Yagasuri Kimono Restoration: The Embroidery

Project 12, part 2 – The Fix is In (Part 1 here)

Wisteria will be relevant momentarily!

Welcome back to Mukashi no Sewing! Having managed to remove most of the stains last week, I was left with just one on the right collar that – while much-lightened – was still problematic. I was getting tired of scrubbing at it, and at a certain point there’s only so much to be done anyway. So that meant it was time to pull out the big guns: embroidering something over it!

Pattern courtesy of Diary of a Northern Belle

The kimono pattern is so angular that layering another geometric pattern over it would just look really strange, and trying to duplicate the yagasuri itself would probably have made me even crazier than I already am. 😀 But because this is such a lovely vintage piece, and a very traditional pattern, I didn’t want to do anything too modern like an anime character or English script or something. So I decided on flowers!

It took several tries to get the tracing paper to transfer properly. I might need new paper lol…

I briefly considered the nadeshiko, which is a lovely pinkish-lavender carnation, but it was difficult to source an embroidery pattern. I definitely wanted something lavender though, so after much consideration I settled on wisteria! It’s native to Japan, and pictures of the Wisteria Maiden have even been considered good luck tokens for marriage so it fit this kimono perfectly. The one downside is that a seasonal flower like wisteria does tie the kimono to a specific time frame more, but hopefully the season-neutral yagasuri pattern overrides the flower if I want to wear it later in the year! 🙂

I couldn’t really use an embroidery hoop given the awkward placement so I just held the tension with my left hand and hoped for the best.

I found a decent wisteria pattern online, and pulled up a bunch of images of the plant itself for reference, and got to embroidering. I always forget how much I enjoy hand embroidery until I’m back into it. It’s so relaxing!

Having trouble with my colors again…I know the wisteria blossoms look blue here, but I assure you they’re more lavender in person!

I finished the leaves and vines in one night, and the next night started on the blossoms. They weren’t planned out in any depth, but rather, I just roughed in a shape for the overall sections of flowers and then set to work filling them in.

One flower done, one to go!

I actually started to get a bit nervous that I would run short of embroidery thread before I finished, but I managed to get it done with a little to spare! The worst game is playing thread chicken when you don’t have replacement thread to hand… 😀

Seriously I’m so proud!

All I had to do when I finished was stitch up the collar again, and the kimono was ready to wear!

The tiny bit of remaining stain is nearly invisible in the shadow of the wisteria when worn – and the crossed collars also help to obscure it!

I’m SO pleased with my fix – it’s turned this lovely old kimono from something completely unwearable into my own beautiful bespoke piece! Now every time I wear it I can enjoy the love and effort I put into it. And having some more colors added to the kimono for obi coordination doesn’t hurt either! 😀 So join me in the last installment of this project for the full reveal and photoshoot! ❤

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3 thoughts on “Yagasuri Kimono Restoration: The Embroidery

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