There are lots of kimono sewing tutorials out there but none especially for plus sizes. (I was especially amused by the one that cuts a T-shaped piece of fabric out of one width of material -- after leaving enough room for my magnificent body, this would give me a kimono with 3 inch long sleeves :))
This one is probably closest to the tutorial on Elle Apparel, although I think mine makes putting on the sleeves easier :) And mine doesn't have an extra shirt tail of fabric on the back (although that might not be a bad idea ...)
I had about three metres of a really lovely, slightly crinkled fine woven fabric in my stash, in a rich, orange, grey, green and black paisley print. I had bought it last season for a dress, but decided that it would be perfect for my first kimono! It's definitely got the exotic, boho feel I want.
|Love this paisley pattern! The main colour is a super-saturated dark orange that's only a few steps from a tomato red.|
I'm a US 3X or 22/24 so this kimono is made to fit me. It would actually work on a 4X, size 26 as well. It's roomy :)
1. Cut or rip a length of fabric that equals the length of garment you want. I used a 36" length. I took 2.5 inches off each side giving me a rectangle measuring 36" long by 40" wide (I originally thought I could use the full width of the fabric -- this gave me a really enormous and unflatteringly wide kimono :))
2. Cut or rip a second equal length and width, then cut or rip it in half vertically giving you two rectangles 36" long by 20" wide.
I ripped a 16' wide strip of fabric from my left over piece and then ripped it in half giving me two 16" by 22.5" rectangles. These will be my sleeves.
5. I found the centre of these rectangles and put a pin in place to remind me where that centre was (you could also make a little notch in the fabric). I pinned the sleeves to the kimono, matching the centre of the sleeve to the shoulder seam, and sewed the sleeves on.
I then turned the sleeves out.
Folding the kimono in half along the shoulder seam, right sides together, I sewed the bottom of the sleeves together, then turned the corner and sewed the side seam of the kimono.
I tried on the kimono at this point, danced around for a while and and then hemmed the sleeves and the bottom edges.
8. The last edge to finish is the centre front/neck. You could shape this edge and then bind it with either self binding or contrast. You could make a facing. Or you could do what I did: I turned in the front edge from the side of the neck opening to the centre front to create a straight line and trimmed off the excess fabric. I then turned in the edge twice to contain the raw edge and hemmed all the way around the front opening and back of the neck. After pressing, this looked just fine to me.
Here's how it looks at the end of today. I'm going to buy some fringed trim for the bottom edge, partly to give it a little weight (that will bring out the drapey-ness of the fabric) and partly because it looks extra bohemian that way!