How to Make a Cute DIY Kimono Dress That You Can Wear 2 Ways

8 Materials
$20
2 Hours
Medium

This DIY kimono dress pattern is my own way of making this beautiful dress. You can wear this DIY kimono dress as a dress itself or as a jacket for when the weather gets cooler.


Depending on the fabric, you can wear this for a special occasion or just lounging with friends because this DIY kimono dress is that versatile. Let me show you how to make a kimono dress in just a few hours.


Let’s get started with my kimono dress sewing pattern!

Tools and materials:

  • 2 yards fabric
  • 18 inch or longer zipper
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler/measuring tape
  • Safety pin
Measuring the fabric with a measuring tape

1. Make the front pattern

Fold the fabric in half so it measures 12 inches across the width. The length should measure 32 inches or longer depending on your preference. 

Marking the fabric

Mark 1½ inches from the top of the fabric down across the entire width.

Measuring and marking the neckline

From that mark, measure and mark the neckline width at 3 inches. Marking it 3½ inches may make it too wide for some. 

Measuring and marking the shoulders

From the neckline mark, mark half of your shoulder measurement.

Measuring and marking the shoulder slant

From that point, measure 1 inch down for the shoulder slant.

Connecting the markings

Connect the shoulder slant mark to the neckline.

Measuring and marking the neckline depth

Mark along the fold for your preferred neckline depth. Connect the neckline depth and neckline length on a slant. 

Measuring and marking the bust

Mark your bust measurement on the fabric. Measure your bust and divide by 4. Add 2 inches to that measurement.


In this tutorial, I use my bust measurement of 36 inches, divided by 4 equals 9 inches, plus 2 inches, for 11 inches across at the bust line. Mark this measurement across the width of the fabric.

How to make a DIY kimono dress pattern

Connect the bust measurement to the shoulder with a straight line along the side that is unfolded.

Measuring the marking the hip line

Mark the hip line along the length 22 inches down from the shoulder.

DIY kimono dress pattern

Mark 11 inches across the width for the hip measurement.

Curving out the underarm

Curve out the underarm and connect that to the hip line.

Marking the length of the kimono dress

Mark the length of the dress to your preference and connect that measurement to the hip line. Cut out the front pattern. Cut down the center fold to insert the zipper.

Making the back pattern

2. Make the back pattern

Fold the fabric in half. Lay one of the front pieces on top of the fabric, extending the pattern fabric by 1 inch. Mark the back neckline depth by 1 inch.

Cutting out the back pattern

Trace the rest of the front pattern and cut out the back pattern.

Pinning the shoulder and side seams

3. Sew up the dress

Lay the two front pieces on the back piece right sides together. Pin the shoulder and side seams. Sew into position with a ½-inch seam allowance.

How to ruche the sides

4. Ruche up the sides

This step is totally optional but makes the dress look extra special.

Creating channels for the ruching

Mark up 8 inches from the bottom of the dress. On the side seam, open the seam allowance. Press the seam allowance as flat as possible.


Sew up the flattened seam allowance as close to the edge as possible up to the 8 inch mark to create 2 channels or casings. 

Snipping an opening in the casings

Snip an opening in the sewn casings at the top.

Inserting the zipper

5. Insert the zipper

If you’re following the video, note that this step needs to come first before finishing the neckline.


Fold the fabric in to make a smooth professional edge. Pin the right side of the zipper to the right side of the dress at the edge of the neckline. Sew into position.

How to install a zipper on the front of a dress

Repeat for the other side of the front panel.

DIY zip-front dress

Once the zipper is installed, topstitch the zipper on both sides.

Making bias tape for the neckline

6. Finish the neckline

Cut out bias tape for the entire length of the neckline from the top of the zipper on one side to the top of the zipper on the other side.

Pinning the bias tape along the neckline

Pin in place on the right side of the fabric, along the neckline. Sew right at the edge.

Making tiny snips along the back of the neckline

Once sewn, use your scissors to make tiny snips along the curved back of the neckline so it lays perfectly flat.

Double-folding the raw edges, ready to sew

Double fold in the raw edge and sew into position.

Hemming the sleeves

7. Hem the dress

Hem the sleeves by folding in twice and stitching them into position. Hem the center front opening by double folding in and sewing.

Creating drawstrings for the ruching

8. Make the ruching strips

Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 2 inches wide by 15 inches long. Fold the fabric in half right sides together and sew it into position. Turn right side facing out. 

Cutting out pockets for the DIY kimono dress

9. Make the pockets

Cut 2 rectangles of fabric to fit your hand about 4 inches wide by 7 inches long. Fold each corner by ¼ inch and hem.

Topstitching along the sides and bottom

Lay on the dress in your preferred placement both with right sides facing up. Topstitch along the sides and bottom.

Inserting the ruching ties

10. Insert the ruching ties

Before hemming the bottom of the dress, place a safety pin at the edge of the ruching tie. Insert into the seam allowance casings on one side, firmly holding the other end of the tie out through the insertion point.

How to make a kimono dress with ruching

Once you come through the opening at the top of the casing, make a loop with the tie and insert going downward in the other casing.

Pulling on the ties

Once it’s through, pull on the ties. Double knot each end so the ruching tie stays in place. Hem the bottom of the dress.

DIY kimono dress

DIY kimono dress tutorial

You’re done making this beautiful DIY kimono dress! You can wear it as a dress with the zipper up, or open like a long cardigan or kimono with the zipper undone.


Let me know in the comments what you think of this tutorial on how to make a kimono dress and the result result.

Suggested materials:
  • 2 yards fabric
  • 18 inch or longer zipper
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Comments
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 2 comments
  • Chris Keating-Ingelse Chris Keating-Ingelse on Jun 04, 2022

    I love that kimono! I bought a new sewing machine a couple of years ago and haven't even taken it out of the box yet! I haven't used one in years, and am afraid I'll have dozens of epic failures. Kudos to you and your sewing skills and fabulous fabric! I need to read up on how to use my sewing machine now!

  • Cindy Cindy on Jun 06, 2022

    That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. ❤️

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