How to Make a Cool DIY Kimono Cardigan Out of a Men's Shirt

11 Materials
2 Hours

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a DIY kimono cardigan out of an oversized men’s shirt. This loose-fitting and trendy coverup is perfect as a stylish light jacket. Plus, it's really quick and simple to make.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized shirt
  • Fringe
  • Lingerie elastic
  • Ruler
  • Marking tool
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle (optional)
  • Thread
  • Seam ripper
Make a DIY kimono cardigan from a men's shirt

Cutting out the collar of the shirt

1. Remove the collar

First thing’s first, get rid of the collar before diving into the other steps. So, with a handy pair of scissors, cut around the collar area, as shown. 

Marking the front of the DIY kimono cardigan

2. Adjust the front opening

Fold the shirt in half, and with chalk and a ruler, draw a subtle diagonal line along the sides of the front panels and pin both layers along the marked line. The reason why it’s best to fold your shirt is to ensure that the new line is even on both sides.

Cutting off the excess fabric

Next, cut out the excess fabric. Make sure you are cutting through two layers.

DIY kimono cardigan tutorial

3. Remove excess fabric

With a seam ripper, remove any remaining fabric from the original fold. Mine was situated at the bottom. 

Lingerie elastic

Pinning decorative elastic to the DIY kimono

4. Attach the lingerie elastic

Attach your pretty lingerie elastic to the raw edges of the front openings. If you have frills or scallops, make sure to pin them away from the raw edge. Also, go around the neckline for an overall uniform and clean finish! 

Sewing a DIY kimono cardigan

Now, sew the lingerie elastic on your DIY kimono cardigan. Then, remove any excess elastic at the ends.

How to make a DIY kimono cover-up

Now, fold the elastic over to the wrong side (once) and sew with a straight stitch on the right side of the fabric to secure. 

Attaching fringe to the DIY kimono

5. Attach the fringe

Pin the fringe to the bottom of your kimono, leaving about ½ an inch at the beginning. 

Sewing the fringe onto the kimono

Before you begin sewing, fold in the ½ inch tail of the fringe first. Also, fold the end of the other side before you complete sewing the fringe. 

DIY kimono tutorial

Now, sew a straight stitch below the first stitch, so that the fringe is secured. 

Removing the wire from the fringe

Here’s the fun part! Remove the main wire from the bottom of the fringe.

DIY kimono cardigan from the back

DIY kimono cardigan from the front

DIY kimono cardigan tutorial

Now it’s time to show off your dazzling new DIY kimono cover-up! How beautiful does it look? It looks as good as new and no one would ever guess that this DIY kimono cardigan was once upon a time, a boring old men’s shirt.

Let me know what you think of this transformation in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized shirt
  • Fringe
  • Lingerie elastic
See all materials

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3 of 10 comments
  • Chynna Chynna on Sep 17, 2021

    I love it, but do not understand the reason for the elastic around the edge.

    • Hi Chynna. The elastic is just a decorative element. You can finish the raw edge however you like. For example, you can use lace or just fold the raw edge under. Thanks so much for reading/watching, and if you try it, I hope this works out for you. 🙂

  • Teresa D. Teresa D. on Apr 04, 2024