About a year ago I began to see a disturbing trend on the streets. Some of the young ladies were walking around in what to me resembled pajamas. Now, I think when it comes to clothing, I am pretty opened minded. If I see anyone at the 7/11 buying milk wearing pajamas, I think he or she really hates coffee without milk which is totally understandable. However, walking under a scorching sun in the middle of a busy city street in what appears to be pajamas is a little odd, don’t you agree? I thought one of the “kids” I saw like this probably felt they were young and cool and were trying to be noticed. But, for the rest of the mortals like me, well, pajamas just won’t cut it to go anywhere other than to bed.
So I set about to come up with something much, much better. I do love comfortable wearing clothing and I am happy to share an easy kimono top project for many occasions that won’t even require a serger. A kimono design is functional and stylish. It has all the comfortable and loose-fitting features of pajamas while looking elegant and professional enough for business or pleasure.
The kimono top is the perfect alternative for a casual Friday at the office. It is super easy to make and a great holiday gift. You can also wear it over a swimsuit, a turtleneck, or a pretty tank top to add a layer to your outfit. Also makes a good breastfeeding or maternity top.
- Versatile uses, both professional and casual
- Perfect beginner to intermediate project
- Can be made in many different fabrics
You can find the complete pattern for this kimono top on our Payhip webstore where we distribute our patterns.
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Finished Garment Measurements
Step One: Preparing the material and supplies
There is not much to prepare other than cutting the pattern to the size you require. Seam allowance is included and it is 5/8″.
Step Two: Sewing the shoulders
Pin the shoulders and sew the shoulder at 5/8″.
Pin into place.
Iron the seam allowance open. Fold each side of the seam allowance under and iron.
This is how the kimono top side stitches will look.
Step Three: tips for fitting your kimono top and sewing the sides.
Find a full-length mirror and place the kimono top over your shoulders. Find the smallest part of your torso. This is where the belt would go if you chose to use one.
We are not all built the same way. I have a short torso and you are probably tall. So my waist is not where yours is. The best way to make sure the top is going to fit you well is to create a waistline even if you think you do not have one. Find where you would normally wear a belt and mark it with a pin. Take the top to the sewing machine and sew from that pin to the hem at 5/8″.
If you are a true hourglass figure, meaning your chest and hips are about the same and your waist is considerably smaller than those measurements, then sew from notch provided on the pattern to the hem.
Cut the seam allowance straight to the stitching line but not through it.
Fold each seam allowance just like you did on the shoulder seam.
Step Four: sewing the armbands
Measure where the side stitching ends and the armhole begins to the shoulder.
Cut a rectangle the same size as the measurement above plus 1/4″ by 5 1/4″ wide.
Fold this rectangle right side out and pin to the wrong side of the top.
Repeat the process with the other side of the top. Sew at 5/8″.
Sew the armhole binding at 5/8″.
Cut the first two layers of the seam allowance closest to the main fabric.
Fold back the first layer of fabric and cut the other two.
Stitch close to the edge.
This is what your offcuts should look like.
Fold and iron the other side of the seam allowance.
Sew the bottom of the sleeve at 1/4″ and iron the seam open.
Stitch each side to keep the seam flat.
Fold the sleeve up and repeat on the other side.
Step Five: making the kimono top neckline
Measure from the center back at the neckline, to the end of the front side.
Use your pattern tracing paper and trace a rectangle that is the length of the measurement you just took by 2″ wide, in my case is 33″ in length and 2″ wide.
Add the 5/8″ seam allowance on each side. Draw the seam allowance at the end of the binding as well shown here as a vertical line.
Trace the cutting line from the center of the binding to the edge as shown in the photo creating a triangle at the end of the neck binding.
Erase the unnecessary lines and you are left with a triangle at the end that will match the shape of the front of the kimono top. Mark the fold line, which is the middle of the neck binding. This line will also act as the grain line. Cut on a bias.
At the end of this neck binding add 5/8″ for the seam allowance. Label your pattern “Cut two” and remember to cut two of this neck binding.
Congratulations you have drafted your first collar, well at least on this site!
Step six: hemming the kimono top with a binding
Measure the bottom of the top. Make a band of that length plus 1″ by 3 1/2″ wide. Mine is 62″ so I am going to have to cut two strips and join them at the back.
Iron the seams open and cut half of the seam allowance. Align the center of the band with the center back of the top. Fold what is now a band in half. This is basically just a big bias tape. Pin the band 3/8″ from the corner of the top. If your band is longer than 3/8″ this is fine. Just do not let it go beyond 5/8″ as it will be hard to fold.
Fold the end of neckband 3/8′. Fold the neck binding in half.
Topstitch all around the neck binding, starting on one end of the collar and finishing on the other end of the collar.
I have added a double stitching line as a decorative detail. You can either use a double needle or just repeat the step. Starting at the corner of the hem, sew to the next corner and pivot your work. Inside view. I have added another stitching line to simulate a decorative detail.
If you want to have exactly the exact look in the feature image, I recommend that you add snaps to the sides of the top so that the garment stays closed without a belt. You can measure yourself where you want to put these snaps depending on how tight you want the fit.
Alternatively, you can just use a belt to keep the kimono top closed. In the picture below, cut a strap of fabric the color of the armbands the length of your waist plus 28 to 30″ by 5″. Sew at 5/8″ leaving one end open to turn the belt inside out. Close the belt using a double stitch to match the rest of the blouse finish.
I hope you found this project easy to make. I really love the print since it’s youthful and makes me feel young.
This top is a great overlayer. You can wear it with a pencil skirt or skinny jeans, to the movies, a picnic or over your swimsuit. This also makes a great breastfeeding or maternity top!
Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what you think. Until next time!
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