How to Make a Kimono Costume

A kimono is a fun costume to make.
A kimono is a fun costume to make. (Image: kimono image by Francis Lempérière from Fotolia.com)

Making a kimono costume is a project that will take some time, but the effort will be well rewarded. This pattern is used to make authentic kimonos in Japan. You will find that this kimono will last you many years and will become a conversation piece at any costume party.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 yards of 45-inch wide fabric
  • 1 yard coordinating fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Kimono pattern (resource 1)
  • Iron
  • Measuring tape
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric pen
  • Serger

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Cut the fabric according to the pattern. You will need to cut six panels. Each panel will be two yards long and 22 inches wide. Decide which side of the panels will equal the top of the kimono and mark them with white fabric pen.

Serge all sides of four fabric panels. Do not serge the last two panels.

Place two panels right sides together and pin along one side. Sew the two panels together about 1/2 an inch from the edge of the fabric (use the 1/2-inch seam allowance for all seams), leaving two inches at the top unsewn. Open the seam and iron it flat.

Measure 10 inches down from the top of the two other serged panels. Make a mark. Cut the corner off diagonally starting at the top of the fabric and ending at the 10-inch mark. This is the neck hole.

Place the wrong sides of the back panel and the two cut panels together. Make sure the cut ends face the middle of the garment. Pin in place. Sew the pieces together along where the shoulders will go. Do not sew the neck closed. Open the seams and iron them.

Cut one of the remaining panels in half horizontally. Fold each rectangle in half horizontally once more, and cut along this fold line. Serge the edges of these panels.

Place two halves of the kimono sleeve right side together. Sew the top and the bottom of the sleeve, leaving the sides open where the arm will go through. Leave two inches on each side unsewn to fit into the shoulder better.

Pin the sleeves to the kimono panels starting at the shoulder seam, and pinning in a complete circle around the sleeve. Sew the sleeves to the front and back panels. Open the seams and iron them flat.

Pin the sides of the front and back panels together under the sleeves. Sew the pieces together, then open and iron the seams.

Cut the last piece of fabric in half vertically. This is the collar. Cut one half in half again horizontally, but use a diagonal cut. Serge all edges. This makes the gores.

Pin the gores to the outside edge of the front of the kimono. The bottom straight edge of the gore should line up with the hem of the kimono. Sew along the outside edge of the kimono. Repeat for the other side. Open the seams and iron.

Turn the kimono right side out. Fold the collar piece in half vertically. Iron along this fold. Find the center of the collar and pin it to the center of the neck “V” at the back of the kimono. Pin the rest of the collar to the remaining exposed edges of the kimono, ending at the top of the gore pieces. Sew into place.

Try on the kimono. Use a wide piece of fabric to wrap around the kimono several times. Tie the fabric into a bow in the back.

References

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