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Finding Apailana
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got the rest of my sewing supplies, so I worked on the mock-up for the kimono and the base layer for the obi today.

All the fabric together:



I got everything in scattered places in Japan and India in my travels, but if you'd like specific directions, I'd be happy to answer questions.

Finished kimono mock-up:



The obi is a tube of canvass (8" wide) with some significant overlap in the back, that will be hidden by the 'drum' loop. I hope to make it adjustable, for fluxuations in my waistline.



The obi is clearly modeled after a Nagoya-style obi, with a drum loop in the back. To achieve that on a real obi, you use a little hidden 'pillow' under the top of the loop, so I'll probably wind up doing something like that here too, since it seems to sag on its own. The loop is also 8" wide.



I also cut strips of my velvet (velveteen?) for the collar and pinned them in place for this demo. They are 4.5" wide, folded in half, to give room for tacking them down underneath. I only have 1 m of this fabric, so I used the full length in three pieces. While that is enough for the two edges of the skirt, it doesn't quite go around the full top. The raw edges are hidden by obi, but I may take some purple fabric I have lying around to complete the edges for neatness sake.



A close-up of the collar.



Next is patterning and mocking up the under kimono to make sure all of the collars play nicely together, before I start working in the real fabric.
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Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks so good, Jenna! Very Happy I can't wait to find the rest of the fabrics I need and then start my own. But first I really need to use some of the fabric I've got lying around for other projects. Wink
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More progress!

I have the kimono more or less finished now:



I think one of my favorite parts is the lining, a tissue silk that I picked up in Chennai as well. I know most people won't see it, but I love knowing that it's there.



Here is a close-up of the sleeves before I attached them. To me, it really looks like she uses the velveteen as piping, not anything satin, so that is what I used. It gives the piping nice fullness and sheen.



Next up is lots and lots of pleats. I think I have a system I like for the pleats on the under-kimono sleeves, but we shall see how it works out.
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LaV317 (LaVonne)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful!!! Amadalia Leia Buns
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love seeing your progress. Very Happy
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The under shirt gave me tons of trouble, and the sleeve pleats took forever, but it's more or less done now!







I still want to tack down the pleats on the collar so that they aren't flying all over the place, but that is hand sewing for movie watching on a later date.

I used a chiffon I picked up in India for this. I think it is made of rayon or viscose, because it's certainly not silk or polyester. I wound up running out of my original fabric and realizing that the sleeves really needed to be lined, so I ordered the closest color I could find in polyester. In hindsight, I should have lined the whole shirt and not just the sleeves, but no one will see anything but the collar and sleeves in the end.

I also have ton of screen accurate buttons for the sleeves that I don't know what to do with, so if anyone wants any, I'd happily send a pair to you for the cost of shipping. Just send me a PM.



I patterned the undershirt on my regular kimono undershirt and the sleeve from McCalls 2401.



Then I folded a really long piece of scrap paper into the size of pleats that I wanted. This took about 3 hours of drawing lines, folding, and taping.



I traced my basic sleeve pattern onto the paper pleats, then cut it out.



Then I unfolded it and used it as a pattern for the folded sleeve. The original pattern was still what I used for the lining.



The full-length sleeve was longer than I am tall.

I lost quite a bit of length on the shoulder seam with fraying on the sleeve, so the attachment process didn't go as well as I hoped. Initially, the sleeves were too tight to properly sit on my shoulder. So, I went back to my original plan and opened up the side seam and under-arm seams for 4" like you'd see in kimono undershirts, which did the trick.

The bonus to that was that now I can use my kimono clip-straps to keep the garment lying neatly on me when I wear it. I definitely plan to use my collection of accessories I use when wearing kimono to hold everything in place. I'll take some photos of getting dressed when I get that far.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sketching out and patterning the hakama.



I hope to have time to put together a mock-up this weekend. I'm not 100% sure if I have enough pleats, but we shall see.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally free of the chiffon, I really wanted to dive into the hakama, so I made a mock-up in cotton broadcloth today. The idea is that this will be both the pattern and flat-lining for the final version, since my silk cotton is really thin.

