I'm subscribed to a lot of newsletters online which are fun to recieve (though I'm trying to cull them thanks to time management advisors) but I'll never unsubscribe from my accupuncturer's seasonal real life, tangible newsletter. It's very short, obviously generic (he simply stamps his stamp on and, voila! Newsletter!) and written in a no-nonsense, slightly cryptic asian translation style. Love it! In this issue there happened to be an article that got me running to my sewing machine; "What in the World is a Haramake?".
Little side note about the speech bubbles; this is an ode to the guy I dated in highschool; "Good For Nothing" which my mom affectionately reffered to him as and he, surprisingly, affectionately responsed to. He always wore this orange tshirt with that bubble bubbling up from his naval. I've always wanted to embroider that somehow on to my kidney warmers. Until then, photoshop it is. So a Haramake is basically a kidney warmer; a topic I've gone on and on about here on the olde blogge over the years. So keep your kidneys warm because even generic newsletter says so. And I quote:
Traditionally worn by the Japanese, the Haramke, a wide waistband made from cotton or wool and covers the location of the Adrenals and Kidneys, protecting the Vital Energy and Essence for the body. The cloth extends from the lower rib cage down past the belly button, covering the entire middle of the body and protecting the organs, most importantly the Adrenals and Kidneys, from external elements. A Haramake also protects the body from cold, exhaustion, stress and illness, ultimately helping to prevent illness.
It goes on to tell you that you can make one youself simply by sewing two ends of stretch fabric, 12 inches wide, to form a tube that fits snug around your middle. I, on the other hand, like to make things a touch more complicated (but not in the parenting front, of course) but a little prettier:
I had just enough organic fleece leftover from another project and cut it out to a 12 inch by 32 inch (my hip measurement) rectangle and designated the fuzzy side the "right" side because I want that to touch my skin, or most likely, the outfit I'll probably be wearing underneath my haramake. If you do this ensure that the stretch stretches the most across the body or you'll never be able to step into it. I then cut out a piece of stretch lace the same size and placed these two right sides together and sewed the long sides together as indicated by the one way signs up above.
See there where I'm holding the fleece bits right sides together again? Sew that together but keep sewing so that you then end up sewing the lace bits together too eventually leaving a three inch gap so that you turn things out right side out and then hand sew the gap shut.
And then here I found an opportunity for a design feature. Things were a little unsightly due to my haste to hurrymake things up whilst handsewing. And fleece, being not the stretchiest thing on the planet, made things a bit gappy up under the rib cage where some "Vital Energy and Essenceses" like to leak out. So to add a securing device, I made six teeny weeny buttonholes straddling the gap to thread a string of stretch lace through corset-style.
Ta, da! Edie thinks it looks silly but don't worry about that. She's a homeschooled seven year old that thinks kidneys grows on trees that are tended to by organ fairies. I know my internals are happy, and when I squint my eyes when checking out my style I look cute. And for that I am internally grateful.