If you want to MAKE something special, you must BELIEVE that it is special. ~ Master Shifu ~
from Kung Fu Panda, the movie produced by DreamWorks Animation, 2008
LOL! How true!
Each evening I race home to take off my street clothes and get into something flowing and comfortable so I am developing a wardrobe for that purpose
I am so excited to have finally finished my “kimono”! I put the word kimono in quotes because I have modified it to be very easy to throw on and to wear. My kimono is a cross between a kimono and the kimono undergarment called a nagajuban. Here is a good link for more information about kimono:
Here is information about kimono undergarments
A traditional kimono and obi is very costly and can require no less than 9 ties to close and hold the draping in the correct positions. I did not have the fabric for an obi and did not want to use the obi I had inherited from my Mother in Law that I showed at The Stitchery a few weeks ago. But I love wearing an obi, especially when I spend long hours at the sewing machine, it helps me sit up straight. I don’t like taking the time to tie one on properly. I ordered one with a pre-tied bow from an ebay seller and can use it with the other kimonos I have. I also bought a date jime in red silk. The box hasn’t arrived yet.
Long lengths of silk are missing from my stash: I only had one from a Michael’s Fabrics bundle, that would be enough fabric, a sea green cloque
The lining is made of blue silk twill to stabilize the bodice. This is the only fabric I used that is appropriate for making a kimono. But I pressed on, determined to use only stash. I found a silk georgette to flow around the legs, to peek out when walking and to show at the sleeves. Both the cloque and georgette stretch by different degrees. They are not recommended kimono fabrics if you are wanting to be accurate in recreating a proper kimono.
With no wish to present a traditional kimono when all I want to do is wrap up in luxurious silks in the evening, I cut the kimono short so there is no folding at the waist and the front is shorter so there is no chance to trip when using stairs
Kimono sleeves are very handy for carrying things like a cell phone or pager. I never can find that cell phone when it rings!
I used the georgette as a sleeve facing, appliqued over the top of the blue twill lining
Now I have to make an undergarment to keep the kimono clean. I will make a simple wrap top with side ties, wide elbow length set in sleeves and kimono collar out of a soft white cotton, again from the stash. I’ll have to again “wing it” on the pattern.
The book, Making Kimono & Japanese Clothes, by Jenni Dobson, that I used to make my husband’s unlined kimono was a disaster for making a woman’s lined kimono. There are about 30″ missing from the pattern, probably due to reduction for printing. The instructions for the lining seem straight forward enough but do not work for inserting a proper sleeve. I had to use the instructions from the OOP Simplicity 5839 pattern to work out the origami that is the sewing of a lined kimono and had to stitch each seam at least twice. I talked about these two resources here
I now need to make a couple of han juban style undershirts that can be laundered regularly.
Even though the making of it was one nightmare after another this kimono gives me an unequaled feeling of luxury when relaxing at home. I hardly want to take it off.