February is the coldest month in Japan and I saw that there was deep snow in Tango. Even with a lot of snow, it is still so pretty.
I don’t teach classes at university in February so it’s a good chance to catch up on other jobs that I need to do. I spend time on my research project, and I am preparing to teach a kimono course in London. I even get to clean up the house and garden a little bit. It is also nice to try something new, and I love making things. So at the weekend I went to a tabi making class. I learnt a lot about tabi.
We could choose from three kinds of fasteners: regular kohaze tabi fasteners, buttons or strings. The ones with strings are really like bags for feet. I thought it would be fun to use buttons from my mother’s old button box. It is actually an old sweet tin. You can tell how old it is because the Queen on the lid looks so young.
Of course I enjoyed choosing the material too. I used the left-over material from making the curtains in my house, because it is bright and colourful. I decided to make the inner and outer sections in different cloth. There are actually five pieces of cloth in each tabi, because the sides have linings. Of course everything has to be done twice, once for each tabi, so there is a lot of sewing to do.
It took over four hours to make the tabi. Of course I could not finish them to look as smart as professionally made tabi, but it is a lot of fun to make your own, and of course, they are unique.
Each person made tabi that fit their personality. One girl’s were really cute with pastel colours and polka dots. The man’s tabi looked very serious like he is.
I didn’t want to forget how to do it, so I have already made another pair. The pattern is cherries and girls with big hair styles. I think they look cool.
If you like sewing and can speak a little Japanese, why not take some of your favourite fabric and go to a tabi making class? It is a unique experience, and you can take home your own unique tabi. I made mine at Tokyo Joe!