Today we are looking at the exposed seam method for finishing the front band of your Suki Kimono. If you prefer an enclosed seam method for your front band, you can check out that method here.
Get the Suki Kimono Pattern
Let’s get started! First, we are going to attach the hanging loop to the inside of the kimono. I emphasize inside because I have attached the hanging loop to the outside of the Suki MULTIPLE times. Sometimes you just don’t learn, right?
Find the two notches at the center back neck of the kimono.
Position the hanging loop and pin it in place.
Sew the hanging loop in place 1/4″ from the edge.
I am going to show you the exposed band steps using the rayon fabric Suki. Pin and sew the two front band pieces together along the short, notched edge. Press this seam open. Press the front band in half with wrong sides facing.
Prepare the kimono front by staystitching 1/2” from the edge along the corner marking on both front pieces. Clip into the ‘L’ shape, just shy of the new staystitched corner.
With right sides facing, line up the long raw edge of the front band with the kimono front. You want to match up one side of your ‘L’ markings. Your ‘L’s’ will be facing in opposite directions for now.
Begin pinning the front band to the kimono, matching the notches on the band with the shoulder seams. The center back of the kimono (right in between the hanging loop ends) will line up with the center seam of the front band.
Now we will turn the corner. Insert a pin right at the corner of both ‘L’ shaped markings.
Holding the pin in place, pivot the fabric around to match the ‘L’ markings completely. This will feel a bit awkward and you will have excess kimono fabric bunched up in the corner for now.
Insert your corner pin all the way through to stabilize the corner. Place more pins along the short edge of the band.
Sew along the short edge of the kimono front band. Stop at the corner and pivot your machine. To pivot, simply leave your needle in your fabric, lift your presser foot, and turn your project. Lower your foot and continue sewing up the kimono front band, around the neck, and down the other side. Pivot again at the corner and sew to the end of the band to finish. Your corner should look similar to this:
Finish the front band seam using your preferred method. You can use a serger, pinking shears, or a zig-zag stitch on your machine. Press the front band seam towards the kimono, including the extra bit that is still hanging off the edge.
Press the corner until it is flat. You may have some small gathers here. That is OK! This corner is tricky so don’t fret about a few little gathers.
I will demonstrate the next steps on the other fabric. We will add the inner tie to the left front of the kimono.
On the wrong side of the kimono, pin and sew the inner tie in place. The raw end of the tie should point outwards.
Turn the center front in 1/2“ and press.
Turn the center front in 1/2″ again and press. Sew using a 3/8″ seam allowance, anchoring the inner tie in place. Repeat for the right side of the kimono (there is no tie on the right side).
Fold the inner tie outward and sew it in place. This step is optional, but it does help to keep the kimono front flat and also stabilizes the tie.
Your front band is complete! We just have the back ties and the hem to go! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or via email at email@example.com.
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