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Topic: I have a Q about fabric???  (Read 1261 times)
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IceDragon
« on: January 27, 2010 05:58:07 AM »

I know this is likely to sound a little weird, but I need some help with what fabric to use for my next (incredibly ambitious) project.

My three kids all adore Japanese culture, courtesy of my letting them watch an anime series called "Bleach", and they're all loving Japan so much that all three want to learn Japanese (oh boy...that'll be fun!). Anyway, I've decided I want to make them a furisode kimono for christmas and I need to know what fabric to use for it because I actually haven't got a clue.

I've added some pics from the net just in case I'm confusing someone (confused me too begin with).





Silk is obviously out because of the expense and it's fragility, so I was thinking possible a duchess satin or polyester satin? It has to have a slight sheen and be extremely hard-wearing (they'll be using them as dressing gowns), as well as rather inexpensive (up to about 8 a metre isn't going to break the bank). I'll probably be doing a cotton or cotton mix one for my youngest as she's only five (plus without the longer sleeves).

I'll be doing all the hand-stitched embroidery myself and considering I haven't embroidered before, it's going to be a lot of fun (and probably very repetitive). I'll also be adding an obi with the bow (and cheating by adding velcro at the back) so they can do them up themselves. Phoebe is five and I was thinking of a sky blue, Becky is 11 and I'm thinking of her favourite colour which is teal, and Jade is 12 and I'm thinking of a deep plum for her.

Thanks for any help you can give me as I need to get started on these ASAP and I'm nervous already lol Cheesy
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010 08:20:16 AM »

What a wonderful interest your children have in another culture!  And so good of you to support that interest with your sewing!

Most children kimonos are made of cotton...I prefer the polished cotton, cotton sateen or chintz type of cotton with a bit of shine...I have seen polyster satin ones as well but only for play and not for real wear...I think as long as you pick a fabric that looks like it is from Japan, they will be fine! The colors you have chosen will be lovely especially for their ages (red is the most popular color for children). There are also some pretty nice asian looking fabrics in polyester that might work well.

Florals and prints of nature are very popular and easy to find...have you tried looking on ebay for oriental type fabrics?  I purchase 4 yards for each kimono robe and usually on sale for about $5 a yard.  It might save you hours of embroidery to already have a nice print.

The Obi's can be faked with a more sturdy fabric like a heavy upholstery tapestry...

They should also be fairly easy to make...have you researched the sleeve length? Not sure if you are looking for authentic, but the length and width is different for status,age, etc.

Good luck and can't wait to see your creations!  I am making a summer kimono to use as a lounging robe--a Yukata . Generally, I like to have one for each season of the year...even though I am an American, my culture is Japanese from my mother's side so I try to incorporate a lot of the traditions.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010 08:21:09 AM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010 10:52:35 AM »

I wouldn't suggest satin. It's easy to catch on things. I agree with Alwaysinmyroom, sateen or something similar would be better for kids. Also stay far away from (Chinese) brocade. I've seen costume kimono made with it and it's really not appropriate at all.
Is there a reason you'd like furisode? Yukata are easier to make, cotton so they'd be much more hard-wearing, and cottons come in lots of prints that might be appropriate.
Personally I wouldn't wear furisode around the house because of how formal it is... but when thinking of kids, it also can't take as much of a beating as a yukata.
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IceDragon
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2010 02:17:31 PM »

What a wonderful interest your children have in another culture!  And so good of you to support that interest with your sewing!

Most children kimonos are made of cotton...I prefer the polished cotton, cotton sateen or chintz type of cotton with a bit of shine...I have seen polyster satin ones as well but only for play and not for real wear...I think as long as you pick a fabric that looks like it is from Japan, they will be fine! The colors you have chosen will be lovely especially for their ages (red is the most popular color for children). There are also some pretty nice asian looking fabrics in polyester that might work well.

Florals and prints of nature are very popular and easy to find...have you tried looking on ebay for oriental type fabrics?  I purchase 4 yards for each kimono robe and usually on sale for about $5 a yard.  It might save you hours of embroidery to already have a nice print.
I did think of doing that but as I said, I have NO experience in fabric at all so it's almost like the blind leading the blind for me at the moment so I'm just dithering which isn't really getting me anywhere lol Cheesy
Quote
The Obi's can be faked with a more sturdy fabric like a heavy upholstery tapestry...

