I thought it would be fitting for my first pattern review to be of the first pattern I ever used, Butterick 6698.
|My first pattern, now out of print (OOP).|
I was invited to a large exciting costume party, and through much debate and planning, it was decided I would go as Yuko from xxxHolic.
Obviously, as I was new to sewing, I didn’t want to stray too much from the pattern, so I didn’t make the costume 100% accurate, but I did try to get close. Also, as I didn’t have too much time to prepare (and I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I wanted to get as much of the materials as soon as possible) so the colors are maybe not the best in my version. The purple color of the “obi” is too light, and the green a little too yellow. I love my red fabric, but when I was shopping for costume fabric there was the most perfect red fabric – silky red with light orange swirls and butterflies. Which, in the anime, is one of the recurring visual themes. Sigh. Alas, for it was $30/yard for the perfect fabric. And, as I was a newbie and the pattern requires 6 yards of fabric (for 45″ wide) I just wasn’t going to commit financially. But I do love the fabric I got, and it was much less expensive. And, since I have lost some weight since I first made this costume I would really love to redo the obi, but keep the robe. It is so slim-fitting in the anime, I would almost be tempted to do a corset instead of just fabric so I could get the nice smooth shape. I would also like to find some nice lace (perhaps white lace for a first experiment with dying?) to replace the cotton so I can get the correct color and feel from the original inspiration costume. But, anyway, for a first project I think it did turn out rather well. So, on to the review!
Pattern Description: This is an adult kimono costume for men and women.
Pattern Sizes: XS-S-M-L-XL (European sizing 32-48, does not have American sizing on the package) I cut a large, but if I were to make it again, I would use a small for the top and a medium for the bottom, as I have decreased in size since the first use of this pattern. (I would perhaps flare out the bottom to a large or extra-large if I were making another Yuko costume, as she has a flare for the dramatic, even if that isn’t very “correct.”)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when you were done sewing with it? Yes, I think so. My design had a little more frills than the original because I was trying to replicate a specific anime costume, but overall it looked very similar.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very easy. This was my first sewing project and so I relied only on the instructions with the pattern. There was no zipper or anything super tricky since it is basically a robe. The sleeves are about the most difficult thing, but even they weren’t too hard.
What did particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love love love the sleeves! They are so big and feel so elegant. I was able to make a small drawstring purse out of leftover robe fabric and wear it under the costume tucked into the sleeve to hold car keys, money, and other essentials while still having a good time. Don’t recall having any particular dislikes, except that the obi kept sliding down. I think it needed to attach directly to the robe or needed better closures. Of course, mine was extra heavy because of the beading.
Fabric used: Some sort of polyester brocade blend. Polyester satin for the white collar, and green cotton for the “lace.” The “obi” was made from some sort of polyester taffeta I think. Not very historically accurate, but it got the job done.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t interface anything, and I added the moon and beading to the obi, as well as the green “lace” to make it look like the original inspiration. I also used snaps instead of velcro for closures, because I was afraid the velcro wouldn’t stay.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would sew it again. I would recommend it, as well. Sadly, as it is out of print now, the only current “Big 4” kimono/geisha costume is Simplicity 4080. Which actually looks to have a more correct obi pattern, whereas the Butterick 6698 had a costume sash to look like an obi. Since I wanted that thin fit through the middle to replicate the Yuko costume, I chose the Butterick pattern originally. I think if I made this costume again (or another anime/not historical-type costume) I might try making a corset with boning to get that slim fitted shape in the middle, even though that would be very not historically correct. I would also alter the top to make it more correct to the original from the anime. If I wanted to try for a more historical or accurate costume, I would go with the Simplicity pattern.
Conclusion: Overall, I really like this pattern. It is nice that it also has a pattern for a guy’s costume as well. It is great as a pattern for a costume, but not the best if you want to make something that is historical or period accurate.
Now, for some pictures! It was hard to get a nice picture of the front as a source, so I took several screen shots when the costume got some close-up time during a panning shot.
So, here is my version:
The neckline is a bit high, and the color’s aren’t exactly perfect, but for a first try at sewing, with limited time and budget, not too too bad.
|“Lace” detail. Actually a cotton fabric with embroidery.|
|Bead close-up. Also you can see the hand embroidery around the moon.|
I really do think I would love to re-do the obi in more of a plum color and get a darker green lace for the details. Maybe adjust the fit on the top as well. However, I don’t exactly need to re-do the costume at the moment, so those will have to go onto my project list. But, since I made this costume almost two years ago and am still mostly pleased with it (as a first project) I would consider it a success.