The Kimono Pattern. - There are several garments that can be made from the kimono pattern. Some of these, a kimono, nightgown and apron dress, are shown in the pictures in Fig. 14. If you understand how the kimono pattern is put together it will be easy for you to make any of them. Did you ever make a dress for your doll by cutting the whole dress out of one piece of cloth? This means that the dress and sleeves are cut in one piece and that it is the type of pattern that we call the kimono pattern.
Experimenting with the Pattern. - If you will experiment with cutting some small paper patterns you will be able to understand better a pattern for yourself. Try cutting a small pattern out of notebook paper or wrapping paper. After each girl in the class has cut a pattern, pin all the patterns up in front of the room where they can be compared. Examine these patterns and answer the following questions.
1. How many papers were folded and cut so that the patterns are like Picture 1 in Fig. 15? How many are like Picture 2? How many are like Picture 3?
2. In which of these three types of patterns will the front and back be alike? In which pattern will the two halves of the garment be alike?
3. Which of these three ways of folding the paper will make a pattern in which both sides are alike and also seams that are equal in length?
4. Do you think it necessary when cutting a paper pattern to cut both halves? How can you use a pattern for half a garment and cut a whole garment from cloth?
5. How can you use a pattern for one-fourth of the garment and cut a whole garment from the cloth? In commercial patterns which you may buy, only half the pattern is given. Fig. 16 shows such a pattern with half the back and half the front. If the pattern is laid on folded cloth the whole garment can be cut with both sides exactly alike. Which edge will have to be placed on the fold? Making a Pattern. - If you wish, you can make your own pattern for your kimono garment. In making the pattern there are three measurements that are particularly important. The length from the shoulder to the bottom including the hem, the width across the chest and the width across the bottom. Picture 1 of Fig. 17 shows where these measurements should be taken. The size of the neck, width of the sleeves, and length of the sleeves must also be measured as shown in Picture 2 of Fig. 17 Each of these measurements should be determined carefully. In order to get these measurements accurately it is helpful to measure some garment that you know is the right size. Should the sleeves be fitted tightly or loosely in the kimono type of garment?
The easiest way to cut a pattern is by marking it out on a large sheet of paper as shown in the second picture of Fig. 17. Notice that the pattern is marked out so that two edges of the paper make two edges of the pattern. Why is it better to have the pattern placed in the corner of the paper than in the middle? Can you find the arrows which point out the measurement from the shoulder to the bottom? After you have marked off this distance on your paper it is best to mark next the distance from the front edge of the pattern to the end of the sleeve. The line which points out this measurement in the diagram is No. 2. Next, the measurement for the width of the sleeve should be found, then the width across the chest and the width at the bottom of the kimono. Why are the measurements across the chest and the bottom different? Last, the line for the neck must be marked. Measure across the top edge of the paper from the corner and make a dot for the end of the curved line. Remember that this is one-half the width of the whole neck in your garment. The measurement down on the front edge from the corner should not be more than one-half inch. Otherwise your garment will be cut too low in the back of the neck. The line for the front of the neck can be cut lower after the kimono is partly made. Note the slightly curved line at the bottom of the pattern. Why can it not be cut straight across? Notice also the curve under the arm.
Picture 1 in Fig. 18 shows a pattern in which there are two bad mistakes, the neck is too large and the garment is too narrow across the chest. Picture 2 shows two different ways in which pieces may be added in order to make the sleeves longer. It is necessary to do this when the material is not wide enough to cut long sleeves. One of the sleeves in Picture 2 is made so that it hangs down. Do you know in what country the people wear kimonos with such sleeves?
Selecting Your Patterns. - Decide with your teacher whether it will be best for all the girls in the class to make the same garment or whether it will be possible for some girls to make different garments, such as the nightgown, the kimono and the apron dress. It may happen that some girls will have a particular need for one of these garments. If the class has decided to buy commercial patterns, it will be economical to buy as few patterns as possible. All the girls of the same size might use one pattern. Patterns for girls are bought according to ages. If you happen to be large or small for your age you should buy the pattern according to bust measure. Take your bust measure and find out what age corresponds with your size bust measure.