Kimono sleeves

Before following this tutorial, it will help to read our notes on the sleeve block here first.

Kimono sleeves

Make any desired adjustments to your sleeve (I have cut mine off to make a short sleeve, and curved it in to make it a slimmer fit). Because I wanted a slim fit I didn’t add anything to the fold line, BUT because this sleeve piece is designed to be cut on the fold and you will actually be attaching it to the bodice piece and creating a seam that goes from shoulder to sleeve hem; if you want a looser sleeve then make sure you add 1cm onto the existing fold line.

On your front bodice pattern piece and back bodice pattern piece, mark the side of the bust (ensuring that this mark is at the same distance from the hem on both pieces).

Pin or tape the front bodice pattern piece to a piece of pattern tracing paper (my bodice piece is cut out of tracing paper here, so I’m sorry that makes it harder to spot – it is there!!). Align the sleeve pattern piece so that the shoulder seam of the bodice and the centre seam of the sleeve follow on from one another in a continuous line (see the straight line of my ruler). The end of the sleeve head should slightly overlap with the armscye of the bodice piece.

At the underarm, measure diagonally out from where the armscye meets the edge of the sleeve cap. Mark a point 1.5” along the diagonal (this will be about 1” from the edges of the sleeve and bodice pieces). Do the same for the other side.

Draw a curved line from the bust point you marked on the front and back bodice pattern pieces, through the point you have just marked diagonally from the armscye, and down to the sleeve hem. Use a French curve if you have one, to ensure that this curved line is mirrored identically on the other side. Trace around the hem of the sleeve.

Lift the sleeve piece off.

Now repeat all this for the back bodice piece.

Sew the front and back bodice together at the shoulders, ensuring that you sew all the way down to the sleeve hem.

Sew the side seams (including sleeves) of your dress from dress hem to sleeve hem. Press and hem the sleeve as desired.