Apr. 2011 20

Kimono Dress

There are tons of different takes on a kimono style dress. I’m personally in love with Mod Cloth’s version:

So in prep for the hot summer ahead (maybe I can will it to get here faster), I went ahead and made my own. I was super shocked by how easy it was.  I used a t-shirt to get the curve in the shoulder the way I wanted it, and not for anything else.

I used exactly 3 yards of fabric for this. I bought it at G-Street on the $2.97 tables. I also got some 2 inch elastic which cost $2 a yard (roughly). So in totally I spent a whopping 11 bucks for this stellar outfit.

As for the measurements, I’ll tell you how to take your own but if you are a size 10, you’re in luck, just use mine.

All seams are 3/8” unless otherwise stated.

To cut out the bottom of the dress you’ll need 3 measurements:

Waist, Hips and Length

Top line: (Waist divided by 2) +1”

(32/2)+1”= 17”

Mid Line: (Hips divided by 2) +2”

(40/2)+2= 22”

Length (you can choice to do this, or I just did the whole length of the fabric and hemmed it later): Length from your waist to the floor, plus 1”

The Bottom:

    1. Cut two:

  1. Sew sides together to make your skirt portion. If you are using a jersey (recommended) or a poly-stretch (which I used), you don’t really need to finish the edges. I like to because I think it makes it lay better. So on all the seams in this tutorial, I surged the edges.
  2. Cut elastic to exactly your waist measurement.
  3. Sew ends of elastic together. I like to sew the seam allowance down to the band so it’s not in the way
  4. Pin skirt to the elastic band, right sides together.
  5. Sew along the edge, stretching the fabric and elastic as you go. This will allow for stretch during wear. If you do not stretch while you sew (or you could use elastic thread of you have it), your garment won’t stretch.

The Top:

    1. To Figure out the waist line on the top, you have to take in consideration how busty you are/how modest you want the top.  Not so busty or want a more revealing top? Your top waist line will be from your left side (directly under your armpit) to under your breast (about midway) on the right.  More busty? Continue the measurement all the way to the other side, and subtract 1.5” from that number.
    2. To get the height of your top, measure from your waist up over the bust to your shoulder (where the seam will be). Mine is 19”
    3. Cut 4 “top” pieces. Making sure you have 2 in each direction. (2 with the diagonal cut on the left, 2 with it on the right)

    1. Sew fronts and backs together on the shoulder seam
    2. Open up the top, fold the sleeve hem up 1”, sew

    1. Fold the diagonal neck line under 1”, sew
    2. In the sleeve/shoulder seam allowance: ruffle the seam to shrink the last 11” to 5”.


    1. Sew the armpit seam
    2. Create a tie string by cutting a 1” strip, fold the sides in, and then fold in half. Sew
    3. Attach string to back side of garment, 1” down from shoulder seam
    4. Pin the left half of the top to the elastic, right sides together. Make sure to line the underarm seam up directly above the skirt side seam.
    5. The pin the right half of the top to the elastic. Your right and left top will overlap, it is supposed to.
    6. Sew along the elastic, stretching it and the fabric as you go.
    7. Hem the bottom to the proper length

Here’s mine prior to hemming it.

DONE! Now don’t you just feel like you should be drinking a mojito or something?

I got a chance to wear this dress on our recent trip to Cancun. It was gorgeous blowing in the breeze (if I do say so myself). I can’t wait till it’s warm enough in DC to wear around town.

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6 Responses to “Kimono Dress”

  1. June 16th

    I found your link on One Pretty Thing. This is absolutely gorgeous. You look fabulous, love your interpretation. I have never worn a floor length number, maybe it’s time.
    PS Definitely a mojito! Perfect for Cancun as well (we were there in March perfect for something like this!)

  2. June 17th

    So pretty! I need to try something like this. Thanks for the how-to

  3. Kat
    January 22nd

    Wow, you are amazing! I found one of your tutorials on Pinterest and have since looked at MANY of your posts and you are an awesome seamstress!!! Thank you so much for sharing your pieces of art! :)

  4. Angela
    June 3rd

    alright little sister,
    once i’m all moved into the new place I’m taking out my new sewing machine and making this! I love it (btw great picture of you!)

  5. Holly
    June 7th

    Wow, this dress is beautiful…Great job! Thanks for posting this tutorial. Will definitely be making this soon…Lucky for me we are the same size.

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