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.



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Six Kimono Dresses

six kimono dresses blog postThe more I work with Kimono fabric, the more comfortable and the faster I get with it. Practice makes perfect! This mint green one was particularly fun since the colors are so vibrant. I had a roll of kimono fabric (tanmono) to start with. First, I look through meters of fabric to see where the prints are and try to find the matching print. Then I connected the matching print just like you match stripes or plaid. The width of the kimono fabrics are usually narrow like 36-38cm (more here) so depending on the pattern you are working with, you first have to connect the fabrics to figure out the fabric width. Once I have the width I want, I think of the print placement. Should the main print be in front? back? skirt area? You might be limited with the options depending on how the print is placed or shape of the pattern pieces. I try to mix up the print area and solid color area so that the dress does not look too busy or borning.
back view of emerald green kimono wrap dress emerald green kimono dress details black kimono wrap yellow kimono fabric dress by vivat veritas red cropped sleeve dress in kimono fabric white kimono dress flatlayThese solid color dresses were much easier required less thinking. Still, there was some stripes going on so I cut carefully not to disturb the stripes.  creem kimono dress (1)Of all six dresses, I am most drawn to this cream color one. The silk is so soft and drapes beautifully. For this one, I could not find the perfect print match, but still went for similar print so that you can see the continuity. You can see the picture above that the pink (orange?) clouds matches but the purple cloud right above does not. Sometimes you just have to make the decision based on which mismatch is less noticable. You can see more of my kimono upcycling projects here.


creem kimono dress (2)chie sig2

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Random Things I Made | November 2015

What I made in November 2015 Vivat Veritas Blog Here is a round up of what I sewed in November 2015. It was a pretty busy month in terms of sewing! In addition to baby hat, navy blue lace, ox blood corduroy skirt and BurdaStyle Parka, I sewed quite a bit for other people.

(1) Men’s button up shirt. There are interesting details jam packed in this shirt. It was hard to sew. There are pleating details underneath the gold mesh, a stand up collar and the cuff! The cuff was unique since the cuff and sleeve placket are connected.
Mens button up close up(1) Mens button up close up(2) Mens button up close up(3) Mens button up close up(4)(2) Fuchsia pink wrap dress. It’s made in high quality jersey and the fit is great. It is a great look for the office. Magenda color wrap dress Vent details

(3) Kimono. I sewed 10 of those! It was pretty intense. Since most of the sewing was straight sewing, it was not difficult to but was very  time consuming. I used 5 meters of fashion fabric and 4 meters of lining for each kimono. handmade kimonos kimonokimono inside Kimono back viewHere is the round up of what I made in September and August.


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