I’ve had this tutorial planned for what feels like forever! But finally here it is! There are a few ways to make a kimono, but i’ve gone for the easiest. I love how flowy (?) this version is, the perfect throw over on a sunny day.
So heres what you’ll need:
-Fabric (we’ll discuss how much you’ll need in the first step.)
– Tape measure
– Dress makers pins
– Trim, this is completely optional. But I like the added weight a trim gives to the sleeves of a kimono.
Now lets get started.
First up, we need to figure out how much fabric you’ll need. This particular one was made up for Mischa (Age 4-5) but the great thing about using this tutorial is that it fits izzy (2-3) and would fit someone bigger. The easiest way to figure out how much you’ll need is to simply use your tape measure. You want the length from shoulder to how long you want it (Mischas was 22″) and the width from middle of the neck to mid arm – you can easily adapt you your style, so no arm or full arm if you wish. (Mischas was 12″)
So i’ve doubled the length. – we need a front and a back. and doubled the width.
Easy as that.
Next, fold your fabric in half (Length ways – so it will now be a piece of fabric 24″ x 22″).
There isn’t any specific formula to working out your sleeve width, but of course you want it baggy, its a kimono not a fitted garment. I decided to half it (11″) but that seemed slightly too much, so I took a little bit off and went with 10″. Anywhere between 1/4 & 1/2 of the length measurement will work perfectly.
So now we’ve done that, you’ll need to pin, and then pin downwards towards the open end of the fabric. I’m using a piece of fabric that works either way. But if you are using a fabric thats only one sided, you need to fold it, with pattern on the inside.
Once you’ve pinned, you can sew. REMEMBER to stop once you’ve reached your last pin, many of times i’ve let my mind wander and ended up sewing the entire side closed. You don’t want to do that. Its a pain to unpick.
If you have an overlocker, use it to finish your seam, if not you can read here on how to finish using just your sewing machine.
Now you need to fold your fabric again, width wise this time. So you’ll have a piece of fabric 12″ x 22″ .
And now we need to cut the neck hole. This is the only tricky bit, if you cut too much, your kimono will be a pain to wear, it will constantly slip off. So start small, taking off more in small amounts if you need to. Cut at the fold and curve upwards towards the top fold. I’ve cut at 5″ inwards. it doesn’t sound like a lot, but once you open it will actually be a 10″ hole.
Once you open your fabric out, it should look like this. essentially you now have a poncho.
Now, you need to fold your fabric back, like before and VERY carefully cut up the length of only one piece. if your a bit shaky with scissors, you can cut it opened out. simply measure and pin so you have a straight line up to the neck hole and cut that way. You only cut one piece of the fabric. This is the front. if you cut both, your cutting into the back and you’ll have to start again.
Now, you can turn your kimono out the correct way. Up by the neck hole, there are two triangles that will need to be cut off, nothing too harsh, just cut a gradual decline like above. (Open yours out & compare to mine and you’ll see what I mean.)
Now you can finish the edge with your machine. I have used my overlocker, then folded inwards and top stitched. Again if you don’t have an overlocker you can use THIS method. you want to start down at the bottom, work your way up, around the neckline and back down to the other side. If your using netting, you don’t actually need to do this, it won’t fray, but it gives a much nicer finish. You can also use a bias binding or even a trim if you want to make it a bit fancier – this is all up to your individual creativity.
Now do the same along the bottom. This is a great place to use a trim, I decided against it on this one because I have chosen quite a bold trim, one that could quite easily become tacky if overused.
Now you can finish your sleeve. You don’t have to use a trim here either if you dint want, but this is where I like the extra weight that the added fabric gives. Simply, pin around your sleeve hole, cut once you’ve come back to the beginning and finally sew on. So easy. And that can be done to anything. T-shirts, dresses, kimonos. this is such a cheap and easy way to up-cycle any of your wardrobe.
And thats it, your kimono is finished!
Mischa was so happy with it…
And… This is her half an hour later, she just loves to dress up – although I’ve absolutely no idea what she’s dressing up as! Ha.
There are a million and one combinations for these, this is a perfect way to have a play around and really grow your creativity. For this particular kimono tutorial I like to use very lightweight fabrics, net, chiffon. ect. It’s a very drape-y fabric and exactly what you need for this. anything thicker and you’ll have something very stiff & almost hospital gown like. – not a good look!
I made this one for myself a couple of weeks ago and with this beautiful weather we’ve been having I’ve finally had a chance to wear it! Mine is actually made from an old net curtain!! its the perfect fabric to use, cost nothing seen as almost everyone has some of it stored away, and if you want you can always dye it aswell!
Hope you can get some use from this tutorial, if you’ve any questions about the steps or get a bit stuck feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, or you can email me at email@example.com.
The little woman pretends.