I have been fascinated with Kimonos since I was little, and absolutely love the Japanese aesthetics, from architecture to garment construction.
I recently found a beautiful Kimono online which was way out of my budget, so I decided to make one instead. Just in case you guys were interested in making one as well, I want to share it with you too… It’s super easy, as long as you have a little sewing experience.
You’ll need about 6 yards of fabric (depending on length), matching thread, pins, two cups of tea and licorice (optional).
Kimonos are a basic T-shaped, straight lined robe, with a collar and attached sleeve. The robe is wrapped around you, always with the left over the right, and can be secured with a sash or obi which is tied at the back.
Below is a basic pattern I used, which can be customized to the length and size you desire. First measure the length you want to make your Kimono. I measure mine from the nape of my neck to my feet so it is nice and long for winter, but you can make it as long or short as you want.
Next measure from shoulder to shoulder for the back and front panels, and shoulder to wrist for the length of the sleeve, and then adjust the pattern to your measurements.
Draw out the measurements on your fabric with some chalk, leaving an extra inch for the hem and seams. You can adjust the length of the sleeve to your liking. Traditionally in Japan, unmarried woman have long sleeves that reach the bottom of the Kimono, and married woman have slightly shorter sleeves. If you are planning on wearing your Kimono all the time, shorter sleeves prove to be more functional. Make sure you put the fabric fold at the top of the sleeves. The back of the sleeves are left open and are finished with a neat seem.
Traditionally Kimonos are sewn by hand, but I won’t tell if you use a sewing machine (I did). Sew all the pieces together starting with the back and front panels. Add sleeves and collar and complete the kimono by hemming the raw edges.
Good luck, and post your Kimonos on our wall when you’re finished… I would love to see them! xa