A Promissory Note for Spring

I am utterly, completely fed up of winter! I am tired of the cold and the snow, and I am tired of this awful ear infection/sinus/flu situation I’ve been fighting off since the beginning of December. I really needed to remind myself that this will come to an end eventually, and spring is on its way.

This kimono always feels good for this time of year, since it’s got multi-seasonal flowers and the colour scheme is pretty subdued, but with the right accessories it can really pop. I got the obi from Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono and I suspect it’s going to be come a fast favourite. I love the bold pattern, and it’s really nice and soft, but textured enough to hold well against itself. I tend to dislike overly soft formal obi because they can also be slippery and don’t hold a nice shape, but the slightly rougher fabric of this and the fact that it feels more casual means it’s great for relaxed, natural-looking obi musubi.

Soft leaf-green accessories helped reinforce the spring vibe of the outfit, and a pink haneri helped to emphasise the pink bits of the outfit. Of course, since I got the obi from Lyuba I had to tie the obiage in a bow shape that always reminds me of her kitsuke.

After the winter-heavy efforts of the 12 Days of Kits-Mas, it felt good to do something more transitional and bright. It was tiring working through being sick to do this, but I’m glad I did!

Review – Doll Kimono by JaponSakura

If you’ve ever gone hunting for doll kimono for smaller dolls (Barbie, Monster High, Pullip, Blythe, etc) you know how hard it can be to find accurate, well-made ones. There are lots of really nice options for wa-lolita styles and more modern/fashion types, and some beautiful options for larger BJDs, but if you’re looking for a stylish traditional kimono the options tend to be slim. I’d been looking for a proper kimono for Willow Grace, my beloved Pullip doll (on a 27cm Obitsu body), for a while and wasn’t finding anything that really spoke to me. Then I found Makiko and her shop JaponSakura on Etsy and I knew that was about to change!

The shop is sorted by doll size and type, so whether you’re looking for a kimono for the tiniest MiniFee BJD or your 70cm tall beauty, there are options available. There are multiple feminine styles as well as masculine options, as well as hakama for both.

There are a huge array of options for kimono fabric, obi fabric, obi style, accessories, etc, allowing for nearly limitless combinations. If you still can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, Makiko will also take entirely custom orders as schedule allows. I’ve got one of those in the works for a big project and will hopefully be showing you all soon!

All the items are very solid and well-made. The kimono is fully lined and everything is very cleanly finished with tiny stitching. The kimono is long enough to make a proper ohashori. I used a small clear hair elastic to hold everything in place, and it worked perfectly. The obi is pre-tied and closes with velcro. At this size, that’s quite helpful; tying a full obi would be incredibly fiddly and frustrating. The obijime is tied in a beautiful decorative knot and then just attaches in the back behind the obi musubi. For anyone wondering, the tabi and zori are standard 27cm Obitsu products that I purchased separately. My custom order will also be including tabi, but for now I can’t comment on the quality of those. However, I can only assume they’re made with as much care and attention as the rest of the items.

And of course, what’s a girl to do when she’s got not only an adorable doll and a gorgeous kimono, but also a doll-sized koto she found at a thrift store for six dollars? Why, take more photos, of course!

Overall, I am incredibly happy with the artistry and craftsmanship of the whole outfit. Everything coordinates very well and I think the fabrics I picked suit my little Willow Grace very well. She looks very at home in the cabinet with my other Japanese dolls now! And yes, I will have photos of that cabinet eventually.

Don’t forget, there’s just over a week to go in my Facebook giveaway! If you haven’t checked that out yet, now is your chance. 💖

 I purchased this item myself and chose to review it.If you have a topically appropriate craft, product, or service you would like me to review, please contact me. 

Kits-Mas Day 9 – Softly Subtle

As we get further and further away from December 25th, I’m trying to stick to the theme but keep things a bit less obvious. This softly subtle and desaturated coordination is still within the realm of festive greens and reds, but in a much less in-your-face way.

