Making a momoyama kosode…


I am a member of a historical society. I reenact history (I am a member of the SCA), specifically Japanese history in the Momoyama period (the period right before Edo). Modern kimono just do not cut it for historical reenactment, as there are a few differences between the historical kosode and the kimono.

It is interesting to not that the kosode began its transformation to the modern kimono in the Momoyama period. That being said I need to make a kosode in the look and style of the period to wear for our events.

Here is the general guide and layout for patchwork style kosode in the day. The patchwork first began as a frugal attempt to salvage damaged kimono into a single usable one. In the momoyama period it became a big fashion statement. So…I selected 2 modern kimono of similar size to combine into a patchwork style.

Guide to momoyama patchwork layouts – there are many layouts but here are a few at a glance.

I begin by cutting apart the kimono in the style desired. I opted to use kimono instead of fabric store fabric because the kimono provided me with an authentic weave and quality of fabric I just dont find at local fabric stores.

I strip the collars because they are not historically accurate. The two main problems with modern kimono are that their collars and sleeves are not accurate.

I take the collars apart so that they are a single piece instead of 2 pieces to create the modern look.

I decided to do a half half collar – one side green, the other side red. I want the red collar on the left side so it is a strong statement: a red slash across my torso.

I resume cutting now that the collars are out of the way…some of the Momoyama kosode do have cut collars. I don’t want that look. During the cutting I pause to consider my layout. I really like this layout.

When I finally get around to sewing I begin with the sleeves because they are simple. I will not convert the sleeves tot he kosode style until AFTER I have finished sewing everything else.

Behold the sewn together Momoyama patchwork style! I could wear this as a near modern kimono..but the collar is now historical. Next I have to sew the sleeves into the historical style. the collar required being hand sewn back on and took about 2 hours total.

Finished kosode coming soon 😀


4 responses »

    • Thanks 🙂
      I have it about done soon. I keep starting embroidering it, and then removing it because the style I keep using is wrong for history

  1. I know I’ve found this years after it was put here, but, I’m in the SCA and I’ll be making a kosode soon – would love to see these photos but they aren’t showing up…

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