susie has chosen

so okay, my sister and i spent about an hour on the phone discussing this, just this afternoon.  i’m going to abandon numbers at this point, and just use color names.  what we’ve ended up with is, from top left corner, the whole purple sari, the bottom part of the maroon sari, the red and teal pallu of the teal sari, the red and green pallu of the maroon sari, the whole brown embroidered sari (which we’ve since decided we’re not going to use), the bottom of the teal sari with maroon border, and the whole gold sari.  correct me if i’m wrong.  the maroon sari is actually new to this stash, and one i’d set aside for my own personal kimono, but there’s plenty for everyone, and it looks good in this tableau.

beautiful tho it is, the gold one is the most worn, and i will try to use it for accents only.  and the brown sari was only going to be for the lining, (because the silk is too old and too thin to use without a lining), and since this photo was shot, we’ve decided to use silk noil for the lining instead, so never mind the brown – it’s easy because it’s a neutral color, almost a blank spot.

the pallus – (The loose end is called the pallu or pallav or seragu or paita), in the middle on the right of the picture above, have already been separated from their sari bodies, and will be turned into sleeves (the teal) and collar (the maroon/green).  we’re thinking of only using the maroon body for the belt, but it might be okay in the body of the kimono too.

the body of the kimono, the two fronts and the double-width back, are coming out of the purple and teal saris, mostly.

the purple still has its pallau, on the right above.  it’s slightly more muted in color than the main part of the sari, which also has a delightful menagerie.  of the teal sari, what’s left is the main part, which you can see on the bottom of the first picture (forgot to take a closeup of the teal sari, sorry).

we’ve been going back and forth about how to design the back and front panels.  my sister has decided on a knee-length kimono, rather than it going to the floor, and that’s just about exactly the width of these saris – 45ish”.  so i can cut them in strips across the width, sew a few strips together, and there it is.  i suggested 3″ strips, and a few of them, a teal then a purple and then a maroon and a gold and another purple and etc.  a muted coat of many colors.  but she quickly decided she wanted much wider strips, maybe only two to a panel.  that’s like ten inches wide  and since i’m working with 6-yard saris, it doesn’t make much difference how big.  the thing to consider is the silk, which is old and fragile.  and the overall design.

when i was tearing the teal pallu off the sari, it shed dust as it ripped.  not a great sign.  but we’re going to quilt this mama down to the ling.  it’ll take care of any future rips (because they can then be mended into the lining with a quick pass of a sewing machine).   it’ll end up looking like applique.

see the purple pallu, and the teal pallu, and the maroon pallu, and the gold pallu.  lovely detail.

this is the main body of the maroon pallau on the picture above this one.  the red is actually maroon, and a very fine print of flowers.  it can also be one of the strips if you want.

here’s a prior picture of the teal sari.  the pallau, to the right, has already been torn off to use as sleeves, and the teal of the sari’s body is going to be one of the strips on the main body of the kimono.

raw silk for the lining

we’re getting some raw silk, which is nubby and soft and feels like a very lightweight terrycloth.  it’s going to be the lining.  i’m afraid it’s going to come pretty white, and i’m going to want to dye it a lot more neutral (plus i hate white).  it may be that my sister wants me to leave it alone.  the last time i used this fabric, i dyed it with coffee (might as well have, because it was designed to get coffee stains from sitting in bed drinking coffee in the morning).

this is a hell of a lot easier directions to make a kimono.  it is simply 5 panels of equal length sewn together (cut in half and sewn for the sleeves).  that means no insert panel to act as gusset. since i’m going to do a short kimono, maybe i can skip the insert.

here’re the fabrics, all stripped – make believe.  the purple, gold, teal, maroon pallau, maroon body, teal pallau.  remember that the gold and the purple have two parts each, which is 4 strips possible.  so we’re talking about (minus the sleeves and the belt and the collar – the right half) 5 fabrics to strip for the body of the kimono.  it would be possible to include the body of the maroon fabric in with the stripping fabrics, which would then make 6 fabrics to strip.

we’re only going to make it over the knee length, and the sleeves will be short, coming barely to the middle of the big muscle in your forearm.  they’ll be joined sleeves, not open ones, as in a man’s kimono, and i’d like to make boat sleeves out of the wrists – it’s what i did to the model.  i’m trying to decide how much lining to get.

what do you want to do about the sleeves?

A man’s yukata is attached to the body for about 42cm (16.5″), and then the part of the sleeve that dangles is sewn together on a line that slants away from the body. (Another style is to eliminate the dangling part altogether, making the sleeve more like a traditional Western sleeve.) A man’s yukata also lacks the underarm opening that is left in a woman’s yukata; the front and back panels are sewn together starting immediately beneath where the sleeves are attached.

here is the diagram for cutting on 36″ fabric (but the noil is 45″)

accoring to this, if we’re making the knee-length one then it’s 45 instead of 63, and the total length is 3.66 yards.  so, four yards of raw silk from dharma, being ordered now.

along with the shirt for dragon.con, which was supposed to have come in the last order.  what came in the last order, which arrived this afternoon, was three silk neckties and an alpaca shawl oooooh.  and while i was writing that, another mail delivery, this time with the shirt, and some urea for cotton dyeing.  so now i’ve got another shirt coming.  so i can screw this first one up yay.

so, fine, i just have to wait for the raw silk.  it’ll be monday at least, if not the middle of next week.  and since the next step is to cut the pattern pieces out of the lining, i’m going to have to turn my attention to something else.

i’ll go upstairs, photograph the silk ties for reference, unstitch them and wash the whole mess, along with the shirt.  and then we’ll work up a design for the shirt, and i’ll work up a design for the ties, and i’ll go into production while waiting for the raw silk.

and of course you realize that starting on sunday, we’re going to be starting the print run for dragon.con.  that’s 150 prints (actually 225), matted and shrink wrapped.  and i only have until you get here to do them.  so if i finish production before i see you, then you’re just going to have to wait.  and if not, you’ll probably only be able to see it in progress, because i’m not working my ass off after working my ass off.  just so you know.


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