I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently. It started with a kimono that I bought on a trip to Calgary. I went to this wonderful shop called Purr and my eyes fell upon a kimono that looked like it was made from a vintage bed sheet or maybe even a table cloth. It was on sale for $39, down from $79, I thought that was a good deal until I went home and looked at the construction of the garment and realized I could make the same thing for less than half the cost in about an hour. I was right.
I found some really easy kimono tutorials, but eventually settled on this one from Brit + Co. I got really excited and kind of cocky and went to town on one of my old but pretty table cloths. I was too focused on preserving the pretty borders and modified the design and you know what? It didn’t work out very well. I tried again with the remaining fabric with less modifications and it still wasn’t very good, but it was better.
A few days later I went to Value Village and found myself in the sheets/linens/material section, and all I could see was kimonos. Kimonos everywhere. I eventually settled on a vintage table cloth and a lovely blush floral patterned piece of fabric. Each piece was under $6, good deal.
I tried again with the blush floral fabric, and didn’t deviate from the pattern and instructions this time. And you know what? Sweet, beautiful success. You don’t have to own a sewing machine to make a kimono, hand stitching will work.
The vintage table cloth worked out incredibly well, too. There was less work involved in that one as the edges were already finished, so it has more of a professional look to it. There is one difference, though. It was a 50″x50″ square, as opposed to the 40″x50″ length that the pattern calls for, and I decided not to modify it. It’s a bit longer in the front and back, but I actually prefer the longer style.
Which brings me to today. It’s Friday and I’m wearing the blush kimono, a pair of Joe Fresh straight-leg jeans, a camisole that I bought at Garage Clothing six or seven years ago, and a pair of flats that I bought at Walmart. I knew that when I started talking about my clothes that I’d be giving up all my style secrets and sins, and yes, from time to time I shop at Walmart.
Today’s very affordable ensemble
Everyone should know that having style shouldn’t be unaffordable. I try not to dabble in fast fashion too often, but I repurpose a lot of pieces. Dresses can be turned into skirts, maxi skirts are now midi skirts, and old t-shirts are now crops or sleeveless. Again, if it doesn’t work out, I haven’t lost much by altering a piece of clothing that was on its way out anyway. Beware of Value Village, though. If you go there with the idea that you can alter things, you’ll buy way too much and end up not wearing most of it. Pick a project, and go with a purpose and a budget. Being open minded at Value Village/thrift stores is a very slippery slope into wardrobe chaos.