Project Update: Lolita Yukata Blouse Complete

ヤッタ!Just finished sewing my summer festival yukata blouse.  I couldn’t be happier.  The blouse fits perfectly and drapes exactly how I hoped it would.

wa lolita yukata blouse front

The biggest challenge I faced with this project was the width of the traditional fabric.  I think I did well hiding the seams in the body of the yukata, but the addition is obvious in the sleeves.  Looks OK though – phew.  Seeing the finished garment, wish the fabric matched better on the upper portion of the back.  It was tricky to cut the pieces with the end result in mind.  Next time I will know better.  And I definitely see a next time.

lolita kimono back and side

My next challenge was volume of lace.  Ran out of the lace used on the hem and had to use an alternative for the cuffs of the sleeves.  It bugs me that it doesn’t match but the trim shop is too far away.  If by some chance I can make it down to the fashion district I’ll switch it out, but for now mix-and-match lace it is.

yukata kimono sleeve sode

Next Mission:  Complete the skirt, bloomers, hair bows and deco the obi!  No problem.

 

Project Update: Yukata Fabric + Off to a Good Start

When one thinks of colors that represent Japan, of course the iconic red and white of the Rising Sun come to mind.  But look a little deeper and indigo and white take center stage.  You see it so often reflected in fabric and ceramics across the centuries.  In fact there is an entire book dedicated to it.

indigo yukata fabrics

Probably a bit old fashioned of me, but when I think of yukata instantly blue and white comes to mind.  And not just the colors but the technique.  I am fascinated by the stencil dying method which results in a rich print.  There is no front and back to the fabric like modern printing methods.  Now if I remember correctly white with an indigo design was ideal for day as it looked cool and refreshing while indigo with a white print was worn at night.  Something about the dye being a natural insect repellent.  So I guess the more of it the better in the evening.  Since the summer festival will spill from day to night I am going to go with both. ☆彡

For the yukata blouse I choose a print with carnations and a stream.  It has a large design with lots of open space.  I want the blouse to really stand out compared to the cupcake lolita skirt so the big print and high contrast should work nicely.  Then for the skirt and bloomers the reverse, an indigo print on a white base.  Since most yukata do not incorporate 2 fabrics, I dug deep into my collection to find something complimentary.  The best match was a bolt that also features carnations but in a medium size print that repeats frequently filling the entire space.

indigo fabric ready for sewing

Thank goodness I have a big floor!  Because I needed all the space I could get when cutting the fabric.  Kimono and Yukata fabric comes in bolts typically 14 inches wide but up to 13 yards long.  So using the fabric in a non-traditional way means I will be piecing together many seams to create additional width.  Hopefully it will all come together and not look like a patchwork mess.  Given the volume of the lolita silhouette this project did require pretty much the entire amount of fabric from both bolts.

yukata half way sewn

My goal was to finish the blouse this past weekend, but I didn’t. O_O  That’s OK.  I would rather take my time and do a good job than rush-rush through it.  If folks at work play nice this week I can sneak out right at 5pm and finish up in a couple of days.  If not, then I will pick up next weekend.  All I have left to do is add the lace to the sleeves, attach them to the blouse body and then whip up a couple of detachable bows (this is a lolita coordinate after all.)  So far I am absolutely thrilled with how it is coming together.  I think it is going to be stunning.