Handmade: Vintage Kimono Remade Ouji Style

formal kimono remade into a ouji lolita vest

Just in time for Winter ILD, I finished my second Ouji coordinate for my friend. The first look was a soft ivory color and this is the opposite side of the spectrum in black with a print. The concept was to have something very regal for ILD and my love of kimono inspired me to use a formal kurotomesode {黒留袖} to achieve a royal look. I realize it is a women’s kimono being used for a men’s coordinate but the design and liner nature of the kimono fabric was just a perfect match for my vision and vest pattern. Was exhilarating creating a mash up of two incredible fashion styles together into one.

Working with the kimono silk took some getting used to. This particular one is a stiff silk but it still had a bit of wiggle to it when sewing that I had to watch out for. Definitely a departure from the woven and knits I am used to working with.

details of pocket, tie and rosette from kurutomesode

I am torn between the tricorn hat and the sash as my favorite of the accessories. The lace on the sash was not cheap, but what a dramatic statement it makes. The look wouldn’t be the same without it. To secure the sash I made a rosette from another kimono fabric scrap. In fact I used the reverse side of the fabric since it featured more of the metallic thread for extra sparkle. Conceptually the sash also plays the role that an obi would from kimono fashion. Even thought about using an obi fabric for the sash originally, but this gold lace just was too gorgeous to pass up. And the obi fabric might of been too much kimono reference so probably better this way.

For the shirt and tie I bought two of the same shirts from a discount clothing store. I used the second shirt to make the matching tie. I also hope to alter the shirt cuffs to be more dramatic with the remaining fabric and some lace. Just wasn’t able to finish that in time before the holiday.

The pants are from Fan Plus Friend but I did find an amazing black, cotton twill fabric that I would like to make a similar pair of pants/breeches out of. That way I can match the buttons from the vest on the pants. The FPF version has snaps so I couldn’t swap them out.

japanese sacred treasure award badge on ouji tricorn hat

I bought the tricorn hat from the same company as I did before. The quality is amazing and the fit is perfect. For this one I wanted all the details to be monochromatic except for the medallion. The feathers do have some purple in them but it is subtle. I found a ribbon that has sheer stripes which I though was really pretty to use for the detailing and to compliment the cascade of the feathers.

To pull another Japanese element into the look I found this embroidered medallion on eBay. Its a replica of a Meiji era Sacred Treasure Award. The gold couching in the medallion was a nice match for the gold thread on the kimono print and created continuity.

Well, I hope you like my Kimono Prince coordinate as much as I do!!

Valentine’s Fabric Hanging Mobile

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I instantly gravitate to things that are hand made.  The love that goes into creating something unique. And those little imperfections, that you can’t get with something manufactured, really capture the sentiment of the holiday.

valentines hanging mobile

My studio at home, where I do all my sewing and crafting, has begun a transformation.  I love the space and focused for a long time on the furniture and layout.  Now it is time to put an artistic stamp on the place.  So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day I added this simple fabric hanging mobile to the studio window. I’ve hung it from the curtain valence so that it can spin freely over the window panes.

fabric scraps diy decorationsHow To Make It

  • 4″ fabric squares – I had a batch in pink, white, and red. You can usually buy pre-cut quilt squares on eBay for a great price.  This will give you a variety of prints without having to buy a lot of fabric from say JoAnn Fabrics. The number of squares you need depends on how many items you want to dangle from your mobile.  I used 18 squares.
  • Pinking shears
  • A branch of small fake flowers
  • A few random buttons
  • A few bows or other embelishments
  • A small amount of stuffing
  • A skein of embroidery floss
  1. Using the pinking shears cut out two squares at a time into circles and or hearts.
  2. Embellish as you wish using the bows, buttons and fake flowers.
  3. Making sure the wrong sides of the 2 pieces of fabric together, sew close to the edges around the shape to bind them. Be sure to leave a small gap/opening about a 1/2″ wide.
  4. Put a small amount of stuffing inside the opening.  Don’t overstuff.  You want just enough to give them a slight poof. You don’t want them to be too heavy either or they won’t float nicely on the mobile.
  5. Stitch the opening shut.
  6. Cut a piece of embroidery floss to random lengths for each strand in the mobile.  Mine range from 14″ to a little over 20″.
  7. Tie the end of each strand into a small loop.
  8. Thread the other end of the stand into a large eye needle.
  9. Hand sew the strand carefully through the center of the sandwiched layers of one of your circles/ hearts.  The first one should rest on top of the knot of the loop.
  10. Add more circles by tying knots a few inches above each circle and sewing the strand through the center.
  11. Finish the top of each strand with another loop.  Leave it large enough if you want to hook it over say a chandelier.  In my case I used very small safety pins and attached them to the hem on my window curtain.

I’ll have to explain how to make the little ume blossom strands another day.  Photos of the steps are needed to properly explain. So for now, happy crafting everyone!