Lenghtening the sleeves of a kimono tee - MariaDenmark

Q&A: Lengthening the sleeves of the Kirsten Kimono Tee

Have you ever wondered how you would go about lengthening the sleeves of the FREE MariaDenmark Kirsten kimono tee pattern (which you get, when you sign up for my newsletter)? Carina and a bunch of other people did, they wrote me and asked, and here I ‘ll tell you all how.

Today I’m starting my “Ask Maria” or Q&A series. I haven’t completely decided what to call it yet – but I would LOVE your input! Anyway. Here is the first installment:

How to:  Lengthening the sleeves of the Kirsten Kimono Tee:

So. Carina wrote me and asked:

Hi! I have a question. I Have made a lot of shirts from the Kirsten Kimono Tee pattern and like it a lot. But I would like to lengthen the sleeves a bit. Can you give me any tips on how to do that?


Hi Carina. I love sewing the Kirsten Kimono Tee as well. I’ve made it with many different necklines and I love that it’s just so fast to sew. When I need a quick basic sew – this is my go to. Even just in plain grey or black for basics to go with statement items such as animal print trousers or skirts with other prints. I have made a few longer sleeved versions – and I’ve also included longer sleeves with my other kimono-style pattern: the MariaDenmark Olivia Oversize Tee, (which, as the name states, has a bit more ease than the kimono tee).

So. Lengthening the sleeves.Kirsten kimono tee pattern piece - lengthening the sleeves at mariaDenmark.com

I start of with my basic pattern (here on the photos it’s a half size pattern, to make it easier to get everything within the frame). Here it’s the front piece, but you have to do the exact same thing on both the front and the back!












Lengthening the sleeves - just continue the lines. MariaDenmark.comThen, I decide on how much, I want to lengthen the sleeves. I am going for a 3/4 length sleeve, and am lengthening the sleeves with 23 cm (9 inches).

I simply get out my ruler, line it op with the shoulder seam, and continue the line for 23 cm. Then I do the same with the underarm seam. Measure the distance between the end of the two lines, double the number and check that it will fit around your arm (the back piece sleeves are bigger than the front, due to the kimono style. But we are just going for an approximate idea that it’ll fit. It should. Especially because we are working with stretch fabrics.)






squaring of the sleeve hemsNow. Here comes the only tricky part – and it’s not really that tricky: We need to square of the hem of the sleeves, so that the seams will sew nicely. It’s simple. Use your ruler and make a 90 degree angle for about 1 cm.








Draw in the hem of the sleevesNow we just need to finish by drawing the hem of the sleeve. Because of the right angles at the sleeve edges, the hem will be slightly curved. I use my curve to draw in the hem.








The finished pattern piece, lengthening the sleevesAnd that’s it. Now you just have to do the exact same thing on the back piece, add seam and hem allowances and cut your fabric. And you are ready to sew up your MariaDenmark Kimono Tee with longer sleeves!

You might also consider different ways to finish the hem of the sleeves, instead of just turning them up and hemming them with a twin needle. Have you considered adding a cuff in self (or contrasting) ribbing (like I have on the photo above)?






When you are done, I would love to see a picture!

Do you have a sewing, drafting or fitting question you would like me to answer in my Q&A / Ask Maria (name still pending;-) installments?  Just ask me by emailing me at maria@mariadenmark.com and putting “Ask Maria” in the subject.

11 replies
  1. Rosalyn McWatters says:

    I have made several Kimono Tees and love them as is. Now I can make a few more for the cooler weather. Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

  2. Rose says:

    Thanks, Maria! I haven’t sewn up this shirt yet, because the sleeves were too short for my taste. But now it will be my next project!

    Thanks again!


  3. OdaO says:

    Hi! Thank you Maria.
    I just wonder, please have another look, and reconsider your drawing/the last three pictures?

    If you drew your right angle from the upper sleeve line and down to the lower line, instead of from the lower line and up, and then adjust it to a slight opposite S-form; it will curve to the left, and thus the longer upper line will give some more room to the elbow! Small adjustments will follow to get it squared to the lower line.

    What a useful pattern, which I will try soon, thanks again!

  4. Gale says:

    I love this top I have made about 7 of them, I also use the same pattern to make a longer top to put over my bathing suit, I made it very light weight, material and I love it.

    So great now I can make a long sleeve top using the same pattern.

    Thankyou so much for this pattern and all your help.

    From Gale.

  5. Willeke says:

    Hi Maria,
    How should i draw this with a forward shoulder?
    If i just lengthen it, the front pattern with the sleeve drawn,goes down.Due to the very sloped angle.
    The back pattern with the sleeve drawn goes more up. Now i have two different curves at the underarm. So there not matching also….
    Thanks, Willeke

  6. Bonnie says:

    Do you know how much more fabric, if any, is required to make the Kirsten Kimono with the 3/4 length sleeve adjustment? Thanks – Bonnie


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] will schon an einem FreeBook herumnörgeln … Dafür gibt es auf der Seite von Maria Denmark ein Tutorial, wie man die angeschnittenen Ärmel des Kimono Tee […]

  2. […] lengthened the sleeves of this version of the Kimono Tee using Maria’s tutorial and used a narrow wraparound neck binding with edge stitching, my new favorite way to finish a […]

  3. […] Loose tees: Maria Denmark Kirsten kimono tee, with slightly longer sleeves […]

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