Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby Kimonos


Quick project post today... It's my mom's last day in town. We've been running around so much lately that I haven't even had time to completely finish this particular project, as you will see. Oh well, I was too excited to share this with you to wait any longer.

Jenny: Baby Kimono

LOTS of babies lately. Friends, family, everyone's having them. Which means: baby gifts! I've been making a lot! I had been meaning to try out Heather Ross' kimono pattern (Lucy's Kimono in Weekend Sewing) and finally decided to give it a try, times three. Yes, instead of making one, I made three kimonos. And pants. I know I'm a little nuts, but you're the one who inspired me by sewing two of everything. It's such a great time-saver and productivity-booster.

So, first I picked my fabrics. Once again, they had to be from my stash (resolutions, resolutions, you'd think my stash would be super low by now...), so I had limited options for print combos. I kind of like all 3 for different reasons though. Do you recognize the purple duo?


Then came time to copy the pattern, iron my fabrics and cut the pieces out. I had already made my bias, so that was ready to go. Based on the amount of fabric I had for each print, I ended up making 2 3-6-month outfits and 1 0-3-month outfit (which means I adapted Heather Ross' 0-3 month kimono pattern a bit, simply by adding 1/2 inch all around, except for inside the neckline, to make it roughly 3-6-month size).


Some parts of this project were easier than others. Attaching and sewing the bias around the neckline was okay. So was adding on the sleeves. I prettied up the sleeves by adding some bias to the cuffs, just because.

Closing up the tiny 1/4 inch bias tape was a bee-atch. I couldn't keep the tape going straight through my machine, ugh. My mom suggested my needle may not have been sharp enough. Who knows? It was a pain. Another rough part for me was sewing the sides together, while catching the pieces of bias tape that will be used to tie the kimono. Turns out you have to match several seams together at that point, so that there are no obvious overlaps and gaps when you turn the kimono inside out. Quite the puzzle!


The pants were easy peasy. I mixed and matched several patterns I found online, according to the sizes I needed. I added some coordinating fabric at the bottom of the legs to tie it all together with the kimonos. I tricked out the hem so that the pants can be rolled up and still be aesthetic: I folded and pressed 1/4 inch toward the wrong side (= inside), then folded the fabric again this time enough so the first fold covered the seam between the 2 fabrics by about 1/8 inch. I pinned in place then sewed in the ditch from the right side (= outside). I hope this makes sense. You can see the photo of the pinned hems below.


I am pretty pleased with the final result, though you are not allowed to look too close. My sewing-in-the-ditch is as wobbly as ever, and I couldn't quite properly finish those bias tape ends. But still, pretty cute, don't you think?

The purple outfit was a gift for my friend Stephanie who just had a little girl, Lennon. I hope it fits her in time for summer or maybe early fall.


This is what I sent Stephanie. I had to show you the super-duper cute card I found, I thought you would totally dig it!


The other two outfits are not quite finished yet (notice the unfinished hems, I've been too crazed lately to be a perfectionist in this post!!). They are awaiting the arrival of some special babies. (Pssst, notice how my knots are on different sides of the kimonos, woops!)


I am completely in love with the flowery blue and fuchsia one. I want to wear it!

Haven't you made some baby kimonos before? What's your input on the process? Do you have a favorite pattern? I'd love to hear from our readers on this too. Sewn kimonos before? Have a favorite baby gift to make? Please share with us!

Angel-mini-buttonOh Jenny, they are so cute!  I have made several baby kimonos using a different pattern, one of them is almost finished (and will actually fit Silas when it's done!) so I will post a picture of it next week.  Did the pattern go together well?  Tell me more about how you traced the pattern from Weekend Sewing, you didn't cut it out, right?  I haven't made anything from her book yet and still am not sure exactly how the patterns in the back actually work.


  1. Angel, I can't wait to see the kimono you made for Silas! I had a hard time picking out "boy" fabrics, so I made my kimonos for baby girls instead.

    The Weekend Sewing pattern and instructions were pretty clear for the most part. As I mentioned in my post, I had a hard time when it came to sewing the sides together and had to rip out my work a few times. I wish there had been more detailed instructions for matching all the seams carefully -- the fabric wasn't properly overlapped in the armpit area, got all puckered, etc. Also, when attaching the piece of bias tape that is used on the inside of the kimono for tying, there is no mention of how to hide the seam so it doesn't show on the outside of the kimono, so I had to finagle that one myself. I forgot to check for erratas, though, and maybe all this is addressed there.

    For tracing the pattern, I just laid out the patterns from the book flat on my dining room table, then used some white paper to trace the kimono pieces with a marker. I need to invest in some proper pattern paper. This was such a small project though, 2 sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper taped together worked out fine for most pieces.

  2. Hello I would like to receive the tutorial. you would send me?

  3. Rafa, sorry I missed this comment when it was first posted. Unfortunately, I cannot share the pattern for the kimono, as it is from the book Weekend Sewing. But I'm sure you can get it from your library or find a similar pattern by doing a search online! Good luck!


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