Customer Showcase: Jacket from YokoDana’s Ohshima Tsumugi

March 03, 2020 Yoko Lewis

Jacket Made from YokoDana’s Vintage Ohshima Tsumugi Silk Kimono -- Carol Lambright

Many of our customers are what we call, affectionately, creative types: All have a passion for their craft, whether they call themselves artisans, artists, designers, quilters, stitchers or multi-media artists – regardless of their moniker -- for years we have enjoyed seeing old vintage Japanese textiles we sell by the pound be reborn into something new -- yet old. 

One recent feedback that we received comes from Carol Lambright, an Oregon, USA customer. Last year she bought a 10lb package of old Ohshima Tsumugi (pongee) Silks (see more about them HERE) and promised at the time to show us what she made from her package. We told her to send us some pics when she made something and gave it no further thought.

So imagine our delight in February when we received from her the following pictures and detailed description from her entry into the 2020 Sewing Bee (sewing.patternreview.com). Since her review there  goes into considerable detail about her creative process, we felt sure that those who frequent yokodana.com would find it interesting, if not inspiring.

We, therefore, are happy to post some of it here for our site visitors as still another example of what wonders can be made from old vintage Japanese kimonos. We thank Carol for allowing us to share this here on our site.

Yoko Lewis

This is the kimono she started with to make the jacket:

1950s Japanese Ohshima Tsumugi Silk Kimono, used to make this jacket

(Full text of review:
 https://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/162251 )


Type: Coat/Jacket

Fabric: Silk  [See other projects in this fabric]Ohshima Tsumugi Jacket, Carol L.

This jacket is my entry in Round 2 of the 2020 Sewing Bee. It is warm and comfortable but looks fancy at the same time. I intend it for a travel jacket with all the great pockets: there are pockets in both sleeves, a breast pocket, and two lower pockets....  ohshima tsumugi jacket closeup1
...The fabric I used is one of my favorite things in the world. A few years ago I discovered that I could buy kimono in bulk that are sold as cutters for reusing the fabric from Yoko at yokodana.com. You can buy individual pieces of fabric that often is dead stock, meaning that it was never used, but what I buy is 10 pound boxes. The age of these kimono and kimono parts is somewhere between 1940's to 1970's depending on what you order. There are different types of boxes--boy's, girl's, women's, men's, and specific types of silk fabric kimono. You can imagine the fun of getting a 10 pound box of amazing silk! Often even the linings are usable although they are more apt to be damaged. Then I pick them apart, wash the silk, press it, and roll it on comic book boards. The width of the fabric is somewhere between 12-15 inches mostly folded rather than cut to fit the wearer so you get some yardage that is selvage to selvage. This fabric was 13.75 inches so after sewing two pieces together I ended up with fabric 27 inches wide. My plan is usually to make quilts out of it. For garment sewing I need to sew at least two lengths together, matching prints so it looks like it's one piece of fabric and the little seam is hidden. Occasionally the fabric is too old and fragile to use, but that is rare. When I take them apart I feel a kinship with the person who sewed them (they are all hand sewn). Different stitchers leave a bit of their character in their stitches--sometimes even a pattern like one long then two short stitches or three short then two long or my least favorite to rip: a million very tiny stitches. Also they are beautifully mended and I often use the fabric mending and all.
ohshima tsumugi jacket views
The fabric I used for my jacket came in a box of Oshima Tsumugi kimono. This silk is a yarn dyed tightly woven pongee.... ...The pockets intentionally disappear and I matched them carefully to make this happen. Sometimes, if you are lucky, Yoko will put a piece or two of other silk that may be dead stock. I used one of these pieces to make the edging for the pockets and finishing for the facing....

 ohshima tsumugi jacket carol5 Thanks again Carol! Yoko & Dana


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