The flowers on this kimono may lean more towards the pink spectrum since they’re so pale, but I think pulling in the darker tones on the haneri and obiage bring it back towards the richer tones. This is definitely a more transitional outfit than some of the previous ones, but I think it still accomplishes what I was aiming for so overall, I’m pleased.

While I’m happy with the coordination, the kitsuke itself is a mess. The mannequin’s shape has never been perfect for kitsuke (I have to use padding on her!) but it seems more obvious than normal today. I also couldn’t get the obiage to cooperate, so I tied it in a Lyuba-style bow. I’m sure there’s a proper name for that, but I will forever associate it with Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono, so there you go. The ohashori is also a rumpled mess but it’s late and I have work tomorrow, so I don’t have the energy to redo it and take new photos.

By the way, next time I get a harebrained idea like changing the mannequin every day for twelve days in a row, someone please talk me out of it! The end is in sight but I’m running out of steam. XD

Kits-Mas Day 4 – Merry and Bright

How are you doing? It’s painfully cold here, but at least this outfit feels warm and happy! Maybe in tomorrow’s pictures there will be a roaring fire going on in the background. We’ll see.

Today’s outfit was built around a roll of gorgeous Christmas ribbon I found at the craft store. I admittedly bought it without anything specific in mind, I just really liked the texture of it. I’m glad I did though, because when I started this project I realised I could find a way to work it into an outfit.

The obi is actually one of my favourite old standbys, this red tsuke-obi with black flocking. I simply used temporary adhesive dots to cover the pattern on the otaiko with the blingy festive ribbon, and then added an accent on the waist segment too. It happened to be just the right width for the eri, so I used it for that as well to tie everything together. The kimono in shades of green and white makes me think of trees in snow, and of poinsettia leaves. Either way, it works well with the holiday theme! The gold accessories are technically too formal for the kimono itself, but this whole project is more about the overall mood of each outfit than about adhering to strict rules. I wanted to draw more attention to the gold in the ribbon, and this felt like the most effective way to do so.

I love how fun and merry and bright this coordination worked out to be. It’s definitely festive and it makes me happy. I’m so glad I bought that ribbon!

Fudangi First Friday

Hello! Welcome to Fudangi First Friday, a sort of new feature here on Kimono Tsuki. Naomi and Lyuba of Immortal Geisha were inspired by the recent Fudangi Fun event in NYC they were lucky enough to attend, to create a day where kimono-lovers can focus on relaxed, wearable, casual outfits. We all love the vibrant formality of furisode or the subdued elegance of kurotomesode, but it seems like fudangi, which includes things like wool and cotton kimono, simple komon, and other informal relaxed pieces, often get overlooked. So they decided to create Fudangi Fridays to encourage all us kimono lovers to appreciate these everyday pieces.

However, I know that committing to do something every single Friday is just a recipe for disaster, especially with the holidays coming up. For those of you who don’t know, I work in a specialty collectible toy store, so this time of year tends to be incredibly busy for me. So I’ve decided to combine Fudangi Friday with a phenomenon known as First Friday, an art/networking/entertainment community event that happens in a lot of big cities in North America on the first Friday of every month. People gather to share ideas, show off creative endeavours, etc. Forcing myself to do this once a month without fail is definitely more achievable for me. I may even manage to dress myself for these on occasion, since the majority of my wider kimono are casual pieces.

I purchased this haori on a whim from the same seller as the beautiful kurotomesode I got recently. In the auction photos, it looked like a creamy white with ume blossoms, so imagine my surprise when I opened the package and a leafy green haori with sakura on it fell out! I’m not complaining though, it’s even more adorable and charming than I was expecting it to be. I had no idea what I was going to pair it with, but I had it out while taking photos for my updated collection catalogue and saw it sitting next to the vintage-style blue komon Naomi gave me years ago and I realised how perfect they were for each other. The colours reflect each other perfectly, and they both have a young, spring feeling to them. I finished the outfit off with a hanhaba obi and cotton haneri in shades of cream and green, and a skinny orange obijime for a little pop of colour. This outfit is definitely fudangi, and it’s definitely fun!