When searching for an outfit to make for a friend’s baby, I came across this very cute baby kimono pattern at the Martha Stewart website. I loved putting kimono-style rompers on my son when he was a bub as you don’t have to worry about pulling anything over his head (which was always a challenge). However, there were a few comments complaining that it was difficult to follow the instructions, so I thought I’d put together a detailed photo-tutorial. Also, I decided to use buttons for the closure at the front rather than ribbons (which just seem too fiddly for me when you’re dealing with a squirmy or screaming baby!).
Note: I also didn’t follow the order of the instructions from the Martha Stewart website. I did it in the order that made sense to me, and helped me figure out how the pieces were supposed to go together.
1 yard Fabric (pre-washed)
2 yards of single-fold bias tape
Step 1: Print out the pattern from the Martha Stewart website. Cut out and stick pattern pieces together. Here are the notes regarding sizing from Martha Stewart:
Use our pattern full-size for size 0 to 3 months. For bigger babies, enlarge it as follows: For 3 to 6 months, photocopy at 105 percent; 6 to 12 months, 110 percent; 12 to 18 months, 115 percent; 18 to 24 months, 120 percent; 24 to 36 months, 125 percent. If you are using a thick fabric, use the next size up.
Step 2: Pin the pattern pieces to the wrong side of the fabric, and cut.
Step 3: Lay front-flap (smaller) piece wrong side up. Fold left side in by 3/8″ twice, pin and stitch.
Trim the overhanging triangle of fabric at the end.
Step 4: Once again, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the hems of the sleeves in by 3/8″ twice, pin and stitch. The sleeves are at the pointy ends of the neck opening. Note: From a garment-construction viewpoint, the sleeves should be hemmed after the sleeve seams have been sewn (which will ensure the hem is even and is a neater finish). However, I find that way too fiddly for baby clothes, and prefer to sew the hem first.
Step 5: With right-sides of the fabric together, pin and sew front flap piece to main body section across the split, as shown in the picture below:
Finish off your seams with a zig-zag stitch, by serging or leave as is, if you prefer.
Step 6: Once again, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the hems of the front flap opening in by 3/8″ twice, pin and stitch.
Step 7: With right sides of the fabric together, pin and sew the seam for the sleeve through underarm and down the side of the top. Note: I start at the sleeve to ensure the sleeve lines up correctly, given it is already hemmed.
Finish of the hem as per your preference (eg zigzag stitch, with a serger, or not at all). Clip notches from the curved section at the underarms.
Step 8: With the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold the bottom hem in by 3/8″ twice, pin and stitch.
Step 10: Mark and sew your button holes on the top side of the kimono. I just eyeballed where I thought was a good location for the two buttons, and used the automatic button-hole function on my sewing machine.
Use a seam ripper or craft knife to cut the button-hole opening. Tip: Place a pin at each end of the hole to stop you from cutting the stitching.
Note: I should have used a small piece of interfacing or stabiliser on the wrong-side of the fabric to avoid the puckering around the button-hole!
Step 11: Mark and sew on the buttons on the underflap of the kimono. I sewed mine on by hand. Some machines have a button-sewing function you could also use.
Step 12: Admire your finished product:
And maybe sew some matching diaper covers (using the pattern and great tutorial at MADE):