We have been hard at work thinking up new ideas. We have changed direction slightly, and Narita-san had a great idea of making beach vests out of various fabrics.
This first one we have come up with is made from a hikeshibanten or “firefighter jacket”. These are worn by volunteer firefighters as a durable work over-jacket. They are usually reinforced with sashiko to give them durability. They are usually marked with some town naming or some sort of slogan. The one we used for the vest has a huge kanji on the back. With the kamon “family crest” this fabric has some interesting details.
The construction is a pattern cut from a jacket that Narita-san turned into a prototype beach vest. The trim is made from strips of dead stock indigo cotton fabric sewn together. The trim along with the base fabric will age and fade as it is washed and worn. This beach vest has 4 pockets like the original, however the pockets are big enough for a phone or any daily carry items. The sashiko fabric is lightweight and tough.
Expect to see more versions of these. This one is available on my Etsy store.