Hello! I recently worked on a few kimono dresses so I wanted to show the finished products here. These dresses were upcycled from vintage kimono fabrics. This was the first time I worked with kimono fabric so it presented a few challenges!
The first challenge was that the kimono fabric in Tanmono(反物) form has a very narrow width. If you haven’t seen what Tanmono looks like, here are some examples. Its width is about 35cm and the length is about 12 meters. This is not where I sourced the fabric, but Ichiroya has many beautiful antique kimonos – I love this, this and this (all 100% silk). They also have an English page. Since the width is so narrow, the patterns need to be adjusted so that I can cut out each piece without disrupting the patterns or motifs of the fabric.
Second challenge is how to match the patterns of the fabric. Since many kimono fabrics are one-of-a-kind, in one roll, you might get all different patterns. What I did was to take a look at the entire fabric (12 meters of them!) before I started cutting and planned out accordingly. For the below dress top, I looked for a similar pattern in the fabric and although they were not completely the same, I mixed and matched so that they look like they belonged together. The process is similar to matching plaids. I’ve worked with plaids in the past (did not love the process though) so it helped.
Overall sewing from Kimono fabric was fun, and I love handling the 100% silk. Have you made something with antique or traditional fabrics? What were the fun parts and challenging parts?