The Easy Kimono Short sleeved Dress Pattern is great for beginners, with no zips or tricky techniques, just basic sewing skills. This tutorial is to support our beginner sewers and show you through photos, step by step how to create it!
Get the pattern from my online boutique or on Etsy.
Fold your fabric in half, lengthwise. With the rightside of the fabric in the inside, align the selvages of the fabric. The selvage is the edge of the fabric that runs along either edge of the fabric roll. This edge prevents the fabric from unravelling.
Insert pins along the selvages and fold, at right angles to keep the fabric flat and straight.
I use a long ruler to align the edges of the fabric, so that the grain of the fabric is straight along the length of the fabric. You could also use the edge of your cutting or sewing table. If you are using a particularly slippery and drapey fabric, use two rulers. One across the width of the fabric at right angles to the straight edge to make sure that the grain is evenly distributed and straight.
Using the cutting guides included in the pattern, select the right diagram by the choosing the correct pattern size and width of your fabric, lay your pattern on the fabric replicating the cutting guide.
For pattern pieces on the fold, ensure that the fold of the fabric is straight and lines up perfectly with your pattern edge. Pin along the fold first, before pinning the corners and edges.
For pattern pieces not on the fold, align the grain-line of the pattern, parallel with the selvage or fold of your fabric.
Measure the distance at each end of the grain-line to ensure that the grain-line is perfectly matched to the straight grain of the fabric. If the pattern piece is out, even slightly, this can dramatically effect how the garment hangs on the figure.
Measure at either end.
Sewing the Dress Bodice:
1. Back Bodice: With right sides together, matching notches and raw edges place back bodices together and stitch the centre back seam, starting at the notch, sew down to the waist with a 1cm / 3/8” seam.
Neaten edges separately from the notch down and press seams open.
Place Front bodice over Back bodice right sides together and match up the shoulders. Align notches and raw edges.
Stitch each shoulder seam with a 1cm / 3/8” seam.Because the pattern has a slight point at the end of the shoulder seam (this is to assist in the seams and facing lying flat, once facing is turned to the inside) it is easier and you get a better result if you sew to where the point begins, lower the needle and leave in the fabric, then raise the presser foot, and pivot the fabric so that the raw edges of the point is lying inline with your seam guides on your machine. Lower the presser foot and continue to sew to the end.Use this technique to sew the shoulder and underarm seams of the facings also.
Neaten edges together and press towards the back of the garment. To help seams to lie flat, when sewing on the facings, clip into the seam allowance just before the point.
3. Side Seams: Align the bodice side seams and stitch a 1cm / 3/8” seam on each side seam. Neaten edges together and press towards the back.
Neaten edges separately and Press seams open on facings to reduce bulk at the seams.
Turn dress bodice right side out. With armhole facings wrong side out, place facings over dress armhole opening, matching all seams and raw edges. Stitch a 1cm / 3/8” seam all the way round the armhole opening.
Trim seam allowance to 6mm / ¼”. Clip into curves if necessary to help facing to turn easily.
Turn facing out and press seam allowances into the facing.
Trim corners of seam allowances on a diagonal to reduce the bulk and assist in facing lying flat.
On the right side of the facing, understitch, through all seam allowances, close to the seam. Understitching is a straight stitch, sewn on facings and pocket linings, sewn close to the seam and catching the seam allowances underneath. It assists in keeping the facing to the inside of the garment, preventing it from rolling to the front.
Neaten the lower edge of the armhole facings and press facing to the inside of the armhole.
Secure the facing to the inside by pining facing at both shoulder and underarm seams and stitching a tack from the right side of the garment at the base of the facing, right in the seam. Stitch about 3 stitches and backtack.
Join back neck pieces together at the centre back seam, with right sides together matching notches and raw edges, Stitch a 1cm / 3/8” seam from the notch down to the lower edge. Clip into the seam allowance at the notch, right to but not through the stitching. Neaten edges separately and press open.
Join back neck facing to front neck facing by placing front facing over back facing right sides together and align shoulders. Stitch the shoulders with a 1cm / 3/8” seam, neaten edges separately and press open.
Rouleau Loop: with right sides together, fold loop in half, lengthwise and sew a 1cm / 3/8” seam.
Trim allowance to 6mm / ¼”.
Trim allowance to 6mm / ¼” and clip into curves (if necessary) to assist turning. Trim corners on a diagonal to reduce bulk.
Turn facing to inside the garment and press.
Secure facing to inside by tacking facing at the shoulder seams in the same way as you tacked the armhole facings.
Join front and back skirt together at the side seams by placing right sides together and aligning raw edges. Stitch a 1cm /3/8” seam. Neaten edges together. Decide and mark on the wrong side of skirt, which will be the back. Press seams towards the back.
- SIZE XXS: 57cm
- SIZE XS: 62cm
- SIZE S: 67cm
- SIZE M: 72cm
- SIZE L: 77cm
Overlap elastic ends 2cm / ¾” and join together with a narrow zigzag stitch.
Fold elastic in ½ and insert pins to mark. Fold in ½ other way and mark again with pins.
Find the center of the front and back by folding in half and matching seams, place pins at centre.