Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

short sleeve mid length kimono patternThis weekend we'll be making a short sleeve mid length kimono pattern using the Linen V-top pattern I shared with you recently.  This is not the first kimono top I have shared with you.

On the previous one, the top actually crosses over and you can tie the top in the front if you wish to do that.  I happened to not like tying a top on my waist since I am short waisted and it makes me look wider than I am.  So this is more my style.


This short sleeve mid length kimono pattern is specially designed with the “apple” body shape figure.  This type of figure is very tricky to dress since a protruding stomach might be a bit challenging to hide.

For more thoughts on Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure, please check out this popular post.

Body Shape: Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure

Pay special attention to my fabric recommendations so you end up with a top that is both flattering and attractive no matter what your size.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The trend this Autumn and Winter is monochromatic outfits cinched at the waist.  As I always say; there's no need to always chase the fashion trends to avoid becoming a fashion victim, the classics are always in style.

However, the monochromatic look is one that will notably add elegance and make your outfit look more expensive but we are not  going to explore it today.  I am using a very thin silk, super soft that I picked up years ago in Bangalore, India.  It is not the easiest thing to sew, and I choose not to use fusible interfacing because it would ruin the collar band. However it does makes for a questionable hanger appeal. Maybe the jalapeños are making a number in my head.  I do need to steam the seams more, but I have identify the culprit of the bit of puckering in the fabric.  The thread is very tight.  So I will be taking the stitch out and loosen it a bit to avoid the pucker look at the front.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

I am keeping the sides open since the type of vent we are using adds fluidity to the top.

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

The long neckline will also streamline your figure.

Soft fabric will follow the curves of your body without adding pounds.


  • 2.5 to 3 yards of fabric (depends on size) of silk, rayon or 20% stretch knit
  • Thread to match
  • Fusible interfacing matching the length of the front-facing


Fabric Recommendations from

How to Get the Pattern

I am using the same pattern from the Linen V-Top, so download that pattern and follow me on how to transform it into this short sleeve mid length Kimono pattern.

Linen V-Top Pattern – Spend Late Summer With Style

Linen V-Top Pattern HERE

You will only need the front and back pieces.

Experience Level

This project is for beginners who want to learn to do a simple pattern transformation.  At the end of this series, you will end up with 4 different looks.

Read the additional tutorials before cutting the fabric.

How To Make Your Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern

The first thing we will do is to make the opening at the front so the top can be worn open or crossover and tied with a belt.  Next, we will elongate the top, we will draft the sleeves, then we will be sewing the top.  The whole thing should take you no more than 4 hours to make.

Step One:  Transform the Front

Lay the front of the top on the table. Trace a straight line from the neckline to the hemline.  This straight line should be parallel to the grainline and to the sideline.

Cut off the front with your paper scissors.

Step Two:  Elongate the Top

Follow this tutorial to learn how to lengthen a top.  I am making mine 15″ longer, however, lengthen yours by however much you need.

How to lengthen a sewing pattern using the Hi-Low T-Shirt to illustrate

Step Three:  Sew the Shoulders

Sew the front to the back at the shoulder seam.

Step Three:  Making the Collar and Sleeve

Measure from one side of the collar through the neckline to the end of the other side of the collar hem, plus 3/4″.  For example 89″ + 3/4″= 89 3/4″



Step Four:  Cut the Collar and Sleeves

Measure the armhole from the front notch to the back and add the seam allowance times two.  I go on detail on how to sew the arm band or sleeve on STEP FOUR here.

Cut the collar and sleeves on a straight grain line.

Wrong sides together, fold both collar and the sleeves cuff in half lengthwise.

Step Five:  Sewing the Collar

Attach the collar starting at the hem leaving 3/8″ to fold the hem.  Pin the collar all the way to the other side of the top leaving the 3/8″ for the hem.

Step Six:  Sewing the Sleeve Cuff

The cuff is sewn in the same way as the Linen V-neck top, so follow that section well.

Ideally, you have already downloaded and made the first top, so this step will be just a breeze for you.  If you have not, it is important to read the instructions of the Linen V-Top and understand the sewing procedure.

With that done your Kimono is all finished!

Do you have another idea for transforming the original pattern?  The V-neck top pattern is very well suited for transformation and experimenting.  Did you like the transformation into a short sleeve mid length kimono pattern, or would you rather download your own?  Do let me know in the comments section below.

A Quick Response To A Comment

I also wanted to take a moment to address a trend that has been happening in the USA and one that causes a bit of confusion for those of us who do not live in the USA and are not familiar with the Politically Correct movement.

Here is a comment I received from a reader on the first Kimono top pattern:  “I know you mean well, by calling a top kimono you are culturally appropriating it.”

