If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’d know that I seriously love kimonos. They’re so easy to toss on as a coverup or pair them with a crop top and denim shorts and you’ve got a super cute yet comfy outfit. It’s the perfect piece for spring, summer, and the beginning of fall. Depending on the fabric, kimonos could be all-out bohemian or more on the street style side. They’re just a wardrobe staple everyone should have at least one of.
Today I’ll be showing you all how to make your own from scratch! You’ll be cutting the sleeves separately and then sewing them in, opposed to just sewing the sides of a rectangular piece of fabric (ie “DIY Kimono From a Scarf”), but I find that this way makes a more flattering and less boxy kimono that flows better. It’s super easy and while it does involve sewing, you could easily finish this project in an afternoon. Plus it’ll look totally store bought!
This tutorial is revised version of THIS DIY I posted last year. I rewrote the instructions and took new photos so you guys could follow along better :) Hope you enjoy!
Materials: – 1-1.5 yards of fabric light, flowy fabric: chiffon, crepe, voile, cotton, poplin, gauze, or silk are great examples. mine is a printed chiffon I found as leftovers at a warehouse (unused fabric made for a large company but didn’t end up being used) and has the exact print as scarf at H&M!
– needle and thread
– measuring tape or ruler
– a pen
Before we start sewing, cut out the pieces to your kimono according to the graphic above. The exact dimensions I used to make my kimono are included and should work for a size XS-S. If you are smaller or larger, adjust the width accordingly by a couple of inches on the sides; smaller-subtract an inch or two, larger-add a couple of inches. If you want to using your own measurements to make a kimono that’ll fit you perfectly, use the guide above.
Cutting Tip: Cutting silky or lightweight fabrics can be tricky since they’ll slide around and shift alot. So what I suggest is to work in a open space like the floor and cut neat, long (opposed to short and choppy), and careful cuts. Also, I would first make the pattern pieces by drawing out the dimensions below on paper, cutting the pieces out from paper, and then laying the paper pieces onto the fabric to trace and cut, like a stencil. That way you’ll avoid any mistakes.
2. Place the front pieces right sides together onto the back piece, vertically, one front piece on the right and one front piece on the left, matching up the top edges and top corners. You’ll notice that there will be a gap in between the two fronts and that’s the opening for your neck. If you need a little more help visually, THIS picture explains it all. Sew the front pieces to the back along the top and this creates the shoulder seams.
3. When you open up your kimono, it should look something like this.
5. Your sleeve should look like this after sewn and opened. Correct?
Design Tip: Add a fringe to the bottom hem to spice it up maybe? You can easily purchase all kinds of trims at the fabric store to stitch to the bottom to suit your taste. Or perhaps make the cardigan in a chunky sweater knit for a cozy knit cardigan to wear during those colder days. Or maybe you want a longer, almost floor length kimono for that super fashionable look. The possibilities are endless!
And that’s it! Wasn’t it easy? If you try this, please send me pictures via Twitter, Instagram, or even blog post by leaving a link below. I would love to see your creations!