Sewing Kibbe Gamine

gamine 3

On Monday I told you that I’d become fascinated by Kibbe bodytypes and wanted to try sewing some clothes inspired by the suggestions for Gamines. Well, here you are, a very basic first attempt!


Two sweatshirts! Here are the factors that make these appropriate for the gamine body type:

  • high neckline
  • fitted at shoulders and wrists
  • outfit made of seperates
  • slightly cropped length – gamines are generally short, so clothes shouldn’t overwhelm them
  • print and colour-blocking – basically high-contrast pieces, not a monochromatic column of colour
  • clean lines – not a lot of frills or draping


Sweatshirt #1 is made from secondhand yardage I picked up cheap at a charity sale – I love a large scale floral on a dark background!


#2 is the fun one, inspired by the image at the top of the post. Can you see the hoodie halfway down that is black, white and grey? For my version I used scraps of sweatshirt fleece lefts from projects for my husband. The Sewcialists are hosting Sustainable Sewing month in November, which inspired me to try some scrapbusting!

So how do I feel in these tops? Do the Gamine style recommendations work for me? 

Um, I guess? Yes. These definitely feel like “me” garments to wear, but lets be honest, a 3/4 sleeve sweatshirt was never going to be a stretch for me! I like the proportions of the shorter hem combined with the high neck, but the hem is a bit drafty on a cold day. I think more experimentation is called for!

I did have fun looking through some past makes, and pulling out a few that did (and didn’t) follow Gamine rules!


I think these all follow the suggestions for Gamines: some some tailoring, with at least some fitted elements on each outfit… separates or elements breaking up the design… high contrast and fun prints!


These are NOT gamine – the two dresses are more soft and would suit a Romantic type, and the two voluminous tops are more Natural, perhaps? Frankly, I don’t feel great in any of these.


These ones are… goodness, I don’t even know, but I like wearing them! They certainly show my love of a bold print and high neckline. The stripe maxi and the cocoon dress are voluminous shapes, but they do have a more fitted shape at the shoulder. The blue dress and far-right maxi both have ruffles, which is not so Gamine, but I think the fabric means that neither veers into twee.


Finally, some outfits I love that are streamlined and modern, but broken up by border prints and contrasting colours. These don’t really follow Gamine suggestions, but I can see elements that align.

Part of what I’m trying to assess is if I’m a true Gamine, Flamboyant Gamine (with more angular Yang and more graphic style) or a Soft Gamine (more Yin, aka softness). That’s what I’d like to figure out with my sewing experiments!

What do you think? Do I suit edgier or softer fashions? Should I just wear both? (Answer: Yes.) I’m really enjoying pulling inspiration from my Pinterest board, and using it for some fast and fun sewing. Will it actually change my wardrobe? Who knows, and who cares. It’s FUN!

P.S. Check my last post for links if you are curious about your own type!

31 thoughts on “Sewing Kibbe Gamine

  1. OK, I haven’t gone past the first paragraph but I am SOLD! You are a gamine. And that colour blocked top is so good. And you busted the stash. 100 per cent props. I think the length is perfect, btw.


    1. SO Jamie saw the picture of the colour blocked top on IG, and texted me all excited that it was like secret Fantastic Four cosplay… at which point I had to point out that yes, I had used the scraps from his Fantastic Four hoodie!!! 😛 Glad he likes it, at least!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it’s nice to have fresh inspiration for sewing, isn’t it!? Especially since I have so many clothes that there is really nothing I need, just stuff I want to have fun making!


  2. I am finding all this Kibbe stuff fascinating! The self-evaluation is challenging for me though, as I second-guess every answer!

    I did want to ask if you had read that subreddit before linking to it though–it doesn’t seem like the kind of place I’d expect you to direct anyone. =/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh shoot!!! I’ve skimmed it but not read the whole thing – is it bad? There is definitely some weird gender role crap that I ignored in the other parts of the subreddit… I’ve deleted the link to be safe! 😅 Thanks for the heads up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Their sidebar says something about getting away from “PC,” “snowflakes,” and “fat acceptance.” Definitely a toxic (and frankly, appallingly stupid) environment in which I won’t be spending any more time! I assumed you hadn’t seen that, as it’s totally out of character for what I know of you!


          1. Sure thing–like I said, I figured you must not be aware because I’ve seen you call out BS and be a strong voice for diversity and inclusion, body positivity, and progressive values in the sewing community. Thank you for removing the link though, lest anyone else find their way there and see what those folks are *really* about! I’m sure there is plenty of info on Kibbe out there in better places!

