DIY: Kimono Robe

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I wanted to wear a pretty robe while I got ready on the morning of my wedding day.  There are a lot of options online, but since I have a knack for sewing I wanted to give a try at making my own.  I think it feels pretty special to wear my own handmade 'getting ready' robe on my wedding day and I get to pick out my own fabric.  I was looking for something silky and floral but didn't find any to my liking.  I stumbled upon a white and floral cotton fabric from Joann's and thought it was really pretty.  It turned out really well and I want to share how I made it.  I also made a second one for my good friend as a bridal shower gift.  So you will see picture progress from both of these robes.  The fabric for the second one was specially bought during our recent trip to Hawaii together.

If you are interested in having a robe specially made, I am open for commissions.  It can be customized to a fabric of your choice.  [Quote: Cost of fabric + labor (approx $20) + $5.95 shipping]

This will be a simple tutorial that shows you the basic shapes and pieces you need and how to assemble it.  It won't be indepth with detailed steps.

- 2.5yd of fabric (at least 44in wide)

The Pieces and Measurements
- base kimono
- trim (in the front and around the neck)
- waistband
- 2x belt loops

all the pieces

My white kimono ended up to be 34in in length.  It hit me at a few inches above my knees but I would have preferred if it was just a little bit longer so for the blue kimono I made it 36in.  To get this length, I first folded over the fabric to 38 inches (see above photo).  This is how your kimono will start out, 38" L x 43" W, folded  (My 44" was actually 43" because there was an inch of unusable edge).  You can cut off the excess at the bottom.  Save the excess to make the waistband later.

Base Kimono
To create the base kimono, you cut out a rectangle shape from the left and right side (see photo below).  This creates the sleeves and body of the kimono.  To measure the sleeves, measure about 9.5 inches from the top and mark it.  Then from that point, measure about 7 inches from the edge and towards the middle.  Then mark a straight line down to the bottom.  This will create a rectangle size of 7 x 28.5.  Do this to the other side for the other sleeve.  Cut these rectangles out and you will have 4 pieces of fabric.  Save these for later as you will use them to make the trim.

Next, measure where the middle-front of the kimono is.  Mark a line down the middle from the top to the bottom.  Measure 3 inches from both sides of the line and mark a line and cut down.  Careful not to cut the bottom layer.  Now you will have a 6 inch gap.  Then cut a scoop neckline on the bottom layer.  This step creates the neckline and opening of the kimono.

The Trim
To make the trim, you can use the four pieces that you cut out from the arms, or just two of the arm pieces and the middle body strip you cut out earlier.  Connect and sew them together and make sure it is long enough to line the edge of the front-neckline of your kimono.  You will use this long strip to create a bias tape that is like a 2 inch band for the trim.  See photos below.

Pin down the trim around the front of the kimono and around the neck and sew it down on top with a similiar color thread.  I used white.

For the waistband, take the excess fabric you have left and cut two 43" x 4.5" sized pieces.  You can trim the length to be any size you like.  You will sew them together to make a length long enough for your waist and to tie however you like.  Fold the fabric in half and sew down a line and then flip it inside out.  Sew the ends to close the edges.

Belt loops
For the belt loops, from any scrap fabric, cut two 4 x X sized pieces.  Fold them in half (design on the inside) and sew a line down.  Flip it inside out.  Find the spot on the robe where you would like the waist band to be, and sew one loop on the left and right side.  

Thanks for reading!
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