After four years, numerous prototypes and much procrastination, I have finally finished a basic kit for hinagata (“miniature”) kimono. When I set out to complete a kit myself and document each step, I found it easier than I remembered to sew everything together! Maybe the fabric choice made a difference. Previously I’ve used vintage kimono fabrics (typically acrylic) with bold designs, but this time I used a cotton fabric with a small repeating print, which was easy to match up and sew together.
Peanut, my long-time hinagata model, approves.
The kit features pre-cut fabric and instructions for making a mini yukata that will fit many different Beanie Baby toys such as teddy bears, Swinger the monkey (that’s Peanut), and some of the jointed animals as well. All you need to complete the look is two feet of one inch-wide ribbon, available at any craft store. A contrasting color works best.
One of the benefits of this kit is that you will learn the basics of how a kimono or yukata is sewn. The design is close to the real thing, with some variation for the smaller scale of the piece.
I will be releasing a limited number of kits each month with a particular fabric suited for the season. For September I have chosen a deep rust red with green, yellow and orange pine trees and tiny cranes. There are gold accents that lend an autumnal shimmer to the fabric as well.
The kit can be completed in an afternoon if you are a careful stitcher, perhaps longer for a beginner or child. It is small enough that you can easily take it with you, just pack needle, thread and scissors.