Folkwear has THE best commercial "pattern" for authentic Japanese un-lined yukata that I've come across (pattern #113
). It's actually a VERY thorough tutorial on how to measure the intended wearer and how to cut the fabric according to the type of fabric you're using (14 inch kimono fabric, 45 inch or 60 inch "normal" fabric), as well as the assembly instructions, which are actually quite simple because it's almost entirely made of rectangles. I own this pattern, as well as #151, and made both a man's yukata and hakama. A knowledge of basic stitching and seam finishing techniques are all that's really required, other than the necessary tools, like pins and sharp scissors.
a free tutorial somewhere on the web that I've recommended before that is just as good as the Folkwear "pattern," but it's so buried in my Craftster topic replies, it's probably on page 258
Also, making a kimono for a little girl is different. The back is only one panel-width, not two, the shoulders may be tucked for very young girls (allowing her to "grow into" the kimono), and sometimes the ohashori (the fold-over that extends just below the obi) is also stitched in place, rather than folded while dressing.Ichiroya
is my favourite website for drooling over Japanese goods. If you scroll down to the search tool, a drop box contains all of the item categories. Scroll down to "babies' and children's" and select "girl's kimono." By studying the differences between an adult woman's kimono and a girl's kimono, you'll get a pretty good idea of how to go about making the necessary changes. Also, don't forget that men's kimono have square sleeves, not rounded, and they're stitched shut under the arms, as opposed to open to display a pretty lining (a flash of a little something extra is VERY sexy in Japanese culture, which is why kimono linings are often a contrasting colour, or have a unique pattern not seen elsewhere on the garment). Oh, and also have a look at obis to see the average lengths. You CAN piece an obi together, even a 450 inch one, just so long as you make it like a fukuro obi, which is patterned only on the parts that are visible after tying. That saves on expensive fabrics.
The Immortal Geisha forum is a fount of information on all things Japanese, but you'll find the Kitsuke section
and the Making Kimono section
the most informative. Kitsuke (pronounced kit-skay) translates as "dressing" or "how to dress."
Phew! As you can see, I have an enthusiasm for Japonisme