So many people start the New Year with great big resolutions. If one of your resolutions for the year was to sew more this year, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve joined up with an amazing group of bloggers that are going to share with you what they and their families are wearing this month. All day, everyday.

We’re going to talk about fabrics, patterns, and styles. We’re going to show you how to take Ready To Wear inspirations and turn them into reality. But most importantly, we’re going to show you how we REALLY use our handmades in our regular lives. Whether that’s lounging around the house, going to school, work, family photos or even formal events, we’re going to show you how to make them work for how you live.

I live in Melbourne, Australia, and it is so very hot here at the moment, so this January my family and I will be wearing clothes that are comfortable for the hot weather.

I made this dress for myself to wear this summer, this is the Akinori Wrap Dress by Wardrobe by Me (affiliate link).

This pattern comes in two different size groups – US size 2-16 and US size 14-24.

The dress has no buttons, zippers, or other fastenings, it just pops on over your head.

The dress features kimono style sleeves and an attached wrap around belt.

The back of the dress is all one piece.

The front of the dress features a gorgeously pleated bodice and skirt.

The Fabric

I used a black voile with a border of embroidery and lace.

I used the lace trim for the skirt, the fabric is extra wide and I was able to fit the back piece.

I also used the embroidery to accent the central panel.

Although it kills me that I didn’t put more thought into the placement of the embroidery, and it is, just a little, off centre.

And the last place that I used the edging was for the ties. The fabric was not quite wide enough to make the ties, so I had to piece them together, however, the seam where I joined them is at the side and slightly to the back, so it is not visible when worn.

The fabric is hard to see in the photos, because its black and so hard to photograph, here are a couple of lighter shots where you can see the detail.

Having this lace border on the fabric eliminated the need for a hem! Gotta love that.


I love how the pleats ended up, it was a little bit fiddly to do – especially as one of the pattern markings disappeared into the edges of the page and I didn’t see it at first. This meant that I got it wrong the first time around, but once I had worked it out, all the pieces fit together just right.

I had no other problems with the construction, the instructions were clear, with diagrams for all the tricky bits. This pattern doesn’t provide as much detailed instruction as some patterns do – such as when to finish raw seams etc, but I didn’t have any problems with that.

The bodice pleats are also very flattering, I didn’t do an FBA on this, the pleats are quite forgiving without any alteration.

The Fit

The pattern does give some guidance for lengthening the bodice, which I did do. I added in my usual 2 inches, and went on my merry way. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise until it was finished that 2 inches was too much, so I took an inch off at the shoulder seam, tapering it toward the sleeve hem. I was worried that this would affect the way that the neckline sits, but it worked out okay! Lesson learnt here: make a toile first!!!

Overall the fit is very nice, this is a very comfortable and practical dress to wear, especially for hot weather, so I will be wearing this a lot during January!

A Giveaway and a Link Party!

There are some fabulous prizes to be won this month including 61 patterns and $235 in store credits to give away. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Sewing by Ti for organising this blog tour, including all these fantastic prizes!

There are two prize packs to win, and two ways to win them.

Prize Pack #1 includes:
2 patterns from 5 out of 4
2 patterns from A Sparkly Baby
1 pattern from Blank Slate
1 pattern from Closet Case Patterns
3 patterns from Create Kids Couture
2 patterns from Daydream Patterns
2 patterns from Duck Butt Designs
3 patterns from Everything Your Mama Made and More
1 pattern from Gracious Threads
1 pattern from Greenstyle Creations
1 pattern from Itch to Stitch
$20 store credit for Mummykins and me
2 patterns from New Horizons Designs
1 pattern from Laela Jeyne Patterns
1 pattern from Rad Patterns
3 patterns from Sew A Little Seam
2 patterns from Sew By Pattern Pieces
1 pattern from Street Style Patterns
1 pattern from Stitch Upon A Time
2 patterns from Winter Wear Designs
$100 store credit to Raspberry Creek Fabrics to buy fabric to start sewing up your new patterns!

To win this prize pack, click the rafflecopter link below and visit the Facebook groups for each of the sponsors. Just going to their group registers you for chances to win one of the huge prizes. You don’t have to join, but we would really appreciate if you give some of our sponsors some love! And of course, while you’re there check out their patterns and fabric and let it inspire you.

click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize Pack #2 includes:
2 patterns from A Sparkly Baby
3 patterns from Bella Sunshine Designs
1 pattern from Closet Case Patterns
3 patterns from Create Kids Couture
2 patterns from Daydream Patterns
2 patterns from Duck Butt Designs
3 patterns from George and Ginger
1 pattern from Greenstyle Creations
1 pattern from Love Notions
2 patterns from New Horizons Designs
$20 Store Credit to Patterns for Pirates
1 pattern from Rad Patterns
2 patterns from Sew By Pattern Pieces
1 pattern from Sew Straight and Gather
1 pattern from Sis Boom
1 pattern from Stitch Upon A Time
1 Pattern from Street Style
3 patterns from Wardrobe By Me (Akinori Kimono, Urban Joggers and Ziggy Zipper Hoodie)
2 patterns from Winter Wear Designs

And of course more fabric to sew up your new patterns!
$30 Store Credit to Pretty Posh Prints
$25 Store Credit to You Made Something
2 yards of Art Gallery Fabric and a Solid Coordinate from NR Fabrics

To be in the running for this pack, all you need to do is share your photos in the linky party by clicking on the link below:

Note: the fabric is only available for delivery within the US, sorry about that!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone else is wearing this January.

Blog Tour:

If you’re ready to be inspired, make sure to check out the other blog posts on the tour this week. Obviously, posts go live on their date.

Sunday, January 1st: Sewing By Ti, Embrace Every Day
Monday, January 2nd: Sewing By Ti
Tuesday, January 3rd: Sewing By Ti
Wednesday January 4th: Tenille’s Thread
Thursday, January 5th: Crafty Like A Rox, Harper+Lu
Friday, January 6th: Creative Counselor, Lulu & Celeste
Saturday, January 7th: Wild & Wanderful

There will be more posts in the tour throughout the month, and some more giveaways too! So make sure to check back again.

Thanks for reading.

15 thoughts on “Watcha Wearin January – Akinori Kimono Dress”

  1. That fabric is AMAZING. Hats off to you for wearing a black dress in the middle of the summer. It sounds like a great idea right now as I’m freezing during a snow storm, but even this black loving lady doesn’t wear black in the summer. And the lace trim on that skirt is gorgeous. I could see this being a great

    1. Thank you – I had been hoarding it for quite a while before I committed to cutting into it!

  2. This dress is gorgeous and the fabric is so beautiful. Love the lace hem. And how great is it that no fastenings or hem sewing! My favourite kind of dress 🙂

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