KAORU KAMIYA: Artbook Kimono
I love the anime series Rurouni Kenshin
, and from the first episode identified with the series' heroine, Kaoru. She's tough, independent, take-charge, and not afraid to say what's on her mind. Of course, she has one weakness: Kenshin. But who can blame her for that? Her purple kimono from the manga artbook is my favorite, and so when I wanted to finally make a Kaoru costume, this is the one I chose.
The kimono is made using a cotton/poly blend purple that I found at Joann's and selected for its color and weight. I used a kimono pattern from Simplicity which is infamously awful, but I had the benefit of adjusting it by using my real Maiko kimono I got from Japan as a guide. The collar is stiffened with interfacing. For the pink flower petal pattern, I drew several flowers on notebook paper and cut them up into the individual heart-shaped petals. I then laid out a section of the kimono and arranged the paper cutouts until I was satisfied with the design. I then traced and painted each petal using pink fabric paint. For the obi I cheated; using several layers of stiff twill backed with interfacing I just made the belt part, which I covered in purple, white, and pink ribbons to create the pattern and attached it at my back using snaps. I made the butterfly bow separately from the same fabric and ribbon, and did the worst thing ever and used quilting batting to stuff it. In the interest of time I couldn't make or find the proper under kimono, so I wore my Maiko kimono instead, and gathered a long black wig I had into a sad ponytail. I absolutely LOVE how the flower pattern on this came out but that's about it. I really want to remake it to be longer, with the proper undergarments and obi.