26 December 2011

Finished Kimono - Part Two

Day Six - 24th December

After yesterdays challenge, I was confident I could get the collar done quickly.  Opps!

First step was attaching the first layer of collar to the kimono body.  In the DVD, the seamstress was able to lie her kimono flat but I had real trouble here.  Then there was the markings that I was suppose to follow, they didn't go as according to plan.  For example, the hemmed edge of the okumi panel was not high enough to be covered by the collar so there is some raw edge poking out.  Not that you will see it because it is on the inside but something to remember!

There was a lot of small things that make attaching the collar tricky but now I have done it, I know how to improve.

First the positioning of the reinforcements needed for the collar.  I sewed them too far away from the seam which means you can see a line of stitching on the outside.

I going to blame this on the book because in the DVD the lady didn't sew them on like the book show me!  

Second more dodgy stitching but this time blind stitch.

Day Seven - 25 December

Nothing!  It was Christmas Day and I wanted to spend the day eating, drinking and watching my husband play games.

Day Eight - 26 December

Finally the sleeves are being attached.  I am not sure if I have followed the markings that I made but did follow the method of sewing so it is accurate enough with construction.

And here is the result.

Fortunately from a distance you can not see the mistakes I made.

And from this distance, the collar looks quite good.

Now I need to buy more fabric and wear this one.

Finished Kimono - Part One

What have I been doing since my last post since 15th December?  Well the fabric that I brought arrived on 19th December and since then I have been busy making my kimono.

This was how the week progressed for me.

Day One - 19th December

Received fabric only to find that they sent me 5 yds rather then 5 ms of fabric.  Lucky I only needed 4.4 metres but it was annoying to receive goods that were not what you paid for.  Anyway there was no point in complaining but the next time I order from them which I might I will mention it.

All I did that day was go through the measurements, cut the fabric into 36 cms wide pieces and marked the body panels ready for sewing.

Day Two - 20th December

Got up a bit late and since I had a Christmas lunch to attend I only managed to sew the two rows of stitching for the back seam.

I said I was going to part machine and part hand sew this kimono but in the end I choose to sew it all by hand because I need the practice and to see how long it would take.

I tell you something, it is not easy sewing long straight and even running stitches.  I tried my method but it takes a long time to sew.  However when I tried the Japanese method it was quicker but harder to create even stitches.  I suppose with a bit more practice I will get the hang of it.

Day Three - 21th December

Taking things slowly, I sewed the horizontal back seams and for some reason I decided to make the sleeves.

The sleeves themselves were easy to make and the only thing that is complicated is the armhole.  I made a template for the kimono curve which was just the curve of a 8cm in diameter circle.  Not the correct curve but I had a used cardboard cylinder that was at hand so I thought why not use this cylinder to create the curve.  Later I will make proper card templates.

Again the problem of sewing straight and even running stitch is still troubling me and it is a running theme.

Day Four - 22th December

Now to tackle the side seams and arm holes on body panel.  

The challenge here was the arm holes because they needed to be as flat as possible to prevent any bulk fabric from showing.  

Also that night I cut out the okumi and collar panels and marked up the okumi panel ready for tomorrow works.

Day Five - 23rd December

I have heard attaching the okumi panels was tricky and although the first part of sewing the hem wasn't too bad, the rest of it was a bit of a pain.

There was a lot of fudging here because I wasn't sure what the diagrams were trying to say and how the markings I made earlier were used.  All I knew was the overall look that needed to be achieved so I went with my intuition here.

I hope it was good though.

Here is some dodgy sewing!

15 December 2011

DIY kimono time!

You may have guessed that I am a kimono fan/addict but I have reached a stalling point in my collection.

In the past I would go onto ebay and find many kimono that I would love to wear however now it is completely different.  Although I am still finding kimono that I would like to own, none of them are ones that I would like to wear.  I do not know what has brought this on but it is for the best because it was a huge drain on my finance.

So how am I am going to resolve this?  Well it is time to complete one of my things on my To-Do list, make a kimono!

I have been talking about this for ages and I have reached the point that I am tired of hearing myself saying it so when my friend went to Japan I asked her to buy me a kimono making book and some kimono making tools.  

This is the book that she got for me.

I have already had the chance to look at this book so I know it contains detailed instructions in constructing a kimono if you can decipher the Japanese measurements.  Which is what I did for the last two days!

I literally I spent the 2 days studying the pictures and re-drawing some of the diagrams so I understood what the markings and measurements are needed.  It appears that there is a lot of preparation in making a kimono because when I watched the DVD, the lady didn't do a lot of measurements once she began to put the kimono together.

However now I am confident that I have all the measurements in my head and I have brought my fabric.  Nothing exciting, just some green polycotton which will make a perfect summer kimono.

Although I think I can wear it if I make a nice warm juban.

Well wish me luck and I will keep you posted!

12 December 2011

Snowflake Kanzashi

A couple of months ago I attended the Something Old Vintage wedding fair in Sheffield and Ruth Coe from Sweet Words Stationary said she would love to have some of my kanzashi in her winter themed photoshoot.

Unfortunately, the photoshoot was on the same day as my exam so I was unable to attend but I sent some winter themed kanzashi for her to use and here is the result!

They are gorgeous are they not?

You can see the rest of the wonderful photographs on Sweet Words blog here.

Kimono de Jack UK meetup in Birmingahm.

Well it is the end of another year and my Kimono de Jack UK friends could not end 2011 without another Christmas meetup in Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas market.

Full of Christmas food, drink and gifts, you can't help but feel festive.

We started off our celebration with a nice mug of hot wine (or hot chocolate).

Well it was a cold day and the drinks certainly helped with the cold.

So bottoms up!

After our little tipple, it was time for a little lunch before heading indoors to the Lost in Lace exhibition at Gas  Hall in Birmingham.

It was full of lovely examples of modern interpretation of lace which was not what I was expecting but none the less very interesting.  Also it was the perfect place to take photos.

Just look at this crystal structure, it looks absolutely stunning and does remind me of a mathematical model but I can't put a name to it at the moment.

Anyway we couldn't stay in there all the time because some of us wanted some desserts.  So off to the Christmas market again.

I have waited a whole year for this treat and being lactose intolerant, I am going to suffer but I can't resist!

Yep it was good!  Really good!  In fact, plate licking good!

But April and I were not the only ones enjoying dessert.  Here is Liz enjoying some healthy fruit.

By this time, our feet were telling us to give them a little break so we stopped off in a coffee shop to relax and look at the latest Kera magazine that Liz brought back from Japan.  I wish I could get these sort of magazines in the UK.

A completely enjoyable day, which I hope we carry on into the future because it is a lot of fun!

Roll on 2012 and next meetup which is planned in Oxford.

1 December 2011

What have I been up to for the last couple of days?

You may be wondering why I have not posted something on my blog?

Well here is the reason!

My friend and I have finally got moving and made our first kimono videos where we show you how to wear kimono on your own.

There is plenty of kitsuke videos but they are either they are in Japanese or do not show you clearly how to do things.  In our videos, we intend to address these two issues.

The first two videos are just plain videos with no subtitles or voices because it seem perfectly clear what we are doing!  They are video on how to tie there Kamifusen or "Paper Balloon" musubi on your own and it is a very cute and comfortable musubi to wear.

Kamifusen Musubi Obi Part One

Kamifusen Musubi Obi Part 2

I hope you enjoy them!