I patterned this based on the really helpful guide for hakama that I found here, with lots more pleats in front.



I think the final version will have quite a bit of hidden stitching inside it to keep the pleats flatter.

And then I tried it on with the kimono and undershirt. It is very light and comfortable together. I wasn't wearing a sports bra, so the top still isn't lying very well on my boobs for the photo. Too curvy for Naboo...



The bottom 1/2" will be hemmed up in the final version, which will make a very nice length for the whole outfit.

The tragic part is that now I have to rip all that apart and iron it out so that it can be the pattern for my silk cotton. Crying or Very sad I think I'll hang it in my closet and admire it for a few days before I do that.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My lace is all finally here!



I need to do some playing, but I plan to snip it apart, dye it all dark gray, and arrange it on a netting base to form the shape of the lace base to all of the beading on the headdress.

Something like this:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love seeing your progress on this. Very Happy Such a beautiful costume.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally finished the hakama! It was a slow process of pleating, ironing, and tacking. Using my mockup as flat-lining turned out to be a great idea in a lot of ways, but most of all because I could use the lines I already drew to guide my pleating without marking up the fragile silk-cotton.

Here's one side of the front, pinned in place:



And here you can see the hidden stitch tacking I did on the back side to keep the pleats laying nicely.



I used bias tape on all of the edges to finish the seams. I did not add the bottom and crotch bias tape until after it was sewn together. That will keep the garment more resilient to regular wear in the long run.

Other than the pant legs, the hakama is held together with a belt that is attached at the front and a sort of belt-loop board at the back. In addition to flat-lining the board on the back, I also inserted some thick paper between the outside and lining layers to keep it stiff.



I ran out of silk-cotton for the belt, so I used some stiff satin I had left-over from another project. The belt won't be seen when the whole costume is on anyway.

And here is what the final product looks like:



There are three big pleats across the back, but it looks like my butt needed that extra space.



This is a test-run with the collar and obi just pinned on. What I can see is that I may want to fiddle with the angle that the kimono is folded back at, so that more of the hakama is visible higher up.
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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then came the obi. It took several dye baths to get the right color, but what I learned is that silk, especially antique silk, does not do well in cheap dyes like RIT or Dylon. I was finally able to get the color I liked with acid dye from Dharma Trading Company.



Kimono fabric is only about 14" (36 cm) wide, so I had to use both of my pieces to get enough width to make all of the pleat-wrinkles on the obi.

Once I had the two pieces together, I pinned down some rough, uneven pleats on either end, intentionally mismatched.Then, I folded over the ends and stitched the pleated ends down onto the canvass base.



You can also see my ties hanging off the end. I decided to fasten this like a tsukuri obi, which is an easy-tie style you often see worn with yukata at summer festivals. This will allow it to be adjustable when I wear it.

Then I worked my way down from one end to the other, pinning the pleat-wrinkles in place.



The I started making some hidden stitches by hand to keep the pleat-wrinkles in place. I alternated columns of stitches tacking the outside of the pleats (from underneath) and then a column tacking the inside base of the fold. Up close, it looked something like this:



And here's what it looks like with all of the hidden stitches done:



To give an idea of how many stitches I made, here's the back side of the obi:



And then I pressed it with a steam iron to fix the pleats. Because it's silk, it behaved very nicely.



I had to line it with a bit of extra satin from another project because the kimono fabric wasn't wide enough to go all the way around the back.



Next came the 'bow' on the back. It was clearly meant to resemble an otaiko-style bow (lit. drum) that is commonly used with Nagoya obi in Japan. To make the otaiko shape in the back of a normal obi, you use an obi makura (lit. pillow) that sits inside the top of the loop, making it fall over in a nice curve.

I followed the same process of uneven folds pinned in place on the bow as I did with the mean piece. Once again, I hid the seam between the two pieces of fabric underneath a deep pleat.



Then I tacked it all down by hand, which was much faster on this smaller one.



After that step, I finished the top edge and sewed the two edges of the back (lining) together to create a pocket with the back open. Here it is after it has been ironed, and a piece of thin foam that I used for the obi-makura.



I loosely rolled the foam and stitched the ends, then trimmed the ends to taper them a bit more.



