How to Make a Japanese Doll Kimono Dress

Written by karla h
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How to Make a Japanese Doll Kimono Dress
In Japanese, the word "kimono" means "the thing worn." (kimono image by Francis Lempérière from

Since the sixteeth century, kimonos have been worn by the Japanese. Kimonos were worn by both men and women of all social classes. The robes vary greatly from practical everyday designs to works of art. Kimonos have a simple shape that can be changed to fit a variety of dolls. In this project, the outift is made with a kimono-styled top and bottoms for ease of dressing.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Bias Tape
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Print out doll kimono pattern. Trace pattern onto fabric and cut pieces. Cut ribbon to fit along edge of the top. Allow about 1/4 inch on each end of ribbon to ensure that it will fit. Ribbon should be 1/4 inch wide or less and can be any desired material. Excess can always be trimmed, but it is not possible to add more.

  2. 2

    Attach the front and back pieces of the top by sewing together with a machine. A straight stitch can be used, allowing 1/8 inch for seams. Leave middle part of collar unattached. Pin ribbon onto top pieces at appropriate parts marked "ribbon placement" in the pattern. Sew lower part of the sleeve and side and attach ribbon trim as you go.

  3. 3

    Fold sides of top over 1/4 inch and sew, including the ribbon. Repeat this step for the sleeves.

  4. 4

    Fold the bias tape and sew around middle of the top. Fold end of tape in to hide edge. To finish the top portion, fold over the bottom and sew.

  5. 5

    Attach sides of bottoms together by sewing. Repeat for sides of bottoms. Fold over bottom edge twice and sew. To add elastic, fold over the top edge of bottoms twice. Sew this part together, leaving a small gap to insert elastic. Measure elastic piece to fit around the waist of the bottoms. Slide elastic piece into gap left. Pin ends of elastic and stitch together. Stitch the gap in the waistband closed.

Tips and warnings

  • The pattern used for this project is designed to fit 14-inch dolls.

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