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Baby Kimonos




Kimonos are worn mostly on special occasions in modern Japan, but many features translate wonderfully to everyday baby clothes. Wrap shirts or dresses are ideal for babies, who dislike having clothing pulled on or off over their heads. Kimonos tie or button securely closed, and the fasteners are out of the way, so curious babies aren't tempted to toy with or nibble on them. And the double layer of material across the chest will add extra warmth where a toddler will need it most.

Our kimono is amazingly versatile. Basic and clean of line, it takes on different personalities depending on the length and the fabric it's made from. Short kimonos make lightweight, comfortable shirts. Longer kimonos can be dresses or coats.



  • Kimono template
  • Pattern paper
  • 1 yard of fabric
  • 2 yards of single-fold bias tape
  • 10 inches of thin ribbon
  • Sewing supplies


  1. Step 1

    Download and print our template, and use it to make a two-piece pattern.

  2. Step 2

    Use our pattern full-size for size 0 to 3 months. For bigger babies, enlarge it as follows: For 3 to 6 months, photocopy at 105 percent; 6 to 12 months, 110 percent; 12 to 18 months, 115 percent; 18 to 24 months, 120 percent; 24 to 36 months, 125 percent. If you are using a thick fabric, use the next size up.

  3. Step 3

    After you have assembled the pattern, lay the fabric wrong side up, pin pattern pieces on top, and cut out (a 3/8-inch seam allowance is included in the pattern). Mark dots on fabric pieces.

  4. Step 4


    Make ties: Cut 21-inch piece of single-fold bias tape. Open tape, fold in half, with right sides facing, and sew along crease parallel to fold. Trim close to stitching. With loop turner, turn inside out; press. Cut into three equal pieces. Lay main-garment piece flat, wrong side up, front toward you. Lift fabric at angled cut at the shoulder; pin two ties at dots, positioning as shown. Fold up sleeve hems by 3/8 inch twice, pin, and topstitch.

  5. Step 5


    Lay front-flap piece wrong side up; fold left side in by 3/8 inch twice; pin and topstitch. Place front-flap piece on main-garment piece over the right sleeve, right sides facing; align angled shoulder edges, sandwiching in ends of ties, and pin. Stitch along angled edges with 3/8-inch seam allowance. Zigzag edges. Beneath angled shoulder, fold side edge of main garment under twice by 3/8 inch; topstitch to hem. Fold kimono in half along shoulders, right sides facing. Pin along sides and underside of sleeves. On left side (with garment front facing you) at dot under the arm, pin a 5-inch ribbon. Hand stitch another 5-inch ribbon at dot on edge of front flap. (These provide inner ties.) Sew along pinned edges with 3/8-inch seam allowance, catching tie. Zigzag edges. In curves under each arm, make 5 cuts in seam allowance without cutting through straight stitching. Hem kimono as sleeves were hemmed. Turn right side out.

  6. Step 6


    Pin the third 7-inch tie at dot on angled edge of garment front, as shown. Cut 8-inch piece of bias tape. Open, pin to angled edge, right sides facing, starting at neck and aligning edges as shown; sew along top crease, catching tie. Fold tape over fabric edge, refold at crease, and hand stitch to wrong side of garment, sewing to end of tape. Press.

  7. Step 7


    Trim away point of fabric extending beyond angled edge of front flap. Cut a 12-inch piece of bias tape, and use it to cover the raw edge of the neckline as you did the angled shoulder, turning ends of tape under to hem. Press.

Martha Stewart Baby, Volume 6 2002



Reviews (28)

  • ecole77 28 Sep, 2014

    I've struggled through most of this without the dots (as mentioned by other reviewers). My question is about adding the final third tie. Is it supposed to tie to both of the first two ties on the left sleeve? I just can't figure out how one tie located on one side is supposed to tie to two ties on the other. Yet all the pictures clearly show two little bows tied when finished. Does anyone have any advice or information? It is much appreciated!

  • deadpan 11 Jul, 2014

    I figured out the instructions ok, and they look nice, in theory. If only they fit actual baby bodies! The arm holes are so tight that I only struggled my baby into it one time, and the body was still too wide and long at that point. It looked pretty ridiculous, and seemed uncomfortable. Using a stretchy fabric might help, but if I make this again, I will change the shape so that there's more give in the armpits. Telling that the pattern doesn't include any pictures of babies wearing them...

  • MagyarMom 29 Oct, 2013

    Shirts like these with ties have been around for over 40 years that I know of, just they weren't called kimonos.

  • Marcy888 21 May, 2013

    The amount of baby products on the market these days is getting overwhelming... kimono's for babies, really?

