Hello Everyone,

Happy Holidays and sorry for the silence! I was reflecting on my rakusu and thought it would make a good post. I have to admit, when I first started sewing it was with minimal understanding of what I was really doing. More like "arts and crafts" time, not really anything with deep meaning yet. I've learned a few things along the way.

First, I hardly ever set myself up for success. I tend to be on the stingy side with things and never allow myself all the proper tools to get things done in a correct manner. With my sewing, I didn't have a marking pen or chalk. I didn't have proper scissors to cut fabric. I didn't have a proper measuring device. This set me off to a rough little start- and paralleled a lot of other things in my life, from working with my horse to my job. I felt a weird sense of accomplishment when I went to the store and bought proper scissors, a sewing/cutting board, thicker thread and a fabric marker. I also picked a thread that contrasted a little more with the fabric so I could really see what I was doing. Guess what? It got a little easier.

Second, I tend to panic and not trust outcomes. I also mentally put myself in a box, convinced I can't manage reading technical directions and things like that. I couldn't just read the directions or watch Taigu's videos and see how the individual steps fit the big picture. For me to measure, cut the fabric, and start without intimately knowing each step of the way was a challenge. In real life I often won't start something until I have obsessed over all the tiny details and am absolutely sure of success. With the rakusu I had to just dive in and trust that the measurements worked, that my sewing lines were right, and in the end I would have a finished product one way or the other. I had to trust that I had the skills to finish something I was starting without outside assurance. As pieces started to come together and form a part of the "big picture" I started to trust more. Who would have thought sewing would bring up my trust issues?

Third, I kept wanting to redo pieces. Re-cut, re-sew, re-align. I kept looking at the work I was doing, judging myself and being dissatisfied. Particularly that dang en. I was hypercritical, knowing that Taigu was going to see my finished product. That contrasted thread seemed to be backfiring on me! And even though I put great care into the sewing, my lines are not what I envisioned. I had to stop thinking I wasn't "good enough," stop thinking negative thoughts about my "work," and just accept the piece as it was and move on. Otherwise I would still be on step one!

Fourth, I found out that I CAN sew and that I CAN be a little technical (yes, to me measuring things and making straight lines falls into a technical category...) Not only can I do it, I actually like it- I like sewing. I've always wanted to sew, always picked out projects, then became daunted and gave up. Well the rakusu meant enough to me that I didn't give up.

All that being said, I am embarrassed to send this garment off to Taigu. Oh well though! It is my first one, and it was a huge growing experience, and it was done with right mind and intention. And- I am going to start on a new one right away.

This rakusu could also be borderline life changing. The fact that I did it and found something I like opened me up to a new possibility and I am going to realize another sidelined project, saddle making (with synthetic materials I should say.) I don't know if I will have a knack or affinity for it, or if I will like it, but it is technical and involves sewing and I've always been curious so this summer, here goes!

I guess I should add in here that life in general is teaching me those lessons and more in a variety of ways. My sitting, my sewing & my relationship with my horse and close friends are all bringing up the same things over and over again. I feel like I've really been working through some stuff lately! A huge thanks to everyone at Treeleaf for just being here!

I hope all of you are well and enjoying this time of love and family,