Suitable for beginners.
This is a loose fitting hip length kimono which looks great in all seasons, either for a special occasion or as a loose fitting cardigan. With a wide front band, two optional patch pockets, and french seams on the inside, its an easy, fun and quick to make.
I made this kimono in this beautiful floral viscose fabric such as these ones which are currently available on my Etsy shop. Other suitable fabrics include cotton, linen or any fabric with a fluid drape quality.
Suki can also be made in thicker fabrics for colder days as a kind of jacket, which gives a completely different look. I recently made it in a woven wool fabric and lengthened the sleeves like this to make a Kimono style jacket.
Here, I am wearing Suki made in an ethnic woven stripe, so its like a jacket, with special guest appearance of Madame Mabelline the cat!
Here is my lovely fam, Becky (fave sis no 2), Patsy (mum), Nilly (niece), Anna (fave sis no 1) and me (big sis), all modelling a kimono at my mums special birthday get together (she’s 21 yet again!).
Suki was demonstrated on The Sewing Quarter TV channel on 23rd April 2019, with the ever so fabulous John Scott, so if you fancy watching me make it here is a You tube link. Just scroll up to 3:00 to watch the one hour show.
Suki Kimono is sized from S-XXL (scroll down to see the finished measurements chart).
ADJUSTING THE PATTERN
You can adjust the size and length. Here is a picture of Suki with the body and sleeves length extended and an added tie belt. Please note the lovely topstitch detail in contrast colour thread. (I love a bit of topstitching!). For topstitching tips, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.
EXTENDING THE OVERALL LENGTH: You can make the kimono longer by using the larger sizes length lines or by extending the length of your pattern. You will need extra fabric if you make your kimono longer, so another half metre should be fine or +80cm, if you want to add length to your sleeves.
The pictures above show a version that I’ve made from glorious floral printed viscose fabric, Ive lengthened the body by adding an extra 25cm and also made the sleeves longer by adding an extra 10cm on the pattern. Make sure that if you do extend the body length, that you also cut the band pieces in the same extended length measurement, so for example, if you make a size Med kimono but use a size XL in length, then cut out two size XL band pieces or, if you lengthen the body by 25cm, then add another 25cm to each band length too ….simple!
One other thing is that you can simply lengthen a further 2cm by making a smaller hem on the lower edge, instead of 4cm as specified on the pattern. LONGER SLEEVE: You can also extend the length of the sleeve by adding on as much as you like, but remember you will need some more fabric. You will need an extra 10cm approx for 140cm wide fabric and 20cm for the 112cm wide fabric if you are extending the sleeve another 10cm.
TIE BELT: To make a tie belt and side tabs cut two strips 100cm x 12cm across the width of the fabric. Join the strips together at the short ends with the right sides together (RST). Press. Fold the strip in half lengthways with the RST, press. Sew down the long side and short raw edges with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving approx 4cm open at the centre join section. Trim the seam allowance to 5mm approx. Turn inside out through the opening pushing out the corners. Press nice and flat so that the seam is aligned with the fold. Topstitch all around or just stitch up the opening. Press.
SIDE TABS: Every tie belt needs side tabs and just two should do nicely. So cut one strip 5cm x 16cm. Fold over and press 1cm each long raw edge. Fold over in half and press, topstitch down each long side. Cut the piece into two equal pieces of 8cm. Fold over 1cm each short end. Pin to the side of the garment at the waist position. (To ascertain this try on your kimono, tie the belt around your waist so its comfortable, room for movement etc. Place a pin at the side seams where the tie belt lays naturally. Place the side tabs at these positions and stitch at each far end to secure them. If you find this a bit fiddly you could always hand tack them on first.
The pattern is available to buy on the website, click on the link below for details.
Scroll down for a photo step-by-step tutorial showing how to make up Suki Kimono.
Tips for sewing silk/satin/ viscose:
When sewing silk use a finer thread and insert a ballpoint needle in your machine.
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.
Adjust your iron to a ‘silk’ setting and take care with steaming, it can cause water marks.
Lay a sheet, old blanket or duvet underneath your fabric when cutting out to prevent it moving about.
How to sew a 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 and garments where the inside seam is exposed. To make a french seam, firstly pin, then sew a 5mm seam with the WRONG SIDES together. Next, fold your fabric pieces so the RIGHT SIDES are together and press and pin so that the seam is aligned to the fold. Stitch again, this time with a 1cm seam allowance, encasing the raw edges inside. Finally, press your french seam to one side.
FABRIC REQUIREMENTS: See the chart below for fabric requirements.
You will also need: a reel of thread, an iron, pins, a hand sewing needle, a poker (a chunky knitting needle is good or a chopstick).
Pattern pieces for FRONT (1), BACK (2), SLEEVE (3), FRONT BAND (4), POCKET (5)
Here we go!
CUTTING OUT THE PIECES –
Using the Layplans above as a guide, cut out the following pieces:
FRONT (1)– Cut two.
BACK (2) – Cut one on the fold.
FRONT BAND (4) – Cut cut two pieces.
POCKET (5)– Cut two pieces.
SLEEVE (3)– Cut two pieces on the fold of the fabric.
SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 1CM
SEWING THE KIMONO
Pin the front pieces to the back at the shoulder seams with the right sides together. Sew. Finish the raw edges with a zig zag or overlock to prevent fraying. Press the seam allowances flat towards the back piece. Topstitch on the right side. See the bottom of this post for tips about topstitching.Now pin your sleeve piece to the body at the armhole edge, sew.
