- Countless hours have gone into this young lady - most of them researching kimono and maiko (apprentice geisha), figuring out the best pattern to use for the kimono, as well as tracking down authentic materials and supplies. All that is in addition to the 20 or so hours of actual work. With this creation, I have taken traditional elements and mixed them with my modern, quirky, Western aesthetic - obviously, turquoise hair isn't traditional, nor are earrings (which are Swarovski crystal).
- With Spring literally around the corner, and the peach tree in my back yard blossoming, 'Spring' seemed the perfect title for her, given the colors used and the cherry blossoms on her kimono.
- Formerly a 'Birthstone Beauty' Steffie head on a modern, traditional Barbie body.
- Rerooted with 'Turquoise' KatSilk saran hair, styled into a simple shignon. Assorted Kanzashi (traditional hair ornaments, imported from Japan) adorn her hair.
- Complete facial repaint with artist-quality acrylics, sealed for protection. Finished with applied lashes.
- Kimono is made from a Japanese Hitokoshi Rayon chirimen (simiar to a crepe and a traditional fabric for making kimono) that was bought from a fabric store in Japan. It is partially lined with a silk rinzu, and features two faux collars and faux inner sleeves, to give the illusion of a second kimono underneath, as it's traditonal to wear layers of kimono. When sewing in 1/6 scale, this would add too much extra bulk of fabric.
- To wear the kimono, Barbie had her waist padded (from what I have read, the preferred shape for Japanese women is a non-curvy form), then the kimono was carefully tied into position according to traditional methods which have been slightly adapted. The kimono is full length - you can just make out the oshashori (he fold at the waist in women's kimono to bring them up to the correct length) below the obi. Due to the complex nature of dressing the kimono, the obi has been sewn closed, to discourage undressing - it is not advised to remove it, except for archival purposes. Care should be taken not to pull on the kimono, especially the bottom hem area.
- The obi is made from an obi sampler of silk & metallic threads and is lined with a silk/lurex blend dupioni. The obijime is metallic silver and is worn in the top third of the obi, as befitting a young woman. A rayon shibori obiage is tucked into the top of the obi and peeks out alluringly, again as befitting a young woman (as a woman ages, the obi-age is tucked further and further in).
- Pale peach slingback shoes adorn her feet.