Posted by: maureenc | August 15, 2012

Recycled Clothing: Kimonos

 My just completed project has been to design and make Postcards from recycled clothing.

Initially, I thought of machine needle felting old Winter clothes and doing something “arty”

Then reality set in, and I accepted that as I live in a sub-tropical climate, I had very few knits/woollens to work with, so that idea was scrapped.

Next, I thought of all the “de-constructed “kimono silks I have;Not only unpicked kimono, but also complete Kimono and Haori that I am loathe to pick apart because they are so beautiful.There is also a four metre double brocade Obi that will NEVER be cut up. I say double brocade, because it is lined with brocade also'(.How any woman could cope with that wrapped firmly around her middle is beyond me.)

I am not a Scrapbooker , but I love going into Scrapbooking and Stamp speciality stores, because , so often I find treasures to incorporate into my fabric and fibre postcards.

Maybe you think that I am digressing from the topic. Not at all! I’m just illustrating a few “props” that are being auditioned for use in the RECYCLING theme. (See photo #2)

I love using these “mannequins” whenever it fits with the theme I am working on. There are also “rub-ons” available. And just below here are some of my Japanese Origami dolls and prints I may use:
As I have quite a collection of both “de-constructed” Kimonos, as well as entire kimonos and Haori coats I decided to use mainly  silk fabrics and a kimono theme.

Photo #3

My plan was to use  strips of kimono silk as the background for the card, and then construct a mini kimono, (see photo #3 above)

possibly hanging on a mannequin/dress maker’s dummy made by Kaisercraft in their “Wooden Flourishes” range.See photo #4 below.

However, the first and only mini  kimono I attempted was too bulky for a Postcard,so I rethought my strategy and decided to combine western attire with a touch of Japan.

Firstly, using a sheet of Lutradur, I printed some pattern pieces from an old VOGUE pattern that I had used years ago.
These I cut to shape and super- imposed over the silks I had stitched to form the back ground.

In two instances, using some Kaiser Kraft “wooden flourishes” of dressmaker’s mannequins , I fashioned “western style” gowns and stitched them to the foundation fabric.
Other cards again featured the silk fabrics as foundation, and Origami paper dolls  and more Lutradur pattern pieces.

Finally, trying to “think outside the square” I remembered hand bags I made some years back from old Jeans: So I decided to PLAY.
Using a remnant originally planned for conversion to another tote bag, I made a coin purse, and decorated it with a button cluster.
I have used double sided tape to secure it to a card backing.
However, IF I send it on, it will need to travel in an envelope or padded bag, as it certainly exceeds the quarter inch thickness that Postal Services will accept.

I must admit that I did enjoy trying to fit the proverbial square peg in a round hole.
(In this case, a purse as a Postcard)
What do you think?

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  1. well, as always, you have outdone yourself, just love the japanese pieces

  2. Thanks Dee ! Your cheque is in the mail!

  3. I’m so happy to be linked up to you again. I’ve missed dropping in.
    The postcards are great.
    Pity we’re not closer so I could watch you work – you’ve tried so many crafts that I have not. My eyes are green with envy.



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