I’ve always wanted to make a cute little Kimono cover-up! It just seemed like the perfect thing to wear around the house or even over a tank top out and about. I have been inspired by the simplicity of the basic Kimono pattern lately and I think after this project I am going to make a whole bunch in different fabrics and different styles. After all who wouldn’t love a slinky little kimono robe to wear around the house?
Here’s what you need:
2 yards of a 60″ fabric
Pattern paper if you’d like to make a pattern
I used this fabulous high quality floral poly chiffon but I had a really hard time choosing from all the awesome fabrics we have here. I think for my next one I’m going to use a rayon challis. Just a little more weight in the fabric would make it a little more flattering on my boxy body. Also if you are new to sewing I recommend not using such a silky fabric. It really added a lot of extra time and stress to my project even though I love the way it came out.
Step 1: The diagram
Determine the width you want your kimono to be. I decided to measure my bust (the largest measurement on my body) and add 15″. This will be the width of your kimono.
Determine how much of an opening you need for your sleeve. Measure around your bicep and add about 10″ to make it nice and full. You can play with this number to work best for your proportions.
Determine the length you want for your sleeve. Mine measures about 11″. I know it looks longer because of the way the garment falls so keep that in mind when choosing your length.
Determine the length of the kimono. Mine is 25″ long.
Take your fabric and fold it selvage to selvage sot that the longer measurement is getting cut in half. For example my pieces was 60″ by 72″ and after folding it the fabric measures 60″ by 36″. This means your blouse will be no more than 36″ long.
Measure out both sides from the center bottom to get your kimono width.
Measure down from the top the opening for the sleeve. Here you will measure down only half of your sleeve measurement.
Measure out your sleeve length.
Step 2: Cut it out
Yay you’re ready to cut your fabric out! You can make a draft on paper of your diagram or just do what I did and use your fabric as the draft.
Once you get your shape cut out you will cut up the center so you have an opening and create a little curve neckline for the back. Below is how I cut mine.
If you are using a delicate fabric like mine you may need a little help cutting straight lines on the grain. Take a pin and carefully pull on a strand of the fabric. By pulling a thread you will have a line created in the pattern that you can follow with your scissors.
Now you’re ready to sew. Simply turn your garment right sides to together and sew all the seams (there’s only two!!)
Another (not so) Quick Tip
Again using delicate fabric can be a pain but the possibility of an awesome project is great if you have a few good know how’s up your sleeve. When you are sewing your garment you should be sewing in the direction gravity is pulling when you are wearing it. This means for the Kimono you can’t sew the sleeves and armhole in on fail swoop. You have to start in the armpit and sew down to the hem and start again in the armpit and sew down the sleeves. Refer to the picture below. Again this is only necessary when using delicate fabrics that you need to fall nicely on your body.
Step 3: Finishing your Kimono
I finished all my seams on my garment by going back with my rolled hem foot and rolling them up. If you are a regular follower of our blog you know that we are OBSESSED with the rolled hem foot for so many reasons and this is just another great use for it.
Now I cut a 5.5″ inch strip from my leftover fabric (I had to piece it a little) to use as a binding for the neckline and opening. Fold it in half lengthwise and baste it.
Quick shameless plug: You’ll notice on the above right picture that I am using a chunky looking foot. This is the Acufeed foot Janome offers for their Horizon Machine. This is a really great tool that came in great handy for this project. It is really similar to a walking foot but is so much better because you can use it with so many other feet. Lie a quarter inch foot, stitch in the ditch foot, and more! Check it out!
With right sides together pin and sew your binding around your kimono opening and neckline. You could also use this technique to finish the hem on your sleeves if you’d like.
I used my rolled hem foot to finish off the rest of my garment.
And there you go! You have a wonderful little Kimono cover. I think I am ready to make a nice long one for a robe next. What do you think?
I’ll get some photos of me in it here soon. I was having a bad camera day, I’m sure you know how that is