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I know Christmas is still two months away but a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about a simple-to-make something for the knitting ladies and other friends. I was looking at Ann Williamson‘s blog – she does beautiful garments and accessories using kimono silk which she buys from Ichiroya in Japan. She had some lovely pieced scarves in her shop – I remembered the kimono silk fabric I bought a couple of years ago. I have nothing specific in mind for the fabric – a while ago I attempted a simple silk jacket but it didn’t turn out well and I tossed it. I decided to use some from each bolt to make silk scarves.
This project isn’t meant to create an expensive, elaborate gift like Ann’s scarves are – just something simple, yet useful. Last year it was shoe bags, the year before zippered bags. Two weeks ago I cut 5′ lengths from each bolt – kimono bolts are 14″ wide by 10-12 yards in length. I split each length down the centre to give me two 7″ scarves.
Yesterday I set up my serger to stitch a narrow rolled hem and got to work – I did ten scarves. Today I completed the second batch of ten.
The scarves are long enough to wrap around my neck twice and tie in a loose overhand knot in the front. The silk is soft and smooth and will be warm to fill the neck of a winter coat. I’m pleased with how they turned out.
My next step is to figure out how to make “envelopes” using parchment paper as wrapping for each scarf.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the Ichiroya Kimona Flea Market website for a while now – since I met Ann Williamson, a designer who uses old kimono silk to build her wonderful garment creations. This week the Ichiroya newsletter had a link to an article about how Ichiro Wada hit upon the idea for his online business – selling old kimonos and kimono fabrics. The fabrics are simply gorgeous – I now have 9 bolts and some vague ideas about what to do with them – I want to use them for garments, rather than quilts, but I may attempt a quilt using them. A bolt is 14″ wide and ~ 12 yards in length – enough for a kimono! But since I have no use for a kimono I will use the fabric for other projects.
If you’ve ever thought about an online business it’s worth reading the article.
I subscribe to Ann Williamson’s blog so once a week I get an email with photos showcasing what she’s working on. Ann, if you’ll recall, is this wonderful designer of custom apparel made from pieced kimono silk. I met her on the Portland trip. And since then I’ve ordered some kimono silk myself and am trying to create a bit of time to decide what to make from it – I read Ann’s blog with interest:
This week, Ann’s working on a third pieced silk skirt to go with a jacket she made in the spring. Skirt #1 & 2 have sold, so to have a complete outfit, she’s making a third skirt.
You can see the detailed work she does from these three gored pieces for the skirt. I love her sense of colour and her work is meticulous. I really must get out my silk and think about making something!