28 April, 2005 

  Traditional Japanese Patterns

I'm a very big fan of traditional Japanese patterns vs modern, contemporary patterns. Well, I do appreciate certain contemporary patterns - but they don't hold a special place in my heart as the traditional ones do.
There is something very aesthetically pleasing about traditional patterns, designs and colour combinations that just never seem to work with Western clothing.

To date - my top three favourite traditional patterns (in order) are:

Ume (plum blossom)

Chidori (plover)

Kanoko Shibori (a type of tie-die)

Asanoha (hemp leaf pattern)

(oops - top four, I guess!)

Lately, I've been looking at kimono, obi and fabric that contain traditional patterns and now, I am very excited - the other week, I purchased this obi:

It has the most adorable plump little chidori jumping over wave patterns on it. It is made from summer ro silk.

My next excitable purchase was this tan of asanoha kimono fabric.

Last, but not least - I purchased 4 metres of cute boy's fabric with traditional motifs in circles on it:

I love traditional print fabrics! Can you tell? :)

27 April, 2005 

  Free Japanese Sewing Patterns!

Purely by accident – I stumbled across this website tonight http://www.fjx.co.jp/sewingcom/index.html although it is in Japanese – I think the instructions and measurements are clear enough that even a beginner sewer should be able to create these.

Traditional Tamari balls:

Cute Traditional Drawstring bag

Flower Pin Cushion

Drawstring pouch

Flower Bowl

Traditional Japanese Thimbles (these can be a true art form…)

(the main index for the traditional items: http://www.fjx.co.jp/sewingcom/sewing/index2.html)

And some contemporary items:

I Love My Dog Carry Bag

I Love My Dog Dog Torso (hahaha!)

Nice simple diagrams for basic dress – this is a great base for working on skirts/tops, etc

Cute Patchwork Bag (great for the quilters)

Adorable Apron:

Cute hats for summer

Kitty Kat Train

Doggy Pillow:

And well – there are lots more – visit the index page for the contemporary items:

26 April, 2005 

  Another Tabi Pouch

I made another tabi pouch, this time, using this absolutely gorgeous fabric from a haori I rescued from a vintage clothing store. I had my eye on this haori for three years. When I first saw it, it was $250...yet, it had a tear across the shouder from being hung on a normal plastic clothing hanger. A year later, I saw it again marked down to $150 - and the tear was larger, and beyond repair. I admired the fabric and left. Six months ago...I saw it again, and it had been marked down to $20 with the tear even larger. The price was right for me - as I wanted it for the fabric...and it became mine. I believe, due to the style of the haori and the patterns, it is from late Meiji or early Taisho era - however, I'm no expert in dating kimono fabrics properly yet. I'm pretty certain this haori is for autumn - it has loose maple leaf rinzu in the background - and the leaves look to be grape leaves. The leaves have been hand painted - and the embroidery on it is so tiny, I didn't even realize at first. The lining was just a fantastic pattern. Despite the large tear across the shoulders - the fabric in the rest of the haori (furisode haori, at that) was in amazing, excellent condition, aside from minor age spots in the silk.

Anyhow - enough talk and on with the photos!

The pouch:

Hint of the lining:

View of the inside lining:

Detail of the pattern - if you look hard enough, you might see some of the embroidery:

03 April, 2005 

  New Idea - Tabi Pouches

I received a box of new vintage kimono fabric on Thursday. I was absolutely thrilled with the fabric selection - very lush. I decided the first thing I'd make using the fabric would be tabi pouches. I figured they would come in handy for those who like to dress in kimono (and for other things, also!)

I ended up making two. the first one was too small both in width and height for my own tabi. Well, for the averaged sized shoe person - it would be perfect. But, for big ol' clown size 10 feet me...I had to adjust. So after making the first pouch - I re-adjusted my pattern, and make a second pouch. Second time round, I was a happy camper.

First one to the right - second, to the left.

I used kuro tomesode silk for the body of the pouches. For the second pouch, I used silk fabric from a little girl's kimono. I absolutely adore the pattern on it.

Mark I

Mark II