Wednesday 30 June 2010

my latest purchases!

Monday morning was a good day for me! It was a good day because, after a considerable break, I finally got to buy something from Ebay:

1. purple hakata obi!

I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the listing, and wasn't going to let it go without at least trying; I was lucky!

2. my first houmongi, with a ume branch design:

and a little detail:

So, like I said, Monday was a good day for me! Now I just can't wait until everything gets to Romania..

Sunday 13 June 2010

The enigma behind geisha tsunodashi musubi

hello again everyone!

I am writing this tutorial based on a kind request of a fellow IG-er, and if it will be helpfull for other people, even better.

The enigma behind geisha tsunodashi musubi is uncovered!

Things to start with:

1. You will need either a hakata obi, or a stiffer Zentsuu Fukuro Obi or even a maru obi (fully patterned - and you'll see why) or any obi that is at least 3.85 m long and, the wider the better. Stiff nagoya-shaped obi won't really work.

2. As usual, I am doing it in front and slide it on the back afterwards.

3. i'll refer to knot as the actual thing, while "musubi" will be considered the final product of our work.

4. I will be doing it with 2 different types, covering both hakata and regular fukuro obi.

5. I am not wearing a kimono - way too hot outside, but I wore a t-shirt that matched both obi  :coy:

Let's get started!

I. Hakata Obi/Zentsuu Fukuro Obi/Maru Obi

a. fold the tesaki part and, leaving out about 20 cm/just above your chest, wrap twice to your right, around your hips, finishing with the taresaki over the tesaki part:

b. make a knot, unfolding the taresaki part, just like below, leaving the lower part of the taresaki in the knot:

c. arrange everything so it looks straight.

d. lift the upper part of the obi , so you have a clear view of the knot you made earlier.

e. now comes the coolest part :): take the tesaki in your right hand and bring it over that knot:

f. put your left hand through the loop you just created with the tesaki and catch the the inner layer of the upper part:

g. now pull both hands to side and tighten, until it looks like so:

h. congratulations! you just made a square knot or more specifically a clam musubi under the outer part of the hanging obi, whether you realize it or not!!!

i. you should still be having part of the obi hanging; if not, start over the latter knot, and repeat until it looks like this, or similar:

j. another cool part :P : pinch the layer of the obi that just comes out of the knot and push it under the knot to either side; this will cause the knot to turn and lower a bit, but it's ok; that should happen:

k. push the obi fabric until it looks similar to this:

l. tadaaaaaa! you're almost done!

m. take your obiage and arrange the upper part of the musubi, then tie it in the back:

n. more arranging on the bow part...

o. now slide it in thhe back and make final adjustments! You're done!

II. Rokutsuu Fukuro obi

Since I know some of you only have a fukuro obi, usually 60% patterned, I figured out how to work around the unpatterned part. So here we go:

a. Fold your obi upto where the unpatterned part ends, towards the taresaki, and place that spot over your navel:

b. now wrap the tesaki once around your waist, to figure the amount you have to leave out on the tesaki:

c. now fold your obi again and wrap twice to your right, around your hips, finishing with the taresaki over the tesaki part.

d. follow steps b-d from above version. take the tesaki and fold it in half, just like i'm doing it here, and place it over the knot you made earlier:

f. follow steps f-o from the above version.

Tips for both versions:

 - it helps to have some karihimo at hand (temporary koshihimo)
 - you can tie a koshihimo inside the obiage, just to make sure the whole thing stays in place and the tie the obiage loosely, so as not to damage it.
 - you can wear it slightly different by adding an obijime to your outfit; this will not only add a splash of color on the obi, but will also secure the obi that's pushed under the knot.

And, surprise, I have a third version, that will work better with rokutsuu fukuro obi. but I will attempt that maybe later tonight.

I hope this was useful to some of you. If there are any questions, I'm here :)

Thursday 10 June 2010

Tsukuri Obi instructions

Hello everyone!

I've had this book for a while now, but still don't know the name, since I do not speak Japanese. However, inside there is a small chapter on Tsukuri Obi, which some people might find interesting. They give instructions and measurements and the shapes of the easy obi look quite nice and easy to do, so enjoy!

Flickr Album Set

Sunday 6 June 2010

first time in yukata!

It seems ages since I last put on a kimono (was for my birthday, in March), and last night it felt slightly uncomfortable (put on some weight, and did not take that into consideration when I tightened everything together). I planned to go out, but ended up just taking the pics and then undressing.

As you can see in the pics below, I tried to wear the yukata as a regular komon (juban, nagoya obi& stuff) and so I paired it with my light blue lace nagoya obi, a light pink obijime that I crocheted a while ago and even added a obidome (a rose).

I really wanted to see how it would feel to have the lace nagoya obi on, and it was a nice surprise for me.

After the 2 pics, my battery died, so there are no back pics of this outfit. I promise I will wear it again though!

