Well, after the To Celebrate Life scarf went to the highest bidder when the auction closed, a disappointed bidder still needed a scarf. So, I made this one. First, a trip to the kimono rack to pick out something really beautiful.
This will do nicely! A kurotomesode–a heavily embroidered kimono traditionally worn by married women-from the Ichiroya Flea Market. The small circle at the top is a family crest–one of five on the kimono.
After taking it apart gently, I need to repair the gold embroidery.
Here’s how the original embroidery looks on the back side, if you’re interested.
And, while we’re at it, here are the front and back of an embroidered flower.
Now that I have the main piece, time to find some pieces that will work with the colors.
And start to lay them out.
And then, start to construct the scarf.
Finish the ends, line with beautiful cream-colored silk with shibori cranes, hand-sew the final seam, and it’s finished!
P.S. This all takes a lot longer than it looks like it does.
Here are some examples of scarves I make from vintage kimono silk I source from Japan. Much of the fun is the hunt for special fabrics. The rest of the fun is putting the fabrics together to bring out their special qualities and textures. The scarves are different on each side and can be arranged to express your mood of the day.
This one, “Madame Butterfly,” features beautiful embroidery.
This next one I contributed to the To Celebrate Life cancer fundraising gala, Stepping Out, in Marin County, California. This organization raises money to provide services such as meals and transportation to people who don’t have the resources they need while going through cancer treatment. The gala features a fashion show where all of the models are cancer survivors. This scarf is called, naturally, “Celebration.” There is gold cord stitched around the leaves in the river scene. This is probably from a kurotomesode, the most formal kimono worn by a married woman.
This one is a little quieter, called “Fall to Winter.” The mostly black and white section with the small boxes and four flowers is a Japanese tie-dye technique called shibori.
On this one, I appliqued the orange and green silk flower across the other two silks. It’s called “Origami.”