MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Kimono project comes to successful completion!

Today I finished the kimono I started at Anime LA. I hope to get an insta-Obi made so I can take pix in it soon. I even got out the embroidery floss and embroidered a little cherry blossom at the nape of the's customary if a kimono or haori does not have a back seam (you can get away with that when you use wide Western-style fabrics) that you embroider a little good-luck symbol there. I decided on a cherry blossom because: 1.) we had "Cherry Blossom Time" here in my little corner of the world two weeks or so ago between rainstorms; 2.) a cherry blossom has five petals, reminiscent of the five points of the pentagram, the symbol of humanity as microcosm of the Universe according to Western Magick and Neo-Paganism; and 3.) there were little stylized flowers, some looking like cherry blossoms, in the pattern of the fabric.

I'm very proud...redoing the collar has kind of been a symbol of taking something started by someone else and making it my own. I think this can be easily replicated in the future. Once I figured out the need to angle the front flaps, everything just proceeded from there.

I didn't do this on the sewing machine because I was afraid of screwing the garment up with my spastic sewing. Now that this is out of the way I can concentrate on getting my skills honed with the sewing machine, and then perhaps make a couple more kimonos like this on the machine. I have enough cotton fabric to make one white kimono and one pink/rose kimono ala Fuu from Samurai Champloo... the white one would be worn under the rose/pink one as a "slip". I just have to put it through the wash to pre-shrink it before proceeding. I'm torn about whether I want to take advantage of one of my patterns or just do it the patternless way we did it at Anime LA. If I do it patternless I can keep the patterns for reference material, to see if I can refine the patternless process.

The insta-Obi idea came from not one, not two, but three different commercial patterns. The way I'm going to do it is like this: first, make a long, wide belt that is a little longer than the girth of my waist. Yes, that takes some doing and more fabric than I'd want anyone to know about. I'm thinking a finished width of 6" to 8". It also takes fusible interfacing to give the fabric body. A cord or ribbon that goes four times around the girth of my waist would be attached to the dead center of the belt, and Velcro would be used to fasten the ends of the belt. After attaching the belt and moving it around the waist so that the attached part of the cord would be right in front, I would wind the cord first in back of me, then in front of me, then tie the cord.

The first one I'm going to do is in plain black satin with a gold (not metallic, gold-colored) silky cord. The next one will be the one with the Kitty-chan fabric and some black ribbon to tie it with. I am thinking the Kitty-chan pattern is too busy to wear with the kimono I just finished, but it'll be fine for the future.

Anyway, this gives me a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Yay for me!