I dearly love the kimono style baby tops so when I was last pregnant I decided to make a bunch of them for baby #3….
Well, she is now 9 months old and I still have a pile of newborn sized kimono tops waiting for their snaps. Whoops.
Most of my go-to pattern mods have developed out of some combination of inability to follow directions, deep-rooted abhorrence for installing fasteners of every kind and obsessive adding of hoods and pockets to EVERYTHING! As you have probably guessed, this mod is no exception. The sad pile of unfinished and outgrown shirts guilted me into giving the pattern another go and this time around I was a bit more honest with myself. After changing a few things to work around my
issues creative eccentricities, these little tops are now flying off the machine!
The first move was to eliminate the snaps but keep the sweet crossover neckline. To achieve this I simply extended the front flaps to the same width as the back panel (about an inch) so they could be sewn into the side seams. The pattern I was working with called for a bound hem so at this point I also add a hem allowance (3/4″ – 1″) at the bottom so I could turn and topstitch later.
If you are not adding a hood simply finish off the neck and complete the shirt as usual, treating the two fronts as one piece. The resulting Wrap Tee is a nice alternative to the traditional envelope neckline you see on most baby shirts and Onsies.
When adding a hood I stitch the back, sleeves and front flaps but stop before sewing the side seams. If you are not comfortable drafting your own hood just swipe one from a favorite hoodie pattern or trace one from a ready made sweatshirt. The biggest thing to take into account here is that the wings (tips? what would you call them?) of the hood will have to angled downwards a bit to attach properly to the slanted neck of the shirt. I usually wait to cut my hood till I get to this part so I can use the neckline to guide how I shape the neck opening of the hood. Once your hood is sewn on finish the edges however you like and continue constructing as usual, making sure to treat the two front flaps as one piece.
To reduce bulk in the front you can cut the inner flap without the added hem allowance (shown above) and snipping the side seams (shown below) can also help reduce bulk in those spots making it easier to maintain an even stitch all the way around.