Are you ready to learn how to sew a DIY kimono robe? WITHOUT A PATTERN?
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, your birthday, or just a random Tuesday, this sewing project is the perfect way to treat yourself.
Because remember, you’ve got to take care of yourself to be the most badass, brilliant, and beautiful version of yourself you can be.
And trust me, this project may be beginner-friendly, but you’re definitely going to feel expert levels of comfort and confidence when you wear this project.
Fabric Options for your DIY Kimono Robe
This is the fabric most people think of when it comes to kimono robes.
It’s also the most luxurious and the trickiest to deal with.
BEST BEGINNER OPTION!
Cotton is easy to work with because it’s not stretchy and comes in tons of beautiful colors and patterns
Looking for a warm, snuggly option for winter?
This fabric is perfect for staying cozy no matter how cold it gets!
Need a robe for jumping out of the shower?
Terrycloth is basically towel material and it’s what they use in fancy hotel robes.
New To Sewing? Not sure where to start?
Grab my FREE 5 Simple Steps to Start Sewing Checklist below!
This free (and highly detailed) checklist will tell you everything you need to know to get started sewing.
From unboxing your sewing machine, to sewing your first stitches, in just a few short hours!
How To Sew a DIY Kimono Robe for Beginners
~ Without a Pattern! ~
The instructions written below work for ALL sizes – from dolls to children, to adults.
Photos in the how-to instructions below are of doll-sized clothing only because it’s easier to fit into the photo.
So don’t worry, the steps below will definitely work for your body measurements too, no matter what beautiful size you are.
Total Time to Make DIY Kimono Robe: 3-5 Hours
Total Cost: $25-$55 USD
- ~2yds* of Fabric
(See Measurements below for more details)
- Matching Thread
- Straight Pins
- Measuring Tape
- Tailors Chalk / Something to Mark With
- Sewing Machine
- Fringe (Optional)
- Double Sided Satin Ribbon (Optional)
- New To Sewing? Not sure where to start?
- Step 1: How Much Fabric Do You Need?
- Step 2: Cut Out DIY Kimono Robe Outline
Step 1: How Much Fabric Do You Need?
The amount of fabric you need is based on your unique body measurements. For this project, we need to take 2 measurements to figure out the amount of fabric we’ll need to make your custom kimono robe.
- Measurement 1: Length of Kimono Robe*
- Measurement 2: Width of Kimono Robe*
*Please see photo below for details on taking these measurement.
Use these two measurements to create a rectangle as shown below.
This is the amount of fabric you will need for this project.
You may need more fabric if…
If you’re going to add pockets or make a matching belt to tie your robe, please add an extra 1/2 yd.
Once you have your fabric, and you’ve cut out this rectangle, you are ready for the next step.
Step 2: Cut Out DIY Kimono Robe Outline
We need to take our rectangle and fold it in half.
Make sure you fold the Length of the Kimono in half (as shown below), NOT the Arm Length of the Kimono!
Then pin so the layers stay in place.
Kimono Sleeve Width
Now, you’ll want to measure how wide you want the sleeves to be.
The easiest way to do this is to loop your tape measure around your arm. Adjust the loop until you like the overall shape and size.
Now we’re going to take this number and do a little math:
( Loop Measurement + 1″ Seam Allowance ) / 2
Seam Allowance is the distance between the edge of the fabric and our actual stitch line.
So for my doll’s kimono robe, the math looks like this:
( 6″ + 1″ Seam Allowance ) / 2 = 3.5″
Whatever number you get, that measurement will be called the Sleeve Width. So my doll’s kimono has a sleeve width of 3.5″.
Measure down from the folded edge the Sleeve Width amount.
Mark this position on both the left and right sides of your kimono.
Kimono Body Width (Side Seam)
Now that we’ve marked the sleeve width, we’re going to measure how wide the kimono will be around our bodies.
Start by marking CF on the non-folded or Raw Edge side of your fabric.
Next, take your Full Hip Measurement and divide it by 4:
Full Hip Measurement / 4
My doll has a Full Hip Measurement of 17″, so for her, the math looks like this:
17″ / 4 = 4.25″
Not sure what your Full Hip Measurement is?
Check out my written blog post on Body Measurements You Need To Sew Clothing
Or join my FREE Body Measurements Workshop to get access to video tutorials!
Measure from Center Front (CF) out to the right this amount.
Repeat, measuring out from CF, to the left this time.
These two marks you just drew are going to be the location of our Side Seams.
The next step is to connect our Sleeve Width to our Side Seams. We do this by drawing an upside-down L-shape, connecting the sleeve width point to the side seam point like in the photo below.
Repeat on both sides, then cut along this L-shape.
Once you cut, you should see the basic outline of your new kimono robe. How exciting!
