Jenny La Fleur
a fat banner & kimono update - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
a fat banner & kimono update
I have been super bad about updating this week. Do forgive me. In the holiday madness something eventually must give. It’s been a case of either work on projects or update the LJ. The calendar’s looming deadlines have me slightly freaked out right now so working on the projects seemed the better way to go…

Elvish Banners:

Bridget and I have made good progress on the banners in the past few days. I finished “cleaning up” the blown up copies on Saturday. I added the correct borders and seam allowances before using them to cut out the fabric and lining.

We were originally going to use the old method of punching holes along the design and using chalk or a marker to transfer the pattern onto the fabric. When we came to test this method however, we weren’t happy with the results. The most accurate, if probably the most time consuming method, we could come up with was to make a stencil of the paper pattern.

We knew that once the paper pattern was cut it would lose a lot of it’s stability - not a good thing considering that we have to use each pattern section twice. So we cut our stencil out of poster board. Bridget did all the meticulous cutting with an exacto knife. She first cut out the paper pattern, scoring the poster board underneath. She then cut the poster board layer separately. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that part!! :> She finished the stencil cutting this morning, so they are ready to go now.

I tested the paint and fabric yesterday. My test piece shows no signs of flaking or anything so I’m going to proceed without a textile medium. Painting this puppy is going to be a seriously meticulous and time consuming process. Not that I’m surprised or anything. Every single step in this project has been that way. “Simple, easy little project” – ah huh!!

Having said all that, I can’t wait to see the results. I think they will be really stunning and we will find all the effort has been worthwhile.


I started work on the tassels on Sunday. I got one tassel almost complete at my babysitting job that evening. The little girls I was watching were quite fascinated with the process. :> The second tassel took a bit more effort than the first. I really don’t know what my problem was. I had to redo three of them twice, and one of them three times. I kept dropping them or Nefret wanted to play with them or something. I think I spent all most as much time picking beads up from the floor as I did beading. I was really beginning to wonder if the darned thing was cursed! :>

I did mange to finish both tassels though and I took a series of pics to show how I made them. I’ll post those on my site sometime this month. It was really easy; I basically followed the way the original tassels (from the Bombay outlet) had been put together.

Today I finished up the sewing on the kimono and attached the tassels. I ended up taking the back darts in a bit more in the end. I just liked the more fitted feel. The facing was surprisingly easy to attach. I ironed each edge under, then ironed the belt in half (widthwise). I then pinned the facing to the neckline of the kimono, so that the neck was in between the two folded edges. I top stitched everything in place. The bottom hem was rather sloppily machined (like anyone will ever notice) and the tassels were sewn on by hand.

So, the kimono is essentially done, except for some hooks and eyes. And the beaded embellishment of course, but that is a long term project. I’m really happy with it, although the ties are too long to leave just hanging in front. I wish I could have the option of criss-crossing or leaving them hanging but I have to make a choice. For now I’m leaving them as is (I really don’t feel like taking the tassels I just put on off again) but I may shorten them eventually.

Tags: , ,

10 comments | comment?
padawansguide From: padawansguide Date: December 15th, 2004 05:36 am (UTC) (link)
Jenny - your kimono is looking terrific! As is the elvish banner! I know what you mean about time. I've got all this holiday stuff needing to be done and I keep looking longingly at my dress form, wanting to work on my costume stuff! It's hard juggling everything! :-)

jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 15th, 2004 02:34 pm (UTC) (link)
Thanks so much! Yeah, December sewing is always hit & miss with everything else going on. I really have too many projects going for this time of year but what can I say... I'm weak! :>
From: misscrabtree Date: December 15th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC) (link)
Jenny, Im glad the test on the fabric yielded good results. I was taking with my sister about your project and fabric ... she was wondering if your paint was an oil base. It does not matter now, your on the right track. I wonder if it is just art Professors who make things like this difficult, meaning the process they make a student go through to get something done. Anyway, have fun...didnt mean to cause any confusion or worry.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 15th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC) (link)
Well, that is why I went ahead and tested it first. Sometimes you can "bend the rules" on these things and sometimes you can't. I'm all about testing!!

You didn't cause confusion or worry, just made me stop and think about what I was doing. Thinking is never a bad thing, right? :>
From: misscrabtree Date: December 15th, 2004 03:11 pm (UTC) (link)
Hey, Jenny! I always the odd one, when looking at photos near books I always straing to see the titles. (gues it's part of being a lit student) On your bottom shelf are three books...LOL I have the same one's, I read them over the summer. And, your silver frame, I just set up my set on my antique dresser. Amazing how much people have in common.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 15th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC) (link)
What can I say, you have good taste! *hahaha*

I enjoyed both the Alison Weir books. I actually wasn’t too hip on the Mary Queen of Scots one. I didn't realize it was in novel form when I picked it up, I usually prefer straight biographies. Anyway...
cracked_code From: cracked_code Date: December 15th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC) (link)

Looks good, if I do say so myself

Hey Jen! Looks good (although I still think you should cut the tassels). Keep up the good work! Me!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 15th, 2004 05:21 pm (UTC) (link)

Re: Looks good, if I do say so myself

Thanks Bridget. *wink*

Yes, well I'm still pondering the tassel issue...
elegant_musings From: elegant_musings Date: December 16th, 2004 11:08 pm (UTC) (link)
I just have one word for you:


Yep. I NEED A KIMONO!!!!!! What are you trying to do? Distract me from the O dress and the 18th century project?! Bad, Jenny! Bad! ;)


Great job--can't wait to see the banners finished! :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: December 20th, 2004 05:01 pm (UTC) (link)
Gee thanks! *hahaha*
10 comments | comment?