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Topic: Kimonos/yukata?  (Read 1034 times)
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« on: March 20, 2013 09:21:47 PM »

I'm actually kind of inexperienced at sewing, and don't have a heck of a lot of time to do it. Also, not really that great at making stuff out of patterns... Anyways-

Simple kimono patterns or basic blueprint on how to make your own?  Want to make one for each of my daughters and one for myself.  The less hemming and pieces required the better- i hate hemming and pinning..... I know lazy.
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013 12:45:53 PM »

Folkwear has THE best commercial "pattern" for authentic Japanese un-lined yukata that I've come across (pattern #113). It's actually a VERY thorough tutorial on how to measure the intended wearer and how to cut the fabric according to the type of fabric you're using (14 inch kimono fabric, 45 inch or 60 inch "normal" fabric), as well as the assembly instructions, which are actually quite simple because it's almost entirely made of rectangles. I own this pattern, as well as #151, and made both a man's yukata and hakama. A knowledge of basic stitching and seam finishing techniques are all that's really required, other than the necessary tools, like pins and sharp scissors.

There is a free tutorial somewhere on the web that I've recommended before that is just as good as the Folkwear "pattern," but it's so buried in my Craftster topic replies, it's probably on page 258 Tongue

Also, making a kimono for a little girl is different. The back is only one panel-width, not two, the shoulders may be tucked for very young girls (allowing her to "grow into" the kimono), and sometimes the ohashori (the fold-over that extends just below the obi) is also stitched in place, rather than folded while dressing.

Ichiroya is my favourite website for drooling over Japanese goods. If you scroll down to the search tool, a drop box contains all of the item categories. Scroll down to "babies' and children's" and select "girl's kimono." By studying the differences between an adult woman's kimono and a girl's kimono, you'll get a pretty good idea of how to go about making the necessary changes. Also, don't forget that men's kimono have square sleeves, not rounded, and they're stitched shut under the arms, as opposed to open to display a pretty lining (a flash of a little something extra is VERY sexy in Japanese culture, which is why kimono linings are often a contrasting colour, or have a unique pattern not seen elsewhere on the garment). Oh, and also have a look at obis to see the average lengths. You CAN piece an obi together, even a 450 inch one, just so long as you make it like a fukuro obi, which is patterned only on the parts that are visible after tying. That saves on expensive fabrics.

The Immortal Geisha forum is a fount of information on all things Japanese, but you'll find the Kitsuke section and the Making Kimono section the most informative. Kitsuke (pronounced kit-skay) translates as "dressing" or "how to dress."

Phew! As you can see, I have an enthusiasm for Japonisme Tongue

« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013 09:18:58 AM »

Do you want something that is historically accurate? Or are you looking for something fun for dress up, and you need only a reasonable nod towards authenticity?

For historical accuracy and authenticity, you can't beat Folkwear patterns. These aren't just sewing patterns, there's a whole tutorial about the time period and style in each package.

Simplicity has a Kimono costume. Most (not all) Simplicity costumes are reasonably authentic, but some can include advanced sewing techniques. Read the pattern envelope.

Or if you prefer something simpler that still captures the essence of a kimono, there's several simple wrap kimonos. One of the things that makes a Kimono a Kimono is the style of sleeve, it's cut in one piece with the bodice and shoulder. These are simpler styles with kimono sleeves. The choice of fabric will make a big difference in the appearance of a garment made from these patterns.

And here is a childs outfit. It isn't a kimono, it's a cheongsam (sometimes called Suzy Wong). It's a New Look pattern labeled "easy", so I assume it is!
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