First let me say that I am not a costume-crazy Halloween nut (like some of my friends). I dress up about once every 3 years, and that is just to get those friends off my back! Well this year my time was up once again, and I had to get creative.
The idea of dressing up as a geisha popped into my head and pretty much stuck. My husband was visiting his parents in San Francisco a week and a half ago and planned to pick up a cheap kimono for me in Japantown (is there such a thing as a cheap kimono?). But then my mother-in-law offered to let me use her yukata (a cotton kimono worn in the summer) so he didn't buy one.
Tim brought the yukata home, carefully folded and wrapped inside a special box. My jaw dropped. It was absolutely gorgeous. A crisp white cotton with a delicate pink and grey floral pattern. And I'm guessing from the 1960s.
I absolutely loved it, but this yukata was way too nice for me to wear! Let's just say this costume party wasn't exactly happening at the governor's mansion; where we were going, I could just imagine some "naughty nurse" spilling her drink all over me and not even noticing.
So Thursday I made a beeline for Joann to find cheap fabric for my costume. Thank goodness the Asian-inspired polyester brocades were 50% off because I needed a lot of it.
I actually wasn't too stressed about the sewing. I used McCalls 4304, a now out-of-print pattern with several styles of kimono tops. I had made one of the tops before. For the costume, I lengthened it to my ankles, and I lengthened the sleeves as well.
I did, though, use my mother-in-law's obi, so I didn't have to sew up one of these. I don't know what I would have done without these obi-tying instructions. And Tim. I think the wearer is supposed to be able to tie the obi herself, but my long sleeves (and inexperience) got in the way. This is one of the times that I appreciated what a perfectionist my husband can be, I think we/he did a great job considering this was our first obi-tying experience; it only took us three tries.
The wig is for some reason called "couture geisha wig" on all the internet stores. With a name like that, how could I resist?
Here are a few pics of my non-costume version of M4304. I used a jersey fabric to make this blouse, and it really is one of my faves.
Thank goodness it's finally Halloween because the candy I bought for the trick-or-treaters is not going to last much longer in my house!