We’ve been seeing kimonos everywhere these days, and while the swoon factor is high, the price tags can be even higher. (Case in point, last month I fell in love with a gorgeous silk kimono shawl only to be broken up about the $220 price tag.) That got us thinking we just had to hack the look. Not only did we DIY our own flowy kimono in just 30 minutes — fair warning, this project requires you to have your sewing basics down — but by making the garment yourself, you can choose the print and fabric of your dreams, which means keeping an eye on the price tag, too. Our tropical patterned fabric “set us back” just $10! That’s a much better solution than shoveling out all that dough for the light fall layer, and truth: we feel just as fancy in ours!
– 40 by 55-in piece of fabric (silk or chiffon)
– sewing machine
– tailor’s chalk
– fabric scissors
1. Start with a 40 x 55-in piece of silk or chiffon. Fold it in half and be sure that the wrong side (the side you don’t want to show) is facing you.
2. Measure down 10 inches and in 6 inches and mark it with your tailor’s chalk.
3. Join your marks and draw a sort of L shape. Repeat on the other side.
4. Now pin all along your Ls and cut the excess. Then sew your seams together.
5. At this point, take a ruler and find the exact middle of your rectangle and cut it height-wise from top to bottom, but be sure to cut just the top layer of your fabric.
6. Almost done. Just fold more or less 1 inch of fabric from the center of our kimono, then repeat along the edges and sew.
First, it’s all about creating the boxy pattern, which you’ll measure and mark out on the “wrong” side of your silk or chiffon with tailor’s chalk. Pin, then cut your marks, which will become the sleeves, and sew the seams together. Beginner sewers, not so bad, right? Advanced peeps, you got this!
Now it’s time to create the opening, which is beyond basic — no buttons, toggles or zippers to worry about here! Just find the center part of your fabric and cut just the top layer down the center. Then, fold about an inch of fabric along the cut to create a smooth hem and sew it together. You are done! Get ready to feel all kinds of glam.
This kimono is a perfect layer for the first days of fall, not to mention it dresses up nearly any outfit — it can make a tee and jeans look super posh and take a maxi to the next level.
We’re all about the simplicity of this breezy look, though you could always amp up the drama by adding fringe along the hems. Ooh la la indeed.
What’s the last piece of clothing you’ve DIY-ed? Did you make it to try out a trend? To get the look for less? Or just because you love to make? Tell us about your style projects in the comments below.