Bebe Taian: Making Susoyoke + My Big Giant List

April 22, 2018

Making Susoyoke + My Big Giant List

I have a Big Giant List of things to make for kimono. And things to make in general, but really, I need to not be so lazy (and so broke... and unemployed... and disabled, causing the unemployment...) and just MAKE things!

In this case, the summer heat has been here for some time. It's overwhelming. 90F+ daily, no rain in sight.

I sold enough recently that I bought myself some things deeply on clearance. Namely, some thin gauze-like organic cotton in uroku pattern, some uroko-patterned thicker cotton (heavier, like quilting cotton), and some polyblend crepe de chine. Fortunately, it doesn't have the cheap-looking shine to it that some polys do. Each was on the clearance rack, half off or more, plus I had a discount coupon valid even for things on clearance. Otherwise, I couldn't have afforded them. I consider myself quite fortunute, though! The only hard choice was between the coral or the green version of the organic gauze. Aaaugh! But I already have enough saturated coral-colour juban, so green it is. I won't have enough to make sleeves, I think, but the susoyoke is what I really need now since almost all of my juban are nearly a foot too short... and I'm only 5'3". oy. I was going to try to buy a premade red susoyoke at least, but... $80 for the cheapest one I could find? And it's synthetic? Absolutely out of the question! Thanks, I don't think I even spent $20 on all of this fabric; I'm not paying $80 for a factory-made susoyoke.

Resting Beauty in Summer
- Oda Tomiya
::sighs:: Really, when it comes to dressing, I'm bored.

This is the style I want to bring back. Generally, a juban is not seen except for perhaps in tiny flashes at the hem while walking, or when the wind is blowing quite a bit, or in the summer when all clothing is transparent anyways.

Since juban can be seen through hitoe kimono, but for women, they only come in white, pink, coral, and sometimes, a mixture... ugh. Where is the fun? The artistry?! There ARE other colours, but those are almost exclusively antiques, or things made custom for someone. They are far from common. Once, it was considered the height of fashion to layer gauze kimono in such a way that they produced new colours, or fashionably layered patterns. A hundred years ago, they would be patterned, sometimes with cranes, flowers, pine needles, all sorts of beautiful things- even in brass or gold leaf!

 This, of course, goes back to Heian era values: when courtly women wore between 4-15 or more layers, the art was entirely in how to pair colour combinations and sometimes woven patterns. There were entire running commentaries on this in women's pillow books, most famously perhaps in Murasaki and Shonagon's works.

Why did we stop? For what- austerity? Life is too short for this. Save your formal, muted wear for formal, muted times.

I need to check my thread stash and see about cleaning my sewing machine. Then I can take some measurements and see if I have any muslin fabric to complete the susoyoke, and look up how to tailour the corners properly. Mitred corners make the difference between an obvious beginner and an expert tailour, so I might as well train myself right the first time. If I become good at this, I can make them for others as well!

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