archive for 'omiyage'
think i’m safe here too, this is mum’s present but a) not sure if she visits here and b) she’s finished work and has no internet access at home.
another recycled kimono piece from my omiyage book. this was pretty damn fiddly, as i should have expected from my previous experience. there’s very little sewing involved in this, it’s almost entirely glued. the pieces on the top are lightly padded. the most accessible (reasonably disposable) fibre in my stuffed-full stash box was bamboo. on reflection this wasn’t a great choice – the staple is very long so as soon as one gluey fibre escaped the whole lot wanted to come with it.
i cut all the pieces for the top as directed but they didn’t fit – the lid was too small so i had to abandon one row of pieces. gluing them down was also pretty tricky, luckily there is only one really obvious patch of escaping glue, visible on the outermost of the red fabrics here. finishing the edges neatly was next to impossible too. each piece is folded in half to enclose the stuffing and then glued in place slightly overlapping the previous piece. i ended up turning the edge of the lower layer up and the edge of the upper layer down and gluing inbetween, then nudging the lower layer back so that only the upper layer is visible at the edge. if that makes any sense at all, i can see why she didn’t explain any of this cos it would make the book 3 times as long!
since i hadn’t found her instructions very reliable i went my own way a little when i came to the size of the fabric pieces for covering the base of the box – her sizes really didn’t sound right. there are a couple of places where, with hindsight, it would have been better to make the fabric overlap a particular edge – where that edge was visible in the finished item – rather than finishing at the edge and risking the edges of the fabric and the cardboard showing.
also she assembles the base with the outer layer first, with no reference to making sure than the inner layer, which forms the rim of the box, actually fits inside the lid. my top and bottom aren’t quite as mismatched as the strong lighting in the pictures makes it seem. irl you don’t really notice the difference, although the top is a little too big. all of these problems are niggles that would be easily fixed second time round, and i noticed that there’s a different version of this box in other pictures in the book that’s much wonkier than the one you see on the main project page
overall i’m pretty pleased with it and i think it’s a nice showcase for the main fabrics. both are chirimen crepe silk with bingata designs. bingata is a dyeing method that uses resist paste applied through a stencil. while the colours of the main fabrics don’t match i think they compliment each other. i’m not so sure about the fabrics on the top . the pieces are so small (the box is 6″ diameter) that the designs and character of each fabric are rather lost. also i think it would be better to have more contrast between the colours of the top pieces. i chose fabrics that were well co-ordinated, which would have worked well with a larger expanse of each, but now i think they blend into each other too much.
also for my swap partner, my first attempt from the book omiyage by kumiko sudo. well, strictly speaking this is my second attempt as i had to scrap the first one. it was very badly sewn (way too baggy) and the colour choices just didn’t work at all once it was made up.
traditional temari are balls of scrap fabric tightly wrapped with threads forming intricate patterns. they’re traditionally made for children by their mothers and grandmothers (more info).
this fabric interpretation starts with a thread wrapped ball of fabric scraps, i then added a thick layer of lemon verbena from the garden which i dried in the oven. i was sceptical that it would keep it’s scent once dried but it did brilliantly (i have some left, must see if it makes a good tea). then i wrapped layers of wool over the leaves (the author suggests batting but i used the spinning fibre i had to hand). it’s then all hand sewn. the fabrics are a selection of kimono scraps i got a while ago. most are silk but there was the odd synthetic too.
the sewing itself wasn’t overly tricky once i’d realised how tightly you had to tension the pieces around the ball. one edge of each piece is turned over then blindstitched onto the piece underneath, all in situ. the flowers were pretty fiddly (the ball itself is about 4″ across).
i had various crises of faith with this, mostly around colour choice, but now i’ve got a bit of distance i’m pretty pleased with it. i still can’t believe i had the patience to finish it, it’s not my usual forte.