Kimono Top: an alternative to wearing pajamas to work…

Step Five: making the kimono top neckline

Measure from the center back at the neckline, to the end of the front side.

Use your pattern tracing paper and trace a rectangle that is the length of the measurement you just took by 2″ wide, in my case is 33″ in length and 2″ wide. kimono top

Add the 5/8″ seam allowance on each side.  Draw the seam allowance at the end of the binding as well shown here as a vertical line. 

Trace the cutting line from the center of the binding to the edge as shown in the photo creating a triangle at the end of the neck binding.kimono topErase the unnecessary lines and you are left with a triangle at the end that will match the shape of the front of the kimono top.  Mark the fold line, which is the middle of the neck binding.  This line will also act as the grain line. Cut on a bias.

kimono top

At the end of this neck, binding add 5/8″ for the seam allowance.  kimono topLabel your pattern “Cut two” and remember cut two of this neck binding.

Congratulations you have drafted your first collar, well at least on this site!

Step six: hemming the kimono top with a binding

Measure the bottom of the top.  Make a band of that length plus 1″ by 3 1/2″ wide.  Mine is 62″ so I am going to have to cut two strips and join them at the back.Iron the seams open and cut half of the seam allowance.  Align the center of the band with the center back of the top.  Fold what is now a band in half.  This is basically just a big bias tape.  Pin the band 3/8″ from the corner of the top. If your band is longer than 3/8″ this is fine.  Just do not let it go beyond 5/8″ as it will be hard to fold.

Fold the end of neckband 3/8′. Fold the neck binding in half.Topstitch all around the neck binding, starting on one end of the collar and finishing on the other end of the collar.
I have added a double stitching line as a decorative detail.  You can either use a double needle or just repeat the step.  Starting at the corner of the hem, sew to the next corner and pivot your work. Inside view.  I have added another stitching line to simulate a decorative detail.

If you want to have exactly the exact look in the feature image, I recommend that you add snaps to the sides of the top so that the garment stays closed without a belt.  You can measure yourself where you want to put these snaps depending on how tight you want the fit.

Alternatively, you can just use a belt to keep the kimono top closed.  In the picture below, cut a strap of fabric the color of the armbands the length of your waist plus 28 to 30″ by 5″.  Sew at 5/8″ leaving one end open to turn the belt inside out.  Close the belt using a double stitch to match the rest of the blouse finish.

kimono top

I hope you found this project easy to make.  I really love the print since it's youthful and makes me feel young.

This top is a great overlayer.  You can wear it with a pencil skirt or skinny jeans, to the movies, a picnic or over your swimsuit.  This also makes a great breastfeeding or maternity top!

Leave your comments below.  I'd love to hear what you think.  Until next time!


kimono top


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97 Responses to Kimono Top: an alternative to wearing pajamas to work…

  1. Suzanne says:

    Hello, I was wondering if the seam allowances are already included in the pattern, or do they need to be added?

  2. Lisa S says:

    the sleeve edging is needlessly complicated and super-prone to error. It’s also missing several steps. It cost me my project.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Always read the instructions before starting a project, an if you do not agree with the construction since you seem to know more than most can share your pictures. I am always welcome to a different point of view and grateful if someone teaches me something new. Perhaps you would like to share your way.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I know what you mean about people running around in pajamas. As you suggest, it might be some sort of “fad” for a while – who knows, but it’s not attractive. Years ago, women used to go out in hair curlers with a scarf wrapped around their heads – you never see that anymore so hopefully the pajamas thing will go away too.

    Your kimono style top is lovely! It looks great over the skirt you show and I think it would exceptionally nice over a pencil skirt too.

    Thank you for sharing the pattern!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      It is my pleasure, I agree it is only a fad that will die out soon.

      • JC says:

        I think the thing about this being a “fad” and dying sooner depends on what region/county you live in. I am on the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic area of the US. I noticed this back around in 2004 when I worked in a gym part time.

        There was an elderly member that use to work out in PJ bottoms. Then around 2012-2013, (I live in a MAJOR city), I started seeing younger (mainly guys back then) wearing them IN THE STREETS, in broad daylight.

        Over the past 3-4 years, now both male AND females wear these PJs out in public with NO SHAME. Age wise-at least in my area-they are teens to 20’s.

        I personally think it is DISGUSTING!

    • Lorraine Irvine says:

      As a young teacher in the 70s a lot of mothers would bring their kids to school in the scarf covering rollers. When they picked up the kids later in the afternoon the rollers were still in place. I have always wondered when the great unveiling took place.

      Luckily the trend died out with the introduction of curling irons and hair dryers but I sometimes still wonder.

  4. jignov says:

    Wow… very useful information you have shared.

  5. Nikol says:

    Hi! I am a total beginner with sewing and I urgently need help with the bottom of the top. I just do not understand how you sew the binding ?. Are there any more pictures or videos which could help?

  6. sue booth says:

    I love the pattern and want to make it but when you’re a new sewer, it isn’t always easy to understand without a youtube video. But looks great


    Is there a pdf for the instructions? I found the download for the pattern, but would like to d/l the pages up above.

  8. JC says:

    Hello! Was wondering–could you please put the sewing level? (beg/interm/advanced) in the posts. It’s tough to tell especially when it’s not in a you tube video. Thanks so much for considering and you all do a wonderful job!

    I’m more of a visual so unless a written pattern has very detailed pics and detailed instructions, it’s tough sometimes. :-).

  9. Erin Oakes says:

    This is so cute! I love wrap dresses and skirts. I’m sure I will love this kimono top.
    Is there a link to print out the instructions?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      No Erin, in order for me to be able to make this free I need the traffic to go to my site, so BIG companies pay for my time while you can enjoy a free pattern and instructions. Hope you find this fair.

  10. Sue Wilders says:

    I can’t wait to try it

  11. Cheryl says:

    Is this made with knit fabric as opposed to woven? If so,any recommendations for the types of fabric?

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I would use a knit with body and no more than 30 percent stretch otherwise it will just hang like a wet lettuce, but hey… I am always happy to be proven wrong and encourage you to explore so please let me know…

  12. Sarah says:

    I would love to have a summer top that crosses in the back (slips over the head) like the baby sundresses McCall’s put out in the 80’s.

  13. nanjm says:

    beautiful! thanks

  14. zuwena says:

    The instruction pages are not downloading. Regardless of the page clicked, only the first four pages show up for printing.

  15. kadunajoy says:

    Glad I read these comments…I’ll be looking for the longer sleeved one in the future.

  16. carol says:

    thank you

    • tanya says:

      I’m from Russia. I was looking for long sleeved kimono. And I’ve found a great idea how to sew it. Thank you very much for you master-class

  17. Carol Boyer says:

    It is a nice style and anyone can wear it. I love it, now to get my tablet connected to the printer.

What do you think?