June 26, 2012

Stretch Tabi and new komon

I made another pair of stretch tabi. This time I did a tutorial on how to use the stretch tabi sewing pattern to make lined stretch tabi. I posted the tutorial on the Seattle Kimono Club page, here is the link for the tutorial, I will just post some pictures of the finished tabi here.

The lighting wasn't very good, so they look sort of blue in these pictures, however the true color is a light tan-gold. The fabric is very shiny, like stretchy satin.

This picture shows the true color!

Very shiny!! I like unusual items, and I think the satin-like shine makes these unique.

I recently got a new kimono. I found it at a thrift store, so I am happy to find it in perfect condition. It is a modern washable komon (my first!). I am so used to antique kimono and yukata, so I am surprised at how large modern kimono are. The wingspan is almost too big on me, but I like that feeling when the sleeves cover my hands!

 Ochre color isn't very good for me, but the latice and pink flowers are very feminine looking, so I think I can wear it in a girly way and not look like an old lady in this color. I am envisioning this with a white or cream obi and a lace parasol.

Although, I have no idea what flower this is! I may have to ask the Immortal Geisha Forums to see if anyone knows the flower. If any of my readers know, please tell me!!

Other new crafts: My husband asked me to make a dice bag / kinchaku for him. He picked out this fabric.

 My current project is making another yukata. I have had this vintage see-through cotton fabric for a long time, and I have A LOT of it. The majority of the fabric is rose buds, and a band of roses. I'm going to call this fabric "shabby chic", it looks like something I would see used as curtains or something in a cute little cottage. I am going to make it in the style of katamigawari. Since the fabric is very sheer, I may make a light summer juban to go with it, or at least sleeves to attach to a hadajuban so that my arms aren't seen through the sleeves..

June 17, 2012

A few new things

At yesterday's kimono fashion show in my previous post, the kimono master was impressed to see some of us in the audience who were wearing kimono. She asked us to all come up towards the stage as she wanted to give us all a gift. It was unexpected, even the emcee/translator was taken aback! Yu Ugawa-sensei described each of our ensembles to the audience and complemented us. (She liked my han'eri and hairstyle <3 ) We were all given a gift of cute gauze handkerchiefs. I'm so touched, it was a surprise!

Here is the handkerchief that I received, the pattern is anesama dolls:

After socializing at the end of the kimono show, the three of us in the kimono club went to Hosekibako, the Japanese antique shop that Shannon and I went to last time we were in Seattle. Shannon had just started working there as a volunteer, and she told us about some new kimono items the shop just received! Shannon got a very nice extra-long pink iromuji that she had her eyes on.

We spent a long time in the shop browsing through every thing they had!! I found a little pair of okobo, and I was surprised to find that they fit me!! I'm so lucky to have tiny feet...!
They were so fun to walk in <3 I didn't buy them... why didn't I buy them..?!? I don't think I have a use for them. I don't do Nihon-buyo anymore, and I don't really have any plans to do maiko henshin, but at the same time they were so affordable (I don't remember how much, probably only $15 or so!) and very nice condition. I may have to make an excuse to go back to the shop..

Seriously, anyone who lives in the Seattle area, visit Hosekibako. They have so much good stuff at great prices, and the proceeds go towards programs and events held by the JCCCW.

I only had a small purchase this time, a brocade card holder for my business cards. I handed out a lot of business cards for the Seattle/Tacoma Kimono Club while we were socializing after the kimono show, and the only thing I had to hold my cards was a flimsy origami card envelope I had made.
Only 50 cents, I'm such a big spender!

As we were leaving Hosekibako, a man asked me "Are you Amanda from Kimono Life?" It made me so happy, thank you! I am so happy that I can share my experiences of kimono and visiting the various Japanese culture events in the Seattle area!

After shopping, we went to Samurai Noodle for lunch, and to trade some of our kimono items after we ate. I traded a maki'e kanzashi and a pair of zouri (that were in need of repair) for an obijime and a scrap of ro fabric.

I like this color, I think it is versatile.

