If anyone who reads this blog ever saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you’ll remember a scene in which a king is explaining to his son about perservereance. I believe the story went something like:
The first castle I built? It fell into the swamp. So I built a second castle! That also fell into the swamp. So I built a THIRD castle! That one caught fire, burned down, and then fell into the swamp. But the FOURTH one, the FOURTH one stayed up!”
Such is my own feeling when I look back on the experience I had in making my own hakama. The first one? A mess, barely recognizable as fabric. The second? Ah, such progress! But alas, it did not fit. The third one? Well, the third one looks something like this:
(My apologies for the photo. All I had on hand was my iPhone and a very giggly five-year-old.)
As you can see, I finished the hakama. It would have been done much sooner, but we had so many guests and activities going on during the end of July and August that I simply didn’t have time. Finally, however, I took a couple of hours today to finish it up. The results are pretty good. Not Bujin Design quality, I freely admit, but I’m not ashamed to wear it at the dojo, either.
I’m not sure if I’ll make a hakama again, although I certainly hope so. I’d like to get better at it. Much of the time spent making the hakama had to do with undoing my own mistakes! I also think that, were I to make one again, I would opt for something along the same lines as the aiki-koshita created by Bujin Design. It seems to be much simpler to make, and it fits just as well. This is critical because the koshita took probably half of my time.
To everyone who offered encouragement: you have my thanks! To those who are debating trying to make their own hakama–I say go for it! As challenging as it was, I’m very glad to have made this, and I do look forward to making another at some point. And for those of you who find this terribly amusing (and you know who you are!) all I can say is: please enjoy. 🙂