Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Japanese yukata fabric search

The Japanese clubs I belong to are having a summer festival, they have one every year just as school starts. It's a really fun event with yummy Japanese food, games and entertainment. A lot of the girls like to wear a garment called a yukata because this is what is traditionally worn in Japan. A yukata is a lot like what we think of as a kimono (although in Japanese kimono simply means clothing) a long robe with long square sleeves and a wide sash belt. Summer yukata are usually made of cotton and unlined so they are nice and cool in the summer.

I already have a yukata but it is just a little bit too small. So I decided rather than deal with the wind flipping open the flaps and showing my undergarments, I am going to sew my own correctly sized yukata this year.

Finding the right fabric was difficult because traditional Japanese prints have large background color areas with clusters of designs (flowers, butterflies, etc.) only in certain spots. Most of the cotton fabrics I found were too busy or had the pattern too closely spaced to work for my yukata. Not to mention I'm also trying to stay on a budget.

I needed about 5 yards of fabric for the size I want to make which can be a bit pricey when you add it up. It just happened that one my local craft stores was going out of business and at this time everything was 60% off (though also very picked over) I scoured over the fabric they still had, and finally managed to find something that I like, works well enough for a yukata and had enough yardage left. After it was said and done, with the thread I ended up paying under $20 for my fabric.

I am now in the process of assembling and sewing it, which since it is mostly rectangles and straight stitching is going really quickly. I'm not using a pattern because this is such a simple project, I've just looked up a few tutorials and suggestions, and examined the yukata I already have. I am so excited to wear my own handmade yukata to the festival this year!

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