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How to Make a Breezy, Beautiful Kimono Robe

Here's the statement piece your summer-to-fall wardrobe is missing. Sew your own one-of-a-kind kimono robe, which you can wear to the beach as a cover-up, or paired with a cami and shorts for a stylish everyday look.

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For this sewing project, I used this BurdaStyle kimono digital sewing pattern with a few modifications. You can choose from a variety of different fabrics. If you want to make a lingerie-like kimono, then opt for silk; or if you want more of an absorbent robe, opt for terrycloth fabric. Here, I used lightweight cotton, because I wanted to have the option of wearing my kimono as a beach cover-up or wearable cardigan. To make it more breezy and free-flowing, I omitted the front and hem bands.

Materials

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Step 1

Download and print the sewing pattern, according to your desired style and size. For this pattern, you will need to add seam allowance. To get started, I smoothed my fabric flat and placed the printed pattern on top to cut out. For the waist tie band, I cut a long strip of fabric 6" wide and the width of the fabric.

 

Step 2

Sew the shoulder seams. Here, I pinned the front pieces to the back and right sides, and stitched at my added seam allowance.

 

Step 3

After sewing the shoulder seams, I serged the edges (the double gauze fabric I was using tends to fray) and pressed the seam allowances open. To prevent any further fraying along the center front openings, I serged along those edges as well. (If you don't have a serger, you can use a wide zig-zag stitch on your regular sewing machine to go over the edges.)

 

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Step 4

Next is the trickiest part—the sleeve! Kimono patterns typically either integrate the sleeve into the front and back pieces, or include a separate sleeve pattern like this one. First, mark the sleeve attachment notches on the front, back, and sleeve pattern, using tailor's chalk or a fabric marker. (You can test your method of marking first on a piece of scrap fabric to see if the marking goes away once pressed with an iron.)

 

Step 5

Pin the sleeve to the front and back pieces (by laying them out open on the table), and stitch them together, leaving a half-inch from the beginning and end in order to sew the sleeve seam. Bring the under-sleeve edges together to sew the sleeve closed; you can shift away the front and back pieces to make this easier.

 

Step 6

After you sew the sleeves together, shift the sleeve out of the way and sew the side seams of the kimono together. Start right at the sleeve seam to make sure there is no gap. You may need to switch to a zipper foot for a better result.

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Step 7

Press both the side seam and sleeve seam allowances open, and you may have to used a pressing tool to get right into the underarm point. 

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Step 8

Press the front edges in towards the wrong side by a half-inch and pin in place; press along the back neckline and pin.

 

Step 9

Start sewing from the right side at one front opening hem and sew up one front edge, along the back neckline, and down the other front edge to the hem. Stitch about 3/8 of an inch from the pressed edge.

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Step 10

Flip the sleeve out to see how it looks! Press the hem allowance up towards the wrong side and finish the edges of the sleeve hem, pressing the allowance towards the inside.

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Step 11

You can choose to sew the sleeve hem allowance once first before attaching some trim, but I sewed both at once. I placed the trim on the right side of the sleeve and stitch right in the center making sure to stop and start stitching right at the under sleeve seam so the overlap of trim wasn't noticeable.

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Band

Step 12

Now, sew the belt. Press all of the edges inwards by a half-inch and pin down. Topstitch around the pinned edges and give a final press.

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Here is the finished kimono! You can really have fun with the trim on your kimono by adding fringe, beads, pom-poms, or any other trim you choose! Try sewing trim to the hem and front openings of the kimono for an overall look. You can also omit sewing the fabric belt and use your favorite belt from your closet to cinch it in at the waist, or simply wear the kimono open and free.

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This kimono is super comfy to wear and easy to style. I love how to double gauze fabric makes it so lightweight and perfect for these hot months, because sometimes you still need a little bit of coverage in the summer. You can see more images of my kimono project here! The beauty of sewing your own kimono is that you can customize it and make it your own. Now, who's ready for the beach?

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About the Author

Meg Healy

Meg Healy is the Online Editor for BurdaStyle.com, the world's largest online sewing community. She inspires members of the sewing community by documenting her sewing projects online, developing and instructing online sewing courses, and filming in-studio as one of the faces of BurdaStyle Vidoes, an online sewing video subscription site. She studied Fashion Design at Fanshawe College...

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