Antique doll kimono – My New Year Challenge – part 1

You may remember the antique doll I found in a consignment shop a few years back — links at the bottom of this post if you’d like to see the story — and how his restoration went. The very talented Anne Weaver did an excellent job repairing the doll, but the person who worked on cleaning…

Time for a sale!

I brought Thomas along with me to Quilt Market this year in the hope that he would keep my spending under control, but that wasn’t the case. We did stay on budget… until he left and I had one more day at Market on my own to do a little shopping. So! This means I…

This week in the Kimonomomo design studio…

Today I had a visitor to the studio this weekend who asked me to show her how I do my sashiko. Helen was a lovely guest (who bought some of my favorite fabrics) and we chatted for a few hours while I stitched away. She likes to plan out her sewing projects, “obsessing” about them…

Kimono Tuesday is now the Weekly Kimono

… Mainly because Tuesdays don’t always work for me, but I do enjoy wearing kimono at least once a week. So! Let’s catch up. Springtime in Northern California is back-and-forth, warm then cold again, rainy and cool, rainy and warm, dry and warm, dry and cold, and we all get confused. The sun is shining,…

Kimono Tuesdays

For some reason rainy spring days make me want to wear kimono. I wore kimono more frequently when I lived in Oregon (mostly in the high desert, not the rainy valley), but since moving back to California several years ago I haven’t put in the effort. On Monday, while rain clouds moved in over the…

Washing shibori yukata cotton

Textile junkies love color and texture, and shibori has both in spades. When it comes to using these fabrics and not just collecting them (as my mother so often did), we take a step back and ask, “What is going to happen if I wash this? What if I don’t wash it? Will washing make…

Ringing in the New Year with a pile of old indigo

I spent New Years Eve picking apart two vintage cotton kasuri kimono, stitch by stitch. The one on the right with the cypress fence design (numazugaki 沼津垣) was so carefully sewn that it was a terror to disassemble. However, I wasn’t the first one to have taken this kimono apart, as evidenced by how it had…

Yukata Disassembly – indigo shibori

We live in an era of mass-produced, off the shelf clothing. That which was novel a century ago is now commonplace. To make clothing by hand is no longer a necessity, but a novelty. That’s great for saving time, but where is the love? In vintage, of course. Hand sewn garments of decades past can…

Kimono Disassembly

I’ll be back to posting the Caterpillar to Kimono series very soon. In the meantime I’ve been taking apart several kimono I picked up on the Japan trip, and it’s been an interesting experience. Back when I first opened KimonoMomo in 2005 I spent a lot of time taking things apart. I am fairly adept at…

From Caterpillar to Kimono: a Journey in Silk, part 2

From careful handwork to heavy machinery, there are many ways to unreel a silk cocoon. Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, is famous for silk production. In the 19th century Japan produced far more of the world’s silk than it does today (China has taken the title of world silk producer, much as it has taken…

Home again, with an extra suitcase or two

I left California two weeks ago with a half-filled medium-sized suitcase and a nearly empty duffel bag. I returned from Japan two days ago with those bags packed to bursting and added even more; a new, larger suitcase and a box, both filled with kimono, haori, obi, raw silk, furoshiki, books, obijime, yukata, and other…

Karinui Comparisons, part 2

In part 1 I disassembled an inexpensive kurotomesode (high formal women’s kimono) and gave you a peek at the inner workings, so to speak. This time we’ll be looking at a more expensive kimono and seeing how different the two can be. Part 2: The Hot Date Unlike the pretty, fast, and easy Cheap Date,…