Thursday, March 02, 2006

"The method of washing, receiving and retaining the kesa cannot be known without learning in practice in the inner sanctum of the legitimate face-to-face transmission of those methods"

Dogen, Kesa-Kudoku

So now, the nitty-gritty of kesa sewing: how to get these patches together?

Without a teacher and face to face transmission, it is hard to understand. But we are going to give it a go.

You have 21 pieces in front of you. You first sew the vertical panels ( ABC, CBA, DEF) and those are constructed in such a way that the pieces at the top of the panel always overlap each successive lower piece. These seven panels are then sewn together so that the two vertical seams of the central panel ( ABC) overlap the panel flanking either side and each successive panel is overlapped from the panel closest to the centre toward the outer edge of the robe.

You take your first piece A and draw a line at 1 cm of the bottom edge ( for the fold) and another one at 6cm from the previous line ( for the yo).

Do the same of your B.

Put them back to back, the first line of B matching the second line of A and sew.

Then stretch the two pieces, iron, make the yo, fold and sew the first line of A on B.

Do the same to sew AB on C.


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