This top was finished hot on the heels of my pink cropped kimono sleeve top, but it has taken a little while to take photographs of it – finally here they are!
I took the opportunity to use up some leftovers of a gorgeous lightweight cotton sateen that I used making this dress several years ago:
All these tops (I’ve made three now!) have got a lot of wear this summer as they can be kind of dressy or casual.
Here I’m wearing it with comfy capris and birkies, but I also like this print with anything else black – my cropped flares, naval trousers, an unblogged midi skirt. It would be nice with a pencil skirt too, but I must be the only person in the world without a black pencil skirt!
This top is exactly like the last one, with kimono sleeve gussets and a buttoned back neck split – it hardly deserves it’s own blog post! But I want to talk a bit more about kimono sleeves. In the comments on my pink top Kathy asked a question about them, and I can see why there is some confusion.
Most people think of a traditional Japanese kimono when the the word kimono is mentioned:
But patternmaking terminology is a bit different, and kimono usually refers to a block where the sleeve is cut in one with the bodice:
The kimono block is derived from a standard bodice block and sleeve:
A kimono block can range from loose fitting to close fitting. A batwing sleeve is an example of a style derived from a loose fitting block. The closer the fit of the sleeve and armhole, the more restricted is the range of movement. To increase the range of movement in close fitting styles, a gusset can be inserted in the underarm area – which is what I did with mine:
This kimono sleeve gusset can take many different shapes:
• Triangular – this is easier to sew than a diamond, as the bodice side seam and sleeve seam can be sewn in one action:
• Pentagonal – like my pattern, where the gusset is an extension of an undersleeve panel
• Pentagonal – similar to my pattern, but the gusset is an extension of a side bodice panel:
• A rectangular panel extending from sleeve hem to bodice hem: (In real life you would probably shape the design lines to be more flattering, but you get the idea)
• Introduced via design lines, as in these two different treatments of a yoke seam:
As you can see with a kimono block, there are a ton of design possibilities!
Sometimes, you will find a kimono sleeve referred to as a Magyar sleeve. I googled Magyar/Hungarian traditional folk costume and discovered this image which shows a kimono-like sleeve:
(That was a dangerous rabbit-hole of an hour though – I am in desperate need/want of a beautiful hand embroidered Hungarian blouse now!)
Isn’t it interesting that the terminology for this type of sleeve shows origins from both Japan and Hungary – two quite different parts of the world? I wonder if common usage is due to geographic location, or maybe it is due to the fashion era as I notice Magyar sleeve described more in mid-century texts. In my fashion education we used kimono, so I’ll stick to that for now. What do you call this type of sleeve in your part of the world?