How to make a Kimono Top - Tutorial

There is an abundance of floaty kimono tops available at the moment in all kinds of colours and pretty patterns, but for some reason some seem to be fairly expensive given what they consist of! With a bit of fabric and about 1 hour you can create your own top. Here's how to make them:

You will need:
  • Fabric (anything drapey) 1-2 yards depending on how big you want it
  • Fringe or embellishment
  • Thread
Step 1 - Create a pattern

All you need to do is create a big L-Shape. Measure from the back of your neck out to where you want your sleeve to lie (mine was 25") and decide on your sleeve depth (I went for 12"). The measure down from the back of your neck to the length you want your Kimono (I think this was about 50"). The body width is then a measurement from the back of your neck to shoulder plus 2" (this one worked out at 12" again).

Step 2 - Fold your fabric

Fold your fabric, right sides facing, downwards on to itself. Then fold again creating a quarter of what you started with. It is essential to have the folds in the top left corner!

Step 3 - Cut out

I weighted the fabric down with cans of food! Its super slippery chiffon so needed taming. Pin on your pattern piece so it touches the top left corner then cut it out to create a 2 layered T shape.
Step 4 - Create the front opening

Cutting through a SINGLE layer of the fabric, cut a straight line up the from of the Kimono (you know, they work better when you can get in it). Be careful and don't cut both layers!!
Now you need a neck opening. Measure the width of your neck plus an inch or so and create a slit at the top folded edge.
To shape the front just create a line from the neck edge down to the front opening and cut on both sides.

Step 5 - Sew together

Pin up the open side seams and sew them together. You could be fancy and use french seams so there are no raw edges showing. I just trimmed with pinking sheers as its not that visible anyway. Choose your needle wisely! I used a 60/8 machine needle for delicate thin fabrics so it didn't rip into the chiffon too much.

Step 6 - Hem all around

Hem all the way around the neckline and bottom edge of your Kimono. You could use a rolled hem to keep it lovely and neat. Again I was being a bit lazy and just trimmed and turned up the edges.

Step 7 - Add embellishments

At this point you might decide you are which case enjoy! If you fancy adding anything now is the time. I went for some swingy purple fringe. Just pin this in place to the front of the Kimono and sew it right on there.

Step 8 - Wear that bad boy out and about

Throw it on and go!

Please do share on comments below, Facebook or Twitter if you have a go at this! x  :-)


  1. This tutorial is eerily timely. I was just scoping out fringed kimonos on some "cheap" stores but all the ones I liked were sold out. Thank you for this!

    1. You are quite welcome, hope it is of use! x