Saturday, March 14, 2009

Learn to Finish a Kimono...

These are fun to finish. Hang them on a kimono stand, with a chopstick, or mount the finished kimono onto a pillow by topstitching into place.

These instructions are copyright 2008 Summer Louise Truswell. You may print one copy for your own personal use or to make items as gifts. If you'd like to reprint in a newsletter please contact me for a print-ready layout.

Materials Needed:
· Stitched needlework kimono
· Clear plastic bag (such as Ziploc)
· Backing material
· Lining material
· Fast 2 Fuse Double-Sided Heavy-Weight Fusible Interfacing
· Twisted cording for trim
· Tassels, if desired
· Sewing thread
· Scissors


1. Lay the plastic bag over the kimono design. Use a permanent marker (such as Sharpie) to trace the kimono outline directly over the stitching.

2. Cut out the plastic template. Place the plastic over the Fast 2 Fuse Interfacing and trace again on the interfacing. Cut out the fusible interfacing, cutting along the inside lines of the marker lines. Check to make sure that the interfacing fits just inside the kimono design.

3. Cut a piece of backing fabric and a piece of lining fabric. Follow the manufacturer's directions to fuse the two layers together with the heavy-weight lining inside.

4. Trim the stitched piece and the backing piece so there is approximately a 3/4" fabric margin around the design.

5. The edges of the canvas are not trimmed all at once. The canvas, if overworked, would unravel all the way to the stitching. The interior corners will need to be notched in to 2 canvas threads from the design but this should be done one corner at a time as the stitching approaches that area.

Notch the corner under one of the sleeves.

6. Fold the raw edges of the canvas towards the back, fingerpressing into place. Fold the raw edges of the silk towards the back. Place the two pieces together, right sides outward, and use matching sewing thread to stitch the pieces together.

As the stitching approaches the corners, fold the canvas inwards and stitch around the corners.

When you approach an inward corner, clip both the canvas and the background fabric to allow the fabric to fold inwards smoothly.

Stitch around the entire perimeter of the design. If the piece is to be hung on a dowel or chopstick remember to leave unstitched openings at the top of each sleeve as well as a small hole in the corner to insert the twisted cording.

7. To attach the twisted cording, begin stitching again in the corner below the sleeve. Insert one knotted end into the small opening underneath the sleeve. Using matching thread, overcast whipstitch the twisted cording to the edge of the kimono. Manipulate the twist of the cording so that the thread lays down in the valley of the twisted cording; it should be almost invisible.

Continue to sew the twisted cording around the perimeter of the design.

Knot off the extra cording, trim the length, and insert the knot into the hold behind the beginning of the cording. Sew the hole closed.

Admire your finished Kimono!

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