A michiyuki is a double-breasted coat worn over a kimono.
Michiyuki means ‘goes over everything’. Since at this time I was aiming in my collection to have an example of every type of kimono, I bought this one, attracted by its busy floral print of stylised chrysanthemums and its gorgeous water-colour dyed lining. However, I wasn’t sure the shape would suit me.
Although the outer silk is dyed, it copies a Yuzen technique in leaving white areas around the motifs and also has applied gold surihaku dots in the middle of the flowers, while the lining is a startling rainbow of yellow, jade and salmon pink dyed in a gradated technique.
On arrival, I simply loved the print and the gorgeous figured Rinzu silk, as well as the lining (also Rinzu) but oh – the style. It was awful. I am quite a busty girl and when closed this garment looked terribly frumpy. The depth of the neckline is huge, because it’s designed to go over a full kimono and juban, and show the han-eri.
I decided to salvage it if I could. Firstly I took off the front overlap, stitched the side sections closed and made a long collar out of the front section. This didn’t work. The garment was still too narrow at hip level. So I opened up the seams and created side vents. Sadly, this didn’t work either, so I decided to take the garment apart for the fabric.
It proved to render up quite a lot of fabric, because michiyuki’s are self-lined to the shoulder, and the fabric simply wraps around the bottom hem and straight back up.
A couple of years later I used the fabric to make a lovely neck scarf, which remains one of my favourites, and a lingerie top cut on the bias. I also used the lining fabric to make a similar top. Michiyukis are cheap and plentiful but I won’t, obviously, be buying one again except for the fabric.