Monday, January 28, 2008

Kimono remake

I feel guilty that I am a quilter but am not showing much in the way of quilts lately. I am hand quilting and I am barely keeping up with my 365 Challenge, but not too much news in either department. And to add guilt to guilt, I was upstairs in the sewing room where I had promised I would be making more Wonky Hearts but instead I remade another kimono!

Tetsu's mother sent more kimonos over to me last week so now I have almost two boxes! Some are not really usable, things like heavy wool kimono coats that are not long and look just like old-fashioned wool coats but have a distinctive low square neck. I don't think I'll ever be able to wear those or sew them up into something else. They'll probably sit in the box another 10 years. Also some lovely heavy lace kimono jackets but I can't see me wearing something like that either. So you see some things do get life re breathed into them at my sewing machine and some things are going to get tossed someday.

I knew we would see Tetsu's mother on Sunday (yesterday) so I suddenly decided Saturday morning that I needed to make something out of one of her kimonos to show her. Saturday morning I dismantled a kimono (that, a job in itself) and then I proceeded to sew it up using a pattern book from the library. These books are enough to make any budding seamstress quit right there! All the pattern lines for all the patterns in the book are printed on one or two pieces of paper. This tangle of lines have arrows pointing here and there trying to tell you which of the 10 styles featured in the book is the right line! And of course you can't cut up the dumb piece of paper. That would mean you could never make any of the other patterns (besides which, remember it is a library book!) You have to trace your chosen lines onto another piece of paper and then cut out what you need. Headaches I'm telling you!

"Dang it all! Where is the style 8's right, front body piece?"

I finally did find all my pieces, traced them all onto paper, cut them out and then got to start cutting kimono fabric. Chose the simplest pattern possible and this is what I ended up with. I think it came out very well. Can't say too much about the model. She looks a little worn from her sewing session, but Tetsu's mother was very pleased that her kimono was getting used again.


Quilt Pixie said...

I'm sure the positive response from Tetsu's mother will inspire you to continue on your re-purposing :-)

The Quilter said...

The fabric is very interesting. I had never seen anything with that sort of woven design. Lovely subtle coloration. And the pattern DOES look like a complete nightmare.

BTW, the small quilt on the wall behind you in the second picture is darling. Is it one of yours?

anne bebbington said...

I think you made a splendid job on that one Tanya - well done for persevering - I'd have stumbled at the first fence (deciphering all those dratted lines) I love the kimono fabric with the cloud/water ripple effect fabric and such a pretty colour!

QuiltingFitzy said...

OMG, I thought it was a picture of a child's coloring, lol. Our old Stretch-n-Sew patterns were the same, ONLY trace the one you want, invariably I'd go off on a tangent and copy part of the wrong line!

Would you ever be interested in wool rug hooking? The wool kimonos would be AWESOME for that. Like you need another hobby, right?

Great job on the top you made, love the collar!

Shelina said...

Quilting is a hobby - you should never feel guilty about not quilting. Do what gives you the most pleasure at the time!
I think it is great that you are repurposing the old kimonos. I'm sure Tetsu's mother is happy to get things out of her house, and into your hands where you do something with it. Be careful though, you will probably wind up with more and more things!

harts4Him said...

You look absolutely marvelous darling! That color on you really is a compliment! You are a great seamstress! And a kind-hearted daughter-in-law for trying to do something so nice for your MIL!


andsewitis Holly said...

Pretty blouse made out of that kimono. I love reading about details of life in Japan. Great pictures. Takumi should have listened to his mother about the bag boy thing :) Imagine what Japanese supermarkets might be like today if he had. Glad Lemi is feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Tanya, the model is quite lovely. The fabric is gorgeous and begs to be worn. I think it best to keep these textiles alive as long as possible.

I'm curious about the cut of the square neck, wool kimono. It's not a pattern that is available in my kimono book.

Does the library have a xerox machine available? A flat copy would made tracing off the right pattern easier. t

Marilyn R said...

I would really think twice about tracing patterns from that book. How confusing! Your finished product is so well worth it! Beautiful!

Christine Thresh said...

That is a lovely top, Tanya. Good for you to plunge in and do it. You look very nice.

Anonymous said...

It is a great top. I made a similar one from a Japanese sewing book and had to draft the pattern based on the dimensions provided. It took a while, but the shirt came out very nice.

I've seen pictures of a lot of Japanese sewing magazines - they all seem to be for smaller women vs. full-figured women. Are there any large-sized women in Japan who like to sew?

(I don't have a google account - I'm not really anonymous!)
- Lori in Watertown, MA