more susie’s choices

okay, susie, to be clear about it, let’s look at a bunch o’pictures.  everybody else, sorry to bore you.  this is me and my sister figuring out which of 38 used silk saris we want to use to make a kimono.  it’s an arduous process, and we’ve already been thru a bunch of steps, which mainly consist of me separating the saris into weights and sending her pictures of each weight, which she would then go thru and pick favorite saris from all the weights, and then i would yell at her and we would start over, me never quite understanding what she wanted, and she not understanding the process i’m using.

so, we’re going to do it online.

21, 23, 29, 30, 32, 34

the saris pictured above are already jumbled up from how i laid them out on the railing outside, which was by the number, but the list is upstairs, so i can’t check on it.  the first one on the left is the yellow and green and purple one, which is also below.  the second on the left is the purple one (on the right below).  the next one is the gold one.  then the pretty blue one.  then the teal one, and lastly the red one.  i had another one that wasn’t on the list you gave me, but i thought it belonged (until i looked closely at it and discovered no holes.)  until i changed my mind and put it in my personal stash to wear.

23, 21

above i want you to notice just how thin these saris are.  i’d say 8mm habotai would be close.  what i use for my scarves.  the sun is going right thru the silk and lighting up the window frame.  this is the thickness of your kimono we’re talking about here.  it’ll flutter with the slightest breeze, and won’t take a hell of a lot of strain.  and don’t let me hear you’ve run it thru the washing machine, because i can tell you now you’ll just get a lot of threads in the drum when the cycle’s over.  and no kimono.  this is old silk.


i made the mistake of putting these saris out to photograph when the sun was in the alley, and so i’ve got loads of exposure problems which i’ve solved in some cases by completely squeezing the color levels down, and in other cases by never minding any kind of adjustment at all, and in the case above by cutting the picture in two when i took two differently exposed pictures, and making a patch of the best of each shot.


like this one.  i eliminated most of the information at the upper range of the scale, brightened the hell out of the rest of it, and it’s probably garish as hell on your screen.  but you can at least see it kinda sorta.

34, 32, 30

you’ll notice the gaping holes in 34, the red one.  they’ve all got places like that, some worse than others.  i guess what i want you to look at are the patterns, and to think about what parts of each sari to use, and where to use them.

29, and the one i decided to keep

29, while being arguably the most beautiful of all the 38 saris, is also the most warn.  it’s in tatters.  it’s only going to be used sparingly, so.  the other one has elephants all over it, and is one i thought would go quite well with the others.  but when i folded it up after my photo shoot, i realized it only had a torn end at the beginning, where you make the closing and start wrapping the sari.  so i ripped that part right off, about six inches, and folded the rest up and put it in my own stash.  i always liked that sari a lot and didn’t really want to cut it up.  so now i don’t have to.  but the gold one really is the nicest of the lot.

23, 21

back to the first pair of saris.  at first 21 seems too gaudy to use.  the colors are bright and distinct, not muted at all.  and all that yellow.

but.  the teal.  the purple.  the blue.  and you’ve got to have something bright to balance the red of 34.  so i think it works well.  as for 23, it’s a wonderful color, with wonderful little objects printed all over it.  it’s as thin as the others, with a few big holes that mean i can’t wear it, and i’m happy to be using it here.

as for what to use where, let’s have a look at the parts of a kimono.

Kimono Pattern
The kimono pattern consists of four main strips of fabric. Two patterns form the panels covering the body and two panels for the sleeves. Additional smaller strips form the narrow front panel and collar.

so, given that there are four basic pieces, with the collar for contrast, and a belt for contrast.  the illustration suggests a split in the two main pieces, which could make for 6 or 8 pieces out of the original two (for a total of as much as 12 different lengths of fabric).

give me some feedback on how you’d like to divide this up.  just in general.

love, me


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