lots of opportunities to be creative in Asia.
the ancient market places in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I found
bolts and bolts of
Chinese silk at an excellent price. Family members had mentioned
previously that they wanted some silk robes made, if I were willing
to do the leg work. Loving both textiles and shopping, I figured
this was just up my alley!
the gamut and it was hard to choose! Chinese silk is known for
its rich and detailed embroidery. Each one was more beautiful
than the previous one. So I asked every family
member what their color preferences were and off to the markets I went!
Chinese silk has embroidered silver and gold bamboo leaves
for accent. We made each robe reversible, so here, the lavishly embroidered
black silk underneath shows only on the sleeves and the
neckline. Don looks dashing!
Specific measurements were taken by
family members and sent to me via email. Since I had no pattern, I went to our seamstress here
in Chiang Mai who then told me how much fabric to purchase of
each color for each robe. My
Brother-in-Law wanted two separate reversible robes, and this
one gave him a completely different look.
Here you can
see a closer view of the embroidery itself, the silk on the inner
sleeves and the side pocket. Belts were made to match both
robe colors. Mid-length sleeves were requested.
construction, I took
the fabric to the laundress and had her wash it. Any sizing,
shrinking or color-bleeding was taken care of in this manner.
Although the robes are luxurious, they can be washed at home.
The robe I'm
wearing here is the
female version of the first one pictured. Royal gold and rich maroon!
Each robe has side seam entry pockets and a chest pocket for
This is the
same robe shown previously with the maroon on the outside and the gold
as the interior color. Done in a kimono style, the robes
are loose fitting and comfortable. Family
members will surely be pleased with the end product! One of a
kind and made special-to-order!
With the cost of the fabric, the washing service, the
wages for the labor of the
seamstress plus the postage to ship them to the States, the price of these
robes still came to a fraction of what they would have had
to pay in a store at home!
There are lots of opportunities to express your imagination
and creativity if
you are open to them! Why not try your hand at assembling
memorable gifts for loved ones?
Our thanks go
to friends Don and Wan for modeling, and to Enrique Uriarte for