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Old 11-19-2001, 06:44 PM   #26
janet
Dojo: City Aikido
Location: Northern California
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 18
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Re: hand made hakama

Hi, all. I'm the person who "proofed" Carol's hak pattern by following her instructions as I made it up and then we got our heads together and rewrote the instructions/slightly changed the pattern based on my process....some comments:
one thing that's nice about Carol's pattern is that there are instructions for how to adjust the top side opening curves for different body shapes as in male "tubes" versus female "spheres"...
choose your fabric carefully for weight and ability to hold a pleat: I made mine up in a wonderful English brushed cotton. It took the pleats well but won't hold them worth a darn. It drapes beautifully, but weighs a ton. all in all I ended up putting it away and buying a tetron one from Mugendo Budogo for regular use....
be aware that the main thing about making a hak is there is not a lot of sewing skill involved, Its more like a giant origami project. I was hauling around 5 yards of 60# fabric to measure, pleat, press, cut, sew, etc....
finally, best weird tip: inside the koshita use plumbers gasket from hardwear store, its soft rubber that gives nice support but you can roll over it ok and it holds up well.
cheers

janet
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Old 11-27-2001, 12:51 PM   #27
henry brown
 
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Dojo: Soseikan, Worth IL
Location: Chicago suburbs
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 46
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velcro

If you are sewing up hakamas, I have always wondered about a particular 'non-traditional' change I would like to make -- Do you think you could make a hakama with velcro or snaps or buttons in the crotch? Then (as a male) you wouldn't have to take the whole thing off during a long practice if you wanted to go to the bathroom.
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Old 11-27-2001, 01:33 PM   #28
janet
Dojo: City Aikido
Location: Northern California
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 18
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Smile

Hi, Henry. Re: fixing a hak for easier bathroom breaks:
Theoretically, yes, it can be done as there is a center front seam.
I do not recommend velcro--its a personal issue, I HATE the noise.
What might be very discreet and easy is snap tape. This is used on the inner leg seams of toddler's trousers for easy diaper changing. Its 2 matching lengths of a soft cotton twill tape with snaps attached at intervals. I have used snap tape to keep my gi tops closed and imagine that it would do what you suggest at the center front seam of the hak.

What I do, as a person of the female pursuasion, is
1. replace the drawstring in the pants with elastic
and
2. tie my hak in such a way that the back half can be dropped without undoing the front half
This allows a convenient, fast sitdown and would work for men too if they don't mind sitting instead of standing.

hope nobody's offended, I'm a nurse by profession....

janet
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Old 11-27-2001, 01:39 PM   #29
guest1234
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
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Having shared a LOT of bathrooms w/ male colleagues over the years, I am amazed at how large a target goes missed so often. And at my current dojo I've noticed a lot of guys with droopy, dragging hakamas. The two in combination makes me think I'd prefer you guys take them off and leave them behind when nature calls
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:22 AM   #30
alexandresalim
Dojo: Federação Brasileira de Aikido - Rio de Janeiro
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
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Re: home made hakama

I'm just about to have a try on the pattern in http://luxnova.home.mindspring.com/...ame/hakama.html.

Has anybody made a hakama from that pattern ?
Is it an easy to follow pattern ?
How does the hakama look like when finished ?

The pattern in http://www.pitt.edu/~echo/Dagorhir/Hakama/ in not accessible at the moment.


Thanks for the help.

Alexandre Salim
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:02 AM   #31
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 119
Canada
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Re: home made hakama

Like Janet, I made a hakama from Carol Shifflet's pattern, and gave her some ideas about changes needed. I like to use mousepad material for the koshita. I love the extended front I put on mine- it stays tied on better. Also, on another related topic, someone taught me how to use the bathroom without taking off the hakama. Gotta be really careful, but you can get the pants down under the hak, and then gather up one hak leg and keep it out of the way. BE CAREFUL! But, boy does it ever save time during a seminar. (I'm a nurse too!!) sorry.
e ya later
Jill.
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:23 AM   #32
henry brown
 
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Dojo: Soseikan, Worth IL
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Re: home made hakama

With the help of my wife, I ripped out the material of the koshita and replaced it with a piece of plastic I cut out of a plastic bedpan I "borrowed" from a hospital. This is a nice, thin piece of plastic that would hold its own against heat or any kind og cleaning material, and keep the koshita looking stiff. The rest of this hakama sucked, but the back looked great.
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Old 05-24-2006, 12:57 PM   #33
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: home made hakama

Man oh man this brings back memories. Red Sakamota Sensei's wife Johanna made my first hakama. It lasted long enough to hand down to my son who was not yet born. He is 39 years old now and still has it. Hand made is good.

