Pattern Reviews

Summer Topper – Helen’s Closet Suki Kimono

Warning: both of my posts this week are going to be about Helen’s Closet patterns. Fan girl much? I am not ashamed!

My adoration for Helen’s Closet started about a year ago when I discovered her Weekly Wednesday updates. So when the 2018 #sewmystyle projects were revealed and I saw one of Helen’s patterns on the list, I was pretty excited. I’d never actually sewn one up, but had seen all the rave reviews for the everything she has ever released. I had also grabbed the Avery leggings a while back to make in red but just hadn’t gotten around to them.

Luckily #sewmystyle gave me the push I needed. I ended up sewing THREE of Helen’s patterns over a one week time span: the York, Avery, and this one, the Suki. Today is all about the Suki, a kimono-style robe.

I’m not a robe kind of girl. When it comes to lounging around, I will always choose yoga pants and a tank over lingerie/robe wear. But when I was waffling over buying the pattern or not, I searched Instagram for #sukikimono and found someone had made a short version. I thought that was a cute look, so I looked into how to do that. Lo and behold, it turns out that Helen hacks all her own patterns and makes the instructions for hacks freely available on her site! Here’s the short cover-up one.

Game on!

I had a very limited length of a lavender silky fabric with gold poppies all over it. Being the California girl that I am (the poppy is our state flower) I knew I wanted that to be my Suki. I had just over 2 yards of it, but it was only 45″ wide so I had to be very careful laying everything out. Because of this, I had to go a little shorter than I wanted to, though it’s still stylish anyway.

Let’s talk PDF!

  • Layered sizes: yes
  • Colored lines by size: no
  • No trim pattern: no
  • Prints to edge of paper: no
  • Print layout included: yes, page 6 of instructions
  • A0 available: yes

If you can’t get colored size lines, then layered sizes are such an eyesight saver. Thank you to all pattern makers who do that!

The pattern is 43 pages long and I cut the XL size. Because I was doing the short version, which requires lopping off the banded portion anyway, I could simply print the top 6 pages for each front and back piece. This ended up being at about the second notch on the side seam, and doing so saved a whopping ton of paper.

I gave myself a 1″ pivot and slide full bust adjustment (which I actually learned from Helen’s herself some years ago, via random Google search). I think I should have done a bit more since my bust is currently around 47″ and the kimono doesn’t quite meet up in the front. Not that it’s supposed to but I would feel more comfortable with a little extra space.

Extending the band was a bit of a crapshoot. I thought I gave myself just enough extra length, but had to go back and add 5″. Instead of simply adding the extra length to one end and having an obvious errant seam on the front band, I added it to the middle. I thought it would line up perfectly with the shoulder seams, but it didn’t. Shhh, don’t tell!

The added length allowed for me to perfectly meet the hem and fold the whole thing up one inch instead of how the instructions suggest. I serged the entire thing and it came together in about a day after taping it together and cutting the fabric.

Speaking of shifty silky fabric, I finally conquered my fear of working with this by using the Threads method of soaking in a gelatin solution. This worked GREAT!

I was so excited to take my little topper to Vancouver with me, and hopefully show it to Helen herself (!!!), but unfortunately neither of those things happened. It turned out Helen was going to be out of town the same weekend I was there, AND a side seam on the Suki ripped just before I started packing.

Such is life.

Still a cute make. And once I fix the seam, it will make the perfect “running to the store” upgrade to the standard yoga pants and tank top look.



If I were to make this again, I’d definitely add a little more length but also some width for the boobs. You can see how far it pulls up in the front, so definitely need more room in that region.

Pattern Recap:

Pattern: Helen’s Closet Suki Kimono
Size: XL
Fabric: lavender poly silky with golden poppy designHelen’s Closet Suki Kimono
Modifications: 1″ FBA and used “short hack”
Notes for next time: size up or widen FBA and lengthen front pieces

This was my entry for the June 2018 #sewmystyle challenge.

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