Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A few golden rules…

As much as possible, be consistent with your sewing and sew everyday until completion of the kesa ( don’t do as I do sometimes: 4 years on the same kesa, it is just outrageous...)

Remember that you are sewing the Buddha’s robe and show respect to the fabric ( you may put it on a shelf, it should not be left on the floor…). While sewing, burn incense if you wish. If you know Alexander technique and apply the directions ( neck free, head forward and up…) you might not experience the pain of sewing ( sewing is the activity that shows your misuse right away). Notice how much your are restricting and holding your breath while sewing...

You must cut the fabric and not tear it. A nice pair of scissors is always a good companion.

You should always iron the fabric, so your sewing is neat and precise. Be careful, it’s easy to burn stitches and fabric when ironing. Better use it at a mild temperature. Iron every single fold, it is so much easier if you do it well.

Thread is very important. Silk is best. Generally the thread is white. You may go for orange or yellow. But white is best.

No knots should be visible on the kesa. You have to hide them by pulling them under the fabric. Ask somebody familiar with sewing, they will show you.

Make sure that you pull on the thread and make a firm stitch every time.

The stitch used for the kesa is the back stitch. No other stitch should be used.

And the stitches should be regular and small ( 1-5 mm bettween each stitch). On the front of the kesa, you get a line of small stitches like small "dots". On the back, small dashes or lines slightly diagonal.


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