Blooming kimono top – Salme Patterns Kimono top pattern

There’s big love for independent pattern companies and I think that makes sense given the audience. If DIY-ers won’t embrace creative people cooking up their own businesses and designs then who will?

Salme Patterns has been mentioned a few times and the clean, modern lines much admired. London-based Elisa of Salme patterns offers PDF patterns for women, children and accessories, and I took the plunge last week with the Kimono top. And here it is, in all its navy and off-white blooming glory:

The pattern comes without a seam allowance. Happily the cutting line for two sizes up was the 1/2 inch recommended for the seam allowance outside my size’s cutting line, so I used this instead. (I’m not alone, so did Knitting neels!) This kind of improvisation perhaps lead to my cuff problems later…

I didn’t use the neck facings, preferring to use some bias binding to finish off the neckline. After deliberating over the cuffs I decided to put them on but the instructions were a little confusing, so I ended up concocting my own approach, which boiled down to:

  1. After sewing side and shoulder seams, turn top inside out.
  2. Pin cuffs right side to wrong side of sleeve, with bottom of cuff along edge of sleeve and sew together.
  3. Flip cuff out so right side now extends beyond edge of sleeve, press.
  4. Turn top right way round. Fold cuff back against sleeve, wrong side to right side, along seam allowance and press.
  5. Turn top of cuff in by desired amount to achieve the width of cuff you want. Press then top-stitch in place.

…with the caveat that this was not altogether successful! I think because I used french seams throughout (which would have benefitted from increasing the seam allowance I also improvised on) I lost some width on the sleeves, meaning the cuffs ended up too big for the hole. There was some ugly fudging and folding on the bottom seam.

Eh, I’m not going to sweat it. Look at the pretttttttty:

I was worried there’d be too much room in this and I’d feel swamped or frumpy but I like the finished shape. This is the smallest possible size and untucked it is loose over the body but there are large-lunch-related advantages to this style. Looking at this along with Tova, there seems to be a marked looser vibe on my sewing table (hah, living room floor!). An extended procrastination to avoid FBA-ing perhaps.


  • The neckline. I think this shape works for small and large busts and it definitely works to showcase a big ol’ necklace.
  • Three pattern pieces (without the neck facing).
  • The cotton fabric (which I spotted in an Urban Outfitters concession rail a few months back) is ticking all my boxes. Drapes nicely, fairly opaque, big print and a colour palette I can wear with almost every single skirt or pair of trousers I own. Remnant bin, you spoil me with your treasures.

Love less:

  • I think the instructions for this pattern could be enhanced, so for a newbie I’m not sure this is the right intro pattern. But if you’ve sewn a cuff or put together a few tops then you can handle it.

I took advantage of the great deal from Salme to get three patterns for < £12/$18 U.S. dollars, so expect to see some more designs featuring here.

This entry was posted in Modern patterns, Tops and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Blooming kimono top – Salme Patterns Kimono top pattern

  1. Rehanon says:

    Ooh that’s lovely my dear. What a lovely pattern and v nice work from you.


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  3. Kerry says:

    This looks great! I’ve had this pattern filed away at the back of my mind for a while so it’s great to see your version. I think you picked a great fabric for it too.

    • Kerry says:

      Gosh, could I have used the word ‘great’ any more times?! 🙂

      • Thanks Kerry, it’s a cool pattern! I think a good simple design like this could be tweaked lots of ways as well, like maybe chopping it across the top to make a yoke and use contrasting colour/pattern direction/opaqueness.
        Btw, I repeat myself in comments ALL THE TIME, I end up re-reading them 3 times 🙂

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  7. Sarah says:

    I was browsing through your blog having followed a link from BeeBee’s Vintage Dress when I spotted this fabric & thought it looked familiar – I recently bought a top from a charity shop (originally from Wallis) made of this exact fabric, it’s so lovely!

    • I thought this fabric might be a remnant from a retailer! I’ve seen other fabrics from the same shop on the rails in Dorothy Perkins, so it’s nice to hear my suspiscions confirmed about this one.
      It’s a lovely fabric isn’t it, so soft! What kind of top is it made up?

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  12. Deb Chang says:

    Thank you for posting the instructions about how you did the cuff! I was sewing this exact pattern, couldn’t figure out what the instructions were telling me and used your method instead!!

  13. True Bias says:

    love this top. and i love how your size fits. do you mind if i ask what your rtw size is? im trying to decide what size i should cut and i want mine to fit like yours.

  14. Jo says:

    Just made two of these last night – stared at the cuff instructions until they made sense – this is my interpretation if anyone wants it 🙂 – after stitching ends of cuff together (right sides facing) fold cuff in half (wrong sides together), turn shirt right side out and attach cuff (sew with the folded edge of the cuff pointing towards the neckline, matching raw edges of cuff and shirt). Flip cuff right side out, press seam towards neckline, and run another line of stitching close to the seam, that catches the seam allowance (like top stitching – if you look at the diagram in the cuff instructions you can see it a few mm from the seam). With the shirt right side out, flip the cuff back on itself (sufficient to cover the seam line I guess), press, and secure with a few hidden stitches. Hope that helps… (I like the longer cuffs anyway, so omitted the top stitching (though because its not supposed to be seen I suppose that’s not the correct term) and didn’t turn the cuffs back on themselves). Made it in a stretch jersey – love it – and anticipate many more. It’s quick and easy, flattering and comfortable.

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  16. Claire says:

    I’m a beginner and I thought this might be a good pattern to cut my teeth on. I chose a size that fit me in the waist and hips, but is too big in the bust. I have a fabric with a really nice drape to it and will hang nicely. Should I bother trying to figure out to reduce the bust size since the overall look isn’t that fitted?

    • Hi! Glad you’re trying out this pattern, I think it gives a nice return for a fairly relaxed sew. On the bust fit though, that’s hard to say. When you say it’s too big in the bust, do you mean from the provided measurements on the pattern or you’ve sewn it up and tried it on?
      I’m presuming the former, in which case I’d say it really depends on what you’re looking for in terms of the final fit. You could experiment with grading between your bust size and waist size so you get the best of both worlds. On a fairly straight-forward shape like this, it will just be a matter of drawing a line between the size lines, possibly from under the armpit? There are some useful tutorials on this but as long as you’re consistent on the back and front pieces, you should be fine.
      Hope you have fun with it!

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