The Lotus Lady

So serene... so contemplative...

Perhaps “Lotus Lass” would be more apt, but it just doesn’t have the rhythm, y’know?

Kimono front. Pay no attention to the broom handle sticking out of the sleeve...

Tyo’s robe is finished and has been worn pretty much every day, so I’d say it’s a success. Although now she wants those loop-over-the-arms tie things that keep the kimono sleeves from dragging in everything, because, well, they drag in everything. Fortunately we’ve watched enough Miyazaki that she knows all about them.

Kimono back.

It’s really long, which is what she wanted, but quite narrow. Not so much it doesn’t close, but it certainly doesn’t stay closed while walking. This is the downside of rectangular construction, I guess. Godets at the sideseam might’ve been effective (if not particularly kimono-accurate).

Hem lotus

I quite enjoyed laying out all the applique, which I did after cutting the fabric but before assembling anything. There are two full lotuses, one on the upper back, one at the hem on the front right side. The sleeves and the front left are decorated with individual petals.

Back view---worn

The belt is a simple sash. I opted to stitch it down with an X on the centre back, so she can’t lose it. (I could’ve added belt loops, but in my experience that’s never enough to keep a kid’s belt with their housecoat.) Most of the time it’s trailing along behind her elegantly, but at least it’s there if she decides she needs it.

Front, worn.

The other morning she came down for breakfast wearing her cream bunnyhug* under the robe, which threw me for a loop as I couldn’t figure out how she’d gotten a hood onto the robe.

All in all?

1) new technique learnt (applique)

2) new construction methods

3) used up stash fabric

4) garment is getting lots of use and love.


Your robe fu is strong, but mine is stronger!*

*yes, I know Kung Fu is not Japanese. Hush.



Filed under Sewing

34 responses to “The Lotus Lady

  1. J just got back from a trip to China (not Japan, I know) and he brought me back a silk kimono robe. I have that same issue with the rectangular body part of the robe not staying closed around my hips. But it’s still really pretty. I LOVE the length of this robe. I can see why she’s wearing it all the time. Looks so cozy but still funky. And I’m so impressed with your applique.

    • Mmm, silk. Yeah, I love how long it is. I really don’t get the knee-length robe thing (ok, a light, silky, summer robe, I get. I’m talking fuzzy winter robes.) I’m impressed with my applique ;). Who knew getting the right materials and tools would make such a difference? šŸ˜‰

  2. Oh that turned out so pretty!


  3. redbamsews

    Simply beautiful.

  4. I always love how thoughtfully you sew for your family, I have to try that applique. Lovely Lotas Lady

  5. The fabric you chose for the lotus looks lovely with the whole robe! And good call on attaching the belt; I’m an adult and I still lose those things :\

  6. The lotus applique was really effective, nicely done.

  7. Wow, this really was a Win. The applique worked perfectly. My family is full of Miyazaki fans too, and I once made my son traditional japanese farmer pants, but they were not quite as stunning as this. Have you all read the Usagi Yojimbo graphic novels? They have great stories and lots of strong female characters.

  8. It’s brilliant! I love the amount of thought you put into the whole design – it’s totally worth it. The applique is so appropriate and it’s great that it has been received so well! Excellent. (she looks so cute too!)

    • “Amount of thought”… hmm… well, sorta. I guess if you add it up, there was a fair bit. It was doled out in teensy little dollops over the space of several weeks, though, so I never had to think too hard about any one thing. šŸ˜‰

  9. I absolutely LOVE it! Major win!!!

  10. That looks not only pretty, but very snug and warm. šŸ™‚

  11. Gorgeous. The robe and the girl.


  12. It’s freakin’ gorgeous!!

  13. What a gorgeous housecoat. The sleeves are fabulously luxurious, even if they do droop into everything. Your applique looks terrific, and your daughter looks really happy with it. What an excellent project.

  14. ElleC

    The robe looks great of course, everything you sew looks great! I may have to dig out my Folkwear pattern and make another cooler version of the one I made years ago. Damn you. Cause you know there isn’t enough stuff that I want to sew already.

  15. Awesome! And even more so because she’s wearing it a lot.

  16. why oh why did we only get 16 minutes together in an airport.

    stellar robe action! she looks so pleased with it…. i guess that’s the best reason for SFO (sewing for others? has that been abbreviated yet? IDK.)

    • I know! I think the sewing gods were conspiring to torment us. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet, really.

      The *only* thing that makes sewing for others worthwhile is when they enjoy the f*ck out of it. šŸ˜‰

  17. I’ll have to check out Miyazaki…

    Very very cool, and it’s so much fun when a sewing project works out so well. Lovely! What a lucky girl..

    • Miyazaki is the director behind such amazing animated movies as: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle (the film adaptation of the book by Diana Wynne Jones, which is a great book, too), Kiki’s Delivery Service, and many, many others. They’re gentle, wise, insightful, fantastic movies. Although perhaps a little old for your daughter, depending on how she handles movies.

  18. The applique DOES look nice! Big WIN!

  19. Zena

    I think the thing to tie kimono sleeves out of the way is just a long rope or ribbon or sash, nothing complicated.

    Hold one end in your left hand.
    Using your right hand, put the other end over your left shoulder to hang down your back.
    Using your right hand, pick up the end under the right arm and put it over your right shoulder, then drop it across your back.
    Using your right hand, pick it up under your left arm.
    Tie the ends together in a bow.

    It makes a big figure 8 with the loops around the front of the arms and the cross at the back. 2 to 2.5m should be long enough.

  20. I thought I had left a comment! Either it was eaten or I’m a total space case.

    So, your robe is awesome. Way more Awesome than Felicity’s gaudy thing. And that’s awesome you guys are Miyazaki fans, cause so are we!

  21. Meg

    What a fantastic piece!!! The applique looks fantastic!

  22. You win BIG time with this one! And the Lotus Lady totally rocks your creation!

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