better to have them too long than too short. Looking at these photos, I think I could have gone another inch shorter.



It was only after I'd finished making them that it struck me I should have checked what length others had chosen for theirs. Two women whose style I admire are Meg of Cookin' and Craftin' and Diana of Miss Castelinhos (and of course I always check Mie's blog/IG for inspiration). Sure enough, they had made this pattern - in fact, Meg had made two! I really love Diana's take on them, too. I am wearing tights with mine because it was still pretty cold around the time I took these photos, but I plan to wear them with sandals (like Sara did) in the spring/summer for sure!

The other thing I changed was the casing for the elastic waistband. Because my elastic wasn't wide enough, I sewed a stitch about a half an inch (I think?) from the top to create a sort of paper bag waist look. It's something that I first saw in a Japanese sewing book when I was making trousers for my daughter. If my explanation doesn't make much sense (sorry!), Mie has a great visual of what I'm trying to say here. I highly recommend following the #miessewingtips tag on IG for lots of excellent sewing advice!



These culottes are such a quick and satisfying sew (and they have pockets!) that if you are looking for a sewing boost, I can highly recommend them. I am itching to get more of the Nosh Jersey Plus so I can make myself more of these for the summer! I think they would be amazing in linen, too. 



Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Comments

  1. This is beautiful Emi ! I want to make the Ninni Culottes too now (I almost bought the pattern when it was in sale last week but I didn't and now I regret !!) !

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    1. Thank you, Soso! I can recommend this pattern - it's such a quick and satisfying sew. And pockets!!!!

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  2. Looks great, Emi! Very stylish and comfy! Love the kimono!

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    1. Thanks, Olga! I need more of these comfy yet stylish outfits, hahaha. Because you know that most days I end up sitting around in the equivalent of a t-shirt and sweatpants.

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  3. YES Emi, this is absolute perfection! I want to copy this entire outfit. It looks SO good on you and I see Jersey Plus Ninnis in my very near future. I loved that you dared testing out my idea and I'm relieved that it worked, ha.

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and fabric advice, Mie! I know I will never go far wrong with your tips. :) I am sure you will love your Ninnis just as much as I love mine!

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  4. I just love this outfit! Perfect on you!

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    1. Thank you, Sofie! I love when something is so comfortable and manages to make me look halfway decent!

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  5. I love this outfit together, so chic!!

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    1. Thanks, Gabriela! I'm so happy I finally got round to making this for me after making so many for my daughters!

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  6. You made such a wonderful outfit! And what a great idea to make the ninni culottes with Jersey Plus! Thanks God for Mie! I love to be inspired by her. My only problem is that I'm 1000 times slower than she when it comes to sewing speed...

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    1. Thank you, Eveline! Thank goodness for Mie, too. I don't know what my sewing would be like without her (probably a huge mess). And I know what you mean. I'm pretty slow these days too.

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  7. Love the all outfit! Stylish and comfortable... Perfect choice of fabrics... Thank you so much for the shout out. You are an inspiration! I'm going to copy you and make my next one's with that paper bag waist.

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    1. Thank you for reading, Diana! I love everything you make for yourself - your sewing (and approach to sewing) is such an inspiration to me!!

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  8. Oh I wish I could fit into the Fishtail kimono! I bought this pattern for my girlies a few months back... and haven't stopped sewing for myself since then hahahaha Your outfit is fabulous Emi. The cropped length is such a personal thing! I am tall, so I kind of have the opposite problem at times haha

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    1. Your sewing has been amazing and inspirational, Jenya! I feel like I'm sewing for myself a lot more these days, too. And regarding the cropped length, I always thought that tall people look great in cropped trousers, but maybe (I am hoping) that if I get the proportions right, even short people like me can wear cropped trousers well. ;)

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