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Thread: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

  1. #1

    Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Hi y'all to potential 2009 rakusu sewers,

    I thought someone should mention that Taigu Sensei estimates it takes 40 to 70 hours to make a rakusu......

    So you might want to budget time.........

    gassho,
    rowan
    your 24/7 sewing yenta

  2. #2

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    I believe that. . . I got started today and well 2 things are sewn together. One is right the other not so much. It only took about 3 hours or so.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Oh my.... that's a long time LOL. But ehhh, still awhile off before I start sewing. I wonder how many times I'm going to accidentally sew my fingers to the rakusu. I'm the step below sewing inept.

  4. #4
    Myoshin
    Guest

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    I'm the step below sewing inept.
    HAHA! I am in the same boat.

    40-70 hours... :shock: Sounds kinda daunting, but I am sure it will be okay. Thanks for the warning Rowan.

    Gassho,
    Kyle

  5. #5

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    My materials cost about $40 for everything. I actually find that the stitching it self doesnt take that long. Measuring and lineing things up is the worst.

    Gassho

    Will Dover

  6. #6

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Quote Originally Posted by willdover
    My materials cost about $40 for everything. I actually find that the stitching it self doesnt take that long. Measuring and lineing things up is the worst.

    Gassho

    Will Dover
    Hi will,

    you musta got some spiffy fabric. I got away for $18 (I was picky about the color and type of cotton).

    cheers,
    rowan

  7. #7

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Hi y'all newbies!

    Just to reassure the stitching neophytes. Almost all the sewers for the first Jukai were new ot sewing and all the rakusus looked gorgeous. Taigu Sensei's videos are wonderful and the sewing tips are great (if I do say so myself :wink: ).

    Please feel free to PM me with any sewing questions (I have been hand sewing for 47 years).

    cheers,
    rowan

  8. #8
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Hi everybody,


    Jinho is a very reliable person with a huge experience of sewing, much bigger than mine. You can really truust her expertise and follow her advice.
    Yes, sewing a rakusu may take a long time when you are new to the craft. When you are experienced, it is faster. But fast or slow is not the point. At every stage, at every stitch, the whole reality is present, at every moment of sewing the rakusu is already manifesting. We may get really caught up in the feeling we have to finish, and very much goal orientated. We are not sitting to make a Buddha, sitting is already Buddha so I invite everybody to enjoy the journey, to fully appreciate the various views and experiences ' anger, irritation, mistakes, joy, peace, restlessness...That is why the sewing is really part of Jukai, it is not a preparation prior to taking the precepts, it is the precepts themselves being practiced and experienced. Ten thousand thoughts will arise in the process, ten thousand thoughts will vanish. From the worries and attachments to the various cravings ...food, TV, sex, sleep...you name it, you will have a countless opportunities to see through the very fabric of your mind, and appreciate the full view of clouds playing on the mountain top, of form dancing in the deep blue sky.
    Please, stay in touch with Jinho or the big stupid bear. Early July, I am planning some talks about kesa kudoku and Den e., very important chapters of Shobogenzo. Meanwhile just get the needle, the thread, the fabric and a bit of your blood ...ouch!!! :x together.

    Gassho


    Taigu

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Since you brought it up, Taigu. What materials are required? what type of fabric, type of needle and thread, etc. ?

    Dave

    P.S. Had to come in and edit this one. I just informed my wife that if I take my precepts I'll have to sew a rakusu myself. And I told her I may need some guidance, so with her back turned I see the shaking head and hear her issue a low " Urrrmmmm." LOL See she must know I'm sewing inept too. Why do I feel doomed before I start?

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Hey Dave,

    There's a ton of info on that sort of thing from last year here:

    viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1152#p15705

    It's a lot to look through, but it has links to documents and vids as well as discussion about sewing...well worth the time!

    Gassho,
    Dosho

  11. #11

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenDave
    Since you brought it up, Taigu. What materials are required? what type of fabric, type of needle and thread, etc. ?

