Tag Archives: kimono

Make a kimono with “fake” lining

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Have you heard the term “grail” doll?  Mamachapp Moko-chan, specifically this pigtail one, was one of my grail dolls and eventually did arrive and then got hidden to be a present for some special occasion. I found her while cleaning the doll room because DH is apparently not a good hider of dolls 😉  He is good at taking pix of them though, as you can see from Moko-chan’s first photo shoot: https://www.flickr.com/photos/67465307@N08/albums/72157697316555690 

I recently got another version of Moko-chan, who came in a kimono.  You might recall from some previous posts the difference between kimono and yukata, but to avoid linking here, I’ll mention one main difference, which is lining.

Many tiny doll clothes sell for exorbitant prices, and Azone/Obitsu are some of the higher-end ones of these. You can get this 21cm Obitsu body for around $20, and maybe another $20for a head with rooted hair, so what you’re really paying the high price for with the Mamachapps is basically the eyes, styling of hair, and clothing.  The pictures of this doll in her promotional photos made it look like she was wearing a lined kimono, so I was startled to take it off and find out that it was not only unlined, but the seams weren’t even finished on the inside!  I did love the effect of the fake “lining” though, for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s definitely easier and takes less fabric than lining the whole garment, and secondly, it avoids the dreaded“bulk” I’m always going on about with doll clothes.  Something I found very interesting though,and wouldn’t have come up with on my own is using fabric on the BIAS for this purpose.  This is a great idea that really improves the drape of the pieces, especially the lining for the body itself, helping it to curve nicely around the body rather than sticking out stiffly.  Fabrics cut on the bias don’t fray the same way as those cut on the straight grain, so I can even before giving of the sleeve “lining,” although I still would have preferred it to be at least pinked.   

Of course, I needed to make a kimono for my original Moko-chan too, so the pattern here is based on the one her sister came with.  It fits an Obitsu 21-23cm body or anyone else with similar measurements such as Dal, Tiny Betsy (shorten arms and bottom hem), or even Licca and Blythe bodies. Don’t have any of those?  The tutorial for fake lining can be used with any yukata/kimono pattern on the blog but is probably most useful for the small doll ones like Ten Ping or Little Darling. 

Get the tutorial here

There are more kimono patterns to use with this “lining” technique here:

https://jenwrenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/free-pattern-for-february-kimono-geta-obi.pdf (this fits AGAT and Kidz n Cats)

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/more-ten-ping/

https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/?s=little+darling+in+japan

More Ten Ping!

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At least once a week someone asks me for “More Ten Ping patterns, please!”

If you’re one of them, you’re about to be happy!

Here she is in a kimono pattern I designed as a giveaway for the UFDC convention’s Ten Ping luncheon this week. What?  You couldn’t attend?  Yeah, me neither.

BUT you can get the pattern here in original form with all the color pix!

I also have TWO new patterns for her on etsy.  The first is a school uniform that includes a pleated skirt and two styles of tops depending on where she goes to school.  There is a standard button-front, as well as an adorable sailor-style blouse.

The next is an ethnic costume based on traditional Flower Hmong outfits.  I’ve wanted to do one of these for so long, but was daunted by all the trim required if I did it for an AG.  At 8″ doll scale, however, just a little bit of trim and embroidery makes for something really spectacular!

I’ll be taking a couple weeks off to work on a few projects and when I return we’ll have a 4-week historical (1850s-60s) sewing/crafting series.  If you don’t have any around, go get some white (not clear) shrink plastic.  The historical projects will be adaptable for any 13-18″ doll you’ve seen on the blog, but the shoe patterns are only sized for  hearts for hearts, in case you need an excuse to get one of those… 🙂

Little Darling in Japan: Week 7

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 You may have already opened your Christmas doll, but the holidays aren’t over yet!  We still have New Year’s to celebrate!

My Christmas doll was adorable, but came with a stained head from her wig 😦

See more pix of her here


This next photo comes to you from http://poupeesdeline.blogspot.com/.   She made a little house for her Cherie and Paola Reina Liu.  The wonderful teapot is actually a people-size tea infuser. I also like the little touches like ikebana (floral arrangement) and that their belts are different colors 🙂

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I had really grandiose plans for this post, but you know how sometimes the universe seems out to get you?  Yeah, that was this week.  Nothing went right with my crafting projects, so let’s just call it a miracle I managed to get this done.

Click here for Kimono Pattern

Note that this outfit was originally going to have authentic undies.  You can make them from batiste/thin silk using this skirt pattern, and the top from the karate gi.  Shorten the sleeves and leave off the collar, or make it a contrast color. She’s missing shoes too and doesn’t have a bento to eat!  Like I said, the universe was out to get me.  🙂  Try here: https://jenwrenne.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/hinamatsuri/ for food and shoes you can adapt smaller.

Click here for printable money and envelopes

Little Darling in Japan: week 6

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Apologies for unanswered comments/emails form last week!

Also, an etsy note: I’m now going to be re-downloading and checking patterns as soon as they’re listed, because something seems to be happening from time to time that pattern pieces mysteriously change shape.  So far that has happened with the arctic parka, a sleeve from the 1940s collection and the Maru “versatility” pants.  SORRY!! If you have those patterns you should have gotten an email about it with pieces that will print correctly.  If not, please let me know and I’m happy to resend!  If ever a pattern piece doesn’t look right, please let me know and I will make it right!

Ok, on to this week’s post:

So I had kind of a revelation last week about gathers and pleats and fullness in general in historical Asian garments. You know about the pleats in week 3’s hakama, and this week we have a pleated skirt-type hakama to wear over a summer kimono (yukata) as Little Darling celebrates Obon.  (Apparently she’s time traveling too, back to summer!)

ldij obon
And then I started thinking about Chinese clothing, for example, the unusual skirt made in two pieces and attached with little frogs (see it here)

Even in Southeast Asia, garments were more often pleated, for example, sarong-style skirts and saris.
Korea seemed to be an exception, with the women wearing wide, full skirts. I had always assumed they were gathered, but the other day I was watching a historical K-drama where they did a close-up of a dress after she flung it over a dressing screen. Turns out, it was pleated with many tiny pleats!

So, I asked myself…why no gathers? In my opinion, gathers are easier to do than pleats. OOOH, unless you’re sewing by hand. (that was the revelation)  Pleated garments can also be folded and stored more easily to avoid wrinkles, especially in drawers and chests, which was the common storage method in most parts of Asia. There’s a bit more polished elegance to pleats as compared to gathers, and finally, these loose-fitting pleated garments were very easy to adapt to different wearers or body changes. Remember when Scarlett O’Hara had to get out the seam ripper to alter a dress before a party because her waist had increased by a couple of inches? That would never have happened with most garments being worn in Asia in that same time period!

Pattern for this week’s outfit  is here

Also, here is a printable shoji-style lamp.  You can use it as a room decoration or to help your doll celebrate Obon.  Print it as “shrink to fit” on cardstock, fold and glue.

If you like pleats and want something more Western, there are TWO new patterns for 13″-14″ dolls in my etsy shop.

The first one was done as a custom request based on a family photo and named for its original wearer.  It features a unique asymmetric front bodice with a pleated skirt and closes down the back. The pattern includes some vintage illustrations and hints about “period correct” fabric and color choices.The other was based on a dress from the Fall/Winter Sears catalog from 1966. I named it the “Alpine Dress” because the embroidery and front band reminded me of Lederhosen. 🙂  Embroidery can be stitched by hand or is available in .pes format.