Dolls’ Kimono Pattern – Translation

Dolly Dolly vol. 12, p. 16 – 42
Translation by Batsu

First, a message from Batsu:

This translation is meant to aid those trying to use patterns written Japanese, and is unfortunately not a free source of patterns. At the time of this post, the following pattern found in Dolly Dolly vol. 12 is available from Pb’ Factory and I believe Dolly Dolly is a quality publication, and very worthy of your time, money, and appreciation. It is my hope that others find this information useful, helpful, informative, and easy to follow.

This is a translation of instructions for crafting Japanese kimono and obi for SD, SD-13, MSD, Blythe, and 1/8 size dolls. To give a preface, Japanese tailoring is something of an arcane knowledge. Just like most people drive cars, but few people can build them, kimono wearing as opposed to kimono sewing is the preferred choice for Japanese hobbyists. These directions are difficult in that many terms don’t have English glosses, but they have also been slightly altered from the source text for the sake of clarity, giving more elaborate explanations where necessary and indicating discrepancy in instruction or diagram.

I both invite and welcome any and all feedback on this document, be it positive, negative, or corrective. Please contact me before posting any portion of this translation elsewhere, or using it for purposes beyond personal use. Thank you very much, and good luck.

Best wishes,


For tailoring a real kimono…
The Basics of Japanese Tailoring

A bit different than Western sewing, Japanese tailoring has its own special techniques. By memorizing some basics, we can aim to complete a real kimono in earnest.

Naming Each Part of the Kimono

First, let’s cover some kimono basics. The pattern for this SD size lined kimono starts on page 30.

(main figure, clockwise)

Han Eri: A separate neck upon which the neck of the undergarment rests. White silk crepe or habutae silk is orthodox, but feel free to try different colors or embroidered fabrics as you please.

Awase: Lining under the kimono. Kimono that are made for use without this piece of fabric are called hitoe, and are mainly worn from the beginning of summer to the start of fall.

Obi: From double woven obi (fukuro obi) for formal use, to the rather casual Nagoya-style obi, there are many kinds out there. Typical ways of tying include the Taiko Drum (otaiko), Library (bunko), and Swelling Sparrow (fukura suzume). This example is a dyed Nagoya-style obi tied in the Taiko Drum style.

Obi Shime: Essentially, this is fastened around the obi to prevent it from untying, but for dolls it can be thought of as a decoration.

Ohashori: To match the length of the sewn kimono with the length of the body, the excess fabric is tucked up and worn at the height of the lower back. The ohashori is this part that is tucked up. It exists only on kimono for women and children, and not those worn by men.

Uwamae: The part of the kimono that is on the left side of the body, which is wrapped on top of the body when worn properly. *Note: Only dead bodies are wrapped with the right side of the kimono on top.

Tamoto: The lower part of the sleeve which hangs in a bag-like form.

Hakkake: The fabric of the under-lining skirt. Also called suso mawashi. A necessary piece, made of colors that either contrast or compliment the exterior kimono. You can use the same fabric as used for the sleeve openings. Alternatively, as described in this article, the visible parts of the under fabric can be made into one simple undergarment.

Juban: Worn between the body and the kimono, this is a Japanese style undergarment. There are both half juban and long juban, which vary depending on length. Pictured here is a long juban. Under this, and additional juban undergarment is usually worn, but can be omitted for dolls.

Okumi: As one width of tanmono, or kimono fabric, is insufficient for the front part of the body, this is the additional half width of fabric that has been added. *Note: Kimono material is measured in tanmono.

Sode: The sleeves of the kimono. As for women’s kimono, starting from the shortest, there are: One foot three inches (isshaku sansun), Short Sleeves (tan sode), Small Swaying Sleeves (kofurisode), Medium Swaying Sleeves (chufurisode), and Large Swaying Sleeves (ofurisode) (also known as True Swaying Sleeves, or hon furisode). Pictured here are Large Swaying Sleeves.

Obi Age: Essentially, this is a roll of fabric used as a pillow to support obi tied in the Taiko Drum style, but for dolls it can be thought of as a decoration.

Miyatsu Guchi: An open part of the kimono that allows for access to the inner body. These are used when adjusting the kimono robe (and ohashori) before putting on the obi. They are present only on women’s and children’s kimono, and not men’s kimono.

Shitamae: The right side of the kimono, which is wrapped under the left side.

Eri: The collar. This article will make use of a bachi collar.

(inset figure, top down)

Emon: The draping portion of the collar.

Otaiko: When tying the Single Taiko, among others, this is the portion that puffs out.

Tare: This is the first part of the obi. The opposite part is called the Hand (te).

Seichushin: The center line in the back of the kimono. If the kimono is worn properly, this should align with the center of the body.

Suso: The lower-half portion of the kimono which forms the “skirt.”

