Today I am working on a kimono for my husband. He’s a wood worker who owns a company that makes Montessori materials and furniture so he’s doing the work and being the boss all at once all day long. Very often on the weekends he’s a salesman or a delivery truck driver.
Yesterday he came by The Stitchery to mow the grass and get the dog to go on the nightly dog walk. I saw him approach the door: “Honey, are those pants tan or gray?” I said, wondering where he’d gotten those jeans. “No, they’re black.” “What? No, they can’t be black!” “No, they’re black”, etc, etc, etc, finally proving the blackness of the jeans by lifting the belt on the side and showing me the seam line. Yep, they WERE black.
He was covered in fine sawdust! This precious man deserves to relax in style!
Here’s the soft but hefty Japanese cotton he will get to wear after a long hard day in the sawdust. It will soften with each washing. The photo shows both the wrong and right sides of the fabric. He likes the darker (wrong) side the best so that’s what he’ll get. This fabric is 45″ wide unlike the traditional Japanese kimono textile which were 14″ wide
Kimono means simply “Things to wear”. This garment will be a yukata as it is made from the simple traditional cotton normally worn by men and women for informal summer occasions and for lounging in the home. Yukata means “bathing clothes”.
I am following the instructions in this book. I will be making some modifications to the kimono to make it a man’s kimono: I will shorten the length of the sleeves and I will make only a 2.75″ wide tie which will measure twice his circumference plus 14″- 20″ for tying. It will also be ankle length for him rather than floor length as a woman’s more formal kimono is made.
Here are two patterns for laying out the kimono. The top pattern is the front and back pieces all in one long piece with separate pieces added to the fronts for the wrap over extensions to accommodate the 14″ wide traditional fabrics and a seam down the back pieces.
The bottom pattern allows the wrap front as cut on pieces and the fronts and back are seamed at the shoulders with no center back seam. I am using this one.
Simple enough instructions:
with one page of information on how to make a lined kimono
There are more instructions for additional pieces like the collar guard,
that can be removed for cleaning without having to take apart a fine silk kimono
tips for making ties
and even how to make a mock obi
This pattern has been reviewed favorably at Pattern Review but it is for a lined kimono
Husband, au natural, is well insulated already so he will get an unlined cotton kimono.
I, however, am cold all the time. I will make a lined kimono and obi of some kind for me. More to come….