Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 15.45.55pattern available to buy from

This is a loose fitting kimono which looks great worn with skinny jeans, shorts or dress up for a party. Its comes in  two lengths with a hem feature on the lower edges. I made this kimono in Liberty pure silk satin which is beautiful however working with silk or satin requires special care when sewing. Other suitable fabrics include viscose fabric or fabric that has a fluid drape quality.

Tips for sewing silk/satin viscose: when sewing silk use a fine thread and a sharp needle 60/10 or 70/11. Microtex needles are good or ‘sharps’. Use sharp pins and pin in the seam allowance to avoid leaving holes in the fabric. Make sure scissors are also sharp and nick free. Try not to handle the material unnecessarily which can cause it to fray. Turn your iron to a silk setting take care with steaming, it can cause water marks. Lay a sheet, old blanket or duvet underneath your fabric when cutting out to stop it slipping about.

FRENCH SEAM *Sew seams using a french seam. This is a technique used to conceal seams which are visible by stitching twice, once with the wrong sides of the fabric facing, then again with the right sides of the fabric facing. Its an ideal technique for fabrics that are light and prone to fraying. To make a french seam, firstly pin, then sew a 1cm seam with the WS together. Trim down seam allowance to .5cm. Next, press over and pin so that the RS are together and the seam is aligned to the fold and stitch again with a 1cm seam allowance so encasing the raw edges inside. Press to one side.

YOUR DRESS SIZE /FINISHED LENGTH-SMALL 8-10 /64cm, MED 12-14 /64cm, LARGE 16-18 /64cm      Size info

FABRIC REQUIREMENTS: 1.50m of viscose or silky fabric (at least 140cms wide), some fine thread, an iron, sharp pins, hand sewing needle, a poker (a chunky knitting needle is good or a chopstick).1JPG


Here we go!

CUTTING OUT THE PIECES – With the fabric print facing the right direction, take pattern piece BACK and lay on the fabric, line up the centre front edge to the fold line as marked on the pattern. Place pattern FRONT beside it. Be careful to lay your pattern straight ie in line with the grain of the fabric. Pin. Cut around each piece following the line for your size. So you should have 1 back piece and two front pieces (left and right). If you would like to pattern match your fabric at the front cut out each front piece separately. Fold the remaining fabric so that the RS are together and the selvedge edges meet the centre of the fabric. (see Layout B).

Pin your SLEEVE pattern piece adjacent to fold of fabric on one side as indicated on the pattern, cut out, repeat for second sleeve on opposite side with pattern turned WS up.You should now have two sleeve pieces.Lay your FRONT BAND pattern piece on to folded fabric, line up the centre front edge to the fold line as marked on the pattern. Pin then cut out. Repeat so you have two FRONT BANDS strips altogether each measuring 80cm long. Remove pins and drape the cut out pieces over the back of a chair.

5JPGSEWING THE KIMONO-Start by joining the front pieces to the back at the shoulder seams, so lay the back piece on a table with RS facing up and lay the front pieces on either side matching up the raw edges at the shoulders. Pin, then stitch a 1cm seam allowance on both sides. Finish the raw edge with a zig zag or overlock to prevent fraying. Press seam flat towards the back.6JPG78aJPG8bJPG

Now join the front and back to the sleeves and this time we are going to sew with a french seam* (see the ‘Tips for sewing silk section’ for instructions how to sew a french seam). Press your seams to one side towards the sleeve. Now pin the sleeve and body together at sides with the WS of fabric together. Stitch together the sides again with a french seam* as before. Press.10JPG11JPG13a

HEMS PIC 10/11/13/13a/13b-Fold over and press 1cm at the bottom raw edge of body front and back. Next fold over a 4cm hem, press and pin to hold. Stitch all around, close to inner fold. Press. Turn sleeve inside out so WS facing. Fold over and press 1cm around raw edge of sleeve, then fold over a 4cm hem, pin then stitch all around close to inner fold. Press.

SEWING ON THE FRONT BAND-Join strips at one short side with a 1cm seam allowance, press seam open. Trim corners of seam allowance. PIC 14 . Fold over and press 1cm all along one long side of band.


With RS of fabric together, pin the unfolded long side of the strip to back neck and front side, start by aligning the band join to the centre of the back neck, then pin all around to front sides either side, matching raw edges as you go and make sure to leave at least 2cm of strip fabric extending beyond the body front lower edge on each side. Stitch a 1cm seam allowance all around from front left side to front right.


 At the far ends of the front band at each side, fold the strip ends in half widthways with the RS together and raw edges matching, opening out the 1cm fold a little at each end. Pin then stitch across in line with the body front lower edge. Trim seam allowance to 0.5cm then turn to right side, pushing out the corners gently with a poker.

Press raw edges over on the reverse side so they are all tucked in (you could trim down any excess seam allowance to reduce bulk if required). Press band over so raw edges are all encased inside all around, pin, then hand stitch band all around on inner side with small over stitches. Its a good idea to line up the fold of the band to the line of stitching previously made. PIC 21/22


LONGER LENGTH KIMONO WITH TIE- To make a longer length kimono add on another 12cm at lower edge of body FRONT and BACK and add another 6cm on to each front band strip, or lengthen as long as you like, just be sure to add on the extra length to the front band. To make a tie belt cut two strips of about 90cm each by 10cm wide. Join together at one short side with the RS together. Press seam open then fold strip over lengthways and press so the raw edges are matching. Pin then stitch a 1cm seam allowance all around the two short sides and long raw edge side leaving a 3cm approx opening at the centre. Clip across corners of seam allowance, then turn inside out through the opening, pushing out the corners with a chunky knitting needle or chopstick. Press then stitch up opening by hand or on machine.


Copyright Fiona Hesford 2014 All rights reserved

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