October 12, 2021
Our 143 Japanese Michiyuki pattern is a versatile and elegant piece that can be styled for a variety of functions. Cottons for a light windbreaker or beautiful smock, flannels for a warmer jacket, and silks for a smooth evening coat are all great choices for constructing this piece. Here are some suggestions we've curated for exciting takes on this beautiful pattern, as well as some information on sourcing and choosing Japanese silks for a more authentic garment.
According to Hanami: Mai's Blog, Michiyuki are more of a protective, traditional garment. Like a coat to be worn over the kimono, their function is predominantly for warmth and to keep clothing from getting damaged. Because of their utility, Michiyuki tend to be subdued in their coloring and simple in patterning, which also would make them easier to coordinate with multiple different ensembles. However, I feel this garment has the potential to be styled in a way that is more statement-piece friendly, and have chosen some fun fabrics to explore that avenue.
To start, we have this subtly adorable cotton dobby fabric from Hart's Fabrics that blends traditional and modern in its patterning. The wave/scale pattern is a mainstay of Japanese aesthetics, but the twist is this one includes cats in it. I can't get over it, it's too cute.
Next, also from Hart's Fabrics, is a tasteful Autumn stripe fabric. This cotton flannel would make for a cozy and warm jacket.
Bolt's Fabric Boutique has a precious floral gingham print that would make for an adorable Michiyuki with a slightly playful edge.
Also, making the Michiyuki out of rainwear fabric would make a really beautiful and unique raincoat. This navy rainwear, cotton with latex backing, from Marcy Tilton would be very nice, especially paired with some stand-out buttons.
Finally, for a more traditional route, you could look to source authentic Japanese kimono silk. Luckily, there is an abundance of deadstock or otherwise unsewn kimono fabric to be found online. Places like Ebay and Etsy are good choices, though a bit transient in their offerings. A couple keywords to be aware of in your search: You would find good results searching for Chirimen, or Rinzu silks. Both are types of silk that are different, but appropriate for use in this application. Additionally, be careful not to buy fabric that is intended for the obi. An obi is the waist sash that is tied around the kimono, and will be too thick for sewing a Michiyuki. You can get a sense of obi fabric if it is thick, has a lot of embroidery or metallic threads, and looks like it is designed to sit sideways with its motifs.
That said, here is an authentic kimono silk bolt from ebay with several yards available that would be perfect for a Michiyuki or other Japanese garment. Since kimono fabrics are regularly singular bolts, be sure to check with the seller or the listing to make sure it will have enough yardage for what you need.