Free Pattern Friday! Kimono & Yukata Expansion Pack

Hi everyone!
Today’s pattern is a doll clothing expansion I’ve been getting many requests for, a kimono! So these garments are versions of the traditional Japanese clothing that are meant to fit all the patterns in my doll line. These include:

I’m not actually of Japanese heritage, so I thought it would be important to point out that I did my best to share everything I’ve experienced and learned about this beautiful garment, while not being a native expert myself. I also did my best to interpret it respectfully for a plush doll.

Some of the intricate folds and layers had to be simplified, but I tried to include as many key aspects as possible, including the same clean silhouette, the long sleeves, and decorative obi (belt). The tutorial goes over a simpler unlined version called a yukata. This is the kind worn in summertime and has shorter sleeves and a simple obi. After that is the more formal kimono which is fully lined, has extra long sleeves (furisode), and an extra collar layer meant to resemble the white under kimono (called the nagajuban). Both versions have different back options that allow for animal features like wings and tails.
So if you’d like something less complex, stick with the yukata and perhaps work up to the kimono, which is more complicated. In both cases, you’ll find many of the pieces are rectangles, which can be easy to get mixed up. So be sure to give yourself to time to label and mark each piece carefully so nothing gets confusing. 

I hope you all will find this pattern particularly inspiring! With both this pattern and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month coming up in May, I don’t want to downplay the way Asian cultures have contributed to the arts and how often that’s taken for granted. So thanks to everyone’s support, both at my store and on Patreon, you all made it possible to donate $500 to the charity Stop AAPI Hate — an organization dedicated to stopping hate crimes against Asian Americans. I’ve left the information down below if you’d like to check them out yourself.

If you'd like to make your own donation 💖

41 thoughts on “Free Pattern Friday! Kimono & Yukata Expansion Pack”

  1. Oooh this looks super cute! It’s incredibly lovely and I like the amount of detail you’ve put into this! Does this also include a pattern for a men’s style?

    1. The yukata is sort of the unisex style since it has the shorter sleeves and the narrow obi 😊 (which you can dress lower on the hips). You can also trim the sleeves to be even shorter if you prefer.

  2. Vivianna Murphy

    Do you have any recommendations for sizing up to build a bear size clothes? I’d love to make this for my frog

    1. Overall the doll clothes from my collection tend to longer arms and a narrower neck than Build-a-Bear. But this design might be okay since it’s not as much of a precise fit. You’d want to enlarge it by about 200% to make it wide enough to fit around the body 😊

      1. Ohhh so gorgeous! I like that you used fabric that seems fitting for a kimono, too. I don’t even know what would be authentic and how to find it..

  3. I was just looking over my patterns and was wondering if this would fit some of the Chinese Zodiac pack?

    1. Unfortunately the Chinese Zodiac animals have a lot wider body but with shorter arms and legs. So you’d need to enlarge the kimono so it fits widthwise and then shorten it so it fits lengthwise.

  4. Now I need to add to my loooooooong list of wip one Enma Ai for my colletion. This is beautiful and I love that you use the terms like obi and nagajuban, thank you so much for all this work and for having the kindness of giving it for free (since I saw it on patron I was saving for buying the pack!)

  5. Hello Choly,
    This looks very good and I want to put it on my list.
    Do you think your Witch Kitty Plush would fit the clothing?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello, the kimono is wide enough to fit around the body of the Witch Kitty, but it’s much longer. So you might need to shorten it a decent amount to fit properly.

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous, I am making this for cat girl. I cannot wait for the result and will post a picture when done! As with all your patterns I am sure they will turn out fabulous.

  7. Hi, love your stuff!
    I even bought the bat plush and it came out great! Was thinking about trying to make your otter plush wearing a kimono like this one. Not fully sure how to go about it tho. Any advice on how to adjust it?

      1. That otter has a much wider body, so you’d likely have to enlarge the pattern about 130% to get it wide enough to fit around 😊

      2. Thanks a lot! I will probably only get to doing it around July/August, but I can post it later if you’d want to see!

  8. i have some very weird (still squared, just weird dimensions) chunks of fabric. would a 16×30 or 36×12.5 inch piece work for either pattern?

    1. You should be able to make the yukata with either piece 😊
      You could fit the outer kimono on the pieces as well, though you might need to shorten the sleeves a little for the 12.5″ piece. Also you’d still need another fabric for the lining and obi.

      1. thank you! ive been trying to find things to use either of them for for a while since they’re such weird dimensions. i figured doll clothes would work well, and i’ve made a couple dolls using your patterns.

  9. Hello, I love this pattern and I’m very excited to use it but I have a question. I tried to use this pattern with some dolls I made with your human chibi pattern. This means I just kind of sewed fully down the back with no tail opening or anything like that but it doesn’t really sit right. The top fits fine but the bottom is tight and the sides don’t quite lay right. As I was messing with it I realized this was likely because it doesn’t have the split, so all the flexibility and wiggle room that gives is gone. Do you have any advice on this for the human chibis? I don’t just wanna have a random slit up the back if it’s not necessary. If you think the issue is a mistake I made in constructing the pattern, please let me know. I’m perfectly comfortable with the idea that I might have messed up the pattern and it’s user error.

    1. Hello, I’m so sorry the pattern is giving you trouble! May I ask what back piece you used? The standard or plain back is intended for the human and is straight all the way down (instead of having a tail opening in the back). If you were to sew it with a tail opening and close it up later that might make it too tight due to the seam allowance 😓

      1. Thank you for replying. I was using the plain yukata back, the A2a with a half inch seam allowance. I did a straight stitch down the back to join the two back pieces, not stopping for a tail opening though the pattern has a point to stop if I wanted a tail opening. I know the construction of these is a little different from usual since you tried to be more accurate so please let me know if I’ve misunderstood something. Sorry for the trouble.

      2. It sounds like you’ve got everything right! At least in the case of the yukata you can use the extra seam allowance in the center back to let it out a little bit. You could also wrap it more loosely as well. The snap placement guides are more of a starting point than something definite.
        Here’s a link to what the yukata looks like on one of my older humanoid prototypes. Are you getting something similar?

    2. I love this pattern and I have already made the kimono on one of the plushies I made, but I was wondering how I would make a yukata with a hole for just the wings and no tail.

      1. For something like that, you could leave an opening along the back seam similar to the tail 😊 Except instead of leaving it open from the middle down, you’d leave a slot just in the middle. Then you can pull the wings through that slot later. I hope that might help!

  10. Thank you for the reference image, it helps. Mine looks similar but just a little off. I’ll try to let out the seam allowance and maybe try doing the kimono half of the pattern too so I can see what I might have done wrong with a similar construction. Thank you very much for your help!

  11. Hello,
    I have trouble with part 5 and 6 from the kimono. I don’t know if it is language barrier or me just being stupid, but after many tries I still didn’t get the result I was supposed to get. I think the main problem is with 5 b and c. I have no idea how to fold it. I did the numbers to help me with it but wirh no success. I kinda did it different way and result is not that pretty (plus i still didn’t finish the whole kimono)
    Do you have maybe photos in different angle or something like that? I promised to do one for my sisters plushie and don’t really want to mess it up xdd

    1. Hello
      I’m so sorry you’re having trouble! But it’s definitely not you ♥ It’s a difficult part of the design, trying to line the sleeve and make it look pretty inside and out (which is why there’s the unlined Yukata option 😅)
      But you said 5b and 5c is where you run into issues. So if your sleeve looks like 5a right now, I can try to show you where to go from there ♥

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