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diy fringe kimono

You know how I said that I don’t wear scarves? Well, I suppose I do now! We spoke last week about the things in life that we want to like, but just can’t and I confessed that although I continue buying scarves, I just never ever wear them.  This particular scarf is one of my favorites.  I wanted to look all ‘Bohemian Erin’ in it, but instead it just looked forced.  That is clearly until I had the idea to turn it into this fringed sleeve kimono.

I actually have had this idea wandering around in the back of my brain for at least 10 months.  I saw a gorgeous silk fringed kimono at an art show last September and after seeing the $300 price tag, I thought there had to be a better solution for me.  And now, I’m happy as pie that I waited to create this.

diy fringed cardigan
make a scarf into a kimono
diy fringed kaftan

You know I hate sewing, right?  Like, I despise sewing. I still have a tiny little sewing machine from high school and have banned anyone from getting me a new machine just so that I have a better reason to avoid it completely. Only once in a blue moon is there something I want to make badly enough to break out the machine and this was one of those moments.

You don’t have to have a machine, however, to make this kimono.  In total, there are two very straight stitches and a bit of seam tape (like stitch witchery) which fuses seams together with just an iron. If you want to go the extra mile and add fringe, you can do so by hand, and it wouldn’t take you that long at all!

But, if you do have a machine, and do want to speed things along, this project will take you all of 30 minutes, so I know you can make one! Here is how I did it! 

Kimono DIY tutorial

diy kimono finishing

After you cut the lancet shaped line (only on the front of your ‘kimono’), you’ll use fusing tape (like shown above) to finish the front opening and neck hole.  This creates a bit of a firmer edge than stitching alone, and I avoid sewing in a curved line!  If you’re comfortable sewing, but all means, sew the front opening edges back into a hem if you’d like.

You certainly don’t have to use a trim around the sleeves and bottom, but isn’t the fringe just so much FUN?  Actually, if you use a scarf that already has long fringe, you can just reuse the scraps from the portions you cut to sew onto the sleeves!
extra credit - fringe

diy kimono from a scarf3

I have literally worn this since I shot these photos. I think I’ll also wear it again today. Not Kidding. I’m headed to the zoo with my nephew, Ryland, so I think it will be a nice tribal-cool look for the new pachyderm exhibit.  If I was the kind of person to type lol, I’d do it now.

You are going to love transforming your scarves into this long, chic kimono.  If this isn’t totally your style for everyday wear – you should make it into a swim cover up!  You see?  It’s perfect for all.  Now, no excuses and let’s get to creating!



p.s.  When Matt saw the last photo he said, “slow down for style” in a real creepy voice.  I had to share that bit.

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Latest comments
  • ARE YOU SERIOUS!? You are a freaking genius! I love this and will DEFINITELY be doing this while we’re home in September! There’s certainly no lack of beautiful silk scarves over here, and I’ve been wanting to hop on the kimono train.

    This is amazing, no joke. I’m so impressed.

    Any idea what the dimensions on your scarf were {before cutting it}?

  • I am obsessed with the kimono craze right now — but never thought about doing it myself! LOVE this!

    x Lily

  • Love this! I need to check the dimensions of some of my scarves at home but I am totally on board for this!


  • OMG, you are a genius!! You make it looks so easy!!!

  • This is beyond clever! I have most of my scarves in a hat box and they never get worn… this is a great idea!

  • recently tried a project like this, but i love your kimono sooo much!!

      • I love this idea!!! It’s so pretty & you can buy a bunch of scarves for a lot less than buying a kimono. I need to buy some cute ,cheap scarves & I’ll be making this too. Thank you for sharing the pictures & instructions =]
        Take Care

  • Gahhh!! I love this!! I love the kimono look, but have zero money to splurge. I just went digging around in my closet and found a blue cheetah print infinity scarf that, when opened up, is exactly the same dimensions as yours – it’s a sign, i need to make this asap!! I wonder how quickly i can acquire some of that fancy tape….

  • Love it! What a cool scarf too. I have a bunch of beachy fringed sarongs that you have inspired me to turn into kimono bathing suit cover-ups. Thanks 🙂

  • Nicely done!! Love it!

  • Great idea! I study clothing design and thus sew a lot, and had my teeth clenched at the technique, because I have to make things really carefully and technically “correct” for school. However, I van understand that sewing is definately not for everyone, and as this is to be washed less than say a regular t-shirt, It doesn’t need to be structurally strong enough to last a machine wash. DIY is so much fun, I just hope people would more often diy their things on ways that would last wear. Because I think diy is best done when it gives an item more years, and this idea becomes lost if people excecute their ideas in a sloppy manner, and the item can only take a few times of wear after modified. Not to say your kimono is, just pointing out that I wish people would bother a bit more 🙂 my own occasional diys may be found at my blog, there’s an embellished gladiator sandal project coming up! Tod bit on my IG @thewildethings

  • This is so gorgeous, I’ve spent many MANY hours on pintrest this week oohing & ahhing over kimonos! I’ve now got a cheap pretty butterfly scarf pinned & ready for that scary first cut. Here goes….!! x

  • Thanks so much for this creative idea. I am a new sewer and completing easy projects is encouraging. I plan to use your pattern to make a simple kimono dress. 🙂

  • Hi,

    This looks so much better than store bought kimonos actually 🙂

    I am going to try and do this myself but I need to know what is the measurement that you use for the fringe.

    Thank you,

  • I LOVE this! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • Very cute!

    I found your post through Whimsey Box.

    I am hoping to convince my daughter that I need to make her one of these. 🙂

    I also thought some of your reader who do sew more might enjoy this link:

    Thank you,

  • I love this. I’m not a scarf wearer per say, where can you find scarves this large?

  • okay i am probably completed late on this but how far/how many inches in did you sew the two L shapes ?

  • So brilliant..thanks for using instructions that include magic stitching tape.
    (thats what I call it anyway) Great idea and explained so that we all get it!
    Thanks. Im gonna get started right now!

  • Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thank you

  • Absolutely in love with this kimono! I went straight to the charity shop and bought 3 scarves that look big enough for £1 each. One is more wintery but the others are going to be summer cover ups. One might even be a gift for a friend! I’ve bought this blush/coral pink one and it’s plain, so I’m looking forward to finding some tassels or something to cheer it up! Thanks for the DIY!