What's New: Elegant and Feminine Kimonos
Me: *slinking shame-facedly to the computer and opening up blog*
Me: *seeing how many months it's been since I last blogged*
Me: *looking anywhere but at the computer, as embarrassment has rendered me unable to look it in the eye*
Me: ...it's time.
You know how sometimes your head gets full of really great ideas that you know you want to implement, ideas that are full of such promise, and then LIFE gets in the way and you let things slide? That's me, with this blog.
Here's a brief excuse, and then we'll move on and pretend this never happened: In February, I joined my family business Clarence Miller Insurance as its Bookkeeper and Marketing Coordinator. I'm still only part-time, but I've discovered in the process of adjusting to my new schedule that it not only takes up a couple of days a week of preschool that I used to work in my studio, but also a few afternoons as well, which is something I hadn't originally accounted for. I knew switching from evening hours at the library to daytime hours at the agency would be different, but I never imagined that I would go from putting in 15-20 hours a week in my studio to 2 or 3 at best. I'm trying to balance it better with some different hours this summer, but it's still tricky for me to essentially juggle two part-time jobs and also be present for my family. My kids won't be 5 and 3 forever, and I don't want anything else I do to take away from them.
So here we are. I've been logging closer to 7-8 hours a week in my studio the past few weeks, which is better than before, but it's still a struggle to get everything I want to do done in that time. I've been trying to spend all of my good working time actually sewing so that I have something tangible to show for my time, and thus the blog gets woefully ignored.
Again, I'm sorry. I'll try to do better moving forward! Because I've been working on some really great things lately that I think you'll want to see!
Check out my latest masterpiece:
That's right, I've started making kimonos!
This idea, which I conceived clear back in March, has been a bit slow going with only a few hours a week to sew. But I'm getting there! I bought 4 different lightweight fabrics to make into kimonos, and I've currently got two prints available in my shop.
The first, a luxurious black floral silk option, is available in two different sizes. The shorter version is the currently most popular item in my shop.
This black floral silk is also available in a longer kimono, which adds about 6" to the bottom hem and ends closer to mid-thigh. I originally made the shorter kimono for myself, but decided it didn't flatter my body type. So I lengthened the pattern out and made a longer version, which I feel more comfortable in. I think having both styles gives people more options to flatter their own shape, so I offer both in my shop. Here's the longer kimono:
Once I exhausted my supply of silk, I decided to challenge myself with a new type of fabric: delicate sheer chiffon. I've not worked with such a lightweight fabric before, and it definitely provided its own challenges to get it right! But it makes for a satisfyingly light and airy kimono, so it was worth every moment of frustration.
Currently I have only the long version available in my shop, but I have cut two of the shorter version and will have those available just as soon as I can get them sewn!
To see how that delicate paisley chiffon kimono flutters in the breeze, go back and re-watch the Instagram video above. This kimono is airy, feminine, and elegant--and perfectly lovely!
Each kimono takes a couple of hours to make, which is why they're taking so long to get completed. (Add in photography, editing, listing writing, order filling, paperwork, and of course, BLOGGING, and you'll find 7-8 hours a week is barely enough time to get one kimono made in a week.)
My goal is to get through this spring's fabric batch (a pair of short/long kimonos from each of the four prints, ideally) before I move on to gearing up for fall. My fall inventory is very blanket-scarf and flannel heavy, so it'll require me to fully change gears as the weather cools. But it's okay--I adore working with flannel, so I'm actually quite excited to dig back into some of my back flannel stock that I never got to last fall.
In fact, I was invited to take part in a live market in September, and I've already started making blanket scarves for it... but that's a post for another time.
Thanks for checking in on what's NEW in the shop, and I'll see you next time!