Punk it up!


It’s 40 years since the infamous Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. It is often described as one of the most influencial gigs in history.  I love a bit of punk, really, who doesn’t?  Although I was only 2 when this gig happened, the music of the Sex Pistols had an affect on me some years later as a 15 year old looking to rebel.  My rebellion wasn’t too bad, it mainly involved learning all the words to “Never mind the Bollocks” and getting my nose pierced!


I have been listening to some really cool programmes on BBC radio, “New Rose and 40 years of the Damned” and my favourite so far, “Punk, the Pistols and the Provinces.” This made me really laugh, especially as it referenced one of the first gigs the Pistols played in Northallerton, Yorkshire and a Christmas Day gig they played in Huddersfield. Definitely worth a listen.

So while rumours circulate that HRH is honouring the “Year of Punk” (can’t be true?), I thought I would honour it in my own special way with reference to the Queen of Punk herself, Dame Vivienne Westwood.

As winter has just arrived here in Sydney, I needed a jacket, so I made a kimono!  What it lacks in structure, it makes up for in sleeves, fullness and (a hint of) tartan! I love Dame Viv’s use of tartan in everything she designs.  For me it just has to be red.  Look at these glorious pieces.

I decided to copy an existing kimono that I love and that fits. So, no pattern for me, I am such a rebel!  It is a vintage find and it has such beautiful sleeve details.  What I wanted was to achieve a more practical wearable, every day version.


I find denim to be the fabric of choice at the moment.  I found this royal blue denim on sale at Spotlight which is always a thrill.  The tartan lining was gifted to me.  And what a gift it is!  Such beautiful lightweight red cotton tartan.  A big thank you to you, Margi x

It is a fairly simple construction but I made a couple of tweeks.  It has no shoulder seams, so I added them, it made more sense to me as a pattern.  It also had a centre back seam which I didn’t need as it had no shaping.  I managed to draw it up.  I then asked my studio buddy to check it (that’s Emily of In the Folds).  She made a couple of adjustments, but nothing major so I wasn’t far off track.

I was very surprised at how well it came together.  Especially as I had to just ‘best guess’ on construction. I made a last minute decision to add some lined pockets.  A good decision I think.  I inserted them between the side seam and the collar extension (is that what you call it??)  I made the basic denim kimono and then made the tartan lining.

The major struggle for me was inserting the lining.  As the jacket has these sleeve vents, it really confused me.  After a couple of goes and failing miserably, I admitted defeat and asked the guru (Emily ) to help.  Of course she just pinned it all together and it worked!

I found my best punk inspired boots and jeans for this shoot!


There is plenty of volume in these sleeves, I feel like I have shopping bags under my arm pits.



I think the hem could be a little longer.  You can also see the neckline isn’t fitting very tightly.
Hello tartan lining, how I love thee!
You can see the sleeve vents in more detail here, I like the hint of tartan you can see.  I added some bar tacks to keep the lining in place.
Super pleased with the pockets, the placement and the lining.

I really wanted a grungy shoot and I think with the roadcone I fashioned into a tripod and the garage door in it’s full ‘rundown’ glory, I think it works.

There are a couple of issues with this make.  Firstly I think it could do with being about 5cm longer on the hem.  Also, I should have tapered the collar seam at the back so it fits a little flatter.  Other than that I am super pleased with it.  So pleased infact that I have worn it every day and I am yet to finish it. I still need to sew the hole in the lining and tack the lining in to the seam allowance in certain spots.  Question is, will I ever do this?  It would be more punk to say, “NO, F*** IT!”  But of course I won’t, there is nothing to rebel against these days!







12 thoughts

  1. Oh god, we can no longer hang out… you are way to cool and I’d feel such a dork standing next to you. I think this is the bomb! I wouldn’t lengthen it at all, I think the length works for a more practical jacket/kimono. And in denim, oh my…


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