Then I stitched the bow portion to the inside of the main obi.



And then I slid the obi-pillow into the lining of the bow, and stitched it into place so that it wouldn't slide around.





To keep the bottom of the loop in place behind the bottom layer of the obi while still allowing the obi to be adjustable, I used two pairs of magnets. Placing the magnets was made easier by the fact that I could use the other halves outside of the fabric to keep them in place.





I hand-sewed the ends of the obi closed, and it was done. Here is what it looks like lying flat:



And trying it on:







I will probably need a dressing assistant to make sure that the bow is on straight and that the ties aren't hanging out. The ties make it very easy to put on and comfortable to wear.
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Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, all that remains is the headdress. I dyed all of my lace and my English tulle a dark gray color. It turned out that the tulle and the longer lace trim were synthetic, so I had to do two separate dye baths: one for the rayon lace and one for the polyester. Since the lace doesn't photograph well on its own, here's a shot of it in comparison with reference images. (This was before I got poly dye for the lace on the top left.) What this dye test told me was that the floral lace needed about twice the time as the other laces to get the color I wanted.



In the end, I managed to get all of it to a nice steel-gray color:



I snipped bits and pieces off of many different laces to get this shape, and then hand sewed them together on a tulle base using some gray embroidery floss.



After that was all secure, I trimmed off the excess tulle to make the front piece of lace for the headdress:





It's not exact, but I managed to get a pretty similar shape to the original.

Next up is beading. I wound up getting different colors of beads in each size to add to the depth and texture of the headdress. I have 4 different colors of 3 mm beads, 3 colors of 4mm beads, 3 colors of 6 mm beads (though they are really similar), 2 colors of short bugles, and 2 colors of long bugles.



When mixed together, all of the colors blend pretty well together, except maybe the long bugles, so I'll have to be more careful of how I use those together.



I hope to start beading today, because this is doubtlessly going to be a very long process.

I also commissioned a friend to make embroidered appliquets on his embroidery machine for the collar, so that will be coming in a few weeks. So far, he sketched up the outline he'll be using.


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Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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SongofAmazon (Jenna)
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And beading begins!







It fits!



This is what 7 strings looks like:



And here is where I am now, with 14 strings:



The easiest of the strings (with long beads) takes me about 12 minutes while the ones with little seed beads take me closer to 25 minutes, so it's a very long process.

The pattern of beading is based upon Naergi's excellent research, which found that there are four basic patterns of bead strands hanging down from the headdress:

Quote:
1. Alternating: 5 3mm pearls / 2 4mm pearls / 5 3mm pearls / 3 long (twisted?) bugle beads, 2mm wide, 12mm long / repeat.
2. Alternating: one 6mm pearl / 2 long (twisted?) bugle beads; 2mm wide, 12mm long / repeat.
3. Alternating: ~ 22 (number is NOT clearly visible in pictures!) faceted (cut) seed beads, 3mm long, 2 mm wide; 1 6mm pearl / repeat.
4. Alternating: 8 4mm pearls / 1 6mm pearl / repeat.

You can, for example, see that each side of the front lace piece has the following strand types attached (starting from center front – and yes, those are symmetrical on both sides): 4-3-3-1-3-2-4-2-3-2-4 etc. etc.


From what I can see, the full pattern in the front, starting at the center is:

4-3-3-1-3-2-4-2-3-2-4-4-3-3-1-4-1-3-3-1-2-4-4-2-4

That's 25 strands on each side of the front, for a total of 50 strands in the front. There seem to be slightly fewer in the back, but there is a lot more lace to cover with beads back there.

I had initially hoped to finish this by the Air and Scare event at the end of October, but because I suddenly went from working half-time in August to working overtime in September, I am beginning to doubt that I'll be able to pull it off. I still plan to keep plugging away at it though.
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In planning and progress:
Riyo Chuchi, Queen Apailana, Nomi Sunrider, Havoc Trooper, Amilyn Holdo

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Last edited by SongofAmazon (Jenna) on Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lora Skywalker ()
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your progress looks amazing and I really can't wait to see it all done. Very Happy Amadalia

So beautiful.
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