Monday, July 22, 2013

The Kimono Dress Project (Duro Kimono Dress)

Duro Olowu 2011

Courtesy of Barney's NY.

Duro Olowu won the British Fashion Award in 2005 -New Generation Designer.
You can see his original dress here on Dress A Day.

From from his 2007 collection.
"Since arriving on the London fashion scene in 2004, Nigerian-born Duro Olowu has impressed the right people with his vibrant mix of African prints, seventies tailoring, and unlikely color combos. A high-waisted patchwork boho dress—known as the “Duro”—put the brand on the fashion map, and became a cult item in 2005 after being discovered by American Vogue editor Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart of Barneys."

Then there were the other versions...

Tracy Reese kimono dress
Drew Barrymore in the movie "Music and Lyrics"

This is the one that made me take notice of the dress, I liked the side panels and contrast fabrics.

That set me out to look for patterns, and there were a number of bloggers who had already made their own versions using these..

McCall 5137 OOP
Butterick 5031 OOP (but still available on the McCalls website)
Simplicity 4072
Butterick 4849 OOP
Serendipity The Torii Tunic Pattern 

Kimono dress patterns

McCalls 5137

side by side duro McCalls 5137 with band

So how is McCalls 5137 like the Duro?  

It has kimono sleeves, neckband, hem band.

How is it not like the Duro?

The skirt is more A line with a curved hem, the Duro is more like a dirndl the side seams are straight and the hem is straight across with no curve.

The waistband is wider and has a tie, the Duro has a narrower waist band and no tie

The neck facing is wider on the pattern.

There is no back neck facing on the pattern.

There is no option for a long sleeve version on the pattern.


Butterick 5031

Kimono's side by side

How is Butterick 5031 like the Duro?

The neckband is closer in width to the original dress

It has kimono sleeves
The hem is straight and the skirt side seam is straight
It has gathering at the skirt under the band
It does not have a tie on the back, but a zipper as the original
It has a long sleeve version

How is it not like the Duro?

The top crosses instead of having a facing
There is no shaping to the waistband
The contrast bands are narrower than the original
It has gathers under the bust over the waist band

Note: The contrast sleeve and skirt bands on the right photo of Butterick 5031 are not hemmed the pattern was intended to look like the pic on the left.

I played a little with the proportions to see what would suit me best.

kimono proportions

From left to right.
Far left - hems are not folded
Middle - skirt hem is folded
Far right - sleeve and skirt are as originally intended following the pattern instructions.

In the end you have to play until you find what looks best on your body.

5031 on a body blank

You'll also notice on the Duro, that there are no gathers under the bust, in the Butterick 5031 version it was the same but really didn't suit me at all, so it had to be tweaked.

There was something about the bodice fit on the kimono dress that was bothering me. When my arms were down there was excess drape around the breasts. So I played with it a bit, wrapping the tie, playing with the widths on the front facing and yoke, and for this version finally settling on a shoulder adjustment.  The adjustment also improved the unfortunate pattern placement making the two large flowers on the bust area look a little less obvious.

bodice fit

Once I pinned the shoulders up, things started to look a bit perkier :), and without the excess it makes the outside bodice line more streamlined, it also resulted in less width at the sleeve opening as well as less of a blouson back. Most Importantly it raised the neckline as well, which was a concern. If this pattern were made in a stiffer cotton, it might be ok.

Added the shoulder slant and shortened the front & back bodice.

So it meant reworking the back facing
Reworking the facing

Now we are really finished.



Gail said...

I think I might pull out my old pattern for this dress. Just need the right set of fabrics.

ELMO said...

You should, It's a great little style for summer. Very comfortable.