Serendipity Studio Diane Kimono dress – Grunge Fish

Sometimes a print makes a sewing project so much fun. Check out this cotton twill from Cali Fabrics – I love it!

Going through my pattern stash, I realized I haven’t made a Diane Kimono dress in 4 years (Year of the Dragon print). Designed by Texan Kay Whitt and released in 2011, it’s a delightful silhouette and a wonderful palette for mixing prints.

I checked Kay’s Serendipity Studio site, but did not find the Diane listed. I did find the paper/envelope pattern (which is what I have) at WeSewRetro. The dress is so lovely, and the pattern costs less than you might think – you might want to snatch a copy before it disappears. BTW – Kay’s choice of quilting cottons for her garments is inspirational. It’s worth a visit to her site just to enjoy her creativity.

Here’s a collage of versions I made in 2012. I think I will revisit using multiple fabrics on my next version.

Sewing notes:

  • Size Small. I’m 5′ 7 1/2″ tall, 34/29.5/39 BWH.
  • Fabric yardage for my Diane Kimono dresses: 4 yards at 44″ wide, 3 yards at 55″ wide.
  • To take the dress to a maxi length, I added 13″ to skirt pattern pieces. For a midi length, I would need about 10″.
  • Added 1.5″ to the bodice length, front and back – 1/2″ at the bustline, 1″ at the bottom edge.  
  • Added 1″ to the neckline, fronts and back, to raise the crossover, and redrafted the facings to fit. The original was way too low without a cami. Below, on the left, with the original neckline – on the right, with the altered neckline.
  • Strangely, the pattern didn’t come with pockets. On earlier versions, I added side seam pockets and stitched them to the front skirt to prevent their waving around inside the dress. Ha! fixed that with this version, on which I added a pocket that sews into the waistline. On the left, old pocket – on the right, new pocket.

I borrowed a pocket from another pattern. In case you don’t have anything similar, here it is on a 1″ x 1″ grid, so you can draft one!

I love my grungy fish dress! Back soon with pineapples…

Bye for now – Coco

16 thoughts on “Serendipity Studio Diane Kimono dress – Grunge Fish

  1. I enjoy your blog and instagram posts so much!! Thank you for being so inspirational to me and many others in the internet world. 🙂 Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love all your versions of this dress. And it appears to be a great pattern to use for fabric mixing. Wonder what it would look like in silk fabrics? Perhaps a bit drapier.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all the versions, but especially this one sewn in a fabulous black and white “fish” fabric – you look fabulous and as always, did a great job! I’m ordering this pattern today- thanks so much for sharing and for the wonderful tutorials that you so generously give! I’m a relative “newbie” to sewing and have made several mistakes in choosing fabrics for particular patterns. I was surprised to see that this one was sewn in a quilting cotton as I would have thought the finished garment would be too stiff and not have enough drape. Another valuable lesson learned – thanks you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Coco I love every version! LOVE your flair for whimsical fun fabrics. I am considering making this for a casual bohemian look for a 50th class reunion in the fall and I already have this pattern. I am a little busty. Do you think it would need much tweaking in the bodice?
    Loretta Somerville

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Loretta! I think the bust is fine. My 2012 versions are with the original neckline and a full 36 C bust (I had a mastopexy in 1015). Enjoy!


      1. Thank you Coco. When I make this dress once I find the perfect fabric I’ll keep you informed on how it turned out! I had forgotten all about this tried and true to you pattern!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning. All of them are interesting and have wonderful trim details. Love all the fabrics too. You are an inspiration, so skilled.

    Liked by 1 person

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