Pattern Puzzle | Cut The Trends | Pattern Fundamentals | Pattern Insights | Pattern Fix | First Sample | Design & Illustration | Vintage Patterns | well-suited archive

Pattern Puzzle - Kimono Twist Dress

Monday, April 28, 2014

Every week new fans turn up to comment and solve my #PatternPuzzle and this week was no exception. Steph Go was in early with a comprehensive answer revealing the main parts of the pattern piece. Then Julie and Lynn turned up a little later to finish off the puzzle. This elegant evening dress is a little daring, showing lots of leg and decolletage. It will always look good in soft drapey fabrics such as silk crepe, lightweight stable knits, silk and polyester chiffon's.  With a little experimentation I think it could be cut in either knit or woven fabrics. The style relies very heavily on the fit on the high hip where the twist is formed. This feature holds the entire dress in place. If you'd like to learn my method for creating Twist Drape Patterns I have a detailed worksheet for making Jersey Twist Patterns. For just a few dollars you'll get the same training you'd get if you came to the workshop in my studio.Pattern Making Instructions Kimono Twist Dress sewing pattern by Studio Faro.

Starting with a woven kimono block that has a minimum of 4cm garment ease on the hip and 6cm garment ease on the bust. 

  1. Move your NP 1.5cm to open neckline. 
  2.  Lengthen the block below the knee adding 6cm.  Taper the side seams by 3cm at the hem. 
  3.  Decide the position of the twist.  I have placed it 6cm below the natural waist. 
  4.  Mark a line, at this point, at right angles to the CF line, extending 7cm into the right side of the front block. 
  5.  Continue line back towards the left side seam, marking the seam line for the twist. 
  6.  Connect the far left point to the new neckline position (1.5cm from the NP (neck point). 
  7.  Connect the same point to the CF hemline. 
  8.  Mark in balance of dashed lines for adding drape, from twist to shoulder and twist to skirt. 
  9.  Create a firm fit at the high hip position by removing garment ease.  To do this you will need to measure yourself at this high hip position and remove  the difference. 
  10.  Rather than re-shaping the side seam I have decided to remove the extra from waist to shoulder point and waist to hip point (red shaded area).  This will produce the same effect without over working the side seam shaping. 
  11.  Decide the length of your sleeve (bracelet length here), keeping in mind the width of your fabric.  
  12.  Decide your sleeve opening using a tape measure around the correct position on the arm (using 50 cm here). 
  13.  Connect the sleeve opening back to the high hip with a decent curve. 
Planning the Kimono Twist Pattern Making method.
Open the bodice and skirt patterns along the dashed red lines to include extra fabric for the twist and drape.  I suggest a range of 4-8cm for each opening depending on fabric and fit.  The high hip seam is opened up toward the side seam.  This will allow you to twist the two fronts together before sewing to secure the twist. 
Manipulating the front pattern to include the extra fabric for the twist feature.
The back dress has 1.5cm waist shaping of the CB seam.  This design is probably best cut with separate front and back patterns to reduce the fabric wastage for this style.  Cutting them together does make for an interesting #PatternPuzzle but not necessarily an economical or practical pattern for manufacture.   
Front and back patterns for the Kimono Twist.
Below the pattern that combines the front and back has a number of grain line possibilities depending on the fabric you use.   If you keep the CF on the straight grain you will have the opportunity of chevron stripes on the CB seam.  Alternatively the grain line could run with the CB seam, placing much of the front drape near the bias grain.  This is a very flexible design and the outcome will largely depend on the fabric you choose and how you best use that fabric.  There are so many possibilities!   
One-piece sewing pattern Kimono Twist
 Feel free to leave your comments below and ask me any questions.  I love to hear from our fans.  Enjoy :)

You'll find the first sample post in the members area: Kimono Twist - First Sample

Share this blog post:

Salem Reed commented on 19-Dec-2016 11:13 AM
Hi! Love the pattern, I've been looking for it since I don't want to cut up a kimono-twist dress I own myself. Great description, I'm just a bit stuck on step 9-10, can't seem to understand what to do with the red area.. Would love to hear more :)

Anita - studiofaro commented on 19-Dec-2016 03:39 PM
Hi Salem, thanks for getting in touch. :) The red area is a reduction in the fit in the high hip or waist area so the twist works well. Fold out the red area like it is a dart. Hope this helps.
San commented on 21-Dec-2016 04:46 AM
Hello sewing family,

I would love to know how to receive your patterns so I may make some of your awesome garments.

