Today I’m happy to welcome Nina from Lemon Pie and Tie & Dye to the blog. Nina’s here to share a simple DIY kimono tutorial with you. I love the end results, so I’m looking forward to making one for myself as well once I get back from my vacation. 

Kimonos are one of my summer staples. I love the boho vibe they add to a look, and they are light enough for layering even in the hottest months. They can also be worn at the beach on top of your swimwear to shade from the sun while you play beach volley (or read gossip magazines. Don’t worry, I won’t tell ;)) And you know what’s the best thing about kimonos? You can make one easily ! Let me show you how.

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To make your own kimono, you’ll need :

  • fabric : choose a lightweight, flowy fabric, like tana lawn cotton, viscose, or something sheer like crepe, or even sateen or silk if you want to be very fancy ! Be aware that viscose or sateen can de very slippery so if you’re a beginner, you might want to choose something easier to sew like cotton. You can also find a bunch of useful tips here to sew with slippery fabrics.
  • matching thread
  • a 30x8 cm piece of interfacing and a piece of extra fabric of the same size
  • pins, scissors, tailor’s chalk
  • sewing machine and iron
  • templates for the neckline and the reinforcement piece (click to download)

HOW-TO:

1. First, measure the desired lenght L and desired width l of your kimono. For the lenght, measure from the top of your shoulder to where you want your kimono to stop. For the width, spread your arm and measure from the middle of your neck to where you want your kimono to stop on your arm. Cut a rectangle of fabric of the following dimensions : lenght 2 x L + 6 cm, width 2 x l + 2 cm. Four your information, the dimensions of mine are : L = 128cm and l = 63 cm.

2. Mark the middle line of the rectangle with pins of tailor’s chalk. Measure 30 cm on each side of the middle line and mark with pins of tailor’s chalk. These will be our armholes marks. Measure and mark the middle point of your fabric.

3. Print and place the template on the fabric, centering it and alining the dotted line with the middle line of your fabric. With a ruler, trace the vertical lines on the template down to the bottom of your fabric.

4. Cut along the lines.

5. From the fabric you just cut, remove the rounded top and cut into two long strips of fabric. Print the reinforcement piece template and cut twice, once in extra fabric, once in interfacing. Fuse the two pieces together with an iron.

6. Pin the two stips of fabric on the straight edges of the lined piece, right sides facing each other. Sew with 1 cm sewing allowance, then press the seams. Zig-zag stitch along the external edge.

7. Place the U-shaped piece on the rectangle, right side facing each other, and pin in place. Sew with 1 cm seam allowance. Cut darts on the rounded edges, then open the seam.

8. Flip the U-shaped piece inside the kimono (now the wrong sides are facing each other). Pin and sew at 0,5 cm from the fold.

9. Zig-zag stitch the edges between the armholes marks. On the wrong side of you fabric, fold a 1 cm hem on each long side of the rectangle and stitch between the two armholes marks.

10. Fold your fabric in two along the middle line. Sew from the armholes marks to the bottom. Make a double-fold hem all along the bottom of your kimono (fole on 1 cm, press with the iron, then fold on 2 cm, press and sew at 0,5 cm of the first fold), and you’re done! All that’s left is to wear flower in your hair, dance in the wild and enjoy the beautiful nights of August!

Note: if you want to add fringe to your kimono, it’s easy! To add bottom frigne, measure and cut a fringed ribbon of length 2 x l. Sew onto the bottom of your kimono after hemming. To add fringe on the sleeves, cut two pieces of 60 cm in fringed ribbon. Sew between the armohole marks when or after hemming. When sewing the two sides of the kimono together, you can overlap the armholes marks a little bit (about 1 cm overlap) to sandwich the fringes between the side seams.

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