(lower left inset)

Model: Standard Volks Super Dollfie Body and Head, Mika

—page 17—

Kimono Sewing Terms

These are the names of special parts and measurements used when making kimono.
Lined Kimono, Front
(large image, top, right to left)

Sleeve Opening (sode guchi)

Sleeve Peak (sode yama)

Shoulder Peak (kata yama)

Same Colored Neckband (tomo eri)

Collar (eri)

Sword Tip (ken saki)

Lowered Bunch (okumi sagari)

Carrying Width (daki haba)

Inner Pleat (uchi age)

(large image, right, top down)

Background Collar (ji eri)

Claw Matching Width (aidumu haba)

Collar Points (eri saki)

Under Claw (tsuma shita)

Under Claw (tsuma shita)

(large image, bottom, right to left)

Inner Body Measure (okumi haba)

Front Measure (mae haba)

Lined Kimono, Back
(small image, top, right to left)

Miyatsu Guchi (described above, women’s kimono only)

Sleeve Attachment (sode tsuki)

Yuki (distance from the seam in the back of the kimono to the end of the sleeve)

Eri Kata Aki (distance on the collar from the seam in the back of the kimono to point on top op of the shoulder)

Shoulder Width (kata haba)

Sleeve Width (eri haba)

(small image, top to bottom)

Back Seam (sei nui)

Sleeve height (sode tate)

Under Armhole (udeguchi shita)

Sleeve Bottom (ude shita)

Sleeve Sway (sode buri)

Side (waki)

Bottom Width (ushiro haba)

You Can Make Kimono for These Dolls

Using the directions explained in the article and the the accompanying patterns, you can make kimono for the following dolls.

SD Boy

As men’s kimono match their height, there is no ohashori. The kaku obi, a stiff sash worn by men, can be made of ribbon or other material of the same width.

Model: Volks SD-13, classroom A head

MSD Girl

As this is for use by a young girl, we’ve included a shoulder tuck. The picture shows an unlined, “medium swaying sleeve” length kimono.

Model: Volks MSD

27-29cm Doll

There are many types of 27-29cm fashion dolls out there. There are recommendations for adjusting the yuki length on p. 49.

Model: momoko DOLL (Afternoon lectures canceled)

22-23cm Doll

Using large swaying sleeves, we’ve created a dragging Maiko-like style.

Model: Neo-Blythe (Primadolly)

— page 18 —

Japanese Tailoring Tools

These are the tools we’ll be using to make your doll’s kimono.

Measure / rule: Used for making cuts and measurements with precision. Choose one that doesn’t bend or curve. It’s convenient to have one of 20cm and one of 50cm.

Spatula: Used for making marks. It can also be used instead of an iron or weight.

Thread: For pure silk fabric, hand sew with silk thread. Many types of thread come wrapped around paper board. Since this creates creases in the thread, before sewing you should stretch it out using pins.

Training Thread: Using silk training thread is ideal. but you can use silk sewing thread instead. For the length of the lined kimono (awase), you can use Western-style cotton sewing thread.

Thimble: A leather thimble is easiest to use, as the needle won’t slip and it won’t cut the thread.

Sewing Scissors: Used for cutting apart large fabrics. A pair about 23 cm in length are easiest to use.

Squeeze Scissors: Used for cutting thread, and other minor jobs.

Chalk Pen: If you’re unaccustomed to using the spatula for marking.

Pins: You’ll use up to 15.

Sewing Needle: When working with pure silk fabric, use a 4×3.5 (yon no san han) needle. The first number represents the thickness of the needle, while the second represents the length.

Iron: Iron the fabric as necessary, to ensure a beautiful finished product. A smaller sized iron is easier to use for more detailed work, but substituting a regular iron is fine if you don’t have one. (Pictured is the Tailor’s Sewing Iron by Hakko.)

Selecting a Fabric

Even without buying new fabic, you can make your doll’s kimono out of old fabric, obi age, han eri, Western cloths, and other materials.

New Kimono Cloth: It has a width 36-37cm (35cm is also possible). At a kimono fabric shop or sundries store you can purchase one tan, which is about 12m of 35cm width fabric. As this comes not only in a large quantity, but a high price, it’s definitely not our recommendation. You can find cheap cloth or scraps on the internet, or get silk for craft use sold by the cut at some stores.

Old Cloth: Even 34cm width is OK. Look out for dirt, holes, and burns. Old fabric can also be found at some shops and flea markets.

Deciding the Cut: A length of 130cm (the size of a regular furi sode sleeve or half-body portion) would be enough for an MSD or SD short-sleeve kimono. With 150cm or more you could make an MSD or SD furi sode kimono. For a 1/6 doll, the short-sleeve from a kimono should be plenty of fabric. You can use kimono of your own that you no longer need, or find used kimono at a recycle shop.

Wasou Komono (kimono accessories): There are many inexpensive varieties out there. We recommend small ones with basic patterns. With 2 obi age, you can make one MSD-size kimono. With only one, you can make a 1/6 size furi sode kimono.

Han Eri: With one han eri (see above) you can make a 1/6 size short sleeved kimono.

Hakkake (Suso Mawashi): Fabrics meant to be used as linings, as long as they are colorful and lightweight, are recommended as they are relatively inexpensive. They can be purchased at a Japanese fabrics shop or sundries shop. You could also use a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth).

Western Fabrics: We recommend any variety, as long as it is easy to work with.

**picture caption: Ad for store in Asakusabashi. You can buy cuts of fabric starting at 15cm. They also have patterns small enough for dolls.

**picture caption: Ad for store in Shinkjuku. They specialize in wasou komono.


Rules of Japanese Tailoring

Quite different from Western-style sewing, let’s familiarize ourselves with Japanese sewing techniques.

Using the Spatula: Hold the spatula as shown in the photo, and use it by pushing straight down. Underneath the fabric, be sure to use something wooden such as a table or board.

