I've been busily getting everything together for the Seattle Kimono de Jack this Friday.
Originally I was going to wear this kimono to the Kimono Jack/Concert:
It's actually a furisode, but I was going to cut the sleeves short to make it a houmongi, so I can wear it publicly since I'm almost 30 and married. Here's an older photo of it when I wore it in 2005. The obi was a kakeshita obi, and it was so floppy that it ended up sagging and looking sad.
I love the pattern and colors of this ensemble with the peacock feather obi, and I feel it matches the ritzy concert event I'm going to, however I did not like it on me once I put it on:
No makeup and hurried kitsuke. Honestly it doesn't look bad and I still like it. But I didn't like the way it looked with the sleeves shortened to fit my nagajuban:
I don't know why, but I didn't feel like it was as flattering as my second option once I had tried it on.
Here was my option number two, the outfit I've decided to go with! Immortal Geisha forums members helped convince me that this was a great option for the event, and after I tried it on I was totally convinced that this one is flattering on me.
Dark picture and no makeup (not that you could tell, it's so dark.) I'm starting to love dark colors more and more. I'm actually not going to use a date'eri like when I took this pic.
I actually consider this to be one of my favorite kimono. It is an irotomesode, even though it has a design on the back of the right sleeve. I've probably worn it the most often. It is burgundy chirimen with a woven design using gold and silvery thread. It's not very shiny metallic, but it looks like glitter when in the light. Its actually constructed strangely in the sleeves. The sleeves are rather narrow, only 12 inches wide. My nagajuban sleeves are much wider than this kimono's sleeves. The sleeves are long, just the way I like them! But the sleeve with the design woven on it isn't lined up correctly. The design actually stops nearly an inch from the bottom and open edge of the sleeve. I think that the person who sewed it made a measuring mistake and that is why the design is off on the sleeve and why the sleeves are so narrow.
I like the pattern of this obi very much, but when I got it I found that it really is in terrible shape. The backside is discolored and the front had deep fold lines that I could not iron out. It is also too short for me to tie. I decided to turn it into a tsuke obi. I had to plan my cuts very carefully to make sure I had enough fabric to make a tsuke obi out of it. Honestly I didn't have enough initially to make it so that the te section could be patterned (I just didn't like having the discolored cream part visible inside my otaiko musubi) so I cut some of the patterned fabric that was on the inside part of the waist section that you can't see when worn in order to make the te section of the musubi.
After I had unstitched the obi I was able to get rid of most of the stubburn creases. There are still a few, but the whole of the fabric is a big improvement from what it was!
Here is the finished product!
I don't actually have a nagajuban with sleeves that can be extended long enough to fit this kimono, so I ended up making some. I ended up going with some plain off-white lining material I had. It fit best with the subdued look I was going for. I only had enough material to make hitoe juban sleeves, but that's fine by me, it's been getting warm around here. I actually prefer to wear nibushiki-style juban, with sleeves attached to a hadajuban I have that is specifically meant to be worn that way. I actually attached the juban sleeves to the kimono, I feel it keeps the sleeves layered better that way.
I did a practice kitsuke today. More small, dark pictures. I hope to figure out a better way to take pictures soon.
Practiced how I want to do my hair. I've got no real experience with doing side swept bangs, so I need all the practice I can get. I decided to do a smoky eyeshadow using a shade of greyish green in the design of the kimono.
My son wouldn't let daddy take pictures of mommy unless he could be in them too!
You can see on my right sleeve how the design stops before reaching the edge of the sleeve.
Yes, I'm very glad I turned this into a tsuke obi. It looks soo pretty! On a personal note, I didn't realize how different I look now that I'm 50lbs skinnier. I dug up a picture from 2008 where I am wearing this same kimono, when I was 50lbs bigger. Part of me doesn't like seeing this on the internet, but I feel it's great to show how much progress I've made!
You can really see it in my face, and how my obi seems to be disappearing into some unknown abyss.
I wanted to show some of the little things in the ensemble you can't see well in the other photos (how long can I make this blog post!)
High heeled black zouri (3.5 inch heels!), handmade flowers for my hair, black kanzashi, gold fan, and beaded bag.
The kanzashi has chrysanthemum, bamboo, and ume.
Zouri have chrysanthemum. I suppose I have a theme to this outfit.
The flowers match the obi. I thought about adding more peach to the coordination, but I didn't feel it benefited the design of the kimono very well, so I opted for more black and white and just one accessory of a different color.
My bag is very small, so I have to be picky about what I bring with me. I've only got enough room for my cell phone, camera, comb, mirror and lip gloss.
Alright, I've rattled on long enough! I hope to take tons of pictures at the Kimono de Jack and concert! I tend to take a lot of pictures, even though I'm terrible with a camera. Oh well, I look forward to sharing!