  • Maremare0 21 Sep, 2012

    Great News!!
    I found an easier tutorial for this kimono shirt/gown at:

  • RhondaHodgson 11 Feb, 2011

    I agree with ncrump. There are no marks on the pattern for the ties and I'm just getting started.

  • disposableactor 25 Jan, 2011

    It is Chinese. This cut of top is called "ao" and was common during the Qiing and early republic period in china. It has nothing to do with Japanese culture.

  • darkredpoppy 15 Sep, 2010

    Not quite kimono style to my eyes but more Chinese style?

  • ncrump 22 Feb, 2010

    This pattern is not worth the time that it takes to decode the instructions (and I am not a beginer). The kimonos are cute, but I finally had to ignore the instructions and figure it out on my own. If you are still interested in making kimonos I would recomend this site: This tutorial is much better with simple instructions and great pictures to reference.

  • Nanaof8 21 Feb, 2010

    Although I was able to download and assemble the pattern pieces, I am having a terrible time seeing exactly how the pieces go together. In addition to not having dots on the pattern, the photo illustrations are difficult to see....hard to discern front from back of material, etc. Anyone have a photo (close-up) that could be submitted that shows the steps a little more clearly? Hints anyone?

  • geekygrandma 14 Jun, 2009

    I downloaded this pattern back in 2007 when the baby was born - there were no "dots" on the pattern then and there aren't any today either! The instructions refer to "dots" you make on your own to mark the pattern pieces for proper alignment when sewing the pieces together. Special washable pencils are sold for this purpose.

    If you're having trouble printing, be sure to use the printer icon on the pdf toolbar -- not the one on the menu bar (under "File") at the top of the window.

  • CappuKat 21 Feb, 2009

    These kimonos are very cute

  • CappuKat 21 Feb, 2009

    These kimonos are very cute

  • halpena 19 Sep, 2008

    I saw past comments about ensuring the "dots" are visible and it just doesn't work to reload the page. I even tried on different computers on different days. May I suggest that the actual placement measurements for the ties are included in the instructions. What I did was just eyeball it

  • CynSational 20 Aug, 2008

    This file is a PDF. You need to have a reader like Adobe, which can be downloaded for free (if it's not already on your computer).
    Good luck and happy sewing!

  • hodaya 16 Aug, 2008

    hi, i can't open the template..can you help me pleas?

  • hodaya 16 Aug, 2008

    hi, i can't open the template, it's look like the file is damaged..
    can you help me pleas?

  • hodaya 16 Aug, 2008

    hi, i can't open the template, it's look like the file is damaged..
    can you help me pleas?

  • GrNana 8 Jul, 2008

    I just downloaded the template for the Kimono, cut and assembled it. But I do not see the "Dots" that to position the Ties. Please Help

  • barbarabayliswordpresscom 27 Apr, 2008

    suzeque: Go back and click on the blue writing that says OUR TEMPLATE: It is under the heading of Preparing the pattern. I clicked on it and it came right up. Maybe you were there at a time when many others were trying to download it the same time you were. IF you still have trouble I would reboot your computer and try again.

  • suzeque 22 Apr, 2008

    Can anyone tell me how to down load the templates for the kimono. I have tried everything.

  • 373river 3 Apr, 2008

    WONDERFUL, i found it very easy to follow instructions to put pattern together. Have not made kamono yet but will let you know how it works.

  • Squrel 28 Mar, 2008

    I'm still trying to figure out how to add it to a collection!! But my pages are printing.

  • Patti_K 27 Feb, 2008

    Help can anyone help me figure out why this won't let me print the first six pages! I have tried everything and it won't download them. Can anyone maybe send them to me via email? or by this- Patti K

  • sew_sweet 22 Jan, 2008

    I posted the comment about the instructions being difficult to follow. I went ahead and made it with lots of guessing, and staring at other's finished products. Look under flickr for "martha stewart baby kimono." I'm actually surprised at how cute it turned out. I'll post mine soon--it's brown with blue flowers, bias tape on bottom of kimono too.

  • fidgety 7 Jan, 2008

    Adorable Kimono's! I must agree on the earlier comment - confusing instructions. A few places in the instructions it refers to the dots from the pattern but you will note there are no dots on the pattern template. Is it possible that anyone could clarify the instructions, template/pattern

  • fidgety 7 Jan, 2008

    Adorable Kimono's! I must agree on the earlier comment - confusing instructions. A few places in the instructions it refers to the dots from the pattern but you will note there are no dots on the pattern template. Is it possible that anyone could clarify the instructions, template/pattern

  • sew_sweet 19 Dec, 2007

    Ok-just bought all the fabric, downloaded the pattern and set it up and I'm completely confused. These instructions are incredibly confusing for a beginner. Could someone dumb it down? This "kimono" shirt is very cute but I can't get past step one on the sewing!! Help.