Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Kitty Kanzashi: Custom kanzashi order.

Kitty Kanzashi: Custom kanzashi order.: There is nothing better then creating a kanzashi for a bride and last week a bride contacted me to ask me to create a kanzashi for her speci...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 11

So you can create a bustle effect with a kimono but what about 18th century style dress?

If you ever watch Dangerous Liaisons (the one with Glenn Close) then you know the dresses I'm referring to, the ones with the wide hips.

Well with a bit of fluffing this is what you can achieve.

There is one thing about his look, it isn't flattering if you are wide already so I don't think this is one I will try on myself.

Since I want to emphasise on the wide hip part so once again I shortened the kimono and then divided all the extra material evenly to the side and created the arch shape.

I think this will be last time I will use this dress now. Maybe I should find an event to wear the thing.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 10

My chance to use my black corset has come.

Previously I couldn't use it because Miffy was too big for my corset. I never realised how much my corset reduced my waist! Anyway since I removed all the padding and juban from her I could set the waist measurements to the smallest setting and get on with the kitsuke!

The one thing I had to keep in mind was the use of additional ties. I do not think a human being could cope with having koshihimo and a corset wrapped tightly around their waist. So there is only a korin belt (around the chest) under the corset.

So you are wondering, if there is no koshihimo holding up the kimono, how did I arrange the skirt part? Simply, I used a elastic koshihimo to arrange the skirt, then put on the corset before pulling off the koshihimo.

Unfortunately once the corset is on you can't make re-arrangements easily hence the back doesn't look symmetrical but I think I can make it neater the next time.

This outfit give a silhouette that is more familiar for the West and thus is very flattering. Who doesn't look good in a corset.

Normally there would only be a 2-3 inch gap showing at the back but I wasn't about to crush Miffy, she has feelings you know!


Dress - Same one as outfit 9.
Corset - Black Voller corset (can't remember which style).

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 9

Time to dig out an old dress from my teens.

Yes this dress is 11 years old and I still haven't found an occasion to wear it until now. Okay I'm not wearing but I'm going to use it which is close enough.

My previous attempts to make a steampunk inspired kimono outfit left me wondering. What would the outfit look like if I could create a bigger bustle effect. hmmmmmmmm.........

Well it would look like this.

I thought it would be a shame to hide the dress under the kimono so like before, I pulled the kimono so you can see the lower half clearly.

Then I made the kimono collar low as well so you can see the opening at the front. You will also notice that the traditional white juban collar is missing. This is on purpose because for once I just wanted to have black against the kimono. However looking back the addition of the colour white wouldn't be bad although a red collar would be better to complement the obi-jime.

Now the bustle part. As I folded the kimono up in half at the waist, this gave me loads of fabric to play with. Therefore I pulled it all back to create this bustle.

This is much better then the previous attempt and you definitely at the big bum effect.

This side shot gives a nice clear view of the poofiness that is possible!

It would be a shame to ruin the look with a musubi that would deflate the bustle effect so I tied a tsunodashi variation with my obi. Its isn't the proper one because my obi is a bit short.

Anyway what do you think?


Obi - Black ro nagoya.
Dress - Something brought a long time ago.
Obi Jime - Dusky pink

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 8

Time to depart from the traditional way of wearing a kimono and try something different.

As my wedding is only 5 months away I have been pondering on what my wedding will look like because I have ordered a Victorian inspired gown. Then it got me thinking, how can I make my kimono more Victorian?

Rather then creating the usual oshashori just under the obi, I decided to use the full length of the kimono. However to create the Victorian look I utilised the excess length to create the tail end.

Of course this arrange would show-off your juban but I didn't want that look so I added my simple black drawstring skirt to preserve some modesty that a Victorian lady should have.

At the time, the only thing going through my head was to tie a fan-inspired musubi but what made me tie this I have no idea.

It is a little bit unstable but with an extra koshihimo it will be fine.

I think with a little bit of skirt support like a bustle, I think this look could be really something.


Obi - Black ro nagoya obi
Skirt - Homemade long drawstring satin skirt.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 7

A couple of weeks ago, my friend was practising to put on a hakama on her dressform which made me think, why not try my plain navy blue hakama on the kimono?

The plain colouring of the hakama works well against the busy kimono.

It reminds me of the black trousers and colourful tops combo that I favour when I was working or going to a family occasion.

I teamed it with my lilac/pink hanhaba obi because the colour works well againts the navy blue and the subtle pinks on the kimono.

Of course we must not forget the rear view.

I like hakama because they can hide many kitsuke mistakes such as wonky hems and wrinkles around the bottom of the obi. Not to mention, you don't have to worry about your kimono flapping open and flashing your juban!

Due to the musubi you need to tie to secure the hakama, it does give you the big bum look which for some people is not attractive. However I like it because it creates a bustle effect which you see in Victorian attire and I love the Victorian era.

I would love to get a hakama with embroidery on the bottom but I'm worried that if I do then it wouldn't co-ordinated with my other items easily. Maybe I should just pin things on the bottom then.


Obi - Lilac/Pink hanhaba obi
Hakama - Navy blue.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 6

Time to create a casual outfit.

So how is this casual you may ask? Well I haven't used a obi-makura and obi-jime so less complicated and rather then using an nagoya obi, I have used my pink hanahaba obi.

