My sister loves all things Japanese, and she is a black belt in Isshinryu karate (as is her husband), so when it came time for her baby shower, I had the perfect complimentary idea for the little one. I'd seen a onesie on Etsy that had been printed to look like a karate gi, and that sent me off into a whirlwind of inspiration.
To start, I made my own version of the baby gi. The Japanese characters read “Isshinryu."
Then I made a tee with the same characters, larger.
And a drawing of the vertical fist, which is a fist position unique to this school of karate.
There was actually a bit of a happy accident with this one. As I was working on it late at night and with only a portion of my brain active, I drew the whole fist onto the tee in a horizontal position, only to realize at the end that I'd done it wrong. Oops.
So, a little reverse applique came to the rescue. I cut out the image, appliqued a piece of Japanese fabric to the inside of the onesie, and then appliqued the image onto the fabric. It was a desperate measure to save the suit, but I actually like it much better than the original!
At last, well past midnight, I used the last scraps of my red and black Japanese fabric (that my sister had brought me from a trip to Japan) to make two little pacifier clips.
My sister seemed to really love the gifts, and I was totally excited about the result as well. I was hesitant about using the dye markers, but once I got the hang of them, they were great. I definitely learned a few things along the way (always heat set before trying to erase fabric pen marks!).
I thought everything looked just perfect together as a set:
My sister says her husband will never let their baby wear anything else.