I did not approve the comment, because where will we end up if we cannot appreciate the works and art of cultures different to our own?  Appropriation is such a politically charged word and is used to mean that what we are doing is disrespectful, I prefer to use adaptation, assimilation or even just borrowing.  After all, it is how we learn and a great way to show your appreciation.

Adapting and assimilating is how we learn to write, sing, dress.  In fact, nearly everything that we know, especially in the arts, has come from some other country, time period, or culture.  I believe by learning and adapting from other cultures is why today we have the advances in all fields that we enjoy today.  But that's just my opinion, take a look at this young YouTuber on the subject of Americans wearing kimonos.

This is the opinion of the Japanese about a highly controversial and criticized concert that Katy Perry did in 2016.  (Personally, Katy Perry is not my cup of tea but I can appreciate artistically what she was going for.)  If you're interested, watch the reaction from real Japanese people on the street about Americans wearing kimonos and the criticism by the media of the video.

I can say as a Panamanian, I am proud when I see a foreigner wearing our national costume because I know that that woman took four hours to get dressed and she is wearing it with pride and she feels beautiful because people cannot stop admiring her.  We see it as the highest form of respect for our culture.

What do you think? I am very interested in your opinion on this subject please comment on the section below.

Anyways, Until Next Time, Happy Sewing!

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

recycling old placemats

short sleeve mid length kimono pattern

Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Short Sleeve Mid Length Kimono Pattern – A Transformation Made Easy…

  1. Morgan Mendoza says:

    How nice is it to see a traditional japanese pattern turn into world fashion

  2. Jackie J says:

    I am a Black American, so I know a little about cultural appropriation. I think the idea of cultural appropriation has become misunderstood in this country. Appropriation is when members of a dominant culture take something from an oppressed people without permission and without giving that person or culture credit or allowing them to reap any benefits. That is different from cultural exchange, cultural assimilation or the normal transfer of styles, music and footways which occurs when people meet and mix. I think the whole kimono thing is silly.

    • jennifer collins says:

      Thank you Jackie J and Laurie (below) for your common sense approach to a tricky PC (politically correct) debate.

  3. laurieadamshick says:

    I am Japanese American and do not think this is cultural appropriation. I suggest the author of that comment focus on the positive aspects of our melting pot culture in America — We embrace the wonderful things in all cultures and make them uniquely our own. If the situation were reversed, would the author claim that Japanese people who wear American style clothing are culturally appropriating what is “ours”?

  4. Alice Monstera says:


    Cultural appropriation is a form of theft. While it is difficult to steal a word, Kim K. was doing her best to make money off branding a word that is already in common use, and trying to limit the use of the term to her line only, meanwhile using the term for something other than it’s real meaning.

    I don’t think there is an issue in you calling your design a kimono, as that type of robe has been called a kimono in the English-speaking world for over 100 years. If there is cultural appropriation there, it happened long before you were born.

  5. Cici Arsenault says:

    this would be perfect for my daughter! She has been asking me to make her something like this. She’s 8 though! Too bad it wouldnt fit!

  6. Luralla says:

    Thank you for the pattern. People will always find a reason to complain but please keep doing what you do because A LOT of us appreciate it.

  7. archer1955 says:

    Is it “kosher” for a man to wear a Kimono? I’m nowhere near the size I was in high school and I really enjoy loose-fitting clothing. Medieval Viking tunics and cotehardies are right up my alley.

  8. Rosemary S Carlson says:

    First, iI am not at all familiar with the Katy Perry concert, so my comments are more general and not related to that. I think it is not good to appropriate the stereotypes of another culture to belittle, discriminate against or make fun of that culture. However, to adapt or incorporate aspects of another culture into one’s own can be done respectfully and can enrich one’s own life.

    For example, I live in Oklahoma which is home to many Native American tribes. If I choose to go about dressed in stereotypical Indian chief costume or dress like the stereotypical Pocahontas character of legend, I think that would be belittling the Indian culture. However, if I choose to learn beading to make some type of accessory resembles an item of tribal culture, then that is a different thing and completely appropriate.

    So, I guess it depends on the intention of the person who is trying to learn the different culture. Appropriating stereotypes is almost never going to be good.

    My other comment is that it was quite refreshing to observe the young Japanese people and their comments. They were perceptive and articulate. This is a far cry from what we often see when American TV interviews someone on the street- whether evening news or late night comedy shows. The attitudes of those Japanese young people will do more to make our world a better place than all the people who complain about whatever it is someone else is doing- like design
    ing a kimono pattern.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I own a cheongsam…slim fitting dress with a mandarin collar. It is the best fitting, best looking and most comfortable dress I have ever owned. My Asian friend said, Why don’t you wear it? I said, I was afraid it would be insensitive. 45 years of fear and longing later I still have it. Though of course I doubt it would fit on my leg and that really would be disrespectful.
    We use to call jackets like this one “Happy Coats”. In this case, kimono seems more of a description.

