I have been seeing a ton of kimono DIYs lately, and I wanted in on the action. Fortunately, I found this drape-y, silk-y top at a rummage sale for the low, low price of 50 cents! Okay, so it is polyester, but it is washable, which is a definite plus. And it is covered with lovely little peacock feathers.
The gathered waist that made it so unflattering on me was the first thing that needed to go. Here's how it looked before I did anything to it.
I started by unpicking the elastic shirring along the waist. If you ever need to do this, here is an easy trick. On the inside, there will be lines of straight elastic thread that have regular thread stitches looped around them. Use a seam ripper or scissors to cut the elastic thread at each side seam and in the middle. Pick out the tail of one piece of elastic thread, so you can get a good grip on it, and just pull it out. It should slide free of the regular thread pretty easily, especially since it was cut in the middle for a shorter length. Once you have both pieces out, the regular thread can just be lifted off from the outside of the shirt. It only took me about 5 minutes to get all the gathering out this way. Here's what I was left with.
My piece now had the nice boxy kimono shape, but not the opening on the front. I used some sharp scissors to slice it right up the middle, then folded each raw edge over twice about half an inch. Once the sides were stitched down, it was ready to go.
I have been wearing it with tank tops for a little more coverage without getting too warm. Trendy and cost-effective - a win-win. Thanks for reading!