Back Seam and CollarThe back seam sounds difficult but is actually very simple. We'll be doing something called 袋縫い [fukuro-nui] - otherwise known as a French seam. First, pin the wrong sides together and sew 5 mm away from the edge. Then, flatten out the seam allowances with an iron (Looks fiddly? It was.).
Turn it over to the other side, fold along the seam you just made and sew 1 cm away from the edge. Et voila - we have a French seam.
Up next is the difficult bit - the collar First we need to stay-stitch [捨てミシン - sute-mishin] around the neck opening and down to the end of the collar section on both sides. Snip the curves so that the whole neckline can be sewn in a straight line.
Now we move on to the collar. Open up and fold like bias tape as shown below and affix fusible webbing [両面接着テープ - ryomen setchaku teepu] to both edges. This is the first time I have ever used fusible webbing. Wish me luck!
Iron along the top edge of the collar and attach it to the body of the yukata, making sure that the edge of the collar overlaps the stay stitching by 2-3 mm. Then sew along the stay stitching to attach the collar to the body.
Halfway through stitching, the needle sounded like it was going through more layers of fabric than necessary. Sure enough, the other edge of the collar had become caught up in the sewing. and I had to get out my unpicker. Thank goodness it was only 20 cm or so!
Once that is done, fold the collar back over and use the stay stitching as a guide to fuse the other side of the collar to the wrong side of the body. Fusible webbing is my new best friend. The results were really professional.
The next instruction was "Handstitch the collar into place." Aargh! There's about a metre and a half of collar! Oh well, if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right. The book does include an option to do this step on the machine but, knowing me, I would probably mess that bit up.
My lovely *hand-stitched* collar is below.