Side Seams Complete

I wanted to write  / A clever pun about tea, / But grief consumes me. / Will tears dilute this bitter / Drink I’ve left to steep too long?

Today hurt. Last day at my dream job. There hasn’t been room for much besides grief.

I made a good deal of progress last night after my update. I stayed up much too late, but the left side seam is now complete. Things went much more quickly after I decreased the stitches per inch back to where they were supposed to be.

I’ve been stewing today over next steps. At this point in the process I can either attach the sode (sleeves) or the okumi (overlap panels). I’ll likely stitch the sleeves into shape while I think about it. I’m wishing I had decided to cut the okumi on the selvage edge so I wouldn’t have to hem them. That’s another thing I can do while I decide between sleeves and overlap panels. And I’ll make sure to cut the next two garments with okumi on selvage edges.

Side Seams and Suspense

Watching colors change / Is an honored fall pass time / I did not expect / To hold my breath for so long / While waiting for leaves to drop

I finished the right side seam. That felt like an uncomfortably long 40 inches. And I need to step up the pace.

Granted, tomorrow is my last day of work, so my “distractions” will become quite limited.

Or maybe I need to be more careful about my stitches per inch.

The first two inches of a yellow measuring tape next to a handsewn seam of approximately 20 stitches per inch.

Somehow I got things turned about and was back at about 20 stitches per inch. I need to be more careful. Lets see if I can get back in the right range on the left side seam.

The best part about the left seam is that it is all selvage edge. I still need to decide how I want to finish the right side seam as it is a cut edge.

Side Seams and Stress

Stitching on the side seams continues. Slowly. And today, sporadically.

Distracted today / My thoughts chased away like birds / Flushed from a bush / Will they return to their roost / When the danger has passed?

I’d take a series of stitches and then space out, shake it off and repeat. I’ve picked it up and set it down multiple times. And increasingly, I’m frustrated that I’m this stressed.

If that sounds like a vicious circle forming, you’re not wrong.

The poems are a nice little reprieve though. I’ve written a few tanka before, and find the form both relaxing and challenging. I experience a lot of freedom in structure – my brain is wired that way. I would like to perhaps try to lace my poems with puns and layer in references to other poems the way it was common (and ideal) to do during the Heian period.


I finished the false back seam of the kosode last night.

Darting to and fro / Above and below the silk / Racing through the task / My needle leads thread along / A delicate hide and seek

It seems my desire to write poetry was well timed. Saionji no Hana has issued her yearly challenge for November, one tanka every day for a month. Yes, please.

So what’s a tanka? It’s a form of waka or Japanese poetry. You’re likely familiar with the more modern haiku, a poem with a syllabic count of 17 in a 5/7/5 arrangement. The tanka was exceptionally popular in the Heian period. It has a syllabic count of 31 in a 5/7/5/7/7 arrangement, and was usually written as a single line.

I’m excited to share what I come up with here and on the SCA Japanese Facebook group.

As for the kosode, I decided to move on to the side seams next. I’ve marked both sides with a 1 cm seam allowance and a stop point 40 inches from the hem.

I broke down the task of sewing the kosode into chunks, in this case, each seam has about a day. Following this, I should finish the kosode in just over a week. November 12 is the garment due date I’ve set. I may need the few days wiggle room to finish the raw edges of the silk with a rolled hem.

I also completed my first monthly check in for C3 yesterday. So far, so good.