Suki Kimono

HelenSewing Tutorials9 Comments

Give the Gift of Suki

If there is a special person in your life you would like to sew a handmade gift for, look no further than the Suki Robe! Suki is a wonderfully personal gift that anyone is sure to use and cherish all year round.

I recently made a Suki for my sister who is 8 months pregnant. I just know that once the baby comes, her Suki is going to be the ultimate loungewear/nursing garment for her first year as a new mom. It got me thinking about what a great gift Suki would make for the holidays!

Get the Suki Robe Pattern

Now, the Suki can seem like an involved project, but there are ways you can cut down on the hard work and whip it up in a few hours. I myself have used some of these tips when making Suki’s for me or others in the past few months.

Tip #1 – Skip the pockets!

I love a good pocket, and I love having my phone on hand at all times, but for a house robe they may not be a necessity for your Suki recipient. Save a bunch of time by eliminating the inseam pockets and just sewing those side seams closed!

Suki Kimono

Tip #2 – Extend the front band

The Suki has a great front band detail with a right angle corner. It looks lovely in contrasting fabric and it is an excellent skill to level up your sewing. That said, you can extend the band all the way to the hem and skip this tricky corner. 

Suki Kimono

To extend the front band, follow the directions below:

The first thing you need to do is eliminate the right angle by cutting off the excess on the pattern.

Next, we have to lengthen the front band to match the length of our robe. Since the band goes around the neck, it can be hard to tell how long to make it. I like to make the band extra long and then trim it to the correct length after I have pinned it to the robe in the next step.

Once the robe is assembled, pin the front band to the robe and check the length. You want the raw edge of the front band to sit 1/2″ up from the bottom of the robe, so you may need to trim off the end of the front band. If your band is too short at this point, you can trim the bottom of the robe or plan to do a wider hem.

Suki Kimono Cover-up

Unpin the bottom of the front band and fold it together with right sides facing. Sew the end closed using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Clip the corner and turn the band right side out again.

Once you have finished the ends of the front band, it will sit 1″ up from the bottom of the robe. Sew the front band to the robe, finish the edge, and optionally edgestitch it to secure it in place.

Fold the hem up 1/2″ and then 1/2″ again and sew to complete your cover-up.

Tip #3 – Skip the inner ties

The Suki has a great inner tie that helps keep the robe closed when you are doing things in it like cooking, cleaning, or lounging on the couch. It’s a nice feature, but again, it can be easily eliminated.

Suki Kimono

Tip #4 – Don’t attach the back band

This detail is here so that the band won’t ever fall off or get lost, but it isn’t necessary for everyone. You can save a little time by simply sewing the bands together and having the band be a separate piece.

Suki Kimono

Tip #5 – Size up!

This isn’t so much a time saver, but it is good to note. If their Suki is a little big, it won’t make a huge difference, in fact, it may even be more comfortable for the wearer. If you are unsure about sizing, size up!

Suki Kimono

These tips are all optional, and the more details the robe has, the more likely they are to LOVE it! That said, gift giving time is fast approaching and you may need to cut some corners (literally).

PRO TIPTry to resist pointing out all the ways you ‘cheated’ if you do make these adjustments – your Suki recipient won’t know what they are missing! 😉

I hope you are planning some handmade gifts this season, they really do add something special to the holidays!

Get the Suki Robe Pattern

About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

9 Comments on “Give the Gift of Suki”

  1. Love these shortcut tips – especially for this time of the year- thanks so much! I love your blog and patterns, but I have a request if I may. Could you please include the ability to “pin” your blogs onto Pinterest for safekeeping? Many thanks for your consideration…wishing you continued success and a very Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks for the new roundup of makes! Helen, could you give us a post with tips for sewing the Suki for winter? We have cold winters here and I’d love to have a cosy wrap for lounging at home. Was thinking of flannel or fleece? Maybe velvet or velveteen? How does the kimono look in thicker fabrics? Since some of the original testers said they wanted winter versions, I’d love a roundup of winter Sukis!

  3. Did you make any changes/size adjustments to the version you made for your sister? I’m currently 8 months pregnant and am planning to make one for myself but I’m having trouble choosing a size….

    1. Hi Rachel,

      I didn’t make adjustments because she wanted it more for after the birth. When she tried it on at 8 months, it still closed in the front, but there was only about a 3″ overlap which might not be enough to be comfortable. You could extend the front, go up a size, or just make it for yourself for after! It’s great for nursing 🙂

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