Back in February, I was elected the new Baronial Minister of Arts and Sciences. I decided that this office needed a new banner to display at events, so I made one.
This hata-jirushi style banner is made with acrylic fabric paints on navy blue linen. I’m not super happy with the way the comet came out, but I think the A&S badge is perfect. I should get some glow-in-the-dark paint to do the candle flame and the comet. That would look awesome, I think.
In Japanese, what Americans call “chopsticks” are called “hashi“. “Maki” is the word for “roll”. Many years ago, I bought a pair of hashi that came rolled in a piece of fabric, secured with a cord and a bead, and this was such a handy thing to have that I realized these would make great gifts, and would be a good way to use up small squares of surplus fabric. I bought a couple packages of bamboo chopsticks at the Asian grocery, and away I went.
Here are the products of that idea. The fabric came from my stash of surplus fabric. You may recognize some fabric from previous sewing projects. The beads came out of my stash of beads and baubles that have been given to me as tokens of appreciation over the years. The basic process is to sew two squares of fabric right-sides together, leaving one corner un-sewn, Turn the squares right-side out, and insert the ends of the cords in the unfinished corner. Top stitch all the way around, sealing the corner and securing the cord.
To use, place flat on a surface with the corded corner pointing to the right. Place a pair of hashi just to the left of the center line, oriented vertically. Fold the top and bottom corners over the ends of the hashi, so they can’t slide out of the roll. Fold the left corner over the hashi to the right. Roll the hashi up in the fabric, wrap the roll with the cord, and tuck the bead under the wrapped cords to secure the roll.
After I made the two Kaminari kataginu last year as prototypes, I ordered a whole roll of red linen so I could make more. This linen sat in the closet for basically a whole year while I worked on other stuff. With the news that there might be some SCA activities in the medium-future, I realized that I had to get started on this project.
So, I made six more kataginu and embroidered them with the Yama Kaminari clan mon. They are the six you see on the left in this picture. The two to the right are the prototypes from last year.
The ones that look smaller folded up are 36 inches from shoulder to hem. The larger ones are 48 inches to accommodate those who are taller or otherwise larger. I seem to remember that the prototypes used 54-inch wide fabric, so the panels are 18 inches wide on those two. The new ones are constructed from 45-inch fabric, so they use 15 inch panels.
I can’t wait to seem them adorning my firends in some kind of procession!
It’s not even half-way through the year, and I already have this year’s tabi foot coverings finished.
For those of my readers who are not familiar with this tradition, I started sewing my own tabi a few years ago to go with my Japanese garb. They are usually made from leftover fabric from garb projects, but it’s just regular fabric, so they tend to wear out pretty quickly. I found that if I make a pair a year, I can keep ahead of the curve and always have at least a few pairs of tabi that are not worn out and shabby looking. Usually, I wind up finishing a year’s tabi in January or February of the following year. Not this year! Free time and your wife hosting local sewing circles can do that.
These are made from the blue linen I used for the hippari top I made for the field clothing outfit from this past December. They’re sewn entirely by hand, including attaching the himo ties, which I normally do by machine. This was not a decision to be a stickler about it, just that I was sewing these to have some sewing to do while being social, so why not stretch it out a little bit?
These are apparently the eleventh or twelfth pair of tabi I have made for myself. Scary. Maybe the next pair will be impractically fancy. We still have some really nice silk brocade sitting around.
One of our favorite commercial sewing patterns is Folkwear #112 “Japanese Field Clothing“. I’ve used it for more than a dozen items of informal garb, and Sharon has probably used it for more than two dozen items. Monpe are basically baggy sweatpants, much like very simple hakama with only four panels total. Hippari are simple shirts with an open front that ties closed, and small sleeves. Together, they make good “peasant garb” for Pennsic, or work clothing for other events during the year. In movies, you’ll often see these garments with multiple patches and fixes, giving you the impression that most people in medieval Japan would only have one set of clothing, and they would wear that for as long as humanly possible. Anyway, they’re a good thing to have available in the Japanese medieval garb wardrobe, even though the Folkwear pattern isn’t quite medieval. Here’s the set I made in 2019 to replace some stuff I made more than a dozen years ago that I just can’t wear anymore.
Both of these are made from linen fabric that I bought at the fabric store. The weave on both of these is a simple weave with color threads in one direction and white threads in the other. This gives the fabric sort of a homespun appearance, in my opinion. Anyway, these two items look pretty good together.