So when a dream came true and I traveled to Japan last year, I brought some fabric. A very special fabric.
I visited the Aizenkobo indgo dyeing workshop in Kyoto, where Mr. Utsuki dyes mainly cotton fabrics with indigo colors. He uses traditional japanese methods to do so, and there is a lot of handwork and time involved to get those gorgeous patterns on the fabrics.
Here you can see Mr. Utsuki with his indigo barrel:
Even if you cannot see the potential when looking at those barrels, Mr. Utsuki makes the most awesome patterns on fabrics, with very detailed and small lines. The fabrics also have a typical indigo smell which is pleasant, and according to what Mr. Utsuki told me the indigo also keeps the mosquitos away in summer.
So I chose a fabric with a nice pattern, which was a tough job as they were all so beautiful. Just selecting more fabric was not an option, as this was by far the most expensive fabric I've ever bought. And by that I mean not too expensive concerning all the hard work and lots of time that are involved in making such a fabric.
What was also wonderful to see was the old japanese house where the workshop is located. I just love old japanese houses!
So, what did I make up from the precious fabric I bought?
I made a dress, of course, as dresses are my preferred sort of garment, and I made it a summer dress, because the fabric is really perfect for that (remember the mosquito thing) and it will be worn a lot.
|Did you notice my japanese shoes to go with it?|
So after lots of thinking I made the bodice with V-stripes from a self-drafted bodice pattern. The skirt is four parts of the fabric sewn together to a rectangle and gathered at the waist. The midriff was necessary because I didn't have enough fabric to cut the whole bodice parts, but I think it is also nice with the horizontal stripes. I ran quite short on fabric, though, so the stripes are not matched on the sides (but who cares?).
I am really happy with this dress, as it is comfortable, easy to wear, perfect for summer and also the best souvenir I could bring from Japan. As you can see, the dress is also great for playing with little nieces!
You can read a good article about the Aizenkobo workshop here: http://www.akasamedia.com/arts-culture/AizenKoboANA.htm. Just in case you are planning a travel to Japan, too!