29 June 2016

New obi for furisode musubi playtime.

So I have begun playing with musubi that are normally tied for furisode at Coming of Age day.

However the obi I have at the moment are not suitable.

They are heavily woven with metallic thread which makes them perfect for a formal otaiko but rubbish for those fancy musubi.

So it was time to do a little bit of hunting.

I asked a friend what would be a good search term for these special obi and she recommended I search for "furisode obi" so off to the internet.

First stop Rakuten, and although I found what I was looking for, they were pretty expensive so I went back to my usual shopping channel eBay.

There is one seller who I thought would have what I wanted and sure enough I was lucky to find them.

Here is the one I chose.

It is a pretty rainbow obi which should be okay with some of my more fancy kimono but it is very soft and flexible.  Perfect!

However while I was browsing, something caught my eye.


Isn't it pretty!
Blank part of the fukuro obi

At first glance it looks like a standard fukuro obi but!!!

It is split into two at one end!

 This is the underside of the obi but in between the split is this orange part.

How weird is this obi?  So of course I brought it and now I am thinking of musubi to tie with it.

26 June 2016

Musubi Time - Beginning

As a kimono enthusiast, I love looking at furisode musubi.

As such I have two books.

First book is this one which we will call book A


And second book is this one which we will call Book B


They are all very fancy and very pretty.  Unfortunately there isn't much occasion to wear them so I though wouldn't it be good to tie them using a hanhaba obi?

So from Book A,

And from Book B,

Lets see how far I can get through the books.

25 June 2016

Commission update!

Work has been a bit busy of late so my weekends are getting very precious.

However I managed to complete one commission for one customer who wanted a lined lolita hakama skirt.

And now I am on my second commission.

This time an unlined one but in a cotton/linen fabric.  She wanted a skirt that was suitable for hot weather hence the fabric choice.

Just before I started ironing the pleats.

And after ironing, this is only the front panel and the most complicated one.

Look at the crisp pleat!

Tomorrow I will cut the remaining panels and being sewing!

21 April 2016

Lolita Hakama Skirt Commission Time


I would have never thought I would get so many lovely comments about my lolita hakama skirt!

Seriously thank you all for your positive vibes.

Anyway as I have got so many requests, I have decided that I will open up commission to make these pretty little things to you.

I will be offering a bespoke service which means I will make your skirt with your choice of fabric and trimmings subject to suitability and availability.

So if you want it made in electric blue suiting wool skirt with matching pom-pom trims then that is what you will get!

This wonderful service will have the following pricing structure.

Total Cost = Labour Cost + Material Cost


Labour cost
Unlined skirt - £60.00
Lined skirt - £80.00

Material cost
Total cost of fabric and trimmings + £5.00 (sourcing fee)

Example, say you would like a unlined skirt and the total cost of fabric and trimmings is £30.00 then the Total Cost = £95.00 not including postage and packaging,

Of course if you supply me with your fabric of choice then you will only be paying the labour costs.

Payment Terms

To make things simple, the payment terms are as follows:-
  • Payment one - Deposit of 50% of the labour cost non-refundable.  This will secure you a slot in my work schedule.
  • Payment two - Material costs, to be paid once they have been ordered and non-refundable.
  • Payment three- Once completed, the remaining balance plus postage and packaging.
Now I will have to be strict with myself and I will only be making one skirt per a month as I will be making these in my spare time and I would like to make sure that I give each skirt the attention they deserve.

Warning!  To wear this skirt properly, you will need an a-line petticoat which I do not supply.

If you are interested then email me on kittykanzashi@gmail.com or you can PM me on my facebook page.


28 March 2016

Making a Dress - Lolita hakama skirt


One thing I don't wear often enough is a hakama with my kimono.  Kitsuke is easier and you don't have to worry about short kimono and flashing your juban.  Also it is brilliant for wet weather as I found out 3 years ago when I decided to walk back home in pouring rain.

However the hakama is not what it seems.  There is a lot of fabric in that garment because of the pleats and the length makes it awkward in certain situations.

Therefore my mind though why not make a lolita version?  I have been toying with the idea of venturing into wa-lolita but most of the skirts that you can buy will not stretch to my size once I tucked the kimono.