San Harvey Facebook
Anita - studiofaro commented on 22-Dec-2016 03:20 PM
Hi San, thx for dropping by. Patterns are on the way but not ready yet. Go to my contacts page to subscribe so you hear when the patterns are up on the site. :) http://www.studiofaro.com/contact
Sandrine commented on 16-Oct-2018 03:47 PM
My questions is : from the hip line to hemline I’m lost on where it’s suppose to end if we want it narrow like the image. Do we measure from the hip line straight down ?

Back: how much down do we take for the neckline?
Anita - StudioFaro commented on 16-Oct-2018 03:55 PM
Hi Sandrine, thanks for dropping by. The measurement from the hip line to the hem is about your final dress length. Usually, it's approx. 40cm to the knee and I've set my dress length as just past the knee by 5-7cm. This is always a personal choice.

I'm not so clear on your second question: The back neckline is 2cm below the Neck Point level. That's usually what you should see on your block. Is that what you mean?
sandrine appiah commented on 17-Oct-2018 08:46 AM
Hi, can you clarify this a bit for me : Create a firm fit at the high hip position by removing garment ease. To do this you will need to measure yourself at this high hip position and remove the difference.

does that mean i need to cut that shape out and tape it shut?
Anita - Studio Faro commented on 18-Oct-2018 10:57 AM
Hi Sandrine, yes that's correct. When you cut in along the waistline you'll be able to close the area with the red lines and that will tighten the waist area so the dress clings at that point around the high hip. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm always happy to help. :)
Jannie commented on 11-Jan-2019 09:38 AM
Don’t quite get which basic pattern to use, for making this? Am I missing something? :)
Anita - Studiofaro commented on 11-Jan-2019 09:50 AM
Hi Janine, thanks for dropping by. :) I've used a kimono block for this pattern puzzle. That is where you add the sleeve onto the dress block (knit or woven) before you start pattern making. I have made this as a sample using a knit block. And some fans have made it with a woven block. If you join my facebook group (STUDIO FARO MAKERS) you'll see a few examples of this design made up.
Kerry commented on 20-Jan-2020 03:18 AM
Is this pattern available for purchase?
Anita - Studio Faro commented on 20-Jan-2020 09:31 AM
Hi Kerry, thanks for dropping by. This pattern is very close to be listed on the website. It's currently in the testing phase. If you go to the contact page and subscribe to my newsletter you'll be the first to know when it's released. :)
Sanna commented on 05-Feb-2020 06:01 PM
Hi! I'm wondering why you choose to slash and spread so the volume is on the sides versus another tutorial on your blog for a twist dress, where you slash and spread from the CF seam. It seams like you want the volume in CF, no? I'm just curious to why you chose this way :)
thank you!! Sanna
Anita - Studio Faro commented on 06-Feb-2020 09:24 AM
Hi Sanna, thanks for getting in touch. In both cases the extra volume for the twist is directed at the centre front waist. If you look at the pattern plan you see the cut lines end on the CF waist. It is the same of the Jersey Twist Dress. What it is different is how I plan to sew the garment together. I hope this answers your question. If not feel free to ask again. I'm always happy to help with understanding these complex patterns. :)

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.


Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available for HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

Recent Posts

FREE Members Area Articles - Become a Member


All my sewing patterns.
These are the first of my sewing patterns as PDF downloads for you to buy and sew.  The more I sell the more time I have to make new ones.  So if you fancy supporting the work I do here on the well-suited blog, this is your opportunity.  These patterns are based on my size chart listed here on the website.


All my garment blocks.
Garment blocks are the basic template we use to make fashion patterns.  They are not patterns in themselves as they have no design detail.  My garment blocks also don't have any seam allowances as they are never sewn together once the fit is perfected.  If you look at any of my Pattern Puzzle posts you'll see that I usually start with a block then modify to achieve my new design idea.  These garment blocks are also based on my size chart as required for the mass production of fashion clothing.


My fashion design, illustration and pattern making worksheets and instructions are based on the teaching methods and blocks used at Studio Faro in my workshops & workbooks.  Subscribe to receive email updates.

About Studio Faro

The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

Back to Top