Thursday, 3 January 2008

Altering hitoe kimono

As the weather is colder than I expected, I've had a change of plan re Sunday's kimono possibility - wool should be cosier! The wool hitoe (unlined) kimono above is halfway through alteration to fit. I love the shaded effect, but there are marks on the right front "skirt" section, just about visible in the photo, so I need to make sure the front overlaps well, so these are hidden when I wear it.
Refitting wool kimono is easier than silk and should, in theory, be quicker as there's no lining to resew, but there's more neatening off of seams inside, so it works out about the same. I unpicked one side seam, unpicked the sleeve (sode) from the body (undoing the hem at the back of the sleeve first) and restitched that side seam before doing the same with the other side. This kimono is handsewn (some modern wool kimono are machined, for the seams anyway) so unpicking was easy and I salvaged the silk threads to reuse. I will also move the front overlaps (okumi) a little - although they are sewn in the right place, they ought to be about 1cm wider, and it will make enough of a difference to bother doing it! Once I've dealt with those, unpicking just enough of the collar to move the overlaps, I'll resew the collar and the collar cover. Then I'll replace the sleeves. Adding width makes the kimono fit better and the sleeves won't look like they are only 3/4 length.
I'd like to wear it with this tsuke (i.e. cut) obi, a great Bingata stencilled design on heavy chirmen crepe. The idea with the tsuke obi is the doumawari (waist section) wraps around like a belt and ties with tapes, then the otaiko (drum) bow hooks onto the back. Everything is held in place securely by the obijime and obiage cord and sash. The advantage for me is I can tie the doumawari and hook the otaiko in place once I arrive at the gallery, or even drive wearing the doumawari only. I find the otaiko is awkward when I drive, as it's like having a cushion in the driver's seat. The obi is brand new, and doesn't have the wire "hook" normally used to attach the otaiko (in the photo) to the back, so I will have to improvise with some coathanger wire and pliers, wrapping the wire in bias binding. If I don't have time to do this, I can always wear a hanhaba obi tied in a flatter style.
I've looked out a deep salmon pink obiage and a shaded red and pink obijime to go with it. The obiage is from my very first kimono esemble. If the red & pink obijime doesn't look right, I have couple of other pink obijime that might work better. The other option, a blue set, was a bit too close to the kimono, for the obiage anyway, although the obijime might be a possibility. Most of my other better obijime and obiage are in the exhibition cases...
Although you might think an exhibition needs something a bit more formal, I decided to go for a less formal look to contrast with the kimono on show!
(Still having formatting problems - why no paragraph breaks? Must read up on writing HTML!)

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