Step 3: Sew the Side Seam of the DIY Kimono Robe
Before we start sewing, we need to zigzag stitch around the edges that we just cut. To do this, unfold your fabric then sew along the 4 L-shapes we just created.
Once you finish sewing the 4 side seams, you can fold the fabric in half again, exactly like before.
Now we’re going to sew along the side seam using a 1/2″ (2.5cm) seam allowance.
Next, we need to clip the corners in the armpit. Clip at a 45-degree angle and DO NOT CUT the stitch line.
See photos below for examples.
Step 4: Cut and Sew the Neckline
Measure and Cut the Neckline Opening
For the neckline, we need to take our last measurement. This measurement will be taken around the neck as shown below.
Now take the Neck Measurement and divide it by 4:
Neck Measurement / 4
My doll has a neck measurement of 5.25″. So for here robe the math looks like this:
5.25″ / 4 = 1.31″
This isn’t a very easy measurement to work with.
Because this kimono robe is very loose-fitting, we can safely round our measurements to the nearest 1/4″ (or 0.5cm) without causing any fit issues.
Please round your measurements as well to make this project easier on yourself.
So for my doll, I’m going to use 1.25″ for the Neck Width.
Measure from CF on the Folded Edge, out towards the right, your Neck Width amount.
Repeat, measuring out towards the left the second time (as shown below)
Now connect the CF point on the Raw Edge to the Neck Width marks you just made.
This V you just drew will be the neckline of your robe. Now that we’ve drawn it, it’s time to cut it out.
Start by cutting up along the V you just drew, then cut horizontally across the fold.
Sew the Neckline
To sew the neckline we are going to use a very basic 2-fold finish. But, because we are going around corners on the neckline of our robe, it makes things a little tricky.
That’s why I’ve created a very detailed list of photos below to help you nail this neckline!
- Start at one of the neckline corners
Lay the fabric right side facing down.
You do not have to pin it as I have done in the photo below. It was just easier for me to explain have it pinned while I took photos.
2. Fold the corner back 1/4″ or 0.5cm
3. Fold the back of the neckline 1/4″ or 0.5cm
Place your finger on the folded corner.
Then fold the raw edge connecting both corners back a 1/4″ and iron in place.
4. Fold the front right side of the neckline 1/4″
Keep your finger on the folded corner.
Then, fold the raw edge of the front right side of the neckline back a 1/4″ and iron in place.
5. Repeat on the left side of the neckline
Fold back the second corner and hold it in place.
Next, fold the raw edge of the front left side of the neckline back a 1/4″ and iron in place.
NOTE: The corners won’t stay 1/4″ wide, they will be much narrower (see below)
Now if you look closely at the photo below, you’ll see lots of little stray threads coming off the raw edges of our neckline. The way we fix this is by folding the neckline back one more time.
6. Fold the entire neckline 1/4″ or 0.5cm a second time
Below, I’ve folded the corner a second time. Now the edges look nice and clean because the raw edge is now folded inside.
Repeat the exact steps we already did to create the second fold.
NOTE: The corners will still stay very narrow. That’s okay.
Once you’ve finished folding and ironing a second fold, it’s time to sew.
7. Stitch along the folded neckline
Stitch along the folded edge of the neckline. You can either stitch directly in the center of the fold or slightly closer to the edge further from the opening.
Step 5: Fold and Sew the Sleeves
We are going to repeat our double fold method to finish the sleeves. And this time it will be easier because we don’t have any right angles.
For the sleeves, fold the raw edge under 1/2″ or 1.25 cm then iron.
Fold again, another 1/2″ or 1.25 cm, and iron.
Then stitch around the sleeve.
Step 6: Fold and Sew the Bottom Edge
Finally, we are going to repeat our double fold method a third time to finish the bottom edge or Hem. And this time will be the easiest yet because it’s a flat, straight line.
For the hem, fold the raw edge under 1/2″ or 1.25 cm then iron.
Fold again, another 1/2″ or 1.25 cm, and iron.
Then stitch across the hem.
And now you should have…
Step 7 (Optional): Add Belt to Tie DIY Kimono Robe
Depending on the fabric you picked, this project can either be a robe or a cardigan!
If you’re going to rock this as a cardigan, you don’t even need a belt.
But if you would like to add one, I’ve got two options for you.
1 1/2″ Wide Double Satin Ribbon
This option is really fast and looks amazing!
Both sides of the ribbon are shiny, that’s why it’s called Double.
It’s perfect because no matter how you tie it, it looks amazing!
Prefer to Make a Belt out of Matching Fabric?
It’s actually the exact same steps as making a DIY Headband, just longer!
For measuring the length of your belt, just replace the Head Measurement in the headband tutorial with:
2 X Full Hip Measurement