    Dave

    P.S. Had to come in and edit this one. I just informed my wife that if I take my precepts I'll have to sew a rakusu myself. And I told her I may need some guidance, so with her back turned I see the shaking head and hear her issue a low " Urrrmmmm." LOL See she must know I'm sewing inept too. Why do I feel doomed before I start?
    Hi Dave,

    The following should answer your questions listed above:

    http://jundotreeleaf.googlepages.com/TR ... 917PDF.pdf

    This link should be the Rakusu FAQ sewing tips.

    You might reassure your wife that most of the people who sewed rakusus last year had NO help from spouses, etc and did just great on their own. Most people seemed to have the experience that "gee, this isn't so hard/impossible at all, and my rakusu actually looks quite nice". (Am I rememebring this correctly).

    One thing that is very important is that one document listed as the Katagiri rakusu instructions has DIFFERENT MEASUREMENTS than those used by Taigu Sensei in the videos. Taigu Sensei's measurements are listed in the Rakusu FAQ document (see web address listed above) and I recommend using Taigu's measurements since those are the ones he uses in the videos (Katagiri is in inches, Taigu's are in centimeters). However the Katagiri document can be useful for a general overview of how it goes together (hmmm, I must review this and see about this). FYI, all the parts of the rakusu have cute japanese/zen names ("en" etc.) All parts are also all rectangles/squares. So what you are basically making is a cute minature quilt. There is one part that cannot be done until later which is putting on the special center back piece that Jundo Sensei will personally and individually make for you (and send you by mail).

    Rowan/Jinho's recommendation - get everything washed, ironed, measured and cut out before watching the videos since they start at that point.

    A note on fabric which is a brighter color than you might wish. Us old California Renaissance Pleasure Faire workers (it recreates the 1960's, I mean the 1560's, as they should have been) used to dip stuff in strong tea to dull/age fabric. Boiling up a strong brew of black tea (just boil it in a pot on the stove), then boil the fabric in the strong tea for 30 minutes or so should gently dull down the color. Then rinse in cold, clear water, steam iron dry and voila - a nice sedate color. This is also used by costumers and dollmakers to "antique" lace, etc.

    cheers,
    rowan
    who is happy Taigu sensei says my advice is ok (since I LOVE being helpful)

  12. #12
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Your advice is more than OK, Jinho!
    Thank you so much for this great idea of dipping fabric in tea! Very useful indeed!
    Maybe I ll ask you to iron my bearish belly on e day, it might help me to get back into shape and loose these extra pounds !

    gassho

    taigu

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Thanks both of you (Jinho/Taigu) for your help. I downloaded both the pdf's so i can go over them slowly before beginning. Also gives me some time to acquire the items, think about color, etc. .

    Dave

  14. #14
    Senior Member Martin's Avatar
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    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    To anyone hesitating about whether to embark on sewing a rakusu, I would say that I was convinced that I would not be able to do it. Partly because I am incredibly clumsy and thought I would make a complete mess of it, and partly because I was convinced that in my busy life I would never find the time. In fact, the time was there, the sewing and the support of fellow treeleafers during the process was immensley rewarding, and whilst I probably did make a complete mess of it, it was nevertheless perfectly the mess that it was.

    I do now, incidentally, have what I hope may be a helpful piece of advice derived from recent experience to all those who have rakusus, or who may acquire them, and which I offer in the hope of benefiting all sentient beings:

    Should you have an altar / shrine with candles on it, and should it be placed in front of the window, and if the cat is mewing outside the window, before you lean across to open the window and let the cat in remember either to blow out the candles or to take off your rakusu.

    Gassho

    Martin

  15. #15

    Re: Rakusu is 40 to 70 hours of sewing

    Should you have an altar / shrine with candles on it, and should it be placed in front of the window, and if the cat is mewing outside the window, before you lean across to open the window and let the cat in remember either to blow out the candles or to take off your rakusu.
    :cry: :cry:

    Martin, man, you took pictures, right? Or video? Surely you have video...

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