Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Yukata Project

For ages now, only my big 72 cm guy dolls have had yukatas and men's obis.  It's the first step toward getting them something to throw on while I'm patterning for them.  But my girls have been neglected.  So with the yukata for the Cardcaptor Sakura commission, I'm working out yukata patterns for my SD Girl, my MSD girl, and my YoSD, Cherry-boo (AKA Sakuranbo), who will get a boy and girls' obi.  Cherry's too little to bother with that pick a gender and stick to it stuff.

I've got a vintage 1950's Chinese cotton print for my SD girl with some pale leaf print for her obi, a very 60s looking modern cotton for my MSD girl with a faux marble cotton obi, and a silly remnant frog print and japanese windy swirl print for my YoSD.

A yukata is a light weight, usually cotton casual kimono, worn over either a sports bra and/or t-shirt, and briefs of your gender choice, and worn in hot humid weather for celebrations and onsen visits and what ever anime mayhem you've seen.  It's usually florals for girls and geometrics for guys, and blindingly bright cartoony prints for children. Girls under 21 traditionally wear longer sleeves, older ladies wear softer darker colors and shorter sleeves, older men usually tend toward 'dusky' colors like indigo, plum and rich browns and charcoals.  Some girls like to buck the system by wearing geometric stripes, so if your girl doll has an independent personality and wants to express herself as a thoroughly modern woman, look for some geometric stripes with out the floral print.

I'm going traditional with these patterns, but not so far as the two piece popular right now.  Here are some people sized examples.

Traditional: See, you don't even have to guess which is for the guy or girl now.
Yukata pattern Ball joint doll
Available at Fabric Tales (Link)
Modern Two Piece, but you have to squint to see it. The skirt has a tie string at the waist, and then the top imitates the waist length adjusting fold.  I'll be doing a two piece pattern for SD girls in preparation for a potential Miko set, which will use only the top under a hakama.  I love that print!

Yukata pattern
Available at Fabric Tales (link)
More photos to follow later as this project progresses. THIS WEEK!  No procrastination or other interference. *glares at Reality*

May 19, 2013

All the yukata patterning is done up to the fitting point.  I need to trim down the collar fabric on the YoSD, and check them all for length, and the fold over at the waist. All the machine sewing is done.  Now I just have to find some audio to listen to, and sit and hand sew for a few hours.  I'm hoping to get going on the Girl's Obi patterns tomorrow.  I also want to make hand fans (uchiwa), drawstring bags, and a pinwheel toy for the little bitty.  It would be fun to make Matsuri masks, too.  That means a raid on the local craft store for something I can wet and mold into masks and cover with LaDoll clay.  Maybe I can even manage the geta, but that would be a reach, since the only dolls I have with toe strap space are my two big Dragon Doll guys.  I suppose I could fake the straps to look like they are going into the toes, but there would have to be socks under, maybe snaps to hold the toe part down?  Hmm.

sewing box designs Yukata ball joint dolls

Re the fabric, I really don't know what possessed me to buy the frog print, outside of the fact that I've been forcing myself to buy fabric I normally wouldn't buy from the remnant and fat quarter bins, to make myself try new colors and pattern combinations.  But I think the froggy stuff really found its target as a YoSD yukata.  The vintage blue and white block print stuff is a little odd from age, some color differences here and there, and a bit of safety pin rust I managed to cut around, but it really says something to me personally.  Sort of like my big girl doll pulled out a family hand me down and will wear it for nostalgia. Now I think the green leaf obi I have planned is a bit too plain for it.  I'll dry a darker green leaf I have, and if that's not it, I'll looking through my stash for something more 'her'.

This is the chart for measuring for Yukata and Kimono.  I can make yukata, kimono, and haori for ANY size doll with these measurements accurately taken.  This is extrapolated from all sorts of Japanese resources online including yukata and a kimono from my own closet (not self made, by the way).  I'll do a hakama chart when I make another pair of them for my SD boy.
sewing box designs Yukata measurement chart
And the chart for taking Obi measurements.  The width of the Obi really depends on the look you want on your doll. Some are full torso, from under bust to high hip, some are narrower.  It depends on the era, as well.  So put the width you want, if you don't want the wide one.  

sewing box designs Obi measurement chart
May 22, 2013  

Yesterday late evening, I caught up with Dr. Who (OMG!) and finished the last yukata, but was too zonked to dress and photo the dolls. I'm starting the Obi today.  Maybe this "June Gloom" in May thing we're having will keep it cool enough to get all the backlogged doll photography done today.  

May 24, 2013 

The YoSD and MSD yukata patterns came out perfect, but the SD seemed to have way too much bulk in the sides.  I took the finished yukata apart and recut the sleeves and remade it.  I tucked the length fold up and basted it in, though in reality it's just pulled up and folded down over a tie belt.  So, I'm happy with the results now and ready to tackle the slight adjustments to make the pattern fit a Dollfie Dream Sister.  For Jiji as 'responsible older sister', I went with the standard basic obi.  She has a miniscule waist and huge--well, you know.  Boobs.  There's still a lot of excess fabric folded in there between her bust line and hip line.  Oddly there doesn't seem to be too much said about that on Kimono dressing web pages.  Hmmmmm.  

Sewing Box Designs SD BJD Yukata Kimono
Technically, one does not wear high heels with Yukata but I wasn't about to fight with her high heel feet.

Sewing Box Designs SD BJD Yukata Kimono
Basic pillow and fold over Obi. 
So, here's how to put a Yukata on your doll.  Sakuranbo has it pulled up a bit higher because of the 'little kid' factor.  Older kids and teens would have theirs just at the top of their foot in front. Sloppy men would have theirs around the bottom of the back calf muscle like you see in Peacemaker Kurogane or shows like that.  So, remember first, left over right, for both sexes ALIVE.  Right over left, DEAD.  Unless you're playing a corpse, Left over Right.  It's considered in terrible bad taste to be alive and wear your kimono dead.  (Seriously stupid, too, you'll be mocked heartlessly behind your back, duh!)

I'll be updating with the finished obis and the rest of this project later, when I have all three dolls dressed up for Matsuri. ^_^  

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