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Shima-Mizu
09-06-2002, 03:06 PM
I was wondering if anyone here has ever sewn a kimono before. I'm considering making one so I can go to my next convention as Kaoru from Kenshin. If you've ever made one, or even better, if you have a pattern, I'd be most appreciate. I'm considering ordering the Butterick Kimono pattern
http://store.sewingtoday.com/cgi-bin/butterick/shop.cgi?s.item.6698=x&TI='6698'&pageNum=1&M=&UK=20079447
If you know of a better pattern, or a free one, please let me know...tips on making the kimono would be nice as well---any specific fabrics you guys reccomend that wouldn't cost me too much?

Cait
09-06-2002, 05:55 PM
Actually, I have that pattern. *holds it up* I used the obi part to make my Yuna obi when I realized I didn't have that piece and I needed it in about 5 days. Just don't use a fabric that will catch on the velcro and you're good.... the only matching fabric I could find was all silky and that wasn't pretty afterwards. It's not a real real kimono, but it's nice.

Koumori
09-06-2002, 09:22 PM
Yes, I've sewn quite a few kimono and kimono-based items. Ideally a kimono should be based on your own body measurements (there are instructions for this in "Making Your Own Japanese Clothes") but if you prefer to use a commercial pattern, they're all pretty much the same, since the basic shapes of the pieces are all just plain rectangles. The Butterick/Simplicity/whatever costume patterns may need to be altered by eliminating the shoulder seam and/or adding a back seam. Folkwear also makes a "kimono" pattern - actually a yukata, so you'll need to add a lining, and you'll still likely need to alter the sleeves to make them the right length and width for the effect you want, but as always they are very good with authentic details.

If you plan to wear it traditionally styled, a woman's kimono should be as long as she is tall, adjusted to ankle length by taking a tuck at the waist before you put it on. The sleeves should reach to your wristbones.

I recommend taking the time to read as much as you can about the parts of a kimono outfit and how they go together - they are much more involved than you would think at first glance. One of the few sources in English is "The Book of Kimono," but I would also recommend looking at some kitsuke (kimono dressing) books from Japan if you have the opportunity. They usually have very detailed step by step pictures describing how to put on the various undergarments, the kimono itself, obi and accessories.

I found after making my first kimono out of relatively lightweight material, and then getting some real ones from Japan, that in general, your fabric should be drapey but heavy for fall/winter/spring, and lightly woven but crisp for summer, if you want to get an authentic drape out of it. For the second phase of my Kaoru costume - I did the first one before I knew anything about kimono - I just ended up using one I bought from Japan.

Good luck!

Koumori
09-07-2002, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Koumori

If you plan to wear it traditionally styled, a woman's kimono should be as long as she is tall, adjusted to ankle length by taking a tuck at the waist before you put it on. The sleeves should reach to your wristbones.


Uh, sorry. That should have said "before you put the obi on."

Shima-Mizu
09-08-2002, 08:09 PM
::nods:: thanks for all the insight on this...my dad keeps saying he's going to just go out and buy me a kimono one of these days, but well since that's never happening and I need a new costume, I figure I'll just make it myself that way it can be the correct colors for the character I choose.

Koumori
09-09-2002, 08:57 AM
Sorry for the coredump - kimono dressing has become kind of a special interest/hobby for me.

Shima-Mizu
09-09-2002, 03:00 PM
I don't mind, I'm glad to hear the viewpoint of someone more versed in this than I...as I have next to no knowledge of the art of making / wearing kimono's...