One thing I realized is that using a koshihimo instead of a korin-belt, kept away the horrifying side flaps! So that was a good thing!

Thursday 3 June 2010

bingata, my love

I proudly present to you my love: a bingata komon. After having bought it from Yamatoku in october 2008, it stayed in my drawers for a long time, as I was too scared to even try to pair it with any of my obi; they are so colorful, that many a time, I feel I have too many chioces and yet none being the perfect, THE match.

That is until one fine day when I decided it was time to break the ice, and finaly paired it with my black, kikko nagoya obi and my red shibori obiage. It was a good outfit, in my opinion, but I felt there was something missing from it; again it was put in the drawers, for a better chance.

Next time I got to wear it, I pulled all of my obi and, in a crazy afternoon, after a lot of trials, I found a better match: my bluemarine obi with large golden karakusa and a purple and white bokashi obiage. Again, a very nice surprise and, at the time, I thought I found the ideal match.

 That is until I realised that the blue in the obi was drawing all my attention to the blue in the kimono, making the other colors pale, and since I love my bingata to bits, I decided I still have to look for a better match.

One obi I did not consider previously was my olive hakata. I bought it as a part of a 10 obi lot from Yahoo Japan Auctions, and when it arrived, I saw that is was sewn in places, and it was too short to make even a tsunodashi or a bunko musubi the traditional way.

So that will be my next challenge: pair this beauty with a new obi, hopefully, THE match!

Sunday 4 April 2010

Fortuny Dress

I bought a habutae red silk bolt about 2 years ago and, except the occasional cut-outs for kimono sleeves, it's been staying under my bed eversince. Today, after browsing the net, I remembered one of my many forgotten projects - a Fortuny style dress.

So I cut out apprximately 6m of that red silk, and then I just twirled it and twisted it until it became a red, creased mass thing and now boils on my stove. And, because I want it to simmer at low heat, completely sunk under water, I put over a bowl.... which will probably change color, since the fabric bleeds. It's normal, given the high heat. Or at least I hope so.

15 minutes later, I turn off the heat, and now I'm waiting for the whole thing to cool down, until it's safe to handle it. Depending on the amount of creasing, I may repeat the process once it's all dried.

I will keep you all posted with everything I am doing. :) Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday 10 March 2010

the apple musubi..

In my last post I showed you a new musubi I've been trying... Now here's the tutorial!

I did mine in the front and the slided it in the back.

You will need a fukuro obi that has at least 30cm of design on the tesaki part.

a. fold the tesaki diagonally and fan it, like in the pic below; I secured it with a small rubber band:

b. fold the rest in half and wrap it twice around your waist, finishing with the taresaki part over the tesaki part:

c. make a knot just like here:

d. bring the folded tesaki under the taresaki, but over the knot you previously made...

e. ... and then fold the taresaki part in 4 (fold in half and then again in half), putting it over the tesaki and secure the whole thing with a koshihimo:

f. unfold the rest of the taresaki...

g. ... and then prepare it just like you would for a otaiko and place the makura and part of the taresaki right over the koshihimo:

here is where you add the obiage, which I only added later - I forgot :oops:

h. continue doing the otaiko, and secure the musubi with the obijime; I forgot to take a picture of that too.

i. this is where you slide it to your back; if you didn't use padding (like me :) ), you will need to add something inside the taiko part, to make it look bigger/fluffier; I used a purse wrapped in a furoshiki:

j. lift the ends of the folded part of the taresaki, to create a pouched shape to your musubi and you're done:

If anyone feels I left anything out, please let me know. And I apologize for the non kimono presentation, but it's past 11 pm here.

I hope you'll enjoy this one :)

Sunday 7 March 2010

30th Birthday!

Originally uploaded by ume bloom
After a long break, I finally got to wear kimono tonight. I went out to celebrate my 30th birthday (coincides with Hina Matsuri) with some of my friends (those who know my kimono habits).

Initially, I wanted to wear my furisode for the last time, but then decided for the more subdued early showa purple komon. This time I chose a fukuro obi that had shades of green in it and, though you can't really notice it, the white and purple obiage.

For the musubi, I decided I's give a try to Yamatoku's "How to wear townwear kimono" musubi which I named apple musubi. Still a lot of work to get the shape right, but I hope I am getting in the right direction.

More pictures on my flickr account.

Sunday 10 January 2010

tsubaki time

Originally uploaded by ume bloom
Hello everyone, Happy New Year! Loooong time no nothing :) but I bring pics :) so be kind!

It's the first kitsuke this year, and I've been dying to wear my camellia tsukesage ever since i bought it from yamatoku, in 2007. Of all obi in the house, my large karakusa obi seemed the best option - after an afternoon of...well.. a lot of tests

i used again my mom's scarf as obiage because I have no green in the house, and a dusty pink obijime, matching the bokashi on my lining

Also, used a yellow kanzashi piece as netsuke, just because it kinda went along with the whole outfit.

More pics on my flickr account.