Today we will show you an easy way to make yourself a kimono to wear year round! Inspired by traditional Japanese culture, Kimono robes have been created in many variations over the years to satisfy a fashionable way to add interest to any outfit! Buying one in a boutique can be costly, but you can easily make one that looks just as chic for as little as $30.
Kimonos are great to wear in the heat of summer because they are cool and allow for good airflow. When the weather is cooler, you can wear a patterned kimono over a t-shirt to add interest to your outfit and keep you warm.
There are nearly infinite variations on the classic kimono, but for this simple design you will need a piece of fabric measuring 40” x 55” and 2 yards of accent fringe.
- 1 ½ yard fabric (we used Telio Burnout Velvet and Telio Kimono Satin)
- 2 yards of Fringe (we used 4" Black Chainette Fringe for the velvet kimono and Grey Victorian Lace Fringe for the satin kimono)
- Thread in a color matching the fabric
- Tailor's Chalk or Fabric Pen
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat, or Dressmaker Shears
- A ruler or measuring tape
Other Great Fabrics for Kimonos
You can choose nearly any type of fashion fabric for your kimono, but some work better than others. The kimono style works best with fabric with a soft, floppy texture, such as:
- Rayon Challis
- Crepe de Chine
- Jersey Knits
- Cotton Lawn
- Border Printed Fashion Fabric
- Stretch Velvet
Let's start sewing!
Cut a piece of fabric:
40” x 56” for size Small/Medium
43” x 56” for Medium/Large
46” x 56” for Large/XLarge
*Note: Before beginning to cut, check to see if there is a right and wrong side of the fabric or if there is a one-way design. There is no shoulder seam for this pattern lay-out. However, should your fabric have a one-way orientation, you could cut two 40” x 28 ½” rectangles and add a shoulder seam. This pattern can be used with the fabric on grain (weft) or on the warp (vertical). The pattern layout shown is for fabric on the warp, which isn’t traditional, but works wonderfully for this kimono.
Fold the material in half, joining the two 40” sides together.
From the folded edge, measure 10” down on either side of your folded piece of fabric – this is for the sleeves
From the outside, measure 10” inward for the sleeve length.
Sew the side seams:
- French seams for woven fabrics (clip at armpit corners)
- Zig Zag stitch, Stretch stitch or surge ¼” seam allowance for knit fabrics
Determine where the middle point of the garment is and draw a line down the center on the top piece of fabric only. Based off that line, draw the 6” neck opening and taper down to the bottom center. Cut along the line drawn.
*Tip: Tailors chalk or a water soluble fabric pen is great to use because they are temporary.
To finish the opening:
- Use a 1” bias strip binding for woven fabrics
- Top stitch a ¼” hem for knit fabrics. You can even leave it unfinished since most knits will not unravel. *Tip: Use a zig zag stitch or a stretch stitch with a walking foot to top stitch the ¼” hem.
Hem the sleeve openings and kimono bottom edges. Hemming the edges of knit kimonos is optional if top-stitching fringe trim around the sleeves and bottom.
I couldn’t resist spicing up this simple design with some fringe!
For the velvet kimono, I used 2 yards of 4” Tassel Fringe.
For the satin kimono, I used 2 yards of Victorian lace fringe.
I attached them using a zig zag top stitch along the edge of the hemmed edges.
Once you have finished your accessory, voila! You have a kimono. Wear it loose or closed with a brooch. You can wear it on its own or throw it over a shirt with a skirt or jeans. If you make it slightly longer, it makes a great throw-over to wear over a swimsuit.