Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sawako Lilly's May Kimono

WAH-BAM! After the subtle, muted colors of April's kimono, reminiscent of falling rain, Sawako Lilly's May kimono bursts forth with an explosion of flowers and colors! :D I don't know if I can identify all the flowers in the bouquet but I'll do my best!

Sawako Lilly's furisode (long sleeved kimono for unmarried women) is make from rinzu silk (very smooth, satin like silk) with gold paint embellishments. Her kimono are all made from recycled human sized kimono. ^_^

Starting with the front panel, it's decorated with daisies and nadeshiko (I think in English they're a sort of carnation? I see them on the sides of roads in the median so I assumed they're a weed of some sort...).  

Giant botan (peonies) decorate the front of the two dangling sleeves. 

More giant botan! :D

The obi (wide belt) is woven with gold and green threads, and tied together with a lavender obijime (cord to hold up obi). The obiage (scarf used to hide the knots at the top of the obi) is a matching red with shibori pattern (traditional Japanese resist dye technique that makes the polka dots).

The back of the furisode is much calmer than the front, which is a good thing or our eyes would just go up in smoke from all the intense flowers and colors! ^_^

The obi musubi (knot) is tied in the fukuro suzume style (plump sparrow, one of the more common knots to use with a furisode). 

No botan on the back of the sleeves, but more subtle sakura (cherry blossoms). 

You can recognize sakura by their distinctive notched petals. 

Here is are more examples of sakura, but these are a different type, with the double layer of petals. 

A lot of the beauty in Japanese culture is hidden, only for the wearer to know. One of my favorite parts of this furisode is the secret design on the inside panel. Kimonos are worn with the left side over the right (Don't wear it the other way! Only bodies for the grave are dressed the other way!) so this design on the right panel would normally be hidden by the left panel. However, when you undress it, you can see this beautiful hidden, chou (butterfly) motif. 

Close up of the secret chou! ^_^ 


  1. Even though our Lee-Woo is Korean...she syas she would someday love to have a Kimono.
    I will be busy this summer sewing Hanboks and have just found some beautiful fabrics at a local quilting shop.
    It has peacocks...our daughter's favorites!

    1. Oh how exciting for your daughter and Lee-Woo! Hanboks are so beautiful and I really hope you'll let me know and share pictures of the ones you make. ^_^ I have not found any accurate and well made traditional East Asian outfits so I'm thrilled you're making them yourself!

  2. I really love the colors of this one and everything about it is exquisite.

    1. Thank you very much! I really like the color red on Sawako Lilly. ^_^

  3. Oh...My...Gosh.
    Sawako Lilly looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I want her SO BAD!

    1. Thank you! I'm biased but I do think the #4 mold dolls are beautiful, and of course, Sawako Lilly is chief among them in my heart! :D