I have no summer weight kimono items (except for a horribly stained ro obi I was given), so I want to try and get some more summer items. I think I can use this ro fabric to make a han'eri or obiage (or both, it is rather long)

I also bought this uchiwa recently. It is very similar to one I already have, but I figure I can never have too many uchiwa!

Kimono Fashion Show

Yesterday, I attended a kimono fashion show with two ladies from our Seattle/Tacoma Kimono Club! We had a lot of fun seeing all the beautiful kimono ensembles. You can see all of the photos on our Facebook group page, or on the club's blog linked above, but here are some of my favorites:

This is what I wore, the same polyester kimono I wore when Shannon and I went shopping. Once again, my obi is too low on my waist, but it isn't bad.

Group shot of us kimono club members. Me, Katie, and Shannon. I wish I could have gotten a full body picture, but there wasn't much space for picture taking in the seats.

 Tsumugi kimono/haori set, worn in a non-traditional way.

I apologize for the dark photo! Beautiful soft green houmongi.

Musubi shot.

I loved the accessories with this model's brown furisode. She is wearing a silver hanhaba obi with a huge gold obidome, and a gold and pearl obi kazari that is shaped like an obiage. Her real obiage is completely hidden behind the obi kazari.

It was very hot and humid, these two models in fully lined furisode were suffering. The girl in pink pulled open her collar and showed me that she had cotton padding on her collar bones that was at least an inch thick, plus she had her regular clothes underneath.

Even though the three of us kimono club members were each wearing hitoe kimono, appropriate for the month of June, we were also very hot sitting inside. I had brought a fan with me, so we took turns using it. Except Shannon who was smart and skipped the nagajuban and used a kantan eri. One thing that I found interested that the kimono master, Yu Ugawa, said during the kimono presentation, was that nowadays it is acceptable to even wear lined kimono to events all year round, because most places have air conditioning. In fact, many of the audience members who wore kimono did wear awase kimono, including the wife of the Consul General of Japan. Interesting that a kimono master would point out that this kitsuke "rule" isn't as strictly adhered to anymore. Perhaps I won't feel so bad about wearing my lined furisode for my birthday in August!

During the question & answer session, someone asked Ugawa-sensei what the cut off age was for wearing furisode, and I felt giddy when her answer was the exact same as what I mentioned on the Immortal Geisha forums: she mentioned Japanese celebrity Tetsuko Kuroyanagi who still wears furisode at 80 years old! Even though I am almost 30 years old, I still want to wear furisode sometimes!

It was so much fun, I can't wait until the next kimono club outing! After the kimono show, there was a sign up sheet for information for an upcoming kitsuke class. The details haven't been set yet, but it seems it will be a two-day lesson taught by Yu Ugawa-sensei. If it is reasonably affordable, I would love to check it out!

June 12, 2012

Stretch Tabi

Today, I tried my hand at making stretch tabi. Recently, Saiya-chan of Oranda no Kitsuke posted a sewing pattern for making 25-25.5cm stretch tabi. You can download the pattern at her blog, here.

I have small feet, so the pattern is too big for me, but you can make adjustments as needed. My printer automatically shrinks printouts by adding margins, so when I printed the tabi pattern it was a perfect size for me!

Here are the finished tabi:

The pattern works nicely! This is the first time I wore stretch tabi, they are very comfortable. I thought that I would have to add a band of elastic in the opening of the ankle, but I did not need it. I think they next pair I make I will use two layers of fabric. These feel very light on my feet, I am used to wearing stiff cotton tabi. So I think using two layers of stretchy material will give more stability (and hopefully they will turn out less see-through).

I used a different fabric for the sole of the tabi. I used a cotton brocade with a diamond texture. I was hoping the texture would help the tabi grip better so that the tabi wouldn't be slippery, but it is still rather slippery in comparison to real tabi.

Here you can see the texture of the cotton fabric on the sole. I had hoped it would not slip so much, but I think it the best I could use for now.

Bonus: Matrix keeping my company while I sew!

Yay! Thanks to Saiya-chan for the pattern! I plan to make some more soon!