Dennis Hooker

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:54 PM   #34
Carol Shifflett
Location: PA
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Re: hand made hakama

. . . and this is Carol, who's revised a lot since Day 1 hakama pattern, thanks to Janet and Jill and others. ;-)

Folks, don't panic over making a hakama. It's really just a double-barreled apron with legs. But here are some issues to consider whether you make or buy. . .

Pleats. Don't expect cotton to hold a pleat. It may hold a wrinkle, but pleats are something else again. Look for a cotton / poly blend.
With at least 10% polyester and a white vinegar solution you can produce an excellent home version of permanent press, AND have a lighter weight, cooler, and longer-lasting hakama to boot.

Failing that, don't hesitate to stitch down the internal ("valley") pleats. Traditional Japanese textiles were only 12-14" wide, hence a hakama was pieced from a series of panels and those inside "pleats" were actually SEAMS. No danger of those falling out, and reduces the challenge of folding pleats by about half. Also useful for skinnying down the bulk of fabric if your hakama is too big and too floppy.

"Lighter" is important because layers of pleats -- there are 7 layers at center front due to the overlap. 7 layers of canvas or heavy denim can be tough for many home sewing machines. If you prefer a heavier hakama, better to buy it commercially made. Many prefer the way the heavier fabric flares and billows rather than tangling up in the legs. TOO LIGHT a fabric will trip you up for sure.

"Cooler" -- many of us have bought hakama of 16 oz cotton duck on the theory that the heavy weight will last longer and yet be cooler because "cotton breathes." Great in theory, but "duck" was originally packing and awning canvas. Fibers swell when exposed to moisture making a somewhat water resistent seal. Great for awnings. Not great for wrapping around bodies in August in Atlanta. And the knees will wear out anyway -- because of the cotton.

"Stronger" -- No matter how heavy and hot and bulky a cotton hakama you buy, the knees will still wear out. Most cotton fibers are about 3/4 inch long compared to the yards-long fibers of silk or hemp, or the miles-long fibers of spun polyester. Cotton is wonderful stuff, cool and absorbent, etc., etc., but resisting abrasion is not its strong point. One of the reasons the all-polyester Tetron hakama are so popular is that the pleats are melted into place, they're lightweight AND they don't wear in the knees. Look for a good blend and you can have the best of both worlds.

Koshiita: Some of you have recommended plumber's gasket, bedpans, mousepads. I've been told of recycled X-ray film, placemats, notebook covers, bathmats, and leather from an old briefcase. Whatever works! The Japanese traditionally used starched paper or newspaper. Open a Mejii-era koshiita and you may find a Mejii-era newspaper with interesting news of the day.

Per bathroom breaks -- rather than velcro, or snaps, or whatever, consider using a deeper crotch than what you expect in jeans. Hakama was worn over kimono and the crotch might be knee length or longer. The hand-made Mejii-era hakama that I used as a model has its "crotch" just a couple inches above the hem. Traditionally the side slits matched the depth of the crotch.
You probably won't want to be all that traditional, but several extra inches of depth with a pair of stretchy knit gym shorts can completely eliminate any need to get undressed and dressed again in the middle of class.

You don't have to make your hakama to get these advantages -- you can choose one of polycotton (rather than industrial-weight cotton canvas) and permanent-press the pleats with white vinegar, you can stitch down the inside ("valley") pleats (use a zig-zag stitch along the edge to avoid puckering), and if the rise is too high, just cut it lower. (Of course, if you want the Gordon Plaid hakama, or the red Inuyasha one, you'll just have to make your own!)

Cheers!
Carol Shifflett
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:48 PM   #35
David Kai
Dojo: Northern Alberta Aikido
Location: Edmonton
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 20
Canada
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Re: home made hakama

As for the Koshita ... I use a heavy guage leather when making my backboards. I find that it makes a nice lumbar support as it forms to the wearer's natural back shape.

KAI
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