Handling Fabric: In the left hand, hold the fabric with your thumb, pointer finger, and index finger. With the right hand, hold the needle with the thumb and pointer finger, and grasp the fabric with your remaining three fingers. As you sew, gently pull and stretch the fabric.

Holding the Needle: On you right hand, the middle finger and your last two fingers should be at the eye of the needle, with the thumb and pointer finger grasping the needle’s length. Ideally, the needle should protrude 4mm from the tips of your fingers.

Using Fabric Scissors: When cutting layered fabric, lean the scissors to the right as you cut and it will cut evenly. When making an incision, the end of your cut should stop about 1mm to the side of the seam.

Using Pins: As most kimono are sewn using long straight lines, aside from some special cases, pins are mainly used as shown in the diagram. First, pins 1 and 2 are inserted on either edge , matching the two edges to ensure evenness in seams. Then, pin three is placed in the center of the seam. Next, pins 4 and 5 are placed between these three marks. Lastly, pins 6, 7, 8, and 9 are inserted, in this order.

Cutting Fabric Evenly from an Incision:

1.Make a small cut at the fabric’s tattered edge.
2.Pull out 2-4 stands of thread to the side of the initial cut.
3.Now that the threads are gone, a line parallel the initial incision emerges. Cut along this line.

— page 19 —

How to Sew in Japanese Tailoring

One particularity of Japanese tailoring is hand-sewing. So that the individual stitches aren’t visible on the kimono’s facade, we’ll conceal them utilizing the aesthetic techniques of kuke and kise.

Sewing Basics: Take one length of thread, and thread the needle. Tie a knot at one end of the string, and begin sewing. After sewing a bit, gently pull on the stitched fabric, being careful not to cause any runs. Alternatively, you can check the fabric to make sure that the seams are forming properly as you sew.

image: a length of thread with one end knotted

Gushi Nui (Basic Stitch): Simple needle handling, also called “seam matching.” For silk fabrics, stitches should be about 2-3 mm in length; 4-5 mm for cotton.

Potsu Tome: This is one way to reinforce areas of the garment that will be under particular stress. Using a blind stitch, make one stitch back to secure the fabric on the gathered portion of the seam allowance.

Tama Todome (end knot): This is the basic way to make an end knot. Place the needle at the last stitch and wrap the thread around it 2-3 times. While holding the gathered tread in place with the left hand, use the right hand to pull the needle though.

Kannuki Dome (re-enforcing bolt stitch)
: Where the sleeve attachment (sode tsuki) and / or miyatsu guchi stop, this is a good re-enforcing stitch for places that tear easily.

1.Pull the needle out from the underside of the bodice. Using the side-stitch as a basis, make one stitch to the side. Pull the needle through one more time, leaving the string loose. Wrap the needle around the loose string 10 times.
2.With the left thumb, hold the wrapped thread in place, using the right hand to pull the needle through. Push the needle in just below the horizontal stitch, and pull it out from the underside of the fabric, making an end knot.
3.The bolt stitch is finished.

image: (left) on a tri-fold, (right) the thread passes through the fold’s edge

Mistu-ori Guke (Three-Fold Kuke): One way of concealing the seam allowance.

1.Fold the fabric of the seam allowance twice to make three layers of fabric, and fasten with a blind-stitch. For the blind stitch, insert the needle between the folded edges, making a small stitch in the back and long stitches in the front.
2.Viewed from the front.

Shikake (Dropping One Eye): This is a way to prevent the ori-kake from collapsing. Sew together the fabric; repeat making one large stitch in front and one small stitch in the back.

How to Extend Thread: Start 3cm from the previous thread’s end knot, and sew parallel to the existing stitches.

image: (left panel) front; (right panel) back

How to Make Kise (*kise: not folding on a stitch but placing the fold (2mm) deeper past the stitch, folding the excess back to cover the stitch): As to make the stitches invisible from the front, they are hidden by folding the fabric, in a technique called kise o kake. For a doll’s kimono, the kise should be about 0.25 cm.

illustration to the left: (upper panel) back, (lower panel) part visible from the front

Ironing Kise Flat: Open the fabric you’ve sewn together from left-to-right, make the kise, and iron it down. When you do, make sure the kise fall to the right.

Kenuki: Kenuki refers to making the kise even on the two pieces of fabric sewn together.

1.First, taking one side of the fabric, fold in from the seam, sinking it into the kise. Iron flat to set.
2.Repeat on the other side, folding into the same kise and checking for balance before ironing.

image: seen from the side

— page 20 —

Seminar on Tailoring Kimono for Dolls

OK, OK, let’s make a kimono already! Using an SD girl (same pattern size as SD-13) as an example, let’s get a grasp on the order of construction.

Before You Start

We’re going to make a kimono for a doll. Aside from the fact that dolls are small, and using bulky fabric will ruin the beauty of the finished product, the process is by and large the same as making kimono for people.

1.Table of Contents

  • making an unlined kimono p. 20-27
  • making a lined kimono p. 28-34
  • 3 types of obi p. 35-37
  • long juban p. 38-40
  • special doll measurements and patterns p. 42-47

2.General Precautions

General precautions for making kimono, obi, and long juban.

  • Size corresponding to the example

In this article, the kimono, eri, obi, long juban, and everything else is explained using the Volks SD girl (same kimono size as the Volks SD-13 girl) as an example. When making for other dolls, please see the special dolls’ sizing chart on p. 42.

