Kimonos

I had forgotten how much I enjoy sewing until this past weekend, and now my juices are flowing again. Why? I took a kimono workshop from Linda Cannefax. She talked us through some history of the kimonos, how to wear them, the different parts of the kimono and variations on these parts, and how to create a kimono pattern that fits. Wow.

Since Linda is a weaver, and this is a weaving guild sponsored workshop, she spent quite a bit of the time discussing how to use your handwoven for creating kimonos. Kitty and Cyrena showed off their handwoven kimonos that they made. I am in awe.

Kitty wore the kimono vest (kimono sans sleeves) that she wove out of hand spun and natural dyed silk weft (commercial warp). It was gorgeous. Subtle shading from gold to red-orange. The entire vest coat was then hand stitched. Wow.

Cyrena had a full length kimono that was made from monoprint on rice paper (that she printed herself), then cut into strips before it was woven. Cyrena even threaded beads into her warp so that the beads were woven into the fabric, instead of sewn in after the fact. The woven fabric was then made into this beautiful kimono, lined with silk organza. Again, the piece was hand stitched. Sewing machines never came into contact with these kimonos. Double and triple wow.

I won’t bother to show you the kimono that I made over the weekend. It was classwork, made out of muslin. I figured out what sleeve style won’t work for me. At least not in muslin. The drape is all wrong. I might take a snap or two of the ones I will make out of the fabric I bought at Thai Silk though.

There was a prevailing sentiment that after all the work into creating the fabric, they don’t want any machine stitching to show, hence the emphasis on hand stitching. The 2 examples above were the extreme, but I completely understand it. It’s the creative journey that counts here.

Me? Since I’m not a weaver (still fighting it, kicking and screaming), I don’t have as much invested in the fabric, so I’ll be using my Bernina to piece, thank you very much. I will be doing all the hemming and tacking down the lining by hand.

Sorry, I’m not much of a picture taker during class. I’m too busy taking notes or drooling over the finished pieces to bother with the camera.