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One of the best ways to be responsible with your style choices, in my opinion, is to embrace DIY fashion and thrifting. It’s easily the most fun form of recycling, am I right? And I mean who doesn’t like spending $2 on a shirt??
I knew there had to be a use for all those super soft t-shirts that were just too big for me. I also knew I wanted a kimono, but I knew I could make one. Unfortunately I just moved and my sewing machine is in storage. So a no-sew, DIY kimono it is!
DIY Kimono Supplies:
- Oversize t-shirt
- 2 yards of fabric trim (any kind will do; tassel, feather, ruffles, whatever suits your style)
- Permanent fabric glue
- Fray stopper (if your trim will fray like mine)
- Fabric pencil/marker/chalk
- Fabric scissors
- Ball point needle & matching thread (if you want extra reinforcement, totally optional)
If you have to buy everything, excluding scissors and needles, this will cost about $15. This project will only take you about an hour (if that), excluding glue-drying time.
See that blue ribbon? Didn’t use it. It was not ribbon, it was elastic. 🙂 Always read the label, guys, always read the label. But a contrasting ribbon would be a nice touch, don’t you think?
Lay your shirt out flat, and find the center. You can mark it with your pencil to help you cut straight, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. 🙂
Cut down the entire center, including the collar, on the top layer only.
You’ll now have a vest-type deal, so let’s kimono it instead.
Sketch out a curved neckline (see below), or you can just free-hand it like I did. You want to take off the whole collar and leave a nice, smooth line.
Trim up any jagged edges (it still doesn’t have to be perfect). Then stretch the fabric along the cuts. Stretch vertically down the middle, and side to side on the back of the collar. This will roll up the raw edge for you, no need to hem. You’ve probably seen t-shirts with this unfinished edge before.
You can tug pretty hard for most of it, just be gentle on the top shoulder seams or they will rip. 🙂
Now flip your kimono over to the back and lay your trim on top of it.
Put fray stopper on the edges if you need to.
If not, get your permanent fabric glue and start running a steady line beneath the top edge of your trim. I used the top stitching of the bottom hem as a guide. Press the trim down gently as you go.
Most good-quality glues will dry clear, so don’t worry too much about any show-through. If you make a big mistake, you can wipe it up while it’s still wet with a warm rag.
Let the glue get tacky for a few minutes. Then, press the trim down firmly with your fingers along the glue line. Let it all dry flat and undisturbed for the recommended time. Mine dried for about 3 hours.
Now because I’m paranoid, I also hand stitched my trim in place. A simple running or whip stitch will do the trick. You can also just do this instead of gluing. Use ball point needles on knits (t-shirt material), so you don’t split the tiny threads that make up the fabric.
You don’t have to hand sew. Permanent fabric glue will be washer-safe in cool water, on the gentle cycle. You do have to wait a few days for the glue to fully cure before washing, just follow the instructions. If you plan to do a lot of embellishing type DIYs, I would spend the $3 on mesh laundry bags so you can be extra-gentle when washing your creations.
That’s it! I couldn’t believe how quick and simple this was, and I was taking pictures of the whole thing. You can knock this out in no time and it’s a great addition to your wardrobe. Or a friend’s, if you need a quick gift. 😉
Think you’ll make a DIY kimono? Tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see it! @ceiltastic