DIY Kimono from Dress

DIY Kimono refashion

What do you do with a dress that you’ll never wear, but you love the fabric?

My friend unloaded a ton of her clothes on me before moving out of state. Some of them I wasn’t thrilled with, but a few I kept for no other reason than I loved the fabric. She was an impulse buyer and never wore most of the cheaply made dresses bought from places like Forever 21 and Love Culture.

This dress…who wears this stuff?

DIY KimonoDIY Kimono dress sleeve (1 of 1)

The bottom half of the dress seemed sufficient enough to make something with. To clarify, I am 5ft nothing weighing in at almost 100lbs so a lot of things are big on me.

I cut off the bottom half of the dress and removed the stretchy lining. For help and inspiration for this project I used these two sites here and here since I didn’t have a pattern. Luckily my fabric wasn’t too slippery so I didn’t spend time chasing it around my apartment.

My only qualm was that I didn’t have enough fabric to work with so I ended up with a cropped kimono. I even recycled the bias binding from the old dress for my neck band. I patted myself on the back for that one. I also kept the original hemline, which you know, shaves off like 20 minutes of sewing time. Love refashions.

DIY Kimono DIY Kimono refashion

I used the sliver of fabric leftover from the skirt to make bands for the sleeves. This added length to what little sleeve I had. All seams were finished with French seams. My favorite seams of all time.

DIY Kimono

Here’s a few things I learned from this project:

I didn’t even know I wanted a kimono. They serve no function in my wardrobe, but now that I’ve made this teeny one, I kind of want to make a few more. Longer of course.

Next time I’ll round the front panels so they drape better. The corners turn in already giving the illusion that I rounded them off.

DIY Kimono

I don’t look good in a fitted top + kimono. Tops must be drapey + drapey. Like the tank I wore here. It’s Grainline Studio’s Tiny Pocket Tank in white rayon challis. I made it a few years ago and wear it at least once a week in the summer. So this might be my new summer combo before all hell humidity breaks loose.

So there you have it. A tiny kimono draped over a tiny pocket tank.

Thanks for reading!

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  • Suzanne

    Adorable! No one would ever guess it is a refashion. Also, the French seams work perfectly with this fabric and style. Well done!

    • wefthem

      Thank you!

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  • I love the ease of kimonos and had never thought of a cropped kimono. Thanks for sharing this. It gave me a visual that makes me more comfortable with attempting this refashion.

  • Oh I love this! I’m trying to find a way to make my own kimono but I can’t sew! Indeed that fabric was too cute to go to waste! Pinned!