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Japanese Kimono reborn

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Making clothes from Japanese Kimono

Japanese Kimono are one of the most traditional and emblematic clothes in the world of cultural fashion. Here the JOI Japanese language learning blog, introduces a practical method of how to repair and remake the Kimono into a blouse.

Yanaka sensei is Japanese teacher at JOI and she her hobby is dressmaking and Kimono make-overs. She explains in detail the process of this great Japanese craft.

You can learn Japanese here by listening to the video online and also reading the blog and learning the Kanji and Japanese vocabulary.

Japanese Kimono reborn





An old Haori coat and old Kimono.


It is well-stitched. I unstitch the Kimono.


We unstitched the whole thing. The unstitched cloth is vaguely rectangular.


Place the pattern paper on top.

It is done.


To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 






Japanese Kimono reborn

There are some Japanese dressmaking and dress make-over classes at the Kimono classroom that I attend. And they sometimes open a trial lesson for Japanese dressmaking and dress make-overs. I applied to one of the make-over classes in September. The theme was making a blouse from Kimono material.

Make-overs start with taking apart old Kimono or Kimono that you no longer wear. I didn't have any unwanted Kimono myself, so I bought a Haori coat at a second-hand clothes store, and used that for the make-over class. The Kimono was really well-sewn together, so taking it apart was really difficult. After unstitching it, I found that curiously, all of the pieces of cloth were rectangular. Kimono are made by cutting a piece of cloth which is 34 centimeters wide and 12 meters long into straight lines. So the Kimono breaks down to rectangular pieces when unstitched just like the material you get when you buy it at the store.

However, the width was not enough as it was, so I while thinking of the pattern, I sewed it together with another piece of cloth. This matching of different patterns is one of things that makes dress make-overs so interesting, and also what makes it so interesting. After sewing the pieces together, you lay a pattern paper over the top, and make markings onto the cloth and add the margins to sew along and then cut into shape. And then you sew the cut pieces together with a sewing machine and then you're done .

What do think ? The Kimono has been reborn as a blouse. I looked at the other students' works and it was really interesting, even though we used the same method of making, the mood of each piece was completely different. Now that I have discovered the joys of dress remaking I am already getting to work on my next piece. It looks as though I am going to have a lot blouses in while.

生まれ変わる(うまれかわる) reborn;

着付教室(きつけきょうしつ) a kimono wearing class

和裁(わさい) Japanese dressmaking

リフォーム make over

体験講座(たいけんこうざ) trial lesson

開催(かいさい) open

申し込む(もうしこむ) apply;  

ほどく undo [unsewn] a dress ; take a kimono apart

~から始(はじ)まる begin at ~

いらない no use; unwanted

古着屋(ふるぎや) an old-clothes store

羽織(はおり) a haori ( short coat for formal kimono)

しっかり tightly

不思議(ふしぎ)なことに Curiously;

長方形(ちょうほうけい) rectangle

布(ぬの) cloth

幅(はば) width

長さ(ながさ) length

直線(ちょくせん) straight line ;

足(た)りない be short

柄(がら) a pattern

縫い合わせる(ぬいあわせる) sew together

柄合わせ(がらあわせ) pattern fitting

型紙(かたがみ) a pattern paper

しるしをつける to put a mark on cloth

縫い代(ぬいしろ) a margin to sew up

裁断(さいだん) cutting

ミシン a sewing machine

作品(さくひん) a work

雰囲気(ふんいき) mood

取り掛かる(とりかかる) go to work

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Guest Sunday, 24 October 2021