Kimono Top: an alternative to wearing pajamas to work…

kimono topAbout a year ago I began to see a disturbing trend on the streets.  Some of the young ladies were walking around in what to me resembled pajamas.  Now, I think when it comes to clothing, I am pretty opened minded.  If I see anyone at the 7/11 buying milk wearing pajamas, I think he or she really hates coffee without milk which is totally understandable.  However, walking under a scorching sun in the middle of a busy city street in what appears to be pajamas is a little odd, don't you agree?  I thought one of the “kids” I saw like this probably felt they were young and cool and were trying to be noticed.  But, for the rest of the mortals like me, well, pajamas just won't cut it to go anywhere other than to bed.

So I set about to come up with something much, much better.  I do love comfortable wearing clothing and I am happy to share an easy kimono top project for many occasions that won't even require a serger.   A kimono design is functional and stylish.  It has all the comfortable and loose-fitting features of pajamas while looking elegant and professional enough for business or pleasure.

kimono top

The kimono top is the perfect alternative for casual Friday at the office.  It is super easy to make and a great holiday gift.  You can also wear it over a swimsuit, a turtleneck, or a pretty tank top to add a layer to your outfit.  Also makes a good breastfeeding or maternity top.

Key Features:

  • Versatile uses, both professional and casual
  • Perfect beginner to intermediate project
  • Can be made in many different fabrics

kimono topMaterials:

Tools

Pattern Download

We're going to continue to use the new Payhip webstore to distribute our patterns. As most readers know, Craftsy is changing a lot and they have stopped designers like us from publishing new patterns on their site, so we've had to move to another service.

Our patterns are still free, but now you now have the option of making a small contribution if you like our work! We'd really appreciate it and it will help is keep going with new and fun designs like this. Even a dollar or two really goes a long way.

Thanks so much in advance for helping us out.  You can use any credit card and you don't need a Paypal account, although you can use one if you have one.

Download the FREE Pattern HERE

SEE NEXT PAGE FOR PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS

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Pamela
Pamela

how do I add longer sleeves?

Merry Lara
Merry Lara

I really like this idea. But i would have to have a larger size , im a 3x so how would i make it to fit me

LauraJR
LauraJR
Reply to  Merry Lara

Nancy Zieman has a pattern slide technique that may work well to size this pattern up. She calls them pivot and slide techniques. Check her site for the technique. I do this with many patterns as I have your same problem!

Sharlyn
Sharlyn

Beautiful fabric and pattern, thanks!

Judy
Judy
Reply to  Sharlyn

Beautiful design and fabric! You may consider naming the pattern something else, as many have done recently. I didn’t know a year ago what I do now about how sacred an item kimonos are.

Julie
Julie

Along with so many of your other beautiful patterns this one will also go the lust Thank you…
P s. Would you anytime in the future be doing a tutorial class on how to make men short sleeved shirt ive been wanting to make one for my hubby but i cant understand the darn patterns im more a visual learner…please…ill pay for the class…thank you…

Susan N.
Susan N.

Your instructions say, “Take the top to the sewing machine and sew from that pin to the hem at 5/8″. Yet the picture says to “sew from the armhole notch to the hem”. Which is correct?

L Miya
L Miya

Perfect for nursing moms toooooo

Meiko Enterprises
Meiko Enterprises

I love this top but I wish you had a single pdf file that could be downloaded rather than having to go through each of these pages to get the instructions. The printer friendly view only does one page at a time and when I went to page 2 it showed the page 1 info again. I had to print each out using my Chrome “Print” button and then scan to have a PDF. I downloaded the pattern, but no instructions are included with that.

Pamela Sanders
Pamela Sanders

Very cute and very easy! Thanks

slmrn1

Thank you for this pattern. Looks very cute.

Denise
Denise

Dear Mary,
I’ve wanted to make this top for a while now. I’ve lost some weigth and I’m struggeling to find the right size. Can you help me? You’ve posted the measurements of the mannequin before, what size did you make it?

Thank you

Mary Reigel
Mary Reigel

I cannot thank you enough for ALL of your lovely free patterns and instructions. Our finances are very tight so I cannot afford to buy the expensive patterns. You are an angel! <3

MAURETTE ISABELLE
MAURETTE ISABELLE

Bonjour,

je ne trouve pas les métrages nécessaires pour chaque taille de kimono. Serait-il possible de les avoir ?