As with all my lolita pieces they much be work friendly so it has to be made from something washable and dark coloured.

Luckily I went a bit overboard with the the purchase of black bi-stretch fabric so that is what I will use.


First thing first one must study the hakama.

Lets look at the pleats as to me that defines its.

Here are the front pleats.

And here are the back pleats.

The most obvious difference between the two is the number of pleats, the front has 6 (one of the pleat is hidden under the centre one) and the back has 4.

The only way to show how the pleats work is with a diagram.

As you can see it is a bit complicated but how am I going to incorporate those pleats?  Well what is life if it was not for the challenges.

My starting point was this pattern minus the ruffles and the high waist part.

Then I inserted the pleats using a lot of masking tape.  Luckily I was decorating at the beginning of the year so a roll was at hand but I much buy some more.


First thing first I needed to re-thread my new toy!  My overlocker.

Now that is done, time to cut it out.

A straight line stitch on the inner pleat to hold it in place.

Side pleat pinned and ready to be stitched into place

And the ironed creased.  A lot of steam and a wet cloth was used to create this.

Oooo a closeup of the back pleat.  I had to stitch the back pleat together to check them in place.  Otherwise they would flap about and I could have made a mistake.

Time to join the back 3 panels.

And this is where my overlocker came in handy.  It finished off the edges so nicely,  I love my new overlocker, look how pretty the edges are.

Okay that is the back half of the skirt all done on to the front with more pleats.

Unfortunately no photos of the intermediate steps for the front panel as I was concentrating hard to make sure I ironed and stitched the right pleats.  

Here you can see what it looks like at the back and the stitch that is holding the pleats in place.

Don't worry, the yellow thread is to hold the pleats in place while I am making the skirt.  Seriously they really got in the way.

Okay the back and front are done,time to join them at the side.

The side seams didn't quite line up as nicely as I hoped.

The other side is a little better but still improvements for next time.

However not bad for a first time and I know where on the pattern to make it work.

Now the straps.  May have made a bit of a mistake in that the front straps are ridiculously long.  as in 4.5 metres in total.  Yeah next time make them shorter but at least they will go wrong my waist easily!

Yep you guessed it I forgot to take photos.  I only attached them just before dinner and I wanted them on so that afterwards I could take photos of what the skirt looks like on Miffy 2.

It is going according to plan, just the lace at the bottom and we are done.


And here it is!  I have to say it has turned out very well indeed.

An a-line lolita shirt with hakama pleats.  

I did find one advantage of long straps and its that I can tie a double bow which is super cute.

The lace at the bottom gives the skirt a nice edge I think.  Without it I think it would have looked too plain for lolita.

The pleats are holding well!

They are staying closed when they are not moved.

It is not very poffy the petticoat but I'm quite like it as suits me better for my day to day wear.

And here are the pleats opened.  Crisp and clean creases.

Here you can just about see the hidden middle pleat.

Now I have a work event on the 6th so I might wear it them.

13 March 2016

Making a Dress - Red Skull Lace Kimono

When it comes to kimono making I just concentrate on the fabric since the construction is the same for all of them.

Therefore when I saw this fabric for sale on a FB fabric selling group, you bet I was going to make a kimono out of it.

However the fabric is very fluid so I will need to take my time making this one.

So first thing first cutting the pieces.

Who would have thought this would be a challenge.  So many adjustments and then readjustments just to make sure everything is straight.  However I managed it and to help with identification I rolled each piece separately.

Time to begin sewing the back seam.  I don't really need to do this but I did it because it makes the kimono look correct.  However rather then cutting the main body piece in two as it is normally, I just cut up to the middle and then sew the 1cm back seam.  Less risk of cutting wonky.

It dawned on me as I was cutting the lace that there was not a lot of fabric to create the marks.  What am I going to do?  Well the solution is sewing in bright neon yellow thread at the points.  So time consuming but it is a lot better then trying to draw a chalk or water soluble ink line.

I have to admit I have not put all the marks needed but we will let that slide.  Yep winging it as I go along.

Still it is nice working with this lace.

I got very absorb making this kimono so not a lot inbetween photos but here is the finished product.

Now to marvel at the work.