DIY | Kimono inspired by laurDIY
Today's post is going to incorporate not one, but two of my favorite things: kimonos and DIY. I watched this video by LaurDIY (one of my alltime favorite Youtubers!) the very day it came out and have spent since then trying to find the perfect scarf to turn into a kimono. Mine came from Cancer Research UK for the extortionate price of just £2.50. Which, if I'm right means I can now manufacture my very own kimonos for the price of a second hand scarf. Good bye summer holiday.
Just a small disclaimer: I'm not claiming to have invented this tutorial, it's very much something that I found and enjoyed and decided to make my own from but there are a few slight differences between mine and Laura's - I used a smaller square scarf for a cropped finish, a Janome Mini Sewing Machine* for hemming that the lovely people at Hobbycraft were nice enough to donate for this - and future! - projects and some some hemming tape.
So without further ado let's get started...
What you'll need:
A large square or rectangular machine washable scarf
- square scarves make for shorter kimonos whilst rectangular for larger)
- mine measured 45" by 45"
Sewing machine/needle and thread
Hemming tape & iron (optional)
Hemming tape & iron (optional)
Estimated skill level: 0
Estimated time: 40 minutes
Step one: Ensure your scarf is washable (else you're not going to be able to wear it more than once!) and fold it in half so that the nicely printed side faces in on itself.
Step two: Measure how big you would like the arm holes to be from the fold, for this you can either use part of the pattern as a guide or measure with a tape measure and mark using chalk or pencil. Remember that kimono sleeves are supposed to be floaty, I used a little black line on the pattern around the 10" mark.
Step three: Thread your machine. Considering the last time I sewed using a machine (I was fourteen and my Mum ended up taking pity on me and doing the majority of my DT project for me because yes, I was in fact that bad). I found the Janome Mini Sewing Machine* surprisingly easy to thread once I'd deciphered which way the thread was headed in their handy diagrams. And if I can do it - you have absolutely no excuse (alternatively you can hand sew, I suppose...).
Step four: For this step I'm going to steal a quick screenshot of LaurDIY's Youtube video explaining exactly where you need to cut and sew:
Step five: After making sure the scarf is straight, make sure you pin through both layers close to where you're going to sew. Next hop on the machine using a simple straight stitch and a few reverse stitches at the beginning and end to secure. This is super easy as the machine keeps a steady pace and doesn't run off with your fabric! And, to make the reverse stitch all you have to do is flip the handy lever on the front of the machine.
You've now made the sides of your kimono and the arm holes. I told you this was easy.
Step six: Turn the kimono the right way round and cut up the middle of the top layer of the scarf to make the opening (refer to the diagram in step four if you need to). For this I used pinking shears to reduce fraying, but regular scissors will do just fine.
Step seven (optional): As my scarf was a little flimsy I used hemming tape as well as my sewing machine* to hem both sides of the opening. As the hemming tape was too thick I cut it in half, ironed it on (as per instructions) and then pinned and allowed to cool before sewing.
Step eight: If you haven't already, fold over the newly cut sides and sew both hems of the opening using the machine (you can do this as one continuous stitch).
And you're done! Wear your finished kimono with pride.
I'd like to thank the lovely people at Hobbycraft for providing me with my very own sewing machine* that's simple enough and portable enough for me to get the hang of and cart between my house and university. Who knows, maybe this time next year I'll be teaching you how to make a prom dress...
Let me know in the comments below any sewing DIYs you'd like me to do over summer!