Showcase: Pam, Canada, Wedding Dress Made From Vintage Kimono
Note about this page:
We like to post on our web site when people have creatively used our vintage Japanese kimonos and fabrics in their work, so we are happy to share here pictures and emails from Pam T. of Calgary, Canada who made her wedding dress from a vintage kimono. Starting in January of this year (2020) Pam approached us saying she wanted to use a vintage kimono to make her own wedding dress. She ended up getting our “A Package”.
In a series of emails to us since then, she shared the story of her process of choosing which kimono to use of the 8 or so in her 10lbs bundle, as well as how she went about constructing her wedding dress. Pam has shared pictures and details on her process in creating her wedding dress, so we'll include here her various email notations below. We know that many of our visitors like this sort of detail, so we’re sharing it here. Enjoy!
Yoko & Dana
(Below: A note that Pam added to her order form)
January 6, 2020
If it is at all possible: I would like to use these fabrics to make my wedding dress. I am hoping for blue, green, or purple fabrics with any patterns, or flowers on a creamy background. If it is possible to get these colors that would be wonderful, but if not I will be very happy with whatever you send me.
Thank you so much for your care and time, I am very excited to receive this!
January 13, 2020
I just received my order! I had asked if it was possible to include any particular colors since I would like to make my wedding dress out of the fabric.
My heart was beating so fast unpacking it! What beautiful perfect kimonos you selected for me! Thank you so much for your kindness and care. I am so happy with them! It is going to be extremely hard to choose which one will become the final dress, they are so lovely. I think I am leaning towards the mint green.
Thank you so much again, I was not expecting the amazing quality and beautiful colors of all the pieces.
I will absolutely send you photos of the wedding dress!!!! ....
I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful box of kimonos. It was so hard to pick which one i wanted to use! I finally settled on the beautiful mint green one. Here are some photos of the finished wedding dress. Everyone absolutely loved it, I got so many compliments. Thank you for your care in picking out kimonos for me!....
Thank you again for your help. Making my dress was very special to me and I loved being able to do so. The kimono you sent me was absolutely perfect.
The dress I made was a wrap style, as I am not good with buttons, and worried about putting in a zipper if I changed sizes over the time it took to make this. A wrap dress is very forgiving! And I feel it also is a nice call back to the wrap style of a kimono.
Here are the photos:
Below, The full kimono before I've done anything to it
Below, The full disassembled kimono, with all thread, inner stiff fabric, and hem padding
Below: The final pattern (this took a while to draft with the fabric size restrictions, photos not included) Careful layout of pattern on kimono fabric, to best use dyed silk designs. I made sure the embroidered part would be at the front of the skirt.
Below: The top assembled....
....All pattern pieces were serged before construction, to prevent fraying.
Below: The complete left-over scraps. The biggest piece just barely was enough to make a pocket square for my new husbands tux. The rest fit in a sandwich bag!
Below: Pictures of getting the lining in the dress. The lining is the material used to line the kimono: no new fabric added.
Ruching the front of the top ....
About ironing: I was careful to keep it as un-creased as possible through the whole process.
Sewing in a hidden cotton waist band for extra strength
Hand sewing around the belt opening....
Below: A reversible wrap dress made from unlined damaged kimonos from the box. The top is the same as the wedding dress, this was my ‘practice run’, I changed several things before starting the wedding dress.