Friday, January 28, 2011

How to make a Kimono-style top/dress

Before we start, lemme get one thing straight: I did not make a kimono-top. So why am I posting a tutorial on this?

Let's start from the  beginning... see, I have this old kimono dress that I don't use anymore:

It's a little faded in some places... but I really like the print on the skirt part:
So I decided to make it into a skirt. That part was so easy. I cut of the top part...
And you get an instant skirt! However, I wanted to replace the elastic. So I also cut off the elastic part and I was left with:
You can see the faded parts clearly in this photo!
... 3 pieces of rectangular fabric. Hmmm... so that's how you make a kimono dress/top! So based on my reverse-engineering (yeah, yeah... call me geek), I put together a simple tutorial on how to make a kimono dress or top.

You will need:
  • 2 rectangular pieces of fabric with measurement length = measure from below your chest to your back around the same level as below your chest, width = 10 inches (you need to add to the measurement for for seam allowance on all sides, depends on how much you need for the seam)
  • 1 big rectangular piece of fabric with measurement length = 42 inches, width = 22 inches (again please add to the measurement for seam allowance.
STEP 1: Hem all sides of your fabric

STEP 2: I prepared a little illustration on what you need to do... I hope this makes sense:

Click image to enlarge.
Click image to enlarge.

STEP 3: Still with me? Ok... I forgot to include the part where you add the elastic in the diagram :-/ You attach it between the skirt and the top (how... uh... it's a little complicated for me to describe, but more experienced seamstresses can figure that out I'm sure).

And you're done!

So what happened with my original project, you ask? It was too easy... I simply attached a new elastic to the skirt part and here's what I had:

Not too long, and definitely not too short... perfect length for me!
And then.. there was the old elastic in the middle that I cut off...
I was too lazy to use the seam ripper so I simply cut the section off
 Hmmm... waste not... so...
... another fabric flower. I simply cut a small circular piece of felt... and glued one end of the elastic in the center... and then kept gluing in a circle pattern. Last, I attached a pearl bead in the center.

I have a lot of other projects I'm working on and finished. I just don't have much time to blog. Really busy time at the office. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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