  • How to use the photos

The instructional photos are there to give you a more intuitive, easy to understand flow of construction before you start, so that when your product is finished it will look more or less the same. Though sewing is basically done from left to right, occasionally the arrows above the pictures indicating stitch direction will point in the opposite direction.

  • Concealing seams

For dolls under 29cm, the fabric area is small and completing the mitsu-ori guke is difficult. In this case, you can skip this step.

  • Pins are omitted

When there are directional marks on the fabric, and when fabric is being sewn together, you should use the aforementioned pinning techniques, though these details are omitted from in article.

  • Marking Fabric

Though this article uses a spatula to mark fabric, substituting a chalk pen is fine.

  • Thread Color

A bold thread color is used in this article to stand out for the sake of explanation. In reality, you should use a thread color that matches that of your fabric.

3.Process for Making Kimono and Long Juban
1. Cut out the fabric.
1. Lay down the pattern and cut the fabric.
2. Make the sleeves.
3. Sew the body.
4. Attach the okumi.
5. Attach the collar.
6. Attach the sleeves, and you’re finished!

Pointers for Cutting Fabric with Large Print

illustration: (center) Avoid putting the print on parts covered the obi. (left) Avoid putting the print on the tail-end of the kimono.

For large prints, try to follow the diagram above for optimal beauty, putting the print: (1) on the front side of the body in the chest region and on the front of the left sleeve, (2) front side of the body at the knees, (3) back of the body at the right shoulder and bottom of the right sleeve, (4) at the back of the body at the calves. If the size of your fabric allows, try to consider the direction and area of the pattern while cutting the fabric, while still making sure to cut parallel with the weave of the fabric. Additionally, try to avoid putting any large pattern on tail-end area.

— page 21 —

Making a Kimono / Unlined Kimono

Let’s make an unlined kimono – the basis of Japanese tailoring. This can be made into a kimono or yukata (cotton kimono) for the beginning of summer through early fall, also called a hitoe. As the name hitoe implies, written with the characters for “simple” and “cloth,” there is no lining fabric underneath. For this reason, we’re going to treat the edges with extra care.

Cutting the Fabric

From the measure of kimono material (36-37cm width in modern times), cut out the body, sleeves, and other parts. Aside from the sleeves, the design is quite simple and mainly composed of straight lines; therefore using a pattern isn’t necessary. Following the diagram, cut the fabric for the various parts, which includes seam allowance to minimize waste. Make sure each piece fits within the guidelines provided in the sizing chart, and you can begin sewing. (Note: This seems silly. I recommend making sure the pieces are the right size before you cut them.)

You don’t need a pattern! Just cut according to these measurements!

前身頃 – front body

おくみ okumi

後身頃 back body
衿 eri (collar)

袖 sleeve

袖 sleeve

Cut 1-4 in this order.

6 Parts in Total

illustration: (top) after cut; (bottom) after arranged

1.First, cut the length for the body. According to the size chart, if you add the body length + the back + collar + uchiage + skirt seam allowance + margin of error, it comes to 56 + 2 + 0.5 + 2 + 1.5 + 0.5 = 62.5. Since you have both the front and back of the body, that’s 62.5 x 2, so you should make your cut at 125cm.
2.Next, cut the okumi. The okumi width + seam allowance is 5 + 2.5, so cut at 7.5cm, and then cut it in half lengthwise to make 2 pieces.
3.Next, cut the width of the eri. The eri width x 2 + 2 = 4 + 2 = 6cm. After this cut, the leftover fabric will be used for the body.
4.Last, cut the sleeves. The (sleeve length + seam allowance) x 2 = (37 + 2) x 2 = 78 cm. After making this cut, cut the width in half to make 2 pieces.

* Please reference the sizing chart on p. 42 and the cut out diagrams and patterns from p. 43.

Using a Paper Pattern

Usually, those accustomed to Western-style tailoring might experience some difficulties when attempting Japanese-style tailoring, which uses no patterns. In this case, please make use of the patterns which start on page 43. Photocopy the desired pattern, enlarging as necessary, but keep in mind that they will not be confined to 1 sheet of paper in length. Cut it out, tape it together, and use as you would a normal pattern.

Otherwise, if you are using Western fabric, you can align the cuts vertically as shown in the diagram.

(The diagram on the left is about the same as found on page 17 of the original publication.)

Kimono / Unlined Kimono
Sleeve length is “one-foot-three-inches” (isshaku sansun)
Material: silk, cotton, polyester, anything easy to work with 37 x 165

—page 22—

Making Sleeves

This is the standard sleeve length called “one-foot-three-inches” (isshaku sansun or narabesun). As it is a ladies’ kimono, the swaying part of the sleeve is left open. It will attach at the round part of the arm hole.

1.Mark the Sleeves
Place the two sleeve pieces on top of each other, and fold them over inside-out so that the loop forms on the right. Stick something straight through the loop, and arrange the four layers of sleeve-bottoms in a uniform fashion. Now, stick in 3 pins to secure the fabric and then remove the object from the loop. With the spatula, mark [A] sleeve opening, [3] seam, [B] sleeve attachment, and [C] sleeve height. Next, mark [1] sode yama. Then, on the reverse side of the front of each sleeve, mark [2] sleeve front mark.
2.Right Sleeve French Seam (Part 1)
Sew a French seam at the sleeve bottom. Make sure the reverse side of the fabric is facing out and sew the sleeve bottom together using a basic stitch from about 3.3cm in from the star mark to about 15cm away from the star (sleeve length + seam allowance). Make an incision at either end of the seam and fold it back, using an iron to smooth it into place.
*This measurement is for furi sode. For isshaku sansun and men’s kimono it should be 2cm.

