Thursday, October 02, 2008

The last on kimono.

For a day or two at least.

I keep forgetting to thank everyone for their suggestions on where to get kimono patterns. It just so happens, I have a book. (Of course I have a book. It's me. I'm tempted to get a book on brain surgery, just on principle, so when someone looks at all my books and says "Geez, got a book on brain surgery, too?" I can say "Yes. Over in the medical section.")

Anyway. The book.

"Make your own Japanese Clothes" by John Marshall.

When we lived in Hawaii I would regularly visit the book stores (of course) and drool over the sections on Asian textiles (of course). And one day, this book was sitting there, smiling at me, within my price range and everything. So being me, I bought it and stuck it in my 'sewing patterns' section (does it matter that I don't like to sew? I can still have books about it) and left it. Since then I've flipped through it a couple dozen times (mostly while trying, YET AGAIN, to figure out how to knit a kimono and really make it work), and then last week got it out and figured out how much yardage I needed for a simple half-lined haori. (A haori is a hip-length jacket, meant to be worn hanging open.)

It's a great book. Starts from absolute scratch, going over traditional Japanese tailoring methods and tools, and works outward. All patterns are based on the measurements of the body, and proportions of it, just like they are traditionally. And while there are technically only seven or eight patterns in the book, they all have variations that eventually cover probably 95% of Japanese clothing. For instance, there's a general pattern for 'outerwear' kimono, then he goes into detail on if you're a young unmarried girl you would wear an uchikake, with the long flutter sleeves. And if you were an older woman you'd wear a kosode, with shorter sleeves. And if you wanted an everyday coat type thing, you'd use cotton and only line it if it was for winter. And on and on and on. So with the information in the book, you can make anything (well, anything in the Japanese clothing realm). It also covers how to do the lining, in vast and gory detail. Which to me is the hardest part of making a true, traditional Japanese kimono.

So, if you think you'll ever want to make any kind of kimono, yukata (pants) or even tabi (shoes/woven socks), this is your book.


NeedleTart said...

We don't have a book on brain surgery, but we *do* have a book on Chinese foot-binding, step-by-step instructions. Some day we'll get to compare libraries.

Terby said...

You don't need a book on brain surgery. I can tell you all you need to know. And I'm pretty sure you own almost all the necessary tools already. ;)