Please see the prior post “Kimono” for the back story of this finished kimono kindly modeled by patient Husband, O’Che’ski-san.
If you or your intended are over 5’6″ then add to the length of the pattern. I took a little less than 1.25″ hem and the kimono is close to being too short. With the rain and the time constraints being what they are today I didn’t want to push my luck and ask Husband to take off his standard uniform street clothes for the photo shoot so without tennis shoes the robe is right above the ankle where it should be for a man’s kimono.
One difference between the Simplicity pattern for kimono and this book’s pattern is that the front extension is not cut on the bias across the front but folded up into the front band, giving the band more padding and heft. The front band is sewn on to the slanted front then turned and finished attaching the band to the wrong side by hand stitching.
One of the things I tried to avoid was the long tie that balls up in the laundry and becomes like a string that most bathrobes have. The tie for Husband was cut at 104″ long and 6″ wide and interfaced with Pro-Woven Standard #2 Medium (non-fusible), then seamed, turned and top stitched by machine. It’s hefty like a woman’s obi might be and I defy it to fold into a skinny mass.
Unfortunately the pattern for the kimono does not indicate the length of the front band or the place at which the front band should attached to the front. I had to guess at the best location and having had plenty of experience making shirts for this man I knew he had a long back waist length. It turned out that I ended the front bands right at the spot that he uses as his waist. If he were to pick a location closer to his real waist than the bands would be the correct length, coming 3″ +/- below the tie. At least the band doesn’t end above where he ties it.
Kimono for men do not have openings under the arm nor on the side seams like kimono for women. I attached the sleeves to the body using a 3/8″ seam on the machine and then stitched up the side seams and armscye seam in one pass. There will be a 90 degree turn on a man’s garment so expect that and take it slow. A woman’s side seam and sleeve joining would end about 4-6″ from the sleeve edge on both the sleeve and the side seam. I prefer mine to be 4″. All the joining seams are 3/8″ with 4-thread overlock finishing.
I shortened the length of the sleeve pieces (measured from the shoulder of the garment down the arm) by 14″. Watch out for that measurement if you are going to use the book’s pattern. I also used 2.5″ strips to face the front edge of the sleeve, turning and topstitching the facings to the sleeve.
I measured and calculated 2 extra inches on each end of the band before I cut it (28 +2.5 (back neck) +28 +2 +2) and my band came out too short. I had to recut it and when I did I cut it extra long so that I was sure I had enough length. I recommend doing this as I still can’t find the error in my calculations and I suspect that the fronts stretch when you apply the bands. The bands are appliques to the fronts by machine stitching. I stitched at .25″ from the band’s cut edge.
Since I was not lining this kimono the front edges were 4-thread overlocked and turned and topstitched at 1/4″ and 3/8″ to give the edge the extra weight.
Making Kimono & Japanese Clothes by Jenni Dobson,
BT Batsford, London, publisher, distributed in US and Canada by Sterling Publishing Co, 2004
This book is inspirational especially if you wish to embellish your fabric and make up the Kimono, Mompe, Hippari and Jimbei, western/Japanese waistcoats, Hanten, Haori and learn some history in the process. The pattern and instructions for the kimono leave out a few major details but none that cannot be overcome by applying logic. I’m glad to be freed from tissue patterns in making my kimono for Husband.