Refashioned Kimono Dresses

Upcycling kimono into dresses has become a continual project. You can see my past kimono refashion posts here, but these mermaid dresses are by far my favorite. I’ve never tried one-shoulder style dresses in the past, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say these are comfortable to wear. You do not have to worry about dress slipping like you would when wearing a strapless dress. It feels pretty secure.

The more I work with kimono fabrics, the more I feel comfortable working with it. This one came in Kimono shape, as opposed to a roll form of fabric prior to refashioning. Because the dress is long and has some train, I had to take the kimono apart, iron them and lay them all on a ground to figure out how to cut so that I won’t be short of fabric near the end. I am always impressed by the hand sewing that goes in in kimono – corners are perfectly matched and the thread colors coordinated. Sometimes I feel bad to take it all apart.

Navy + Hazel

I completely forgot to take “before” photo of this kimono, but it was originally a furisode, which means “winging sleeves”. It is a style of kimono distinguishable by its long sleeves, and is most commonly worn by unmarried young women. It’s a type of kimono that 20-year-olds wear at the Coming of Age Day (seijinshiki)

Orange + Black
Black Tomesode Upcycle

This one was upcycled from tomesode, which is type of kimono worn by married women for special occasions like wedding. My mother wore it for my wedding. Usually the patterns are less busy than furisode, and they are placed under waistline or lower.



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  1. They are gorgeous! I would so wear the last one!

    • Thank you Inna! The black one is most wearable..I love the one-shoulder ones but I have nowhere to wear to! lol

  2. Beautiful! Did you sew these dresses from any patterns or are they self drafted? Love the shapes and styles.

    • Hi! Thank you for your comment:) The patterns were provided by a client, so it’s not commercial pattern or self-drafted.

  3. Barathea says:

    These are so beautiful. It would be great to be able to buy patterns specifically drafted for use with kimono fabric – where all the pieces fit the width of the fabric and are designed to utilise the way the prints are designed. A business opportunity for someone!

  4. Beautiful work! I just refashioned an antique silk sari this weekend into an Endless Summer Tunic and loved the process and result so much I just had to see what you were doing with Kimonos. Inspiring!


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