Edo Period Coat Restoration: The Reveal

Project 9, part 13 – Journey’s End (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12 here)

I don’t actually own men’s kimono! Faking the look as best I can with layers including my keikogi, hakama, and a men’s haori.

Welcome back to the Edo Coat restoration project! The calendar says it’s spring but the temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest disagreed until just last week, so I felt justified in taking this coat out for a spin and getting some thematic photos!

I got very lucky with the lack of people at the park for this photoshoot. ❤

One thing I noticed as I was looking through photos and illustrations of extant coats is that the loop I did on the side to secure the lower flap isn’t quite accurate.

Pictured: what I’m nattering on about.

It seems to be more likely that it would have been another long set of ties that would have been knotted into a bow with the opposite ones. I can fake the look by tying the remaining long cords in a bow through the loop I made, though, so I’m not too fussed by it! And of course, it’s entirely possible that someone in the Edo period would have come to the same conclusion that I did that it was nice having a loop there so there weren’t a ton of things dangling off the coat. 😀

The tie-backs on the opposite side work PERFECTLY. No interference with my sword whatsoever!

Another thing I realized as I was modeling this was just how big it is on me. Without the quilted lining, it draped more from my shoulders which obscured the width. The quilting gives the coat more body; it looks ok from the front but from the back it’s clear I’m swimming in it! 😅 I generally wear oversized Western-style coats, so it’s not a deal-breaker, but if I were to go back in time I’d probably add some darts down from the shoulders to take in the width a little. 

Contemplating the ephemeral nature of this floating world and also how I might have made some slight sizing alterations.

Overall this project was what I would call a Learning Experience™. I had to make a lot of mid-stream adjustments, and there are still lots of little things I’m not perfectly satisfied with. On the other hand, I discovered a TON about Edo-period textiles and clothing construction, and I tried a lot of new-to-me techniques in restoration. Also, the pictures do not do this jacket justice with regards to just how comfortable and cozy it is! From that perspective this has been an unqualified success! As I take on more complicated and ambitious restoration projects, I’ll absolutely be bringing the lessons learned here along for the ride.

I’m already looking forward to winter; this coat is going to see SO much use!

Regardless, this has definitely been a long ride, so thank you for sticking with me on the journey! Now that it’s finished I have lots of projects to take its place, so please do subscribe below if you haven’t already, and I’ll see you here next week on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤

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2 thoughts on “Edo Period Coat Restoration: The Reveal

  1. The coat came out beautifully! The color is to die for, too! It’s a tiny detail, but I like that subtle dragonfly border. Did you choose that fabric, or was it already part of the coat?

    Liked by 1 person

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