            Liked by 2 people

    2. Ditto on the link – it took me aback!

      Gillian, these look gorgeous, but I also think you show a good sense of what you like to wear and make in general and seem to have a good success rate without a framework. That said, the cropped lengths are really good proportions on you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a bit torn. Of course enhancing your body type, shape or skin color is a good thing. But I would never let anything keep me from wearing whatever I like. Some days I want frills and color, the next I’m wearing all black sleek lines, the third day everything must be baggy and bright yellow. I really don’t care what suits me, as long as I like it. I don’t dress (and don’t make my clothes) for others, just for me.
    As for your pictures above: you wear everything with such a joy, at least that’s what it looks like from the pictures. I don’t dislike any of the garments on you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! Clothes should first and foremost be fun to wear, and it’s awesome that you enjoy shifting your style each day! I’m enjoying this as an inspiration and a chance to see my patterns and fabric in a new light… but I would never give up clothes I like to wear just cause someone said I should! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 It definitely doesn’t have to be for everyone! I really do think it’s like horoscopes – totally fascinating, occasionally spot on, and sometimes best ignored!


  4. I don’t think it matters. You’ve identified what you feel good in – and to some extent what you don’t. I’m glad I read this after you deleted the link. I had a look at a video on your previous link and I wasn’t sold. Everyone is a mixture and their personality contributes. So even identical bodies but different personalities may look good in the same things but if they’re not feeling good…


    1. I definitely agree! I doubt I’ll even think about Kibbe in my sewing in a month… but for now I’m finding it a fun inspiration!


  5. So cute! I love how resourceful you are with the scrap busting too. It’s interesting to note how you feel in clothes that work with the guidelines vs. those that don’t – that’s totally what I noticed that led me away from thinking of myself as being Classic. I think what’s great about sewing is that if you use some elements of the recommendations, you can “get away with” experimenting outside the strict guidelines, and it is so much easier to control when you get to make all the choices yourself. Even though the vertical striped maxi doesn’t fall into the Gamine category shape, it looks fantastic on you, I think because of the print. I’m trying to imagine it in a solid, and it just wouldn’t have the same effect.

    Looking at all of these images together, in my opinion I think Flamboyant Gamine might be slightly winning out over regular or Soft Gamine. I think the really graphic prints look so fantastic on you! The softer prints look good, but I’m really obsessed with the color blocked sweater, the vertical stripe maxi, and the blue border print dress. Of course, you should sew what you like (I think your sense of how to combine pattern, fabric, print, and color is amazing to begin with), and I do think we can change how we want to be perceived day to day, but I also think it’s fun to explore these guidelines in a really analytical way. What I also think is so fun is that they are just guidelines; you definitely get to add your own preferences and style into the mix to make something really your own.

    I’m so excited to see people actually pulling inspirations and sewing them into wearable garments! Regardless of where it goes you are right about one thing – it is fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I agree with you about which way I lean. Flamboyent Gamine gives me swagger, and Soft Gamine lets me fade gently into the background. I do feel pretty in soft gamine though, and there’s a role for that in my wardrobe too! I’m enjoying thinking about why some garments make me feel great, and why some feel more blah. I think that’s the great part about thinking of all these guidelines, like you say – it lets us be intentional about what we follow or ignore! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with Trish on Flamboyant Gamine! I think the Flamboyant element adds that sass and flair that you have.

    FYI I LOVE the new sweatshirts, and in row 1 of your ‘show and tell’ you just look… EXTRA – extra you, extra luminous, extra hot, extra stylish, extra all the good things… (not doing so well using my words here) there’s something there that really clicks.

    And, as I am also experimenting with this, I can start to see it in my own outfits too. Those moments where I hit my personal clothing ‘sweet spot’ everything about it feels exactly right and exactly me.

    Might have to do this myself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I really do feel like I look best in that top row – also, my hair is a bit shorter in those pics, and that’s a good lesson too! (Did I just get my hair cut shorter? I sure did! 😉 ) If you do try to figure out your type, I hope you’ll report back with results!


  7. The new tops definitely seem to suit your style! Nice scrapbusting, too. It’s interesting looking at your collages, because the first set of outfits really does look more you than the outfits in the second group. Though I’d definitely say to just wear what makes you happy! Flamboyant isn’t exactly the word I’d pick for your style, but edgier over softer definitely seems to suit you.


    1. No, i agree, flamboyent isn’t the first word I’d think of either! I do like to aim for sassy and spunky (if that word didn’t have unfortunately connotations!) I feel pretty in soft colours (remember my experiments with soft rose and maroon last fall?) but I don’t feel entirely myself in them!


  8. I found the groups of current clothes very interesting. You look great in separates and
    bold colour combinations, and while the black dress is lovely it’s so not you. I think Kibbe may be on to something.


  9. I’m definitely a Soft Natural, and those two tops (the CC Ebony and the blue and white floral – what pattern is that from?) are definitely my jam!


  10. Gillian, these Kibbe posts have been fascinating. Thank you for letting us fall down the rabbit hole with you and linking to Doctor T’s blog posts! I can definitely see the Gamine in your personal style–colorful fabrics and playful silhouettes suit you so well. Both of these sweatshirts are just fabulous on you!

    Also, I’ve spent entirely too many hours researching Kibbe and building a Soft Dramatic Pinterest board, over the past week. I’ve been in a bit of a style funk for the last year (or two or three), so thinking about dress with a new lens has been an interesting thought exercise and really fueled some new creativity. Thanks again for sharing!


  11. This was fun! I watched the first of the videos you linked, was told I was a soft classic, heartily disagreed, but had fun anyway. : )


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