Refashioned Kimono Dresses

Upcycling kimono into dresses has become a continual project. You can see my past kimono refashion posts here, but these mermaid dresses are by far my favorite. I’ve never tried one-shoulder style dresses in the past, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say these are comfortable to wear. You do not have to worry about dress slipping like you would when wearing a strapless dress. It feels pretty secure.

The more I work with kimono fabrics, the more I feel comfortable working with it. This one came in Kimono shape, as opposed to a roll form of fabric prior to refashioning. Because the dress is long and has some train, I had to take the kimono apart, iron them and lay them all on a ground to figure out how to cut so that I won’t be short of fabric near the end. I am always impressed by the hand sewing that goes in in kimono – corners are perfectly matched and the thread colors coordinated. Sometimes I feel bad to take it all apart.

Navy + Hazel

I completely forgot to take “before” photo of this kimono, but it was originally a furisode, which means “winging sleeves”. It is a style of kimono distinguishable by its long sleeves, and is most commonly worn by unmarried young women. It’s a type of kimono that 20-year-olds wear at the Coming of Age Day (seijinshiki)

Orange + Black
Black Tomesode Upcycle

This one was upcycled from tomesode, which is type of kimono worn by married women for special occasions like wedding. My mother wore it for my wedding. Usually the patterns are less busy than furisode, and they are placed under waistline or lower.

最近作った着物のリメイクドレスたち。
振袖と留袖をフォーマルドレスにお仕立て直しました。
ワンショルダーは初めて作ったのですが、ストラップレスのドレスみたいに落ちてくるのを気にしなくて良いし、フォーマルな場面でもそわそわしないで着れて良いです。

最近京都で着物生地の染める工場を見学させていただく機会があったので、新しい興味をもってリメイクに取り組むことができました。京都旅行の詳細はまた後日書きます♪

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Camellia Dress | Collaboration with Natalie Bleakly

As I wrote in my previous post, I had my original fabric printed by Contrado. My plan was to crate a simple dress that would show off the flower illustration Natalie made. I chose a simple I-line style dress, but wanted to spice it up a bit by adding interesting tucks on one side of the dress.  I used Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis to move the darts to the side. The original patterns I used are the same as the bodice of this dress. I changed the princess lines to two bust darts, then moved the darts to the side. The skirt is a wrap style skirt. I also added some tucks on the right side of the front skirt to match the tucks in the bodice. I am pleased with the result and it is fun to work with the original fabric that is printed just for you. I’m excited to explore other options like scuba fabric and poly twill. This dress I offer on etsy is made of poly twill so maybe I will make a variation of that with original fabric.

Contradoでオーダーした生地で、ドレス出来上がりました!
生地の詳しいことは前回のブログにて。
2mオーダーして、1mごとにNatalie Bleaklyのイラストの椿の花がプリントされるよう、オーダーしました。
生地はダッチェス・サテン。こしがあり、縫いやすいサテンです。テロテロ感も少ないので、このようなIラインのスカートも作れます。
フィット感のあるボディの型紙(これと同じもの)の変形型。
プリンセスラインを胸ダーツに変更後、今度はダーツを左サイドにずらしてタックにしました。

膝下丈と深いスリットで大人っぽいデザインに。
真っ白なので着ていくところにちょっと困りますが・・・クールな花嫁様にウェディングドレスとしてどうでしょうか?
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Design Your Own Fabric with Contrado

Designing my own fabric was one of my goals as a sewer. One deterring factor of not accomplishing this goal is that I’m not good at drawing. I’ve attempted a few times to consistently drawing, but it never lasted long. I just could not get into it. But! I have a good friend who can draw amazing flowers that would be perfect for dress fabric. Natalie Bleakly is a illustrator with a fashion background now living in Tokyo. She is showing her illustrations at a cafe gallery named ginger.tokyo in Kiyosumi Shirakawa. She was gracious enough to help me with my fabric order. Here is Natalie:

“The Camellia flower (a.k.a Tsubaki 椿) is a common flower found in Japan. The white camellia is definitely more rarely seen than it’s red or pink counterpart. I wanted to paint something that most people living in Japan would recognise straight away but, also admire the beauty and rarity of the flower. Although, the Camellia is not a rare flower in Japan, seeing it in white is really something special as it can mean several things including desire, passion, longevity and faithfulness. In Japan, is symbolizes the divine. It is often used in religious and sacred ceremonies and also represents the coming of spring. They can also mean purity, the love between mother and child or mourning when used in funeral flowers. When presented to a man, a white camellia is thought to bring luck.”

I’ve used Spoonflower in the past, but this time I ordered from Contrado. It’s great that they offer their services in multiple languages including Japanese. I first ordered a fabric sample pack as I was unable to decide between different types of satins. Fabric swaps were very helpful! It came with bunch of different fabric samples, including organza, scuba, stretch knits, chiffon etc. it’s a maker’s dream! I ended up with Duchess Satin. It has a very elegant sheen and nice weight for a drape.Here is the fabric that’s arrived. It’s exactly what I wanted – thanks to Natalie who scaled the flower print in the size I needed! I’m going to be making a simple I line dress to show off the print. 
オリジナル生地をContradoというサイトを使ってオーダーしてみました!
Contradoでは好きなデザインを生地にプリントできます。
100種類以上の生地があって、選ぶの悩みました。
始めに生地見本パックをオーダーして今回のプロジェクトに合う生地選び。
迷った結果ダッチェス・サテンにしました。
艶が上品で割としっかりしたサテンです。ドレスにぴったり。
他にもいろいろな種類のジャージー素材やスキューバ生地(ネオプレン)など、服作りに適した生地があって次に作る洋服どうしようかと楽しい夢を見れました。

生地にプリントする絵柄は友達のイラストレーター、ナタリー・ブリークリーに素敵な椿柄を描いてもらいました。
絵柄を目立たせたいので、ドレスのデザインはシンプルに、タックをポイントにしたIラインドレスにするつもりです。
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