DIY SEWING

SHIBORI DYED KIMONO ROBE

July 22, 2016

Allie of Indiesew hosted a little shibori dying get together and I decided to take the opportunity to dye some fabric for a bathrobe that has been on my list forever. I’ve done quite a bit of dying over the years, but always use whatever RIT dye or whatever is found at the local craft store. This was my first time to use actual shibori and it was pretty fun. I loved that I didn’t have to boil it as that is always such a mess. Allie said she just bought this shibori kit from Amazon and it worked great for us.

For fabric I just ordered a bunch of this white linen. I love sewing with linen and wearing it in the summer. It’s breezy and natural and I embrace the wrinkles.  And as far as a bathrobe goes, even better.

I used two techniques when dying the fabric. For the main part of the kimono I knew that I wanted it to be mostly blue so it wouldn’t be see through at all, even when wet. So I used a simple clothespin technique that I found on pinterest. Pretty much I folded it into an accordian and then put clothespins every few inches. Here is a pic on instagram that shows what it looked like prior to dying. I’m pretty obsessed with how it turned out. It kinda reminds me of some African mudcloth that I have. I love that it is geometric and repetitive, but still not perfect.

For the accent pieces I went with a pole wrapping technique like this one although instead of putting it on a pvc pipe I used an old fabric tube from Allie’s basement. I think if I went with a thicker tube (mine was probably only 3 inches in diameter) then there would be less white. I love how this fabric contrasts with the darker and more geometric main fabric. This one resembles waves to me and ended up being ombre because the inner fabric got a lot less dye to it.

For the pattern I used vintage Simplicity 0017 from 1985 that I picked up at the thrift store for 25 cents. It’s perfect. I wanted something that was a true, boxy kimono style like this one. A lot of the robe patterns that I have seen have thinner sleeves resembling more of an oversized mens shirt instead. If you are looking for a similar style, Erin of Sewbon has a free kimono pattern on her site that looks almost identical.

The robe was a breeze to sew up. I think the only change I made was to shorten the sleeves a bit. I’ve already worn it a ton and it will probably end up being one of my most worn sewn items ever. That being said, I want to make another one already. This one ended up a bit heavier than I was planning. The linen is more medium weight than lightweight like I was expecting. Now I want to make one in a bamboo knit for serious comfort and maybe even a silk one to wear in the evenings. I’m a little bit addicted.

I also want to copy Sewbon and Indiesew and dye a set of cotton napkins. Wouldn’t that be such a great holiday gift? Or even a set for yourself for summer bbqs. Hmmm. I think I need to do that soon.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Gail July 23, 2016 at 12:55 AM

    Really interesting fabric creation. Do you think this would work on silk? I have a creme silk gown that always gets dirty and would suit this effect.

    • Reply True Bias July 23, 2016 at 9:37 PM

      definitely. i think it would amazing in silk1

  • Reply Lynsey July 23, 2016 at 2:29 AM

    Lovely gown, the effect that the dying has given the fabric is awesome, I’ve always been intimidated by this technique but the kit might help with this. Yours is fab and now I want one!

    • Reply True Bias July 23, 2016 at 9:38 PM

      its really not very hard and really fun too. you should give it a go!

  • Reply oonaballoona July 23, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    ooo, you’ve got me thinking christmas in july with those napkins… but i remember (with horror) my last dye attempt ;)))! you look gorgeous, so romantic!

  • Reply Heather July 23, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    This looks great Kelli – I love how it turned out!

  • Reply Maria Henderson November 19, 2017 at 11:21 PM

    Really interesting post! thanks for posting it.

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