If you've been on Instagram at all the last few months, chances are you've seen the Wiksten Kimono popping up all over the place. And for good reason...it's one of the most perfect layering pieces I've come across so far!
The Wiksten Kimono was originally released in Issue 4 from Making last fall and was a huge hit! I made a version out of a lightweight wool coating (you can read all about it here) and fell in love with the easy, relaxed silhouette. But it was definitely oversized. A lot of people had trouble figuring out what size to make based on their measurements and some found it too overwhelming for their shape.
So a couple of months ago, Jenny Gordy (the designer) released an updated version as a printed pattern, adding multiple lengths to the jacket and altering the fit slightly based on the feedback she received from the initial version.
The updated pattern has a slightly slimmer silhouette, sloped the shoulder seams for less bulk, and adjusted pocket placement and sleeve length. She also changed the collar so that it's made out of one fabric (the lining), instead of two (main fabric on one side, lining on the other).
After making both versions of the pattern, I can definitely say that I love the new version and really appreciate all of the work that Jenny put into updating it! So...here are the details...
In my first jacket from the original pattern, I made a size small and found that it was still a little too big. I probably could have easily gone down to an extra small and it still would have fit! I love it, but it feels very oversized and bulky. Part of that is due to the heavier fabric that I used, but I really do think that the pattern itself was just too big overall.
But this updated version?! OH EM GEE. I love it SO much and have been wearing it almost exclusively since finishing it a couple of weeks ago!
I made a size medium in the longest length option. I knew I wanted this oversized, drapey, and cozy (a.k.a a wearable blanket). My body measurements put me in a size medium, so for this type of look, I think the pattern is true to size.
I used our Avery Slub Linen Blend in Caramel for the main fabric and the Illustrated Floral Viscose Crepe as the lining. PLEASE NOTE: the pattern assumes that you will be using your lining fabric for the collar. I did not do that. If you want your collar in the main fabric instead (like I did here), simply swap the fabric requirements for the main and lining fabrics! For example, I used 3.5 yards of the Avery Slub Linen Blend and 2.5 yards of the Illustrated Floral Viscose Crepe.
I know I'm going to get a lot of questions about this - we are currently sold out of the Illustrated Floral Viscose Crepe. But yes! We are going to be getting more! The manufacturer expects it to come in at the end of September, so I will likely have it in the shop at the beginning of October. We are also currently restocking all colors of the Avery Slub Linen Blend and should have those within the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out on Instagram and for our newsletter to be the first to know when they're back in stock!
I also chose not to interface the collar of this version. Because the drape of the Avery Slub Linen Blend is so beautiful on its own, I didn't want to stiffen it and change the look of the jacket. If I were using a stiffer main fabric, I probably would interface, just for good measure.
You'll notice that I also changed the sleeves just slightly. I had the sleeve pattern pieces cut out in both the main fabric and the lining, but just didn't want to commit to the lining being seen when I rolled up the sleeves. I love pops of color and pattern, but I like them to be a little more hidden!
I had some scraps of my main fabric left over, so I cut off about 6 inches of the lining pattern pieces and replaced them with the main fabric instead (remembering to add the seam allowance back in!). The result is a pattern piece for the sleeves that is half floral and half solid. This way, I can roll up the sleeves and have a simple and cohesive looking jacket from the exterior, while still benefiting from the more slippery aspect of the viscose crepe so my sleeves don't stick to any layering pieces. It's a win-win!
This really is the layering piece that I was missing from my closet and I would love to make at least one more! I would like to try a more structured version in a size small to make it more of a jacket than a cardigan. I think I would definitely need to size down if the fabric weren't so drapey to reduce some of the volume. Maybe in some sort of canvas, inspired by the Clyde Jacket from Elizabeth Suzann.
It really is a fabulous layering piece. Perfect for those in-between days...late summer evenings or crisp fall mornings, where you need just a little something to cozy up in. I know I'll be living in mine as the seasons change!