3.Right Sleeve French Seam (Part 2)
With the fabric inside out, mark the seam for the curve of sleeve using the spatula, considering the curve shown in the shown in the diagram. Using a basic stitch, sew from the star mark to sleeve hole [A], being careful to follow the curve. While sewing on the curve of the sleeve, make the stitches even smaller. Now, make one more seam using a basic stitch 5mm outside the of the curve. Instead of making a knot at the end, leave about a 20cm of thread. Make an incision 2cm down from the end of the sleeve opening.
(If this is a men’s kimono, you should next sew closed the bottom of the sleeve to the sleeve attachment with a seam allowance of 5mm, which should have been accounted for when cutting the width of the sleeve.)
4.Shape the Right Sleeve
With the fabric inside out, arrange it so that the front of the sleeve is on top. Cut out the seam allowance created in step 2. Fold a 2mm kise from the star mark to the cut 2cm below A (as shown in the picture above), and iron it flat. Next, applying a commercial “sleeve edge shaper,” pull the string you left in step 3, making sure that the creases come together evenly, and iron them down to set. Finish with one knot, and tuck the excess string into the bottom of the pocket that has been created on the edge.
*Note: If you are not using a commercial “sleeve edge shaper,” find and copy the appropriate sleeve edge pattern, which start on page 43, and use it to fashion one out of cardboard or another sturdy material.
5.Iron the Right Sleeve Opening
(Image shows the front of the sleeve, fabric right side out. A is the sleeve mouth.)
Turn the fabric right side out and continue to make the kise at the sleeve mouth, applying an iron over the opening to make it fold inwards.
6.Fasten the Right Sleeve Opening
(Image shows the back of a sleeve, fabric inside out.)
Turn the sleeve inside out, and arrange it so that the back of the sleeve is on top. Make a tri-fold kuke for the seam of the sleeve mouth, starting and ending at the incision you made in step 3, 2cm below the sleeve mouth.
7.Kenuki the Right Sleeve
Turn the sleeve right side out. From the sleeve opening to the star mark, make sure the kise is folded evenly. Make shikake, also known as the dropping one eye sewing technique, about halfway down the sleeve, and iron smooth.* Next, use the spatula to mark [D], making sure the sleeve width from the sleeve mouth to the shoulder peak is 14.5cm (14cm sleeve width + 0.5m kise allowance), and 14 cm across at the sleeve attachment.**
* For men’s kimono, make sure the kise is folded evenly from the sleeve hole to the sleeve attachment, and then add shikake.
** For men’s kimono, this step can be omitted.
8.Finishing up the Right Sleeve Sway
Now, sew a tri-fold kuke from [B] (the sleeve attachment on the back side of the sleeve) and ending at B’ (the sleeve attachment on the front side of the sleeve), following the marks you made with the spatula. Start making the kuke 1cm below [B], make a potsu tome on the seam at the sleeve bottom, and finish the kuke at [B']. (*For the left sleeve, you will have to do the opposite, starting 1cm below the sleeve attachment on the front side of the sleeve, and finishing on the back side of the sleeve, at the mark.) (**Step 8 is omitted for men’s kimono.)
9.Finish the Right Sleeve
Keep the fabric right side out, straighten the sleeve, and it’s finished. Now make the left sleeve in the same fashion. Though the process is by and large the same, as stitching is usually done from right to left, there are two instances when the sewing direction will be reversed. For step 3 sew from the sleeve opening towards the star mark, and for step 8 sew from the front of the sleeve to the back of the sleeve. Also, in step 8, as the 1cm allowance is on the front for the left sleeve and on the back for the right sleeve, please be careful.

— page 23 —

Sewing the Body

Having the front and back of the garment in one continuous piece is a special feature of the kimono. Originally, the back of the garment was divided into 2 pieces, one for the left and one for right, but as the width of 1 kimono fabric measure is more than enough, a kise is sewn in to give the illusion of two segments meeting meeting at the middle. From there, the uchiage are added and the sides sewn together.

1.Marking the Body (Part 1)
(Note: Diagram shows a 5mm discrepancy at the matching of the skirt layers, but this is not explained in the directions.)

  • Take the body portion of the fabric and fold it so that the reverse side is facing out, first lengthwise and then widthwise.
  • Arrange the fabric so that the loop of the lengthwise fold is facing towards you, and that of the widthwise fold is facing to the left. Stick something straight through the loop of the left fold.
  • Line up the four layers of suso, or skirt-like portion of the kimono, and fasten them in place with pins.
  • Next, remove the object from the loop, and using the spatula mark [4] shoulder peak, [E] sleeve attachment, [F] miyatsu, [G] uchiage bottom, and [H] uchiage.
  • On the top two layers only, mark [5] sei nui – the seam down the back of the kimono and [J] collar-shoulder. For [J], the mark should start 1cm* inwards from the lower left fold, and extend 2.8cm up. Make sure that it is parallel with the shoulder peak, and then make an incision along this line.
  • To prevent the collar shoulder incision from fraying, fasten it with pins.

