Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Man's kimono conversion - finished!

I finished remaking the woman's wool hitoe kimono as a man's kimono yesterday - see the sleeve difference? The first photo shows the original sleeve sewing, the second one the alteration. The sleeves are now sewn further down the body, there's no gap under the sleeves in the side seam and the back of the sleeves is sewn closed. I managed to gain about 1 1/2ins extra on the "yuki" measurement (from centre back seam to cuff) too. Approx 12cm of sleeve is left free from the side seam - I didn't want to go for any less, as that would have meant unpicking more of the side seam.

Over the last couple of days, we have had a few visitors dressed up in wool hitoe, and they had fun posing - following some of the ideas from Mamechiyo's "Kimono Modern" book! Margaret's sparkly black and burgundy wool blend kimono didn't need any further treatment - as soon as she put it on, it made the perfect evening coat, and it went home with her.

My current sewing is a reddish pink hemp and polyester blend summer kimono, made from a bolt I bought in Sakata in 1992. About time I sewed it! It is, of course, hitoe. I managed to squeeze 59cm long sleeves out of the 12metre bolt, so it will have a slightly retro Taisho era feeling to it. I plan to wear it with the accessories I bought with the bolt - a straw coloured fukuro obi in an open mesh summer weave and peach obijime cord & obiage sash. Finally finding an openweave "ro" bolt for the juban (to wear under the kimono) helped.
I'm surprised I've got so much done, as the number of visitors increases daily! The exhibition is open until January 25th (weekdays only).

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