Merci

Florence
Florence

Hi Myra,
I’m preparing to cut the pieces for this project and I’m trying to figure out if I have enough fabric in a remnant/end of roll piece I have.

A few questions:
Did you cut a different strip of fabric for the waist hem as it looks like in the cover picture?
Is the collar strip cut on the grain or cross the grain (as in bias binding)?
Which way should the grain be on the front bodice pieces? (As it’s not marked on the pattern pieces. I’m assuming the bottom hem?)

Thanks!

Koh Him Ho
Koh Him Ho

Hi Mayra,

I have just downloaded the PDF file for this kimono top. I am a beginner in this. I can’t seem to find the video link in the 4 pages of web instructions. Can I trouble you to post the link in your reply?
Thanks !

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member
Reply to  Koh Him Ho

Hi Koh, unfortunately, there’s no video for this one yet. Give it a try with the instructions on the site. It’s a relatively easy project. Good luck and happy sewing!

Lois Tye
Lois Tye

Hi Myra, i hhave just made y our boat neck tee.and love it. I now want to make this Mimono top but can not find any reference to tell me the size range. Where would i find the layout chart and instructions to sew it please. I made the high low t shirt and over winter it was my go to pattern. Excellent but i never found any instructions for that either. Seems like there is domething basic I’m not getting!!
Cheers, Lois

Pam @Threading My Way

Your kimono top looks so comfortable, and stylish too. I’ve featured it today, Mayra.

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member

Hi Pam, thanks so much. Hope you’re well. Kind regards and happy sewing!

Helen
Helen

I haven’t ever sewn and don’t own a machine but seeing your patterns, I downloaded 2 of them to try sewing with a friend. I don’t know if I will like it but who knows? Thank you for giving me a chance to try it before investing in expensive material.

William David Halbert
William David Halbert

This is Great! I just bought the fabric to make this for my wife – but do I need to cut it larger for the seams, or is this included in the pattern?

William David

Jessica Purevich
Jessica Purevich

I’m a little confused about the sewing the sleeves onto the top. In the end, is the piece of white fabric folded in half or fourths?

Kiki
Kiki

Hi Mayra, Can I make the sleeve like 8-9 inches instead of 12 inches as per your instruction? With a 12 inch sleeve I will need to wear something inside.

Rosemary Matty
Rosemary Matty

HI, Maya, it’s me again. I’m at the point where I need to bind the neckline and the hem, but I am confused about your instructions. I get mixed up about when you are talking about the hem band and when you mean the neckline band.

I have cut out both the neckline and hem bands. But now I don’t understand when you say “align the center of the band with the center seam of the top”. Which band is this, neckline or hem? There isn’t a center seam of my top since the back was cut on the fold. I’m assuming you mean to align the center seam of the band (I had to piece two pieces together to get my desired length) with the center of the back of the top.

Is the hem band sewn on at this point? Is it sewn on folded, or is just one edge sewn on and the other side later folded over and sewn over the seam line?

When you say “pin the band 3/8″ from the corner of the top”, I think you are talking about where the hem and front opening meet, but I’m not sure.

Maybe I would understand better if I really knew if the bottom hem or the neckline band were done first.

I’m not a new seamstress, but I am really confused by your instructions.

Beatrix
Beatrix
Reply to  Rosemary Matty

hi, I am doing this project now and I am confused as you were. I can see you commented this project 5 years ago but you may able to help me 🙂 So did you add the neck band first or the hem at the bottom? I can not find the answer for this and the pictures were taken so close, the instruction is not clear and I am stuck.

Lai Kuen
Lai Kuen

I am confused on the sewing of the sleeve where the white cloth is attached. Could you explain in more detail or perhaps in a video? Or you can direct me to a video in YouTube teaching how to sew the sleeve like how you did it? Thanks.

Christine
Christine
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

May I have the link to the video, please? Would love to make one of these tops for myself!

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member
Reply to  Christine

Hi Christine, unfortunately, I haven’t made a video for this one yet. On my list but I have a few others to do first. Please stay tuned.

Rosemary
Rosemary

Hi. Thank you for the pattern. I don’t see where the interfacing goes. The entire top, or just the band? I am making this as a gift for my daughter.

Chi
Chi

thank you so much for this wonderful pattern. I’ll hope to make it soonest!!!!

Shannon Phillips
Shannon Phillips

I love the top-do you have a picture of someone wearing it?