*For a men’s kimono, make the incision directly on the fold, without the 1cm allowance.
2.Marking the Body (Part 2)

  • Open the top fold from right to left, and turn the fabric so that it’s standing lengthwise. Starting at the incision [J], cut along the fold down towards the skirt. (Note: Though the diagram shows the fold to the left and cutting direction as down, it may be easier to arrange the fold to the right and cut upwards.)
  • Next, 5.5cm down and parallel to [J], use the spatula to mark [K] okumi sagari, or place where the okumi hang down.

3.Making the Back Seam
(Note: The fabric in the image has been flipped over to the right.)

  • Now, use the basic stitch to sew the sei nui or back seam. Start out by backstitching the first 0.5cm. Near the end of the seam, make the last 2-3cm of stitches smaller, backstitch the last stitch, and finish with a knot.

4.Marking the Back of the Body

  • After making the back seam, mark [6], 9cm above the shoulder peak line (8.5cm shoulder width [L] + 0.5cm kise = 9cm), and [7], 9cm above the back width line (8.5 cm back width + 0.5cm kise = 9cm), and continue making marks a 5cm intervals towards the skirt.
  • Align your straight-rule with [6] and [7], marking the intersection with [E] miyatsu.* (Note: the instructions call this mark [8], but it is not labeled in the image.)

*For dolls other than SD, as the area around [6] and [7] will be different, the line between them will be diagonal.
5.Making Kise on the Back Seam
(Image: (top) center of back; (right with arrow) blind stitch; (bottom) suso / skirt; (left in bold) back body portion, reverse side of fabric.)

  • Open up the fabric from the back, leaving the reverse side of the fabric on top. Arrange it so that the skirt portion is facing towards you, and then fold the back seam over to the right to make a kise, ironing to set. Next, blind stitch the back seam allowance.

6.Matching and Sewing the Uchi age

  • On the front and back portions of the body, match the marks for [G] and [H], sewing them together with a basic stitch. For the front part of the body (the one on top in the image), sew from edge to edge, but for the back side of the body (the bottom one in the image) sew between the marks you made in step 4.
  • Fold the seams down on both sides towards the skirt, making a kise and ironing into place. Now blind stitch the two kise into place. As before, sew the front of the body from edge to edge. For the back of the body sew between the marks, but make a potsu tome knot at the intersection with the back seam.

— page 24 —

7.Sew the Sides

(Left Image: (left in bold) Left back body portion, reverse side of fabric; (right with line pointing to seam) Sew upwards along the line of marks for the side, using the basic stitch, up to miyastu guchi; (bottom) skirt / suso. Also note the 0.5cm discrepancy.)
(Right Image: Reinforcement fabric.)

  • Make 2 1cm x 1cm pieces of fabric to use for reinforcement.
  • Fold the cloth inside out, aligning the front and back body portion.
  • Line up both F (miyatsu) marks, and arrange the reinforcement fabric. Align the miyatsu and skirt (the front of the body) with the marks on the back of the body, making it 5mm shorter.
  • Use the basic stitch to sew the fabric together from the skirt to the miyatsu.* These will become the left and right sides of the kimono.

*For men’s kimono, put the reinforcing fabric on the sleeve attachment, and sew the side up to the sleeve attachment.
8.Making Kise on the Sides (part 1)
(Image: (left in bold) back left body portion, reverse side of fabric; (right in bold) left front body portion, reverse side of fabric; (bottom right) fold over towards the front body; (bottom center) make a kise.)

  • Open the body of the kimono, with the reverse side of the fabric on top. Fold the side seams towards the front body portion of the kimono to make the kise, setting them with an iron.

9.Making Kise on the Sides (part 2)
(Image: (upper left in bold) back left body portion, reverse side of fabric; (right in bold) left front body portion, reverse side of fabric; (lower left) fold over towards the back; (lower right) cut out 1.5cm; (bottom center) make a kise.)

  • Take the upper layer of the seam allowance and fold it down towards the back of the kimono, making a kise and setting it with an iron. Next, cut about 1.5cm out from the lower corner of each seam. There are four in total.

10.Managing Seams on the Sides
(Image: (top center) center of back; (top right) miyatsu guchi; (bold print in center from left to right) right front body, right back body, left back body, left front body; (text by looping arrow) tri-fold kuke / mitsu-ori guke; (bottom) skirt / suso.) (This image shows the opened kimono; fabric is reverse side up.)

  • Now, make a tri-fold kuke all along the seam for the side. Start sewing at the skirt, making a potsu tome at the mark for [H] uchi age, [4] shoulder peak, and [H] again on the other side, sewing all the way down again to the skirt. Use the same procedure for the left and right side.

11.Marking the Front of the Body
(Image: (top left) miyatsu guchi; (right side from top to bottom) collar-shoulder incision, make marks, mark, mark; (bold text from left to right) left front body, left back body, right back body, right front body; (bottom) skirt / suso.) (This image shows the opened kimono; fabric is right side up.)

