Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Themed Yukata

Some of you may know that I am also on DeviantArt. One of the groups I belong too, KimonoDreams (for Kimono lovers!), was holding a design contest around the theme “Winter”; entries had to be original creations or design, for Kimono or accessories, of any medium. Many entered drawings, a few entered Kanzashi and one entered a doll. The contest had been running since November 20th, and I wasn’t going to enter, but when I received a “5 days left” reminder last week, something clicked and I changed my mind. I figured it would be the perfect kick in the butt for me to start a prolific costuming year – and clean out my project bin.

Winter Yukata and Obi fabrics

So on Saturday night, with 2 days to go, I cut both my Yukata and Tsukuri Obi, I sewed the Yukata on Sunday afternoon while my daughter was napping and made the Tsukuri Obi on Sunday night, after she had gone to bed (yes, being a parent, you have to work around your child’s sleeping schedule to work on your costumes). Monday, I took pictures and sent my entry in (1h30 before Contest closing – reminds you of anything?), and today, I am sharing my first 2011 project with you.

I used Printed Quilter’s Cotton to make my Yukata: it is a lovely two tone blue chequered print with snowflakes in each square - Perfect for the Winter theme. And of course, I got it on sale! As for pattern, I used the same one I always used, a modified version of
Simplicity 5839 (I used the pattern as a block long ago, made my own pattern and have been using it ever since for all my Yukata – I should post instructions one of these days).

Winter Yukata - Flat

For the Tsukuri Obi, I found white tone-on-tone chequered jacquard in the decoration section – on sale too! Since I own a Tsukuri Obi, I measured it and based my own on these measurements. The bow is made of two rectangles, overlapping at the center fold and loosely tacked together in the middle. The ribbon to tie the bow around my waist was tacked to the bows. For the hook, I used an old metal hanger which I cut with bolt cutters (breaking a nail in the process). I then bent the ends and inserted them in my top bow’s fold. Finally, I wrapped the knot band around the bows and hook and hand sewed it tight and shut.

Tsukuri Obi Belt and Bow

In my second attempt at Kitsuke, I put both Yukata and Tsukuri Obi on last night for a quick photo shoot.

Winter Yukata - Front

Winter Yukata - Back

Please excuse my bare arms; I have yet to make a Yukata Juban.

(Note to self: must make more under things for all projects to be worn correctly).

Pretty Snowflake

It is a winter themed project after all!

Kneeling - A Japanese Must!

For those of you who have watched the making-of of Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), I concur with what the actresses said: it is an art to learn to kneel (and walk) in a Kimono.

Of course, as my entry for the contest, I made a lovely montage:

This has got to be the fastest costume project I have ever made: 48h from cutting to photo montage! Let’s hope it is a sign of projects to come.