Also to make the outfit for fun, I have tied a bow with the obi-age.

And since I am using a hanahaba obi I can not tie the standard otaiko musubi so I opted for a musubi that I sort of made up.

It is very easy to tie this musubi and if you have an obi which is reversible (like the one I have) you can have the bow colour different to the rest of the musubi. This makes it super cute!

Obi - Lilac/Pink hanahaba obi
Obi-age - Bright pink-red
Han-eri - White and red flowers on grey

Monday, 23 May 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 5

First off, I'm sorry for not posting anything for a long time but I have been very busy with exam revision, sorting out etsy store and generally keeping up with the admin side of my online presence.

Without further comment here is outfit 5.

These pictures are also the debut of my new dressmakers dummy! I have named her Miffy because she is silent. It was strangely hard to dress Miffy because she has a hard body however as she doesn't move I was able to get the collar nice and curved at the back!

So how have I accessories her then?

Obi - Black and red hakata obi
Obi-jime - Dusky pink
Obi-age - Bright pink-red
Han-eri - White and red flowers on grey.

This obi is actually a kid's obi but I love the colour and with a slight modification, I should be able to wear it.

And since I have Miffy to dress I can now show off the back.

Question, what do people think about a series of musubi step by step tutorial? I'm only asking because I would like to create some but what would people prefer to see? A) a video of the musubi being tied or B) a series of photos (with detail explanations) of musubi being tied?

Monday, 16 May 2011

Musubi in action

So after a couple of days playing with my obi and then asking a load of people which one to wear.  I have the results of my work!

It was the best day possible for my friend's wedding.  Never has Glasgow seen such a nice sunny day and it was perfect for me as there was a nice breeze throughout the day.  Therefore I was not suffering at all under three layers.

In the end, I choose a rose musubi which looks a little squashed in the photo but I couldn't help it as I had to stick in the back of a taxi.

Unfortunately this obi is feeling its age so I will need to stop using it for fancy musubi and keep it for only otaiko musubi using the obi clip to keep the strain low on the obi.  Shame really as I love this obi as it goes with so many of my special occasion kimono.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Musubi Fun!

So lately I have been playing with musubi for my friends wedding.  I will be wearing a houmongi for my friends wedding but I didn't want to wear a otaiko so I have been experimenting.

Here is my first attempt.

Its not bad but I wasn't satisfied with the bottom part.  However a few people mention that it looked like a bunny so here is the revised version.

Ok it is a chubby bunny but it is Easter and this bunny didn't hop a lot.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 4

I have a habit of colour coordinating my obi-age and obi-jime so this time I am going to break it.

I use the same gold metallic obi-jime but the obi-age is actually not an obi-age!  A few weeks ago there was a vintage sale and there was tons of scarves to chose from.  I brought a lot for making kanzashi but I also picked up a couple which were perfect for my kimono accessories.

This is a navy blue scarf and it has a white and yellow dot pattern all over it.  Again this ties in nicely with the yellow and hint of blue on the kimono as well as the flowers theme.

And since this is a floral kimono, why not go full out and add a daisy pattern han-eri which was given to me by Shelia.  It doesn't stand out as must as a white han-eri but it gives the outfit a modern feel which is good.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 3

Hmmm what other colour could I possibly use now?  How about bright yellow?

It is not too bad actually.  The feeling that I'm getting from yellow is neutral as it complements the mustard yellow on the kimono and the gold obi.  However it doesn't stand out too much unlike the red co-ordination.

The yellow obi-age is just a plain one with a woven hexagon pattern so there is no way I am going to be able to get photo of the pattern.  As for the obi-jime, it is a sparkly gold one and the other side is silver so when you tie the knot you will get two colours.  I can't decide if I like this obi-jime, don't get me wrong, I like metallic shiny stuff and this obi-jime tick those boxes.  However it is stiff so I am never sure if I have tie it enough.  One does not want their obi to fall apart when you are walking about in public.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Black and Mustard Yellow Sakura Kimono - Outfit 2

So yesterday's out was this one below.

This outfit consist of the a white han-eri, pastel blue obi-age and obi-jime.  There is a shibori fan pattern on the obi-age which you can't see very clearly on this picture but it is very pretty.  As for the obi-jime, it is just pure accident that I own a obi-jime which matches the obi-age so well.

Now outfit number two!

Here you see I keep the same obi and white han-eri but I changed the obi-age and obi-jime.  The obi-age is red and has a lot more shibori on it.  This time the pattern is kiru (I think) and you can see the pattern more easily because of the contrast.  The obi-jime is a dark pink and is one of my widest ones (1 inch) and it is lovely to use.  It is very soft, making it ideal to tie into a square know but it is stiff enough to retain its width so you have a huge knot at the front of your obi. 

This colour combo is more vibrant then the cool looking one of outfit number one.  It is amazing how a change of something so small creates a completely different feel.  

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Hello there

My aim for this blog is to take one kimono out of my collection and make as many outfits that one can from that one kimono.  

I will use different obi and accessories to prove to myself that a kimono is not one hit wonder.

So first kimono.

Brought nearly 2 years ago it has been sitting in my boxes because I assumed it was too hard to co-ordinate.  Well here is the kimono being worn for the first time last weekend.