So, it’s rather pathetic to see that the last time I posted to this blog was back on January 19th–to celebrate my record high of viewers in one day, no less! Since then, having not posted, you can imagine that my number of hits has dropped considerably. However, it’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks and, despite my guilt over not having posted, I guess the break was worth it. So, I apologize!
I’ve been busy with a lot over the last few weeks, between writing and editing for Senpai Magazine, working and dealing with snow, and a few family things. However, I think what has been closest to my heart was, as always, my crafting. Unfortunately, I still haven’t begun any human-sized projects as of yet. And with the clock ticking towards the springtime faire season, I’m running out of time. But still, that’s on the list. Also, I regret to inform that I’ve been a bit all over the place with the doll clothes projects I had been working on. Little Ari has a First Speaker gown… up until the part where I hemmed the dress and inserted one sleeve… And she also has a Valentine’s Day outfit… up until the part where I pinned the hem of the dress, didn’t like the shape, never fixed that, and never finished the petticoat. Yes, these projects are running like clockwork… -.-
But what I have managed to finish in the past few weeks, project wise, is actually something pretty cool. There’s more of a story to it which I’ll be able to share with my readers after this weekend. But basically, it comes down to that I’ve managed to create a pattern for a doll-sized kimono. After looking around for a while for some indication of a pattern for sale on the market and finding no help online, I found that it was just easier to draft it myself. And while the results may not be truly authentic (I probably cut a few corners here and there…), it stilled turned out rather impressive.
So, here’s something new…
Little Ari’s kimono is made up of two parts: The inner and the outer kimono. They are basically just the same kimono twice, attached together so that there is an outer shell and a lining. The outer shell is made of a vintage kimono silk which I picked up off of eBay a while ago. It was actually unstitched from a child’s kimono and sold in just one length of fabric. It’s cheerful and busy with blue cranes, beach balls, and oak leaves scattered all over it. And, since it was taken from an existing kimono, it does have a few flaws–a hole here, or a run there. But it definitely has a lot of character.
For the record, though, silk is difficult to sew. Looking back on it, I was probably using the wrong pins and needles and, if I were to use silk again, I would probably invest in a set of satin pins and needles, which are finer and meant for more delicate fabrics.
Next, the inner lining of the kimono is a simple, white cotton. I found it necessary to line the kimono for a few reasons. 1) To provide stability and shape to the rather thin silk, 2) to keep the beautiful orange of the silk from running off onto my doll, and 3) to provide a finished edge inside the kimono so that raw edges of of the silk couldn’t catch and run further.
The two parts are attached at a few seams by hand-stitching from the inside of the robe, which was done by going through the cotton side with the needle, catching a bit of fabric on the silk side, and bringing it out to repeat the process. The robe isn’t the prettiest thing on the inside, however you can’t see the joining from the outside and it’s very stable. The shell and lining are also attached at the hem and collar, and the lining just sits inside of the silk sleeve without being attached.
Anyway, this will be one of the outfits Little Ari will be wearing at U-Con this weekend (though the weather is looking less-than-perfect). She’ll be hanging out with Liddell and Lacey 1.5 (Lacey got a new head!) and you can imagine how excited she is… Poor Little Ari!