Monday, 11 September 2017

How To: Lightweight Kimono from Saree Set

I've been living in Dubai for 2 years now, and for 2 years I've resisted the legion of saree shops in the area I go fabric shopping. When I first arrived I wouldn't even have considered something so colourful (there is no such thing as a minimalistic saree). But something's happened over the past couple years and slowly all kinds of colours have started creeping into my sewing projects. So about a month ago, I spotted some embroidered roses in a saree shop window, and when I saw the straight symmetrical stripes down the front, I knew it had to become a kimono.

I used an embroidered chiffon saree set, about 4 m in total  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Thread  |  Serger is pretty necessary if the fabric is a chiffon like mine here  |  I also used some bias tape to finish the hem

I. First thing I did was to extend the main fabric piece by about 20 cm with the other fabric, since I wanted my kimono to be almost floor length, and there wasn't enough of the rose-embroidered fabric. I'm 175 cm tall and the length of my kimono from shoulderline to hem was 145 cm or so.

II. Then I cut the whole thing in half in between the straight lines I had visualized to form the center front seams of the kimono. Some measurements in the image. After cutting, I finished the center front seams by hand-sewing. It was pretty painful. Any other type of fabric would be a breeze, chiffon, as I have stated in the past, was made by the devil.
II. Next I used the other fabric to cut my back piece.
First finished the neckline on the back piece with a simple double fold:
III. Then I pinned the shoulders together, right sides facing, and sewed them together, finishing with my serger.
IV. To make the sleeve, I used the arm hole of the attached front & back piece as guidance to trace the curve, and did a uniform 20 cm width the whole way.

V. Then just pinned the sleeve to the arm hole, right sides facing, sewed and finished with my serger. Somehow I forgot to take photos of the rest, but it was just a matter of pinning the sleeve underarm and the sides together, sewing those, and finally finishing the hem and the sleeve hems. 
I used some bias tape to create a 2 cm fold at the hem of the kimono so it would not fly all over the place given how light the fabric is.



  1. I love it! That sari s beautiful! When i lived in the ME, I used to be attracted to bold colors and patterns, but i ve been living in japan for 4 years now and my wardrobe is increasingly japanized and simple. I guess we absorb the atmosphere of the place we live.

  2. Love everything you sew... Follow you also on Instagram...bit confused... Did you get married- did i miss an annoucement?? Love those pics also...


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