Today's post is about Yoko Saito's artwork, and about a skirt I made recently, from the same stash and pattern as the A-line of last week. It includes a strip of bias-cut wool in very soft taupe colors, appliqued onto a darker wool using Yoko Saito's instructions, so I've taken to calling it my Yoko Saito skirt!
Yoko Saito is a famous quilter. Her work is very Japanese in its sensibilities: subtle colors, subtly combined, with impeccable stitching and attention to minute detail. There are three elements which come together to make a Yoko Saito quilt really distinctive to me: the taupe colors; the complex and often layered applique; and the hand-quilting. Doing an image search for "Yoko Saito" will give you a pretty good idea of her aesthetic; it's the kind of work that rewards close study. Be aware as you look that Saito has many students and followers who replicate her style, so not everything you see is definitely made by her; but it represents her school of quilting.
It has been so long since I've worked on this gift for my brother that it's no wonder if you've forgotten all about it! (My brother probably thought I'd forgotten about it!) Allow me to refresh your memory.
In Fall, 2016, I came up with the idea of making a camp shirt for my brother, using the Islander #208 pattern and a Robert Kaufman batik in my brother's preferred colors. He was enthusiastic.
So I made a mock-up and sent it to him, only to find that, like many commercial patterns, the shirt had far too much ease. Though the pattern envelope said my brother's measurements were a Medium (with a Large neck!), in reality, he was probably a small. At any rate, it was a ton of work with a disappointment at the end, so the wind was taken right out of my sails. The project slipped to the bottom of the pile until...
April 2017, when I found an older Aloha shirt at a vintage shop and rubbed off its pattern. I sent the original to my brother, and he confirmed that the fit was good, so I cut out the batik pieces...
And got distracted by other, paying, work, until August 2017, when I gave myself a stern talking to and put the shirt project back on the top of my to-do list for the fall!
The Ahsoka Tano dress being done, I had to make a few accessories to really create the character. The biggest thing was the belt with its apron front. Then gaiters for the feet, and leggings with diamond-shaped cut-outs. I'll post about the belt and leggings today, but not the gaiters, because (I'll be honest) I found the gaiters really annoying to do and I'm not happy with them. They're not bad... just not gonna be in this post. Maybe I'll post about them in future, when time has passed and I can be objective.
The Ahsoka Tano costume continues! After all my pattern work, I cut out the pattern pieces in the red twill. I have just enough
Meanwhile, she is loved by an English soldier. Things get tragic. Honestly, I didn't find it all that interesting, despite it having such dramatic elements. Despite all the politics, love triangles, and bloodshed, the part I remember best was the rather odd garment worn by the young lady to a ball... a flat-chested boxy bodice with large skirt poofing out from the hips. I thought it was very unflattering.
So, as promised on August 21st, here I begin the chronicle of my Ahsoka Tano cosplay commission! Though it's all done now, I wrote this project diary while working on it, so expect present tense throughout.
Ahsoka Tano is a Star Wars character in the movie The Clones Wars and in the animated TV series. She is a figure in Anakin Skywalker's younger years: he mentors her when she's a young Padawan, before he becomes Darth Vader. My client C. wishes to dress as her for the Rose City Comic Con. This requires, at minimum, a costume including a dress, belt, and gaiters. Other accessories are the gray tights, armbands and gloves, headdress/hair, et cetera. Our time is short (what with work and all, I only have five full days to work on it between the start of the project on August 20th and the due date of September 8th), so the priority is dress/belt/gaiters. In a pinch, C. can improvise the rest.
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