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Topic: silk kimono in kyoto img heavy  (Read 15882 times)
Tags for this thread: kimono , japanese , japan , silk , handsewn , obi , cherry_blossom  Add new tag
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« on: February 10, 2008 09:47:33 AM »

i learned to sew kimono and yukata from an 87 year old woman in my village.  she doesn't speak any english and in the beginning i spoke no japanese.  but sewing is universal and she first taught me to make a yukata, then i made this one layer kimono.  it's silk handpainted fabric (just the fabric cost over $500), all handsewn with silk thread using different stitches for different parts. i picked out the obi fabric (cherry blossoms), but it was made for me as the kimono sewers are usually different than the obi makers.  i also studied how to wear kimono over several years, including the trickiest part of tying your own obi  Tongue
every spring my friends all get together and wear kimono and go on a tour of somewhere nearby... these pics are from kyoto, spring 2006.  we visited many gardens and temples including Ryoan-ji with the famous zen rock garden.
the front...

the side... my sleeves are a bit long because i am taller than most, but these are considered short sleeves.  combined with the fabric quality, print and coloring, the sleeves and style are the modern standard.  perfect for tea ceremony, visiting friends, etc.  not fancy enough for a wedding, funeral, or really fancy party.

at Ryoan-ji

it's amazing to think that the wood floors are worn smooth by centuries of tabi socks brushing over them... i love these walkways.

seeing temples and gardens in kimono makes me feel like i'm part of the place rather than an observer

and you know you're a foreigner in japan when students on their field trips want photos with you  Smiley


now, whether in punishment or reward, through all eternity, she must love and believe in what she did not understand.  -dennison
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2008 09:55:57 AM »

that is beautiful! I imagine that it took a lot of work! How special to learn from someone like that!
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008 10:07:38 AM »

That is AMAZING! What a fantastic job you did! And what an awesome story to go with it.

Knowing you sewed that all by hand...simply fantastic. Any chance to get a close-up on the seaming?
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008 10:08:31 AM »

It's gorgeous.  I enjoyed your tale and what a special way to learn a new cultural skill.

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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008 10:10:45 AM »

wow. That is beautiful. I have always wanted to go to Japan and I am immensly jealous of your immersion in it.

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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008 10:18:36 AM »

I think that is, hands down, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen anyone create, here or anywhere else. Congratulations! And the story that goes with it is wonderful too. I'm so jealous that you have such a relationship with the Japanese culture.

I also LOVE that purple cherry blossom fabric and how it contrasts with the main kimono fabric.

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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008 10:30:55 AM »

Wow!!  I'm amazed by your kimono!!  I lived in Japan for two years and studied dance, so I *did* know how to tie an obi, but since I came back (5 years ago) I've completely forgotten, so my yukata sits in a drawer, unworn and unhappy....  Cry
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008 10:41:42 AM »

thats suck a cool kimono.
I'm actually very jealous of your sewing skills Wink
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008 11:08:27 AM »

This is amazing.
I should say something really clever, but I can't... lol

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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2008 12:41:38 PM »

That is wonderful!!  And such a great story too Smiley

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