  • Measuring from the top of the kise on the side seam and going towards the front of the kimono, make mark [9] at 7.75cm (front width [N] 7.5cm + half one kise 0.25cm), and make mark [10] on the uchi agekise at 6.75cm (daki width 6.5cm + half one 0.25cm). Between [9] and [10], make marks all along the front of the body, 7.75cm from the side.
  • Now, make a mark connecting [10] and the collar shoulder incision labeled (あ). On (あ), make a mark about 5.5cm down from the collar shoulder incision. This mark, labeled [K], will be for the okumi sagari.
  • Measure from K (okumi sagari) to the end of the skirt on the right front body. This will be the length of [11], the length of the okumi skirt, which starts at from the sword tip.

Attaching the Okumi

Attach the 2 okumi, aligning them with the left and right sides of the front body. When arranged in the front, this is the part that will overlap.

1.Marking the Okumi
(Image shows the right okumi, fabric reverse side up.)

  • Layer the two okumi on top of each other, with the reverse side of the fabric on top. Make marks the following marks using the spatula:
  • Seam [11]: Make a seam allowance of 5mm, using the length you measured before to mark K’ at the upper boundary.
  • Okumi sagari [U]: Make a mark parallel to the seam boundary, intersecting and traveling past [K'] 3mm.
  • Tsuma shita [P]: Above the 1.5cm seam allowance for the skirt, measure up 39cm and mark [P].
  • Seam [12]: Connect a point 1.5cm (seam allowance) in from [P] tsuma shita with [U] okumi sagari.
  • 5cm* up from P, make 13, an incision of 1.5 cm.

*For MSD, this measurement should be 4cm; for 27-22cm dolls 2cm. For all other dolls 5cm.
2.Sewing the Green Measure of the Lower Front Okumi (Part 1)
Arrange the right okumi so that the fabric is right side up. Mark the part for the tsuma kise as shown in the photo with the spatula. Next, match the two star marks, folding the fabric inside out.

— page 25 —

3.Sewing the Green Measure of the Lower Front Okumi (Part 2)
(Image: (left) backstitch; (right) cut out.) (Image shows the reverse side of the right okumi.)

  • Sew a fine stitched backstitch from the fold to the star mark. Cut out the portion marked with white diagonal lines in the photo.

4.Sewing the Green Measure of the Lower Front Okumi (Part 3)
(Image shows the front of the right okumi.)

  • Put the fabric face up. Open the seam and iron flat, then flip it inside out so that the seam is on the reverse side.

5.Sewing the Green Measure of the Lower Front Okumi (Part 4)
(Image: (left) blind stitch up to incision 13; (bottom) Pulling any ensnared threads, make the corner neat; (text on line) backstitch from about half of the okumi length.)

  • After flipping the seam inside out, make a mitsu-ori guke on the reverse side. The mitsu-ori should start at about half the width of the gukeokumi and extend to incision [13]. For the left okumi, repeat steps 2-5. However, start the mitsu-ori guke from [13].

6.Sewing Together the Lower Front Okumi and Lower Front Body (Part 1)
(Image: (right, top to bottom) okumi sword tip, fold the seam allowance inwards; (bold text left to right) left back body face up, right back body face up, right okumi face down.)

  • Match up [U] okumi sword tip and [K] okumi sagari, layering the right okumi and right body inside out. Line up both hem marks, and sew them together from the skirt bottom to the [U] mark using a basic stitch. The measurement from the kise peak to the tsuma saki will become okumi width [Q].

7.Sewing Together the Lower Front Okumi and Lower Front Body (Part 2)
(Image: (upper bold text left to right) right back body, right front body, right okumi; (lower text left to right) center of back, make a kise.)

  • Push the seam allowance from attaching the okumi towards the inside of the kimono. Fold a kise and set with an iron.

8.Sewing Together the Lower Front Okumi and Lower Front Body (Part 3)
(Image: (left, top to bottom) mitsu-ori guke, right okumi.)

  • Turn the fabric over. To conceal the right okumi seam allowance, make a mitsu-ori guke. Do the same for the left okumi, repeating steps 6-8.

9.Finishing Up the Skirt
(Image: (center bold text from left to right) right okumi, right front body, right back body, left back body, left front body left okumi; (below that) mitsu-ori guke; (bottom) potsu tome.)

  • Open up the skirt with the fabric reverse side up. Considering 1.5cm seam allowance, mark the fold for the skirt. From the green measures of the okumi in step 5, you will have two unfinished mitsu-ori guke. Sew them together using the same technique, starting from the left okumi and ending on the right okumi. As you do this, make a potsu tome at every intersecting seam.

— page 26 —

Attaching the Eri

In order to prevent it from being bulky, we’re going to sew what’s known as a bachi eri. After you’ve completed this step, the garment will start to look like a kimono.

1.Marking the Eri

  • Fold the fabric in half inside out, and arrange so that the loop of the fold is on top. Mark [14] collar peak, [15] 2.4cm from the collar peak ([J] collar-shoulder incision + 0.1cm), [16] 5.6cm from the collar peak ([K] okumi sagari + 0.1cm), and [S] the tomo eri length. Lastly, mark [17], 0.5cm seam allowance fro attaching the eri.

2.Sew the Tomo Eri (same colored neckband)
(Image: (left, top to bottom) pins, fold the kise this way.)

  • With the fabric face down, pinch the [S] line marking the tomo eri up 0.5cm and sew together using the basic stitch.
  • Fold [S] towards the collar peak, making a 1cm kise and ironing flat. Fasten with straight pins to prevent the kise from sliding.
  • Repeat this process for the left and right sides.

3.Mark the Line Where You’re Going to Sew the Eri on the Body
(Image: (top in bold, left to right) left front body, front side of fabric, right front body; (center left to right) shoulder peak line, collar-shoulder incision; (lower bold text, left to right) left back body, right back body; (bottom) back seam.)

  • The mark for sewing the eri onto the body is 0.5cm below the collar-shoulder incision. Starting and ending 0.2cm to either side of this incision, make a smooth curve with the spatula connecting these 3 points.

4.Stabilize the Eri with Pins
(Image: (left to right) basic stitch, back stitch.)

  • Match point [1], the collar peak [14] and the back seam, point [2], [15] and the collar-shoulder incision, and point [3], [16] and the sword tip, securing with straight pins. Holding the round round portion of the collar, stick more pins between these points to fasten.
  • Out from [16], match the eri skirt and P marked on the body portion, marking [4] with a pin. Carefully aligning the seam allowances, pin together the eri and body between [3] and [4]. Repeat this step for the left and right side.
  • Sew from the right eri skirt to the left eri skirt, using very small basic stitches. At the beginning and end of the seam, backstitch 0.5cm, and at the collar-shoulder incision make your stitches even finer.

5.Marking the Eri
(Image: (top right) cut out; (center) fold inwards; (bottom) make marks.)

  • Mark a line connecting these points: 3.75cm form the seam at [16], 4.0cm from the seam at [S], and 4.0cm from the seam on the eri skirt. Fold this line inwards and press with an iron. Repeat this process for the left and right side.
  • In order to make the collar exactly the right size when it’s folded over, remove the excess material as marked in the photograph with white diagonal stripes.

6.Preparing the Collar Points (Eri Saki) (Part 1)

  • While making the kise, stand up the collar and use an iron to make it very smooth. With the fabric reverse side up, fold the eri in half, including okumi and body portions. Start from the middle of the back, and extend towards the eri tip. When the it looks the same as you want the finished product, fasten with straight pins.

— page 27 —

7.Preparing the Collar Points (Eri Saki) (Part 2)
(Image: cut out.)

  • As you approach the eri saki, stop pinning. Using the spatula, mark the fabric at the star mark shown in the image. All fabric on the eri beyond 2cm from this mark is excess and should be cut away.

8.Preparing the Collar Points (Eri Saki) (Part 3)
(Image: (left to right) 1. Open, 2. Fold in.)

  • 1. Open the end part of the eri saki that’s folded in.
  • 2. Fold in the edge to the star mark, which you made earlier with the spatula.

9.Preparing the Collar Points (Eri Saki) (Part 4)

(Image: 3. Stuff into the bag-like portion.)

  • 3. Stuff [1] into the bag-like portion that’s formed at the end of the eri. Secure again with straight pins. Repeat this process for the left and right sides.

10.Finishing the Eri
(Image: (top) blindstitch; (bottom) postu tome.)

  • Now, we’re going to secure the eri into place. Start from the middle of the eri saki on the right side, making a postu tome at the star-outline mark in the photo. Pull the thread out from the bold star mark, and begin back stitching towards the opposite side. Pass through the intersection with the back seam and finish with anther postu tome at the left eri skirt.

Attaching the Sleeves

After attaching the two sleeves that you prepared in beginning to either side of the kimono, it’s finally finished.

1.Sew the Right Sleeve to the Body
(Image: (top left in bold) right sleeve front, fabric face up; (lower left in bold) right front body portion, fabric reverse side up; (top right) Match up [4] shoulder peak and [1] sleeve peak; (bottom left) Match up [B] the sleeve attachment area on the body and [E] the attachment area on the sleeve.)

  • Turn the right side of the body inside out, and match it with the right sleeve, which should be right-side-out. Match up the shoulder peak and sleeve peak ([4] and [1]), and the sleeve attachment portions of the sleeve and body ([B] and [E]) securing with straight pins. Backstitching 1cm at the beginning and end of the seam, use the basic stitch to sew the sleeve and body together, making one additional backstitch at the sleeve peak.

2.Making a Kise on the Right Sleeve
(Image: (top) Make the so that the sleeve overlaps the body; (left in bold) right sleeve front, fabric face-up; (right in bold) right front body, fabric face-up.)

  • Turn the body portion right-side out, and make a kise at the sleeve attachment seam, ironing to set. Fold the kise so that the sleeve is overlapping the body.

3.Cleaning Up the Right Sleeve
(Image: (top) mitsu-ori guke; (left in bold) right front body, reverse side; (right in bold) right sleeve front, reverse side.)

  • Turn the sleeve inside out. Make a mitsu-ori guke along the armhole.

4.Finish by Adding a Bolt Stitch for Support
(Image: (left in bold) left front body, face-up; (right in bold) left sleeve front, face-up; (center top) [B] sleeve attachment; (center) [F] miyatsu; (center bottom) Make kannuki dome at these two places.)

  • Secure the two places shown in the photo where the sleeve attaches, making sure to include the reinforcement fabric underneath, with kannuki dome.*

*Omit this step for men’s kimono.

  • For MSD kimono only, after this you’ll make a shoulder tuck. Pinch the fabric at each shoulder at about half the shoulder width, and sew a seam of 0.5cm from the front to the back of the sleeve attachment using the basic stitch.

— page 28 —

To be continued…