Monday, 5 April 2010

How to Tuesday! Kimono dressing gown for Spring...

Right... here goes, a kimono with no pattern. I jumped online and had a look at some pretty photos of Kimonos hanging up in their traditional way and thought "that doesn't look so hard" so why not have a crack at one.

I guestimated the sizes based on the width of my shoulders (my widest part) and the length of my arms. So if you use these dimensions you'll get a Hayley sized Kimono (which is about a UK12). You will need 2.3 metres of fabric which is 120cm wide (if you use 150cm wide you'll get a longer Kimono with longer sleeves, I am 160cm tall so these dimensions end up around mid calf on me). If you need a bigger or smaller size then enlarge or reduce the width of the back and front panels.
Fold the fabric in half length ways so you end up with a rectangle which is 2.3m long and 60cm wide. Divide the fabric into blocks. You will need 3 x 30cm blocks, 2 for the sleeves and one for your belt. One 60cm block for the back of your Kimono and 2x 40cm blocks for the front panels. It is a pain, but you should wash and iron the fabric before you start. If you're using a striped fabric like mine you will get a better looking Kimono if the pattern lines up, so bear this in mind once you start sewing.

Start by finishing the front panels, I measured in 20cm in from the corner and 30cm down. My Kimono is quite modest and has a high neck, if you want a more plunging neckline then take your line at a steeper angle, still 20cm in but say 40 or 50cm down. Cut the corner off leaving enough of a seam allowance to make a neat hem. To get a neat finish I folded the hem over twice them sewed on the right side close to the edge.

 This might sound obvious but make sure you cut the opposite corners of your front pieces (I cut them both the same first time and had to make a new front panel).

Hem and sew all the way down to the bottom of each piece. Your selfridge edge should be there so no need to finish the bottom!

Now when you lay out the pieces it should actually look like the beginning of a Kimono!

We're taking a break from it now though and making the belt... measure around your waist then add 5cm, take your 30cm wide block and open it out, then trim it to the length you just measured. You should now have a 30cm wide strip of fabric which will go around your waist plus 5cm. Fold it in half length ways with right sides together and insert some ribbon into either end, just enough to tie a bow.

Sew up each end, then across the bottom leaving a small gap to turn it through.  Snip off the corners so you get a neat finish. Once you've turned it, iron it flat you can sew around the edge to seal your turning hole and for decoration!

Now...back to the Kimono. Lay the back piece right side up then place the two front pieces on top of it right sides down and line up the shoulders.

Now pin them and sew.
Once this is done open the whole this up and lie it out flat with right side facing up, we're going to sew on the sleeves. Measure from the top of your shoulder to your arm pit then add on 10cm. This is how far down we are going to sew the sleeves, otherwise your arms will be pinned to your sides!

Open up the sleeve block and mark the centre point with a pin, line this up with your shoulder seam and lie it on top, then pin down as far as your previous measurement. I sewed down about 10 stripes on either side of the shoulder seam and discovered I should have gone a bit further, be generous so you're comfy! Do this on both sides then open it up again to have a look! 

Next we need to sew up the sleeves, then we're nearly done! Pin the open outside edges of the sleeves together and sew right up to the armpit, then sew down from there to the bottom edge to join up the back and front sections. 

Once you've done this, try it on, I had used quite stiff fabric and I ended up with freaky looking shoulders, if this is the case with yours then shape the shoulders by trimming off the corner, I took off a 20x20cm triangle. 

Turn the whole thing the right way around, put it on and tie your belt around...

 now you are ready to lounge and relax around the house, make sushi or just have a cup of tea! 

I hope you like this tutorial from TwoBoos - Sew Like your Nanna  more tutorials coming soon! 


  1. Wow TwoBoos, that kimono looks brilliant! Thanks for the instructions - I so want to have a go at this!!!

  2. This looks great! Your instructions are so clear too - I think even I could try it (sewing novice here!) Thank you!

  3. That looks so cool. I can imagine you sitting on a tatami mat drinking green tea and thinking calm, zen thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing that!

  4. That looks gorgeous! I think I'll have to have a go!!! :)

  5. I must say, your tutorials in general are brilliant! heading to your blog now. thanks for the clear pics and step-by-step!

  6. This is awesome. I haven't ever really been drawn to make clothing, but this looks like I could try it out!

  7. Hey all!! Thanks so much for the comments! I really enjoy making the tutorials so if there is a particular item you're itching to know "how-to" just drop me a line at or comment on my blog!

  8. fab tutorial Hayley!!! I'd love one of these for my trip to the maternity hospital - it looks fab! i might have to give it a go... ;)