Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crafting: Susoyoke

Rather than explain why I haven't been writing anything over here, because there are many reasons, and none of them really matter so much as the fact that I am here now and have something to share. Today's offering is some notes on crafting susoyoke.

Susoyoke is a half-slip that is worn under kimono. Traditionally, it helps to preserve the kimono by creating a barrier between it and your skin. This is how I use mine as well, but when I am dressing, I will choose a susoyoke if I am wearing a kimono that does not give me as much overlap in front as I might like so that I might preserve some sense of modesty and still present a neat appearance.

The undergarment that I outline here is a bit longer than more traditional garments of this style because I wrap and tie mine at the bust-line (I find this VERY useful in helping me keep my hadajuban collar in place). Normally, these would be wrapped and tucked at the waist like a regular slip.

My initial notes-- I couldn't recall the name 'susoyke' though I knew that the garment I was attempting DID have a proper name. The measurements are based off of one that I found at a sale benefiting the Yu Ai Kai.
 When I found my first slip, I realized that it would be a garment that I'd get a lot of use out of, and simple enough that I could easily make some for myself. It's a fun way to use smaller amounts of fabric that are too dear to pass along but not large enough for massive projects.

 The basic shape is a rectangle (mine was 50" x 43"), and the only fussy sewing is a rolled hem and applying the bias-binding for ties. Because it's a rectangle and the direction the pattern was printed as it was, I was able to cut and piece so that my sides were on the selvage of the fabric and needed no finishing. I started out with about two yards of a 42" fabric, and I still have some left over that I might use to make some other kimono-related undergarments.
The fabric that I was working with was directional, in a traditional but fun motif which makes it really nice for this project.

Finished, with bias-binding ties.
I think I used an entire pack of double-fold bias-binding for my ties, but it makes for a simple and effective finishing of the top edge. The bottom was a simple 1/4" rolled hem.

From start to finish, it took me a couple of hours, but that's partially because I had to figure out my initial measurements from the existing garment and do a little piecing so that my fabric would be wide enough to wrap around. If the pattern had been printed the other way, I wouldn't have needed to do the piecing, since an average bolt of fabric is already 42" or so wide, but I would have needed to finish each side, since they wouldn't have been on the selvage, as well as applying the bias-binding for the ties.

I have plans (and fabric) to make several more of these. While susoyoke aren't an article of clothing that is likely to be seen (and certainly not displayed), there is a certain amount of pleasure to be derived from knowing that one is well dressed from the skin out. Even when the details are hidden, or only caught in glimpses, they all add up to a pleasing presentation of the ensemble as a whole.