Introduction: Kimono Corset
The kimono that I so desperately wanted at 18 has been living in my closet for a few years now. Every time I found it, I couldn't help but admire the fabric and the hand stitching- even though I didn't display it any more, I couldn't see parting with it. I finally plucked up the courage to cut off the beautiful bottom portion off the kimono and turn it into a corset. To keep costs low, I used left over heavy duty cable ties as boning. This project was all about recycling something old (yet beautiful) and dusty into something a little more fun and actually wearable.
I drafted the pattern based on an awesome tutorial . I hadn't done much in the way of pattern matching before (solids FTW!), so it took a night of trial and error to get to the point of cutting into my beautiful but extremely limited supply of fabric. I ended up drawing each pattern piece on tracing paper, adding seam allowances, and then cutting two of each piece. I knew I wanted a crane at the center front, and I happened to have a crane that spanned two pieces of fabric. I made that seam line my center front opening and traced the main elements of the kimono's pattern onto each of my two center front pattern pieces so that I would know where to lay them out when cutting the fabric. Even though I wasn't necessarily matching the rest of the pieces to each other the way I matched the center front, I still used the tracing paper method with the rest of the corset. I wanted the center back to match up the same way the front did, and I wanted the side panels to be exactly the same as each other, with the side front and side back panels at least closely relating to the front and back pieces.
I might have gotten a little frustrated by the end of the process and not ended up with perfect matches or symmetry, but I hope the finished product will inspire others to recycle old pieces into fresh, wearable art.