THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 1, 2009

Woman’s Lined Kimono for Lounging

Filed under: Designing,Mary Beth,sewing — Mary Beth @ 3:48 pm

If you want to MAKE something special, you must BELIEVE that it is special. ~ Master Shifu ~

from Kung Fu Panda, the movie produced by DreamWorks Animation, 2008


LOL! How true!

Each evening I race home to take off my street clothes and get into something flowing and comfortable so I am developing a wardrobe for that purpose

I am so excited to have finally finished my “kimono”! I put the word kimono in quotes because I have modified it to be very easy to throw on and to wear. My kimono is a cross between a kimono and the kimono undergarment called a nagajuban. Here is a good link for more information about kimono:

Here is information about kimono undergarments


A traditional kimono and obi is very costly and can require no less than 9 ties to close and hold the draping in the correct positions. I did not have the fabric for an obi and did not want to use the obi I had inherited from my Mother in Law that I showed at The Stitchery a few weeks ago. But I love wearing an obi, especially when I spend long hours at the sewing machine, it helps me sit up straight. I don’t like taking the time to tie one on properly. I ordered one with a pre-tied bow from an ebay seller and can use it with the other kimonos I have. I also bought a date jime in red silk. The box hasn’t arrived yet.

Long lengths of silk are missing from my stash: I only had one from a Michael’s Fabrics bundle, that would be enough fabric, a sea green cloque


The lining is made of blue silk twill to stabilize the bodice. This is the only fabric I used that is appropriate for making a kimono. But I pressed on, determined to use only stash. I found a silk georgette to flow around the legs, to peek out when walking and to show at the sleeves. Both the cloque and georgette stretch by different degrees. They are not recommended kimono fabrics if you are wanting to be accurate in recreating a proper kimono.


With no wish to present a traditional kimono when all I want to do is wrap up in luxurious silks in the evening, I cut the kimono short so there is no folding at the waist and the front is shorter so there is no chance to trip when using stairs


Kimono sleeves are very handy for carrying things like a cell phone or pager. I never can find that cell phone when it rings!


inside sleeve

I used the georgette as a sleeve facing, appliqued over the top of the blue twill lining

sleeve facing

Now I have to make an undergarment to keep the kimono clean. I will make a simple wrap top with side ties, wide elbow length set in sleeves and kimono collar out of a soft white cotton, again from the stash. I’ll have to again “wing it” on the pattern.

The book, Making Kimono & Japanese Clothes, by Jenni Dobson, that I used to make my husband’s unlined kimono was a disaster for making a woman’s lined kimono. There are about 30″ missing from the pattern, probably due to reduction for printing. The instructions for the lining seem straight forward enough but do not work for inserting a proper sleeve. I had to use the instructions from the OOP Simplicity 5839 pattern to work out the origami that is the sewing of a lined kimono and had to stitch each seam at least twice. I talked about these two resources here

I now need to make a couple of han juban style undershirts that can be laundered regularly.

Even though the making of it was one nightmare after another this kimono gives me an unequaled feeling of luxury when relaxing at home. I hardly want to take it off.



  1. Oh I love soft comfortable lounging clothes for the evenings, something flowing and feminine and comfortable makes me so happy. Love your sentence about wrapping up in luxurious silks. Seeing your Kimono is so inspiring and reminds me that we sew to keep the soul happy as well as clothe the body. Sewing something lovely for at home is really special.

    Comment by Mardel — June 1, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  2. Thanks for this learning experience about kimono’s . I did not know about the part which is under the kimono like “han juban style undershirts”.
    Your new lounge wear kimono looks lovely and making it in silk is a luxury you deserve.
    Enjoy wearing it.

    Comment by Els — June 1, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

  3. What a wonderful outcome, despite (perhaps because of?) all the tribulations!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — June 1, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  4. The kimono is very beautiful.

    Comment by Trudy Callan — June 1, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  5. Absolutely lovely !

    The colors are peaceful.

    Comment by Pam ~Off The Cuff ~ — June 1, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

  6. Very beautiful kimono. Certainly looks much more elegant than my old pj bottoms and big men’s t-shirts that I wear around the house!

    Comment by Gwen — June 1, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  7. Your kimono is so pretty!

    I’ve had good luck making kimonos using the instructions in the book Making Your Own Japanese Clothing by John Marshall.

    Comment by vespabelle — June 1, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  8. This is soooo beautiful. And you look so proud wearing it. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

    Comment by eword10 — June 1, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

  9. Класно! Нашел, наконец толковый блог на просторах интернета) Ура!
    translated: Класно! Found at last explanatory blog on the Internet. Hurray!

    Comment by Svetllana — June 1, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  10. This looks very luxurious, and wonderful execution!

    Comment by Dalila — June 1, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

  11. This is a beautiful way to relax, i mean once the sewing is done 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the information about kimonos!

    Comment by vero — June 1, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  12. This is amazing. I love the colour and textures. Vero’s comment made me laugh 🙂

    Comment by Isabelle — June 2, 2009 @ 1:16 am

  13. Absolutely lovelyyy!I like it very much…



    Comment by irina — June 2, 2009 @ 1:21 am

  14. Lovely! I think I will finally finish mine now.

    Comment by Judith in Umbria — June 2, 2009 @ 6:55 am

  15. How luxurious and glamorous! Love the very relaxing and fresh color palette.

    Comment by Leslie in Austin — June 2, 2009 @ 10:36 am

  16. “Each evening I race home to take off my street clothes and get into something flowing and comfortable so I am developing a wardrobe for that purpose”…..

    You couldn’t have said this better…. I can very much relate to this statement, and you have chosen an awesome garment to start this wardrobe 🙂 All your fabric choices are perfect,and the overall look is so very “beautiful” and very very comfortable looking 🙂

    Comment by Ann's Fashion Studio — June 2, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  17. This is a wonderful story, thanks for sharing.

    Comment by paco peralta — June 3, 2009 @ 6:50 am

  18. Спасибо. Прочитал с интересом. Блог в избранное занес=)
    translated: Thank you. Read with interest. Blog is brought to favorites =)

    Comment by Anuttka — June 4, 2009 @ 5:50 am

  19. Outstanding!

    Comment by Cennetta — June 4, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  20. Hi. You have been awarded the Lovely Blog Award at!

    Happy Sewing!

    Comment by Diana — June 6, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  21. One word: BEAUTIFUL!

    Comment by Tany — June 8, 2009 @ 5:36 am

  22. woooooowwwwwwwww…. good.. thanks for info brother

    Comment by ricky — June 15, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  23. You and your kimono are so lovely.

    Comment by Gabrielle — June 17, 2009 @ 11:04 am

  24. I have tried sewing my own attire, but have long given up. The lack of quality patterns is painful.

    Comment by ohiokimono — August 13, 2009 @ 10:02 pm

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