I have a collection of scarves that dates back to the ‘80s (yes….the previous century). I refuse to call them “vintage” because that would put ME in the same category, but they are cherished accessories and I dig them out when I need to add a special touch to an outfit. Scarves seem to be one accessory that transcends fashion trends and fads – they are always in style.
The problem with scarves is that they come in all different sizes, shapes, and fabrics…..and finding the perfect way to tie, drape, or wrap them can be a challenge. I frequently buy a scarf for the beautiful print or color and try to figure out how to wear it later. Unfortunately, “later” doesn’t always happen and the scarf finds its way into the dark recesses of my closet.
SO, I was super excited to find a NEW LIFE for some of my forgotten scarves by turning them into drapey kimonos. It’s so easy to do, and you can find large, square scarves at any retail store that carries accessories (if you don’t have a stash of your own). The beautiful thing is that they are frequently on sale or at clearance prices because no one can really figure out how to make a huge scarf NOT swallow your entire head when you put it on! Well here, my friends, is a wonderful project to add to your list of “Have to Do This with My Big Scarf”……
**The scarf should at least measure from elbow to elbow while you stand with your arms straight out. If it measures less, it looks more like a drapey vest. That might be the look you’re going for. If so, rock on, you fashion soldier.
- Fold the scarf in half – the folded edge will be the top of your kimono which will run from elbow to elbow (across your shoulders).
- Measure from top folded edge DOWN each side for the armhole opening and mark it with a pin. I used 15” for the armholes on each of the kimonos in the pictures.
- With the sides held together, sew up each side to the armhole pin. Secure the stiches at the armhole. **You can use a sewing machine or stitch it by hand. The fabric of some scarves is very fine and thin, so I often prefer to hand stitch it. Depending on the pattern of the scarf, the seam can also be on the outside (without turning it inside out). I usually do an outside seam for scarfs with fringe or lace – it looks cute to have the trim exposed on the outside (see tan/orange kimono – the seam has fringe exposed on the side seam).
- The last step is to cut through the TOP LAYER only for the front opening. The cut is made from the bottom edge up to the fold line, at the CENTER of the top layer (see picture with sewing/cutting notations). Finish the edge by (1) folding it under and sewing, (2) adhesive seam tape, (3) Fray Check (4) just leave it and the let the edge fray out (this, again, depends on the type of fabric and overall “look” you’re going for on the finished kimono).
That’s it – you’ve added a beautiful accessory to your wardrobe that is amazingly versatile! Post questions or comments – I’m here to help, inspire, and entertain!