March 8, 2007

Kimono pjs tutorial

Assembling it here to put on Craftster.

These are the pieces you'll need. There are two sleeves, two front pieces, a back, the front facing (which goes around the neck and finishes the front opening) and a side tie, which is in two pieces. The front facing can be cut either in all one piece long enough to go around the angled front pieces and the neck on the back, or in two pieces sewn together to make a long enough piece (the seam would be in the center of the back of your neck.) I found it easiest to cut the two front pieces as rectangles and then add the angled cut after.

To give you an idea of the measurements: You want it to be wide enough to wrap around comfortably, without being overly baggy. Many of the measurements came from here, though I made several modifcations:
  1. Measure from the base of your neck to where you want the bottom of your pj top to be, plus allowance for hem and seams (I added about 1.25" for the two combined): this will be the length of the back and front pieces.
  2. Measure the width of your back from the center of your side over the ribcage from one side to the other. Then add about 4-5 inches (or less, if you want a closer fit), plus allowance for seams. (I did half-inch seams for everything.) For instance, my measurement was 18", so the piece I cut was 24". This will be the width of your back piece.
  3. Take your original measurement for the back width and divide in half. Then add several inches (they recommend 5) to each measurement, plus seam allowance. This will be the width of your front. (How much you add depends on how much overlap you want; I used the full five since I'm, shall we say, a little top-heavy. If you're smaller chested you may want less.)
  4. Measure the length of your arm from the top of your shoulder to about an inch past your wrist; add seam and desired amount of hem. This is the length of your sleeve (the part cut on the fold.) For the width, (how low to the ground the kimono sleeve hangs), this is really personal preference--mine ended up being about 19" (measured from the fold to where I cut.) Cut this as a regularly shaped rectangle for now.
  5. Take measurement #1 and double it, then measure the width of your neck around the back and add this number. This is the length of your front facing. If you wish, you can divide this number in half and cut it in two pieces, but don't forget to add seams! The width of this is 5" (it sounds like a lot, but it will be folded in half for the finished product.)
  6. Cut two ties that, together, will be long enough to wrap around your waist comfortably and tie. My ties were about 32" long and 5" wide (finished width is 2", since these are also folded in half. This measurement includes half-inch seam allowances.)
  7. For the angled cut in the front, stack the two pieces on top of each other. Measure from one side about 6 1/2" (or however wide you want your shoulder seam to be). Then make a straight cut from there to however low you want the V-neck on the long side (mine ended up being about 18" from the bottom, or about a 15" line on the angle. I know, this is a lot of geometry, I apologize!)
  8. For the cut into the sleeve pieces, with the two rectangles still folded in half, measure about 9" down from the top of the fold, and 3" in. Cut a rectangle out from here down to the cut edge.

Now you're ready to begin sewing.

Step 1: Sew the front pieces to the back at the shoulder seams. Make sure the two angled sides face inward. Cut the curve for the neck out of the back piece (about the shape of the white line in the darker blue piece.)

Step 2: With the pieces still folded, mark the center at the more narrow end. Open out the two sleeve pieces. Line up the center with the sleeve seams, and sew to the main body.

Step 3: If you cut the front facing piece in two pieces, sew them together at the short ends now. With right sides together, sew the long side all along the inner edge of the front and around the back of the neck (where the dark purple is.) Turn in the seam allowance on the opposite side of the front facing, fold the remaining front facing in half with wrong sides together, and sew it down.

Fold a tie piece in half longways with right sides together, then sew it into a long tube. Turn the tube right side out, sew one end closed. Repeat with the other tie piece. Baste these two pieces (stacked on top of each other) to one side, at about the level of your waist or wherever it'll be most comfortable for you.

Step 4 (optional): If you're going to use trim, sew it down along the seam between the front facing and the body, and to the edges of the sleeves about 2 1/2" in. (See pink lines.)

Step 5: fold front to back with right sides together, then sew seams along sides and edges of sleeves. (Make sure the ties are folded towards the inside when you do this!) Turn right side out, hem sleeves and bottom, and you're done!

You'd put this on just like a wrap shirt--overlap the front the desired amount, then wrap one tie around the front and one tie around the back and tie together as tight or loose as you wish.


  1. Geraldine7:19 PM

    Great! I will try

  2. Wow! I have been looking all over or a kimono pattern and I stumbled here.
    Thanks for sharing, I will let you know when I am done making them. It's for my little girl, she wants to wear it for halloween :-)

  3. Hello,
    I finally made the kimono in your tutorial. The first one made was a bit tight but I made a different one within an hour. Thanks again for sharing the pattern.
    Check my made kimono at

  4. one more reason to drag out the sewing on my never-ending list of "gotta do" Thank you for such a nifty tutorial!

  5. For a more accurate kimono, you don't need the small part on the arms...


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