Named Esme Kimono hack and some musings on perfectionism

Finally I am blogging one of 5 unblogged SWAP items I have made over the cold months. More to follow when weather gets properly warmer and I have seen the beautician to remove my winter coat 😉

As part of my SWAP wardrobe, I had planned a kimono style over layer. Seems I was well ahead of the curve here as clearly they are currently having a very mainstream fashion moment. I’m fine with that as my SWAP wardrobe is designed to be as timeless as possible and I believe that soft drapey jackets like this will always be chic for evening and in the meantime I will wear them with jeans and t-shirts too. Winning all round.


This Kimono is a hack of the Esme Cardigan by my fav Named Clothing. I made some modifications as follows:

  • Made the front into a single piece removing the pockets
  • Narrowed the button stand to about 5cm
  • Widened and shortened the sleeves, leaving off the cuff
  • Added fringing to the hem

The gunmetal satin fabric was purchased at a school fair for $1 and the fringing was from Spotlight. I had ordered some lovely silver fringing as part of my ill-fated Mood order, but received gold fringing instead which did not work. So yeah, thanks for that guys.


I sewed the entire garment with French seams to make the inside of this unlined garment pretty too and also this fabric frays like the badness. TBH I didn’t trim my first seam very well and there are some fluffy bits poking out of some of the seams. Ugh.


Which brings me to my musings on perfectionism. On Friday night I auditioned for a role I want so badly. As the Buddhists say, ‘Desire leads to suffering’ and it’s always true for me in the case of auditions for roles I want. I am well under the weather with a horrid head cold and my desired ‘smash it out of the park’ result for Friday’s 10mins of time with the production team was not achieved. I probably delivered at about 75% of where I wanted to.

Since then my feelings about the audition have deteriorated to feeling like I performed terribly – the curse of perfectionism. I think the worst thing about perfectionism is the crushing truth that perfectionists shoulder: knowing they can never attain perfection – whether in a French seam, the perfect outfit, or in an audition –  but never being able to be satisfied with anything less.

Alex said to me the worst he has ever heard me perform is at 98% of amazing, and my tight set of friends have reminded me that if I don’t get the part, it won’t be to do with the audition but the multiple of other variables that happen in situations outside our control. And the reality of the fact is that the audition ended with the Musical Director saying “We know what you can do Naomi” when I asked if I could sing one of the sections again because I wasn’t happy with how it had felt. How is it that in the face of all this external feedback telling me I did OK, that my brain can still convince me I tanked?

Well there’s my existential crisis in 3 paragraphs. Thanks for reading. On the up side I do really like how this Esme hack finished up, regardless of the fluffy seams. And how lovely is that diffuse Spring light in our garden?


Outfit deets:

  • Period Tee from Nope Sisters Clothing – promoting affordable menstrual products for young women
  • Second hand jeans
  • Allbirds runners (if you live in NZ or US check them out! They are THE.BEST)
  • Sunnies by Coral Marlin Eyewear
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18 thoughts on “Named Esme Kimono hack and some musings on perfectionism

  1. Fabulous outfit all around! I love the splashes of red and the pretty kimono. I used to have a Belle Epoque print of a lady lounging in a kimono on my wall!

    I understand the trials of perfectionism all too well. Crossing my fingers that you got the part. I know it’s probably not helpful, but I have found that sometimes not getting what I want has led to an opportunity to do something even better for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You look so cool! I love the kimono!

    I know what you mean about perfectionism. There are a few Buddhist stories and teachings that I try to remind myself of (re-reading, listening to talks again) when that beast inside grabs me by the neck. A while ago there was a job I really wanted to get and didn’t. It stung, and I only got a comparable opportunity months later, and completely out of the blue.

    I’m not sure I have a coherent point here apart from: it stings when it happens. But if you manage to observe it, name it for what it is, and get yourself gently unglued from it, your sense of self won’t be pinned to the opportunity or achievement so painfully. And that’s good, also because it will make you notice other opportunities more readily.

    So while I don’t know what your chances might be of getting this one, you perhaps not doing great on the audition doesn’t shake my sense that you are both dedicated and great at what you give your heart and energy to. It’s banal to say “there will be other auditions,” but, hey, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think this kimono version you created has several incarnations ahead. It looks very adaptable. I can almost see something sexy up ahead should you choose colors of red and black. I think it’s the fringe that brought it to mind. I’ve not seen a kimono jacket with fringe and so the first thing I thought of was “boudoir jacket”.

    As for perfectionism, I get that way but not all the time. It can become like an addiction. There is a crazy amount of hoping and envisioning that goes into the perfect next-time whether it’s the perfect muffin, sewing project, writing entry, or project at work. And deep down I know that the perfect-perfect won’t happen but I want to believe it to keep going. In this sense it’s a kind of addiction.

    I find the literature from the 12 step program very helpful. I have two books with daily meditations. One for morning, one for evening. They are very simple and easy to relate to. Even if one is not addicted to a substance, they can be addicted to a behavior. So I find the slogans and meditations helpful. Here are a few that are almost zen-like and worth letting into your heart and mind:

    Keep it simple.
    Easy does it.
    Let go and let God.

    I especially like the last one. You can even change it to Let go and let spirit. Amazing spirit of inspiration take over. Drop the need to control and know that you will land on safe ground. There is always something to learn and grow from during a journey, even if the results don’t come out as planned. What this means is to let go and let the process happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually have some stunning black burn out silk that i might make a cami and matching kimono out of. Maybe red fringing… Lots to consider.
      And thanks for your wise and kind words. I like the affirmation
      “It is night at the end of a long day. What has been done has been done. What has not been done has not been done. Let it be. ”
      I like your idea letting the spirit of inspiration take over and that there is always something to learn and grow from. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In the pics you appear to be twirling right out of the existential crisis (-; It is a lovely garment, I believe you will have lots of enjoyment from it! Perfectionism is a bitch, but also what makes you at least “98% of amazing”, and also what keeps the motivation flowing. I do not envy people who do not know what perfectionism feels like. Anyway, it would be wonderful if you do get the role and if not….*hugs!* The journey never stops.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel you on the perfectionism thing. I’ve literally cried over garments trying to get them perfect. Performing must be extra hard because you’re on display the whole time – at least no one can see me struggling over the sewing machine!

    I was reading a book on mindfulness today, and although most of the time I wasn’t on board with the author, I figured I’d follow the crowd and share a quote I liked: “Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pell-mell down the hill, utterly out of control and helpless. No problem.” That is, our mind will think all kinds of thoughts we can’t necessarily control – and that’s ok!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s such a good way to think of it! I actually really like that.
      And certainly being on display doesn’t make for an easy experience as a perfectionist but i feel you on the tears of frustration front. Ah why do we do this to ourselves?!

      Like

  6. What a clever Esme hack! That fabric is awesome and it’s perfect for the kimono! As a singer myself, I understand your angst and have experienced first hand the foolish behavior of one’s brain in these situations. It’s so distracting! The more I fight those thoughts, the worse they gets. I find my best strategy is to look at the thought, accept it, then to imagine myself releasing it into the sky. If I keep doing this, eventually, it dissipates. In the meantime…sew:). Fingers crossed for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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