How to make an Easy Kimono Top

Hello everyone, this is Daniela, from On the Cutting Floor.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

Today, I have an easy summer project to make. It is a basic Kimono top that can be adapted to different weather seasons by using the right fabric.

For this project, I work with 1 3/4 yard of cotton lawn and 1 yard of a light weight denim piece from my stash.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

Materials to make an Easy Kimono Top

  • Sewing Machine (I use a BERNINA 350 PE)
  • Regular needle
  • Denim needle
  • Contrasting color thread
  • Coordinating color thread
  • 1 3/4 yard of cotton lawn
  • 1 yard of contrasting fabric for the cuffs and collar
  • Easy Kimono Top Pattern

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

Measurement Chart

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Printing Instructions

Here is an image of the pattern and how it should be assembled. You will print 24 pages that will each overlap by 1 inch. Make sure the blue diamonds on the pages are matching correctly.

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In addition, remember to select ”actual size” when printing the pattern. If you are in doubt, the pattern comes with a 4” x 4” square test on the first page.

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Fabric Layout

1. If you want to use the same fabric on the collar and cuffs (60” folded fabric):

Notice that the amount of fabric will be the same since the collar and cuff pieces are placed between the front and back top pieces.

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2.  If you would like to use a contrasting fabric for the cuffs and the collar:

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Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

Sewing the Easy Kimono Top

Please notice, this pattern has 3/8 seam allowance.

1. Place front and back bodice pieces together, wrong sides facing.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

2. Sew along the sleeves and side seams 2/8 inch from the edge.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

3. Make a diagonal cut on the corner of the sleeves and side seams.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

4. Turn the top to the wrong side and press.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

5. Now, sew the sleeves and side seams on the wrong side 3/8 inch from the edge.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

6. Press the seams again.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

7. Cuffs:  place the two pieces of the cuffs together, right sides facing and sew along the sides.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

8. Then, fold the cuff horizontally and press it.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

9. Add the cuff to the Kimono sleeves as shown below.

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10. Then, attach the cuff to the sleeve.  For my kimono I machine basted the sleeve first.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

And then, serge it to the kimono. You can also use an overlocking stitch from your sewing machine or a zigzag stitch.

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11. Press the cuff flat, making sure that the inside seams are facing the neckline.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

12. After that, you will be able to topstitch the seams 1/4 inch from the seam.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

13. Press and repeat with the other side of the kimono.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

14. Now, you can do the same process with the collar. First, sew the collar pieces together, right sides facing, and fold it in half.

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15. Then, attach to the back neckline and front sides. On this picture, I pin the collar to the kimono making sure that the collar seams matched the middle back neckline. Use a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

Machine or hand baste the collar to the top to secure. Then, you can use an overlocking stitch from your sewing machine to do so.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

16. After that, I machine basted it, press and serge. You can also use an overlocking or a zigzag stitch from your sewing machine.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

I finally top-stitched the collar 1/4 from the seams.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

17.  Hemline:

First, I finished the edges using my serger. You can always use the overlocking stitch on your sewing machine to do so or a zigzag stitch. I folded the bottom hemline 1/2 inch and press.

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18. Then, sew along the bottom 1/8 inch from the seam.

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19. You can also add some decorative stitches with a contrasting thread to the cuffs, collar or hemline to make it unique.

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

19. In my case, I use the decorative stitch from BERNINA 350 PE number 58 on the cuffs. I am in love with the look 🙂

Sewing Tutorial: How to make an Easy Kimono Top

17 thoughts on “How to make an Easy Kimono Top

  1. Hi! This pattern is definitely next on my table! However, I intend to purchase a ¼ yard more. The pattern layout shows both main pattern pieces laid in opposite directions. Won’t that cause problems? If I remember correctly, the main body parts, sleeves, plackets skirts, etc, are cut from a length of fabric long enough to accommodate pattern pieces cut facing the same direction. Lovely Jacket!

    1. I would lay the pieces out with the lengthwise grain running from neck to hem. The lengthwise grain of fabric does not stretch as much as the crosswise grain. If the front goes one way on the grain and the back goes perpendicular the garment may “twist” and not hang properly. Another modification I would make to this pattern would be to round the underarm rather than having a perpendicular cut. Just a personal preference. Nice straightforward style.

      1. Thank you for your comments, trulyblessed! Please accept my apologies for not explaining my question in proper form. Here it is restated: I’ve always cut the body pieces laid first from the top of the bolt (first cut). Then cut both body pieces on the grain laid necklne to hem and neckline to hem. That is how I learned to cut pattern pieces. If pieces can be cut in opposite direction then I’ve learned something new. And that’s great because I would save a lot of fabric!

  2. I need some advise please or explanation of the sewing of the top sleeve shoulder to the front neckline and then to the contrasting trim. I have been sewing for years and can’t figure out how the area connects since the top shoulder of the sleeve front and back are different lengths and one is a square corner and one curved. This can be seen on the graph of the pattern pieces. I know this sounds confusing but I am confused and have it cut out and started sewing it out of an expensive Liberty fabric and don’t want to ruin it. Please advise because I love the pattern and have it cut out and one side sewn.

    1. Hi Bees,

      The front and back sleeves shoulders are placed together at the neckline where the front bodice goes on a straight line and the back has a curve back. By adding the collar, you will create a front neckline and the collar will stand straight at the back and flat at the front.
      I hope it makes sense.
      If you have more questions about it, please contact me at onthecuttingfloor@gmail.com. I can also send you a few more pictures to clarify the way is constructed.

      Best,

      Daniela

  3. Love the pattern! I am thinking of making the sleeves and the body longer..more of a jacket type. Also thinking of making it out of a dark denim, and embroidering either a red of gold dragon on the back, with matching colored thread for topstitching the front and sleeves in one of the beautiful stitch designs on my machine. Thank you for the idea! 🙂

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