How to make a 'straight' sized kimono work for bigger bodies

Hi pickles,

As many of you may know, I have a thing about kimonos at the moment, and they're everywhere. They're voluminous and airy, and plus size ones are generally twice the price of ones for smaller peeps. So, what to do? Find one the width of your body and unpick the inner seams they invariably put about 5 inches from the edges on both sides of the kaftan. (See photo 2 below.)

You'll need:
  • A kimono
  • A stitch ripper - I got mine on eBay but I can't link you right now. I need to reset my password before the cockwombles will allow me to do anything, and they keep not sending me the link to do it. Stitch rippers are also available in haberdashery shops.
  • Some time and patience (I have Take That's Patience in my head now. So do you. Ha.)

I bought this kimono from H&M and it was tighter than a gimp mask in August. Why?

Well, it's a generous XL, but it's hemmed in about 5 inches away from the edge of the kaftan on both sides (the outer edges are loose.) A lot of kaftans are made like this, maybe it's to give the edges some frill or whatnot. We can make the most of this extra space.

(Kaftan is sideways.) Top of pic - outer (loose) edge. Bottom of pic - pointless width-restricting seam.

You stabby wee bugger. I like you.

So, you unpick the nonsensical inner seams on both sides to give you some easy breezy room for your luscious self to move and be awesome in. What you'll find is the first few stitches are oversewn so they're a bit of a bugger to rip, but once those ones are you can unloop the rest of the stitches as you go, or rip them all - it depends on how much unspent aggression you have in you. I like a mix of stitch ripping and unlooping, which results in long strands of thread all about your person.

Basically you're now wearing something akin to a poncho (as you have open sides) with a waist tie, but instead of smelling of old goat and marijuana you smell of success and smugness. Go out and buy straight sized kaftans and rock your bad self in them. I got 99 problems but the stitch ain't one.

Ah, and if you do get a bit too stabby and put a hole in your kimono instead of tearing a stitch, put a dob of clear nail varnish on it and it should stop it from fraying.

I *might* be writing this a lil' bit inebriated, just in case you were wondering. I hope it makes sense?!

What alternations do you make to clothes to fit you?

Now I can see how simple kaftans are to make I might invest in some gauzy fabric and make myself some. It's about time I got some use out of my sewing machine.

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