>Almost a quarter of a century ago I knitted the first prototype of this Kimono Vest. It was knit in separate stripes with yarn and fabric strips (strippons), the individual stripes variably connected with buttons, ribbons or hooks. The very first Kimono Vest turned out nicely and I wore it to shreds!
Two, three models later I had the pattern perfected and my little interchangeable Kimono Vests were an indispensable item of my summer and winter outfits, also great for travel, covering bare shoulders, spiffing up tops and adding color, character and rendering that special eye-catcher look.
I would just pack a couple of stripes and assemble them as the mood would strike me, and the mathematicians can figure out just how many different models one can be made of 8 stripes of different color!
So here’s a description of how you can make your own versatile
Structure: make at least four strips reaching from the bottom of the front to the bottom of the back, for a shorter bolero type Kimono this would be shorter than for a vest or cardigan length Kimono. Make one strip for the center back, reaching from the back of your neck to the bottom of the back. Of course you can do a narrow triangle as a center back piece as well.
You can CO the same number of stitches for for each strip if e-quality rules your house. Or you can make some strips wide and some strips narrower, main thing is that you can combine them to about the same full width (measured from the BO-end of one “sleeve” to the other. The strips can be knitted or crocheted with any pattern you like as long as it allows the strip to have a relatively straight edge to be tied to the next strip. They can even be different in length if you wish to have a Kimono with an uneven bottom edge. All strips are interchangeable because: e-quality rules!
And this is the trick about the modular design: The French Connection (I love movies with Gene Hackman!):
Lay the flat strips out on a table. See where you wish to have the strips connected: The shorter strip is the center back and attaches at both top corners and bottom corners to the respective adjoining strip – so attach a connection there.
This connecting link can be a ribbon, a satin band, a chain made with a Lucet, hook or needles (I-Cord!). Make that chain in the color of the strip or in one of the other strips. Use a regular store-bought twine or metallized yarns. It can be a glorified safety pin or chose one of the zillion of removable stitch marker from an Etsy shop. Hardware stores are also a good source for connectors. Small clasps, tiny pony tail holders, or strippons made of material. I favor lace strippons (narrow bands cut from material), they look especially fashionable and elegant! Sew together two larger buttons to make a unique clasp, at Christmas a suitable gift ribbon will add that special touch! Use ribbons of bright colors to tie together black strips, a smashing look.
You will see: once you start looking around for suitable links you will be surprised just how many items qualify for tying these individual strips together. You can connect the strips with each other either by attaching a means of connecting (see above) on each of the strips or on only half of them (except the center back one, it is practical to have the center strip connecting with its own connectors).
I will add a drawing and pictures within the next few months.