Marcy
Marcy

Thank you for this nice pattern. However, I cannot find a link to the instructions. The blog says, next page, but there is no next page. Help!

Marcy
Marcy
Reply to  Marcy

Sorry about that. I did find the link for directions. Thanks again.

Lorna McLachlan
Lorna McLachlan
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

I cannot find the instructions, please can you help

nimacute

Hello,
thanks for sharing the pattern. It looks great. I would love to sew this 🙂
I printed the pattern, but I can`t find a clue about which colour is which size. Could you help me, please?

Nicole

nimacute
nimacute
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Hi Mayra, thanks for your Response. But I must be blind. I can`t find the sizes in the article. There is one link for an additonal page,but this doesn`t work on my Computer.
Could you copy the sizes into the thread? (Sorry to cause Trouble).

Best regards
Nicole

Jo
Jo

It looks great and I have downloaded the pattern with intention of making it, but we are about to move house! So, like many things in my sewing room will go in a box and on the back burner for a while; only hope after move is over and an over full sewing room is reorganised that my mojo is less chaotic and I can start to sew and create my head full of ideas. Thank you so much for sharing?

talespinnerwordweaver

I think onsies should be for babies, pj’s for bedroom or relaxing at home.
Wearing Day clothes to be in public isn’t dressing to the 9’s it is very possible to dress in casual clothes that don’t look as though you tumbled out of bed.
Lovely Kimono top and in the right fabrics great as day or night clothes

JANET
JANET

i LOVE this and have enjoyed ALL the patterns you have presented. Thank You Thank you for your willingness to share and your amazing talents.

Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom

Pj’s have been a thing since the 90’s. Lol! I think it’s here to stay. When your options are uncomfortable skinny jeans or jammies with fun prints, well, fun prints win out every time. There is actually pride in that! It’s just a generational difference. People under 45 don’t generally wear wool slacks or a top other than a t-shirt. We even wear jeans to work! This top is cute. I might make it for work. but unless there is a work dress code, the majority of us will stick to our comfort-for-errands look. No need to belittle us for not dressing to the 9’s to mage a run to the store. We find clothing to have different importance than you. You wear clothes as a reflection of your beliefs and character. We do not. We prefer to rely on our actions overall to present ourselves to the world. When you belittle us for something we see as superficial and meaningless, like the clothes we wear, and it is not a question of modesty (which is a valid discussion), you are introducing a sharper divide between the generations. In other words, we see you as old and irrelevant.

ebmozo

This is so pretty! Thanks a lot! Guess what? I’m actually going to use this pattern to make actual pajama tops and partner them with pajama shorts. I have 5 yards of fine linen just waiting for this pattern, and I’m excited to start sewing them. I promise not to wear the pajamas outside my bedroom 🙂 Thanks again Mayra and Deby!

Bijoux
Bijoux

Thank you for the free kimono top pattern. The people I see wearing pajamas unfortunately would be too lazy to make this. We have many people in my area doing this and it is not for style but laziness. Looks like they crawled out of bed and decided to go shopping. I even see kids out with in pajamas as if mom was too lazy to get them dressed. I do not mean babies. To top it off, they even wear slippers out…HOW LAZY IS THAT!

I think it is sad to see all this & then kids growing up to do the same because they don’t know any better. I even see guys doing it here. Not cool!

So many people have lost sense of pride and I am glad to see all the great things you do to keep in style.

Thank you so much for sharing all these pretty things to make.

Edeltrüd Juda

Good idea, I will try it. Thank you.

Tove Edens
Tove Edens

A versatile top for so many times. My first Kimono Top will be made in a light sweater knit to be used as a vest on these cool fall days.

Dianne Padich
Dianne Padich

Nice tip. Can’t agree with you more about these people wearing pajamas on the street. I don’t get it. I once saw a woman in the grocery store with her kids and everyone of them (including Mom) in pajamas. Was raised to believe that pajamas were for lounging in the evening or bed.

Bijoux
Bijoux
Reply to  Dianne Padich

I agree, leave the PJ’s at home-have some pride.

Kristie
Kristie

Never mind. I just read all the way through the post and now see the info regarding snap detail. Thanks for the great pattern! My hubby is building me a sewing corner today and I can’t wait to add this to my list of projects.

Kristie
Kristie

Just curious. The original picture looks like the blouse is banded at the bottom and one of the last pictures with the white belt looks like it is open. Are the directions for either option? Thanks!

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Bridgette
Bridgette

I love it!!! Thank you!