Sewing up the Side Seams
Continuing with the Kyoto Kimono posts, today’s post is about sewing the kimono front and back together.
Because of the obvious underarm curves, a French seam is not ideal as a seam finish. However, it’s still a great option to use when sewing the shoulders because that’s relatively straight.
So firstly sew the front and back sections together at the shoulder with a French seam (If you’re not sure how to do a French Seam, check out the last post on sewing the sleeves).
Once you’ve finished the shoulder seams, with right sides facing each other – match the seams and edges of the front and back at the underarm and all the way down to the marking for the opening near the bottom of the side seam. Using a straight stitch, sew 5/8″ or 1.5cm from the edge all the way round.
Press this seam open. When you get to where the slit opening is, turn the edge under by 5/8″ or 1.5cm.
Then turn under the seam allowance of the side seam about a 1/4″ or 0.5cm and press this (you don’t have to press it, but it’s a lot easier – I sometimes pin it to the ironing board to help me press it!).
Using a straight stitch, carefully edge stitch close to the fold from the start of the underarm sleeve all the way down to the bottom of the hem.
Be careful when you’re edge stitching that you don’t stitch onto the garment by mistake. Some machines have an edge stitching foot that help with make edge stitching easier.
Finally, fold back your seam allowance and trim away the excess with a small pair of scissors for a lovely neat finish.
If you don’t want to use this seam finish – you could also use bias binding to encase the seams, overlock the seams or pink the edges of your seam and then press the seam flat.
And finally – don’t forget to clip into the curves of your underarm!
Next up: Attaching the Sleeve Bands and Collar