  10. Venita says:

    I received a similar email on my blog relative to a tie dye denim kimono I made and posed in for a magazine. Like you I chose not to reply directly to the person. I am African American and for someone under the guise of educating me about cultural sensitivity / ummm I think not. Fashion is universal, individual, cultural and ethnically diverse. I will not be boxed in by rules or someone else’s hang ups.

  11. Shamin says:

    I’ve been wondering what to do with my stash of silk saries that have beautiful borders! I’m going to turn them into kimonos. I’m going to borrow your design to upstyle my outfit for Heritage Day in South Africa on 24 September! Thank you so much.

  12. Cora Ihnen says:

    I think that far too many people have to complain about everything. If things don’t go to their exact thinking they will lash out. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Thank you for this beautiful kimono pattern.

  13. Nancy Stockman says:

    thank you Mayra for your patterns and your stand. We’ve lost so much richness in trying to please everyone….so sad! Now a question about the garment….could the sleeve be made longer by a larger band or should that be accomplished in a different way? I sew exclusively with linen so your growing selection for woven fabrics is much appreciated!! My flabby arms, my now completely flat chest (breast cancer), and my buddha belly is making fitting much more of a challenge!

  14. Judy says:

    Here is a great explanation of cultural appropriation:

    In an ideal world we could all share and appreciate each other’s culture, but in our current society the power balance doesn’t allow a fair exchange.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I have edited your comment because I would never serve any magazine that uses buzz words, social justice, or euphemism for describing what cultural appropriation is. It is pure control of some over the masses for the benefit of few. The question you have to ask is who benefits in this article and why? Would it be a few labels to say we are being “fairer” and anyone else is doing it wrong? The people who own the culture never complained why would they if not to have an advantage over the many.

  15. Judy says:

    Hiya, thank you for addressing the issue of using the word ‘kimono’ to describe clothes.
    Personally, as a white person, I believe in being as sensitive as possible to any marginalised cultures and putting their opinions first.
    I have only learned this year from Japanese-American people that kimonos are a very specific and sacred item to Japanese people and people of Japanese descent. Tops in the style of this pattern aren’t really a kimono, maybe it could be called something like a square sleeved robe?
    However, what I understand is the term ‘cultural appropriation’ only comes into play when people with no cultural link to kimonos are making money from an item or sewing pattern using that word, e.g. Kim Kardashian. Otherwise it could be classed as appreciation. Thanks again for starting this conversation!

  16. Doris Trowbridge says:

    I am in total agreement with you.
    For crying out loud what next?

  17. Sann Wiandt says:

    To me, the word kimono describes a type of garment, not a culture. I think political correctness often steps into the absurd, this being a case in point.

  18. Rosie says:

    I haven’t seen the Katy Perry performance so can’t comment on that, but I feel you are making a ‘Kimono’ style garment , not attempting to make a true Kimono outfit. I live in Scotland where we don’t all wear tartan and kilts ! But kilted skirts and ‘tartan’/ plaid is popular all over the world – especially USA and Japan ! We don’t see it as disrespectful at all. Thanks for your patterns. I save them to Pinterest and love finding exactly what I need.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Thank you for your opinion. It is true kilt skirts are so popular, I used to wear them as a teen and now my daughter does too.

  19. Rebekah Hedstrom says:

    I completely agree with you on the political correct craze. It has gone way past its sell-by date! Please, let’s all take time to admire and celebrate our differences! Then, we can all grow and learn. It is a very respectful thing to do!

  20. Beryl Chrobot says:

    I agree with you completely. PC is ridiculous. Enough already.

  21. téa says:

    Yes, it’s a challenge to live in the USA with the politically-correct police shaming every move one makes in this world. I appreciate your post. Well stated.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I can only imagine and I am sorry you have to be so careful while there are real issues that can be tackled. Sad indeed!

  22. Susan says:

    In the USA, we have so many cultures. If “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” then we Americans do it all the time. As you say, we adopt and adapt other styles we like. I don’t think you said this is a traditional kimono (with all that entails in Japan) but this is “kimono style”, or “kimono based”. Thank you for the patterns and instructions.

  23. Mary Beth says:

    Does this fasten in front are hang loose?

  24. Carla says:

    I think the adaptation of the Kimono is beautiful. I enjoyed the video with the Japanese perspective and it shows how too many Americans take political correctness entirely too far. There is a difference in being disrespectful of others and sharing in their cultural differences. EMBRACE DON’T CRITICIZE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *