Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reader Question: Altering a Kimono Sleeve

A reader writes with this question:

Hi, my name is Deborah. I have contacted you once before thanking you for your neckline alterations (fitting for small neck and shoulder posts). My question is how would that alteration be applied to a pattern with kimono sleeves? Thank you so much for reading.

Kind regards,

Dear Deborah,

In my experience, a style using kimono sleeves will also have a wide neckline. By narrowing the neckline, it is possible to wear a kimono sleeve style, even with smaller shoulder. Focus on the neckline adjustment first.Then create a new shoulder seam. The adjustment to the shoulder seam is very subtle - and the sleeve is meant to have a lot of folds under the armpit. It's the neckline adjustment that will make this style wearable.

Good luck Deborah, and thanks for reading & sending your message!



  1. Hi there,
    Do you know how to take the fullness out of a kimono top, without altering the sleeves and neck ?
    (Sorry don't know if my first comment sent)

    Thank you

    1. Harri, when making alterations to any garment, one uses the existing seams as opportunities for fitting.
      The kimono style only has a few seams. It will always have extra fullness and folds due around the armhole because there are no seams to set in the sleeve. If the fullness is below the bust, you could add fisheye darts below the bust to remove some excess. Hope this helps.


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