They should also be fairly easy to make...have you researched the sleeve length? Not sure if you are looking for authentic, but the length and width is different for status,age, etc.
I'm still not sure about the obi so I might just tweak it into a soft wraparound length of fabric that can be tied into an informal bow. The only place they'll be wearing these is at home so sleeve length doesn't really worry me too much, although I was thinking waist-length so it won't be too cumbersome.
Quote
Good luck and can't wait to see your creations!  I am making a summer kimono to use as a lounging robe--a Yukata . Generally, I like to have one for each season of the year...even though I am an American, my culture is Japanese from my mother's side so I try to incorporate a lot of the traditions.
That sounds awesome! You'll have to post pics when you're finished! Cheesy

I think the best thing to do is have a really good look about on the net and see what I can find. Cotton does actually sound pretty good since I'm not after complete authenticity (and believe it or not, I do have a twinge of conscience about that).

Thanks! Smiley
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010 02:28:13 PM »

I would  not worry about authenticity as long as they are for play and not for parading around in Japan! ha ha

I think kids just love the idea of wearing a kimono! big and little kids....

I made my nieces some and used a wide sash and wrapped them around--mostly just to hold it close!
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IceDragon
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010 02:31:03 PM »

I wouldn't suggest satin. It's easy to catch on things. I agree with Alwaysinmyroom, sateen or something similar would be better for kids. Also stay far away from (Chinese) brocade. I've seen costume kimono made with it and it's really not appropriate at all.
I don't really rate Chinese stuff anymore. Last christmas I bought some Chinese silk pyjamas for them and within one wash they'd fallen apart because they were so shoddily made. It's one of the reasons I want to make these properly.
Quote
Is there a reason you'd like furisode? Yukata are easier to make, cotton so they'd be much more hard-wearing, and cottons come in lots of prints that might be appropriate.
As I said to alwaysinmyroom, I'm still not sure yet exactly what it'll be. It's just the colours, the detail, the whole mindset almost of wearing something so formal. I did think maybe a kimono (that's what the idea started out as), but maybe with the slightly longer sleeves just to add a touch of luxury, I guess. None of my girls are what you could call girly girls, so I wanted them to have a touch of elegance without them thinking that they have to wear a dress or something. I don't know if that makes sense, actually lol

Quote
Personally I wouldn't wear furisode around the house because of how formal it is... but when thinking of kids, it also can't take as much of a beating as a yukata.
It's literally going to be used as a dressing gown, so on thinking more about it, it probably wouldn't be a full-on furisode (plus all the time it will take me to stitch it!).

Are yukata embroidered or enhanced in any way? I still feel like an idiot for asking basic questions. Cheesy
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010 02:40:41 PM »

This is what a summer yukata looks like and it is what real Japanese children wear.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=323889.msg3738169#msg3738169

The key is to have it in a cheery color, bright, and easy to wear...there are very formal Japanese children's kimonos made of gorgeous embroidered fabric but these are reserved for special ocassions and are often passed down...

I bought a summer yukata in 1995 and wore it every summer as a lounging robe...it is just now falling apart hence my need to make a new one!  It is basically all rectangles! Very easy!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010 02:42:07 PM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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IceDragon
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010 02:50:57 PM »

That looks amazing, thanks! Cheesy

Why do they always look better when a cute kid is wearing them?
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010 03:06:56 PM »

It's a law of nature, things always look better with cute kids wearing them  Cheesy
I think it's wearing something out of the ordinary that makes it fun and interesting, not necessarily having an actual formal garment, so a yukata or another less formal kimono should be much easier on you and still fun for your girls!
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Songbyrd
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010 10:33:12 PM »

I hope I'm not too late in responding.  I realize thsi thread is nine months old.

I recently made my teen daughter a yukata because she's crazy about almost anything Japanese (including Bleach)

I used 100% cotton fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics mainly used for quilting (she loved the color but the print was very plain) I might talk her into having a bit of fabric painted cherry blossoms on the sleeves, shoulders and hemline.
She wanted to wear it on Halloween (during cooler weather) so she wanted it lined.

I scoured the internet for any info on yukata and found this site and read and reread the info...then I did a bunch of alterations and did my own version. 

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~weyrbrat/Japan/yukata/index.html

I also made a wide obi out of satin brocade in fuchsia pink and white about 10 foot by 9 inches.  She could tie it herself and watching YouTube on how to tie an obi was very helpful.
A "cheater" obi makes so much sense especially since you have three girls.

Good luck, I hope your kimono's turn/ed out well.
Songbyrd
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