How to Make a Stylish DIY Kimono
Sewing a Kimono is an easy process which results in an elegant and stylish piece of clothing. The hardest step in this process is choosing which fabric you want to add to your wardrobe!
- 6 yards of 45″ silk or cotton fabric
- Sharp Scissors/Sheers
- Straight Pins
- Sewing thread
- Sewing Machine
- Iron (optional)
- Measuring Tape (optional)
- Fabric Pencil or chalk (optional)
Step 1: Select and Wash the Fabric
Start by choosing 3 yards of your desired fabric. For this kimono, a lightweight and sheer fabric like silk, chiffon, or a knit blend will work best. I chose a patterned fabric, but a solid color can also look nice.
Once you have your fabric, you will need to wash it to allow for any shrinking to happen before you start sewing. Most likely the material will be wrinkled after it comes out of the drier. If you do not want a wrinkled “look” to your kimono, go ahead and iron the fabric on low heat.
Step 2: Cut the Fabric
For this kimono, you will only need to cut three different sections. The simplicity of this project is what makes this DIY Kimono a wonderful addition to your crafting collections, not to mention your closet!
The photo above shows the size of the back section. As shown, the back section will need to be cut to 32” x 28” x 15” x 15”. The two front panels will need to be cut to 32” x 15” x 15” x 15”. This kimono is a one size fits all, but the length will generally fall below your hips. If you want it shorter, you can adjust the 28” height to your preferred length on the back section.
Cutting lightweight fabrics can be difficult. To make this step easier, use sharp shears or have a store associate cut the fabric to the correct dimensions for you before taking the fabric home.
To prevent fraying of the edges, it is best to go ahead and stitch all the edges of the panels now. Sewing the edges together before connecting the panels will create a more tailor look.
Step 3: Pin and Start Sewing!
Sheer fabric can be slippery and harder to sew together. To help with this, you may want to pin the pieces together before turning to the sewing machine. I like to start with the two shoulder pieces in order to get the shape of the kimono underway.
If your fabric has a front-facing side and a backside, start with placing the front sides together. This will mean you are essentially sewing the sides “inside out”. I leave a ¼ inseam when sewing, and make sure to backstitch (reverse the stitches) 5 stitches at the start and finish of the seam. After the shoulder pieces are sewn, the fabric should look like an armless robe of sorts.
Step 4: Sew the Sides
Once the shoulder sections are sewn, work your way down the sides of the kimono. The armholes will need to be left open, which only leaves the final 14” section to be sewn for the sides.
Start by pinning the sides with straight pins to hold the fabric into place. The fabric should still be “right side” in or inside out. Once the kimono starts to look like an actual piece of clothing (inside out of course) you can sew the final section!
Step 5: Finishing Touches
When all the sewing is done, and the kimono actually looks like a piece of clothing (woohoo!), you can add the finishing touches. Start by noting any edges that you would like to be crisper looking. There are two ways you can correct this.
First, you can add a fun trim to the bottom edge and sleeve. The other approach to this issue without buying trim is simply to fold over the edge (about ¼ inch) and sew along the edge. You are essentially “hemming” the edge to form a smooth line in your fabric.
Finally, when you are completely satisfied with your kimono, trim up any loose thread tails, and flip the kimono right side out!
Congratulations! You Learned How to Sew a Kimono!
You have just completed your DIY kimono and added a stylish piece of clothing to your wardrobe! Just in time for summer!
Once you get the hang of how to make a simple kimono, start planning another one to mix up your style. Adding a pom-pom trim, fringe, beads, or switching out your fabric for a neon green is a blast to fill your afternoon with a fun craft and your closet with a statement piece.