Kimono Tunic

Easily my most requested tutorial. You're going to want to make sure your color pallete game is tight to pull off a good look.

You'll need:

Cloth -- I used cotton. Knit would be best, but it's not a make or break sort of thing. Use a print.
A doll bodice and sleeve pattern -- We have to redraw the bodice, but you need one to start with. Use whatever sleeve pattern you want. I reccomend a bell sleeve.
Ribbon -- Pick something that either goes with or contrasts with your cloth.
Double-folded Quilt Binding -- You'll see. This keeps us from hemming anything. Pick something that contrasts!
Sewing supplies -- Needle, thread, scissors, so forth. Also, save your sanity: use a sewing machine.

Take a pre-existing bodice pattern that you already know works, and copy it to another piece of paper. You can use a photocopier, or be cheap like me and just trace.

Now, take your ruler and, starting at the edge of one shoulder on the side closest to the neck, draw a diagonal line reaching the bottom of the pattern, crossing the middle at a high point. Confused? Of course you are! Look at my picture to see what I'm talking about.

Cut that mammer jammer out. Use it as a pattern and cut two pieces. They should be mirror images of each other.

In addition, cut two backs like in the shirt tutorial, two sleeves, and the skirt bits of an a line skirt. You can finangle this to have a gathered skirt if you're slick, but we'll stick to basics for now.

Sew each bodice piece to its matching back, right sides together.

Now, get the quilt binding. Pin it along the diagonal edge, around the neck line, and right to the edge of the back.

Do it to both bodice pieces. Stitch it down. Make SURE that the bodice gets trapped in the binding! If you pull your cloth and it comes undone, take your stitches out and do it again.

Now, pin binding to the hem of each sleeve.

Stitch it down.

Put the sleeves in as usual.

One bodice piece needs to cross over, and they both need to fit together so that they look like a bodice. That's a tall order. The easiest way to do this is line the pieces up over a bodice pattern, and stick a pin in the middle.

Now, pin a piece of ribbon as long as the bodice directly on the bodice, right sides together.

Stitch it down, and press.

Now, get the trapezoid bit of the a line skirt on the other edge of that ribbon. Pin it right sides together and stitch it.

Line the back pieces of the skirt up with the bottom edges of the back pieces of the bodice.

Pin it right sides together and stitch it.

Before we go on, take two long pieces of ribbon and pin them right sides together to the ribbon waist band. Pin it so that both ribbons point inward.

Fold everything over. Pin the sleeves up and the sides of the tunic together.

Stitch those sides down. Extra important note: MAKE SURE you don't stitch those extra ribbons into the side seam! They need to hang free.

Turn inside out and add velcro.

The extra ribbons tie behind the back.