DIY Celebrity-Inspired Kimono

Good morning, everyone.  Hope you are having a happy Sunday wherever you are.  Today I wanted to share with you my new kimono that is semi-homemade.  (Sandra Lee would be so proud, hehe!)  Kimonos are crazy hot right now, and I am butt-crazy in love with them.  I only have two, one of which is my handmade one, and I just adore them.  I love the whole boho-chic look anyways, effortless and easy while still being fashionable.  You can't beat it.  It was love at first sight when I spotted the Wayf Kimono on Jessica Alba and Kourtney Kardashian.

Those are SO my colors and I adore every aspect of this kimono.  The light, airy polyester fabric, the silky macrame fringe.  Ahhh.  So of course I went on the hunt for it, sold exclusively at Nordstrom, of course it was sold out.  Still is, can't find it, even on ebay, or ANYWHERE else for that matter.  Never one to totally give up, I kept my eye out for similarities.

Nikki Ferrell on 'The Bachelor' sported a shorter, similar version, the Arlene Kimono Wrap.  I don't like this one nearly as much, but would have settled for this one.  I'm not crazy about the white fringe on the arms and the lack of silky fringe on the bottom, but the mint/aqua blue/green color and floral pattern is gorgeous.  This one was also sold out and no longer available, so that's when I said 'HECK WITH IT' and set out on a mission to make my own.  I first tried to find a scarf with a print that was similar.  Forever 21 and Target both previously had scarves that would have worked perfectly, but those were yep, you guessed it, no longer available.  I couldn't find anything from any fabric site that was along the lines of what I was looking for.  Then I stumbled upon this poncho on Amazon.

One look at this and I was like BINGO.   An oversized poncho with lots of fabric, I new this would be the perfect item to cut up and reconstruct into what I was looking for.  And for 20 bucks it was a WHOLE lot cheaper than the Wayf kimono.  I'm no seamstress, but I figured a loose, flowly kimono shouldn't be too hard to make, right?

This was the poncho when I received it.  Straight out of the bag it was a really pretty item, just really HUGE and flowy.  I knew with just a little bit of work I could make this similar to what I had been looking for for quite some time now.  This is what I done:

I made a cut right down the center of the poncho.  I ONLY CUT THE TOP PIECE, because this will be the front of the kimono.  Leave the back in tact.  You don't have to be precise with any of this.  There was no measuring or anything like that, just eyeball it.  Kimonos are so loose and flowy and very forgiving of imperfections in detailing.

The thin polyester material is so slinky it is a little hard to work with.  I turned back my raw, trimmed edges and glued them in place with fabric glue before I stitched them.  It just held everything in place nicely for me.  I first tried to pin it, but the material is heavy and slinky and the pins come out very easily.  This was a great solution for me.  Don't use too much, just a dab here and there.  Go easy on it, otherwise it can give you a big, dark, wet looking spot through your thin fabric.

I found my thread at Wal-Mart and it was spot on for a color match.  I think the shade is 'teal'.

Next, I just did a plain running stitch along my glued-down edges to reinforce things.

Once the front opening of my kimono was done, I moved on to working on the sides.  A kimono has large, flowy sleeves (unlike the boxy poncho).  I eyeballed it, cut out a sleeve, and repeated the above steps on the hems.  Folded back my cut edges, glued them down, then did a simple running stitch to close it up.

So, as you can see, it's starting to take on the look of a kimono more than a boxy poncho.  This is definitely a few inches shorter than the Wayf version, but I kind of like that better.  I didn't really want my kimono to come all the way to my knees.  Mid thigh was what I was aiming for with mine.  If you like a simpler style, you could always leave your kimono like this.  But, where the fabric is so light and airy, without a heavy fringe on the bottom it kind of works it's way up around your neck and you have to keep pulling it back down.  I highly recommend a fringe, it kind of weighs your material down and keeps everything in place.  Plus it just totally transforms the look of it.

I bought two kinds of fringe from Fabric.com:  the 6" Chainette Fringe in mint green and the 3 1/4" Abigail Victorian Lace Fringe Trim in celadon .  For some reason they are showing up in a couple of these photos looking like they are completely different colors.  It must be my lighting, cause they are right at identical.  The Wayf Kimono has a beautiful macrame fringe...

This was the closest I could find to that.  It is a super soft, silky, high quality fringe.  I absolutely love it! For two yards each one of my fringes was like $5.  Really cheap.

I simply laid them flat and glued the lacy one on top of the silky fringe one.

Then, glued them to the bottom of my kimono.  (Again, the fringe is photographing a weird color.  It must be the silky texture.  It matches my kimono exactly).


So there you have it!  If you are looking for a similar kimono hopefully this tutorial gives you some ideas on making one yourself!  It's super easy and I am extremely happy with the results.  Oh, and just so you know, I have washed this a couple of times in the washer and it looks brand new. I wash it in cold water by itself on the gentle cycle and have had zero problems. If you have any questions or any pointers for me, please don't hesitate to contact me!  Lots of love, xoxoxo.
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