Recently I discovered a wonderful hoard of brightly coloured silk scarves in a local vintage clothes shop. Scarves like these are often quite easy to find in charity shops and a very cheap way to buy beautiful silk squares. The challenge is to reinvent them and find a new way to give them another life.
This season there have been some lovely kimono style, floaty jackets with a 70’s boho vibe, but they are really pricey and often made from rather disappointing synthetic fabric. So here’s a way to make a beautiful, diaphanous real silk kimono for next to nothing. All you have to do it is to go hunting at your local vintage store or charity shop and get your needle and thread out!
- How To Make A silk Scarf Kimono This should take under an hour if you use a sewing machine, but can be made in around 3-4 hours by hand.
- Choose 2 large silk scarves of similar weight, that go well together.
- Fold the scarf that you want for the main body of the kimono with each side turned over, inwards (as in the 3rd photo above). If you divide the width of the scarf into 5, each side should fold over 2/5s leaving 1/5 in the middle for the back of the neck or collar.
- Take the second scarf and fold it over in half and cut it down the middle from the folded edge to give you 2 sleeves, fold and hem the rough edges.
- Now cut the armholes by measuring the depth of the sleeve shoulder edge against the folded edge of the main body scarf (as in 4th photo) cut the openings to match the sleeves.
- Thinly fold over and hem the rough edges that you have just cut, try to keep the edges as neat and thin as possible.
- Sew along the shoulder seam joins, where the top original edges of main folded scarf meet.
- Join the sleeve seams from the cuff up to the armholes.
- Now turn the sleeves and body inside out and insert each sleeve into each armhole, sew the seams together on the inside.
- Spend a little time hand neatening the joins and endings, making sure you have no loose threads or untidy bits.
- Turn your kimono round the right way and iron it carefully.
- Enjoy wafting around in your beautiful, original silk kimono!