Kimono silks, fripperies and royal gossip

I’ve bought some rather pretty pogey bait at op shops in the last few weeks.

First, a fabulous necklace:

It’s a little more fantasy than historical, but in a pinch it could do late Victorian (at least based on my Sears and Roebucks from the 1890s).

And it’s just a lovely piece all on its own, with fairly quality workmanship.

The fabric it is resting on is a roll of unused vintage kimono crepe.  Like so many kimono out there, it has the paulownia mon.

I had a bit of a blowout on vintage kimono silks actually.

In addition to the pink I got this beautiful crepe with mysterious white on white patterning.

Its a whole roll (an entire kimono), unmade up, so the pattern disappears and reappears along the roll, and includes bits of design that make no apparent sense at the moment, but will when they are matched with the right corresponding bits.

I’m looking forward to placing a kimono pattern over it, and figuring out how the designs would fit together.

And I have the most fabulous idea of what I want to do with it, but that’s going on the longer term pile.

In addition to rolls of kimono silk, I bought a few old kimono for the fabric.

One is lined in this stunning petrol blue silk crepe.  The outer fabric of the kimono is boring, but I love the lining.  I’m rather obsessed with petrol blue as a colour at the moment.

The other is this gorgeous tiffany blue with a woven in brick pattern. It’s a lovely, heavy fabric, suitable for corseting.  Yummy!

And finally, after the fabric and jewellery pretties, I found more Royal Romance magazines.  These are amazing sources for images, and ridiculous historical gossip.  My appetite for some much more serious research has definitely been sparked.

This time I got:

#7 Lord Louis Mountbatten & Edwina Ashley
#12 Crown Prince Rudolf & Mary Vetsera (Mayerling)
#14 King George V & Queen Mary
#17 Emperor Napoleon & Empress Josephine
#24 Emperor  Franz Joseph & Elisabeth of Austria
#26 Emperor Napoleon II & Empress Eugenie
#28 Louis XV & Madame de Pompadour
#33 King George IV & Maria Fitzherbert
#36 Catherine the Great & Gregory Orlav

There were more, but I passed on the ones on more recent royals.  Buying the ones of Diana and Fergie would just be depressing.  And without pretty dresses, I’m not interested.

There were a few that I passed up on because I thought I might have them already, but now that I know I don’t I’m definitely going to add them to the collection.


  1. Lovely fabric!
    Those Royal Romance magazines look really interesting – a great read (as well as the pretty piccies) ….as they say the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction!

  2. jackiead says

    What wonderful finds, love the vintage kimono silks. I wish I could find these fabrics at our second shops.

  3. Was it that wonderful place in Seatoun, as far as I am concerned, that shop is worth a trip to Wellington all on its own. The kimono fabrics are beautiful, now I am envious. Love it.

  4. Beautiful necklace, historical or not! Love the pale blue printed silk. Would love to make a corset! The romances will all have some sadness about them, I suspect, but the clothes will no doubt be awesome.

  5. Chloe says

    The white kimono silk looks as if it were intended for a wedding kimono, with that white on white embroidery.

    It seems what ever meanings that were stitched into that fabric with the flowers and plants didn’t get to work though… and makes it kind of interesting to wonder what made the wedding get called off that the bride’s kimono didn’t get made.

    • I think wedding kimono are red….I’ll have to check on that. I forget what occasion white and cream kimono are worn for. And it’s actually not embroidery, its printing. (I wish I could afford embroidered kimono silk!)

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