Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rakuten Update

Hey everyone,

After years of recommending the Japanese online shopping mall Rakuten to others for free, because I've had a lot of great experiences shopping there and, for my readers, they ship internationally and in English, I will start getting a fixed $1 commission today if someone buys something there through one of my links.

This won't change my policy or honesty in things I find on Rakuten, but I want to be completely transparent. Thanks for reading and your support!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Kickstarter Kimono Fashion Show Goodies!

These are my goodies I got for donating to a Kickstarter-funded kimono fashion show that will happen during New York Fashion Week 2016. The pieces of fabric are kimono textile fabric, and the postcards were made for backers by a paper-cutting artist. I especially love the little sparrows sitting in the bamboo!
Led by Hiromi Asai, a Japanese kimono stylist that lives and works in New York, the show will “bring real kimono to New York Fashion Week next February”.
From the Facebook page:
“Though Kimono is a popular word in the world, most people don’t know what really kimono is and how beautiful kimono is.The first aim of our project is to demonstrate authentic kimono beauty and elegance at one of the biggest world fashion venues. We will acquire much more kimono lovers who put kimono in their wardrobes and wear kimono on various occasions. We believe that people may rediscover and wonder that “old-fashioned” kimono is really a “modern” dress with huge capacity of variation.”
“The second aim of our project is to encourage kimono artisans though our world-wide show, and make the kimono industry re-flourish through making bigger market of kimono in the world. We believe that kimono artisans watch the show using their created fabrics and be more proud of their art of kimono creation. We also want to evolve the art of kimono creation to real fashion. Thus, this project is not for our promotion. We believe this project is for the future of kimono and kimono fashion.”
Good luck to everyone involved!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Going Back to Blog Posts

Hey everyone,
I've had my kimono blog for almost six years now, and I've done everything from posting there to doing live educational seminars at conventions to this latest experiment, regular Youtube videos. Thank you for your support through all of it! grin emotico
I've really enjoyed making these videos the last couple of months, but to be completely honest they've taken a lot longer than I thought they would and between them and my job (I'm a teacher and school is back in session) they are taking up just about all of my free time.
So while it's been fun, I'm going to go back to blog posts and such for now when I can, and possibly return to video making next summer break. This will also give me a chance to work on some more in-depth translations that I haven't been able to get around to finishing.
Thanks again for being awesome, and as always please let me know if you ever have any kimono questions. I'll be happy to help if I can.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Video: Japanese Family Crests and Kimono

A quick introduction to Japanese family crests and their use in kimono, with special guest star Cat! He is very bad at being quiet when he wants your attention, and shutting him out of the room will just make him grab the bottom of the door with his paws and bang it in its frame. lol So I decided to try to have some fun with him being in the background. Thanks for watching!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

15 Classic Japanese Kimono Motifs

I had a lot of fun making last week's seasonal motif video, so this week's video is 15 classic Japanese motifs that are typically year-round ones.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Year of Japanese Kimono Motifs

This video was inspired by the month-to-month motif translation project I did for this blog!

Make a cup of tea or coffee, get comfortable, and relax for a six-minute journey through a year's worth of seasonal Japanese kimono and obi motifs, set to the classic piece "Waltz of the Flowers". 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Japanese Kimono and Obi Sewing Details: Part 2

Here is Part 2, the last part, of my video on kimono and obi sewing details, meant to give a quick close up look at general Japanese kimono pieces that most sewers don’t have a chance to look at in real life.
In Part 2 I show authentic examples of men’s and women’s obi, accessories, tabi (socks) and even footwear just to round it all out. Part 1 was men and women’s kimono, looking at sleeves, collars, and seams.
(Apologies for the noise of the AC, but it was too hot out to try to film with it off!)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Video - Kimono and Obi Sewing Details: Part 1

This week's video is up, a popular reader/home sewer/costumer request for a closer look at the details of a kimono and related accessories. Part 1 covers kimono, and Part 2 next week will be obi and accessories. Please pardon our cats playing in the background!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Part 2 of my video for costumers and cosplayers is up! I include sewing advice and general tips for wearing your costume well. Have a great weekend and thanks for all your support on the newly revamped channel!

How To Sew Kimono: Construction Details for Sleeves and Body

This is an old tutorial I made a long time ago, but I don't think I ever added it here. Feel free to download it and use it as a reference sheet, and good luck with your sewing!

Important note: When I say the exact middle of the blue seam, I mean that in a horizontal sense: if you drew a line down your shoulder into your arm, the midpoint of that blue seam will be on that invisible line (as seen in the reference photo). Not that the seam itself should sit on top of your shoulder.

Also, the top inside corners of panels 5 and 6, the front overlap pieces, will get folded in and eaten up by the collar.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How To Build a Smart Kimono Wardrobe

Here is my video, a reader request on how to build a smart kimono wardrobe. Let me know if you have any questions or ideas for future videos, and thanks for watching!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Youtube Channel Revamp, and New Video Every Thursday!

Exciting news! I’ve decided to revamp my Youtube channel and move to a more conventional (and much easier to create) Youtube talking-at-the-camera format, which will let me move to a weekly posting schedule. I’ll cover your questions, requests, and interesting info about kimono and traditional Japanese culture every Thursday.

 Wish me luck, and let me know if you have any questions or requests!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Put on Hakama for Men and Women

Here are two helpful videos for complete kimono and hakama (pants) outfits. Even if you don't speak Japanese, this rental company visually walks you through the entire process step by step.

Costumers, cosplayers, history buffs, and artists might find these videos useful. There's nothing like seeing a garment in three dimensions to help you understand how it's made. :)

Women's graduation outfit: This outfit is worn by girls graduating high school or college. The mid-length-sleeve furisode (young women's kimono) in this demonstration has a much shorter hem than a normal kimono of this type because it is only meant to be worn under hakama. It would never be worn alone like a regular kimono.

Regular women don't wear hakama in the modern day outside of graduation and certain traditional sports.

Men's formal outfit: The most formal outfit for men includes hakama, along with a jacket called a haori (haori can be worn by men or women in general, as a note) and a distinctive puffball tie that closes the jacket. One note is that if you want to do a men's kimono outfit without hakama (which is ok, of course), you wouldn't tie this particular bow tie knot in the middle of the back but rather one of several different types of knots off-center on the back. This specific one in the video is meant to help support the back of the hakama.

Monday, April 6, 2015

How to Put On a Furisode Kimono

Long time, no post!

I ran across this video today, and while I might make my own English-language one in the future, thought those looking for instructions for how to wear a furisode would find this helpful visually.

Auto-translate isn't working at all, but it's no loss anyway as Mom and daughter are just chatting about random stuff and not explaining anything about what Mom is doing as she dresses her.

If you have questions, please direct them to me on Facebook or Tumblr, as I don't check in here that often anymore. Thank you!