I have a book of kimono designs from Tashio 7 (1919) from which I've taken this design. All the designs in the book follow the same format, a few are coloured but most aren't, and of course one of the few I don't have a photo of is the one I'm working on!!
The simple and clear layout of the designs make them perfect for turning into embroidery designs, I quite fancy the idea of making 3 or 4 and displaying them all in a row.
I've spent some time figuring out the best way to transfer these designs onto the silk fabric. For this design I've used a product called Tracedown, which is much like the waxed paper used in dressmaking. It seems to work ok, but is already starting to fade, so I'll have to use one of the air soluble pens to top the design up.
My first task was to choose colours, being on black I know they'll wash out so I choose nice bright colours. A nice pink for the cherries, bright blue, yellow, and greens for the flower and grasses along the skirt of the kimono.
I simplified the original design a bit as this piece is a bit of an experiment, and I didn't want to get bogged down in too much delicate work (will save that for the next one).
I also left this design it's original size, a little larger than A5, in retrospect I think maybe I should have sized it up a bit, but never mind I think it'll work ok. A number of the designs in the book include kanji, I'm guessing that they have something to do with the type of kimono that can be ordered using that particular design, but not reading kanji I really don't know. Anyway, this one does so I decided to leave it in.
First I stitched the kanji using a flat silk, then I stitched some branches of the weeping cherry, also in flat silk. Actually on the original I can't decide if it's a weeping cherry or a willow tree, the flowers/leaves are just little lines so it could be either. I decided to make it a cherry just before all the blossoms come out, so there are only buds on the branches.
I've worked the buds with what we call a blister stitch, it gives a nice 3D effect on a very small motif.
For a bit of bling(!) I'm working the outer line of the kimono with a line of imitation gold thread.