Press the seam allowance towards the sleeve. Top stitch. Repeat for the other sleeve.
Pin the front to back at the side edges with the WRONG sides together. Sew a 5mm seam.
Turn inside out so the RIGHT sides are together, press with the seam aligned with the fold. Pin. Sew another 1cm seam encasing all the raw edges. Press.
NB. To avoid seams ‘bunching’ under the armhole, make the french seam narrower at this section, or nick the seam allowance at the underarm section before and after making your french seam. Ease out any puckering with a good steam press.
On the lower edge all around, fold over and press to the wrong side 1cm then again 3cm. Pin. Sew. Remember, you can make your kimono a little longer by making a smaller hem at the lower edge.
Make the same hem on the sleeve raw edge.
SEWING THE FRONT BAND
Join the front band pieces at one short side to make one long strip with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam allowances open. Topstitch either side of the seamline.
Fold over and press 1cm all along one long side of band.
Starting at the centre of the back neck and with the right sides facing together, pin the unfolded long side of the band to the back neck and front at each side, pin all around to the front sides either side, aligning the raw edges as you go and make sure to leave 1cm of band 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.
Press the band away from the body with the seam allowance pressed towards the band on the reverse side. Top stitch on the band right side.
At the far ends of the front band at each side, fold the strip ends in half widthways with the right sides together and the 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 up to the fold line.
Trim the seam allowance to 5mm, cut across the corners of the seam allowance then turn inside out to right side, pushing out the corners gently with a poker.
Press the band over to the wrong side all around so that all raw edges are encased inside. Pin, then hand stitch the band at the folded edge all around with small slip stitches. Its a good idea to line up the fold of the band to the line of stitching previously made. Make sure your stitching is as neat as possible. If you would like to have front ties** on your kimono scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions to make and insert before sewing the band.
Finally press your kimono.
Finish the raw edges of two longer sides and one short side of the pocket pieces.
On the unfinished side, fold over to the wrong side 1cm, press then again 2cm. Press. Stitch.
Fold over and press 1cm on the 3 un-hemmed sides to the wrong side.
Place in position on to the kimono. Pin. Top stitch all around, reinforcing the top corners.
**FRONT TIES (optional)
Cut two pieces 60cm x 4cm.
Fold over 1cm to the wrong side each long side and press. Fold the piece over again in half so you have a piece 60cm x 1cm. Tuck under one raw end. Tip: secure the folded short end with a small piece of quilting tape or wondaweb. Stitch close to the folded edge. Press.
Insert your ties raw edge under the band approx 1cm s cure with a few hand stitches before hand stitching your front band.
MATCHING QUILTED CLUTCH PURSE
What a nice quick project to make out of the leftover fabric and a perfect accessory to match your kimono. This easy to make quilted clutch purse makes a lovely addition to any outfit for a special event. With its optional loop handle, useful for carrying lipstick, powder compact, money and keys.
Finished size: 23cm x 16cm approx
You will need:
One piece 41cm x 25cm (bag) and one piece 5cm x 30cm (handle).
One piece 41cm x 25cm.
One piece 41cm x 25cm in fusible H640 fleece Visilene wadding or wadding with fabric spray glue.
A magnetic clasp.
One gorgeous button
An invisible marker pen.
This is what you do…..
1. First spray glue your wadding to your outer bag piece or fuse with an iron if using the H640 Visilene.
2. Mark out lines at a 45 degree angle and 5cm or 2″ apart with a fabric invisible marker pen.
3. Stitch along the lines to make a criss cross quilting trellis pattern with a stitch length of 2.6.
4. Place your quilted piece on top of the lining piece with the right sides together. Pin together. Round off the two top corners using a saucer or small plate to mark out the curves, then trim.
5. Sew all around the edge of the piece with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving an opening of approx 4cm at the lower un curved edge at the side for turning. Nick across the corners and curved seam allowance with small V’s.
6. Turn your piece inside out and push out the corners. Press.
7. Make your loop handle. Fold in each long side 1cm and press. Fold in half lengthways. Press. Top stitch down each long side.
8. Insert your magnetic clasp (masculine side) at the rounded flap side, positioned at the centre, 2.5cm (1″) down from the top edge of the lining.
9. Fold your bag piece straight side up 13cm, with the wrong sides facing. Pin at the sides. Insert the handle loop raw ends, sandwiching them in between the folds, so the loop section is extended beyond the bag. Top stitch down each side 4mm (1/4″) from the edge.
10. Insert your magnetic clasp (female side) at the straight side, positioned at the centre, 7cm (2 3/4″”) down from the top edge of the outer fabric to match.
11. Stitch on a button at the flap outer side in the same position as the magnetic clasp.
There you have it!
Who doesn’t leerrvve a bit of topstitching? Well I certainly do! But, like everyone, I like it to look nice and neat. So as well as extending the stitch length to 2.8-3.00, I also like to pop one of these little guys on my machine. Its called an Overcast or Overedge foot. I would really recommend them for perfecting the art of topstitching. If you haven’t already got one in the darkest depths of your sewing machine box of attachments, you can buy them for around a fiver, just check that its compatible with your machine. This attachment can also be used when zig zag finishing raw edges by the way and also ‘stitch in the ditch’ sewing. You need to be able to shift your needle over to the required position for topstitching, and the little bar sits in the ditch of the seam and acts like a guide to keep your topstitching nice and straight and even. Bliss!