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Here's the part 2 of how I made the Kimono Silk Bag - Gold Trimmed Mums.

Next step was to sew the hem of the top edge of the bag.  I was making two kimono bags from one sleeve of haori, the kimono jacket, and because of the way it's cut, one bag had one rounded bottom corner from the original, and the other bag had the hemmed opening of the sleeve. ( See the top right photo of Kimono Silk Bag - Gold Trimmed Mums (1) It's showing the back side of the sleeve with white silk lining and hemmed opening. )

For the piece which didn't have the hemmed opening, I attached the kimono fabric by using invisible stitch. ( I noticed this stitch had a few other names such as hidden stitch, blind stitch or slip stitch!) (photos A1 & A2)

The bag has two holes on both sides where the tie-string goes in and out.  To make the space for the tie-string I sewed two lines of special stitch called 'kyakushi' (却刺). The word simply means 'back stitch' in Japanese.  It is a very small, poppy-seed size stitch on the front, and the back looks like slightly slanted running stitch. ( See the spots green arrows are pointing to in photos B1, and the back of the stitch in photo & B2) 

I also used the same stitch for my Kinchaku Bags.

This stitch is used for  traditional Japanese Buddhist's robe sewing, which I've been practicing for last 30 years.  It is a very unique hand-sewing tradition.  In ancient India, the robe of Buddhist monks and nuns were made of discarded fabrics ( VERY old tradition of upcycle!).  They were washed and dyed then sewn into a large rectangular shape.  The way the small square pieces of fabric were sewn together looked like rice fields, and the Buddha named the robe 'Muso Fukuden-ne' 無相福田衣: the robe of virtuous fields far beyond form and emptiness. (If you are interested, click here to read more about it.)

I wanted to write about two of the hand-sewing techniques, how to make a knot and how to hide it.

At the end of stitching, you place your needle perpendicular to the stitch line, putting your thumb over the lower part of the needle. Next pick the thread and wrap it around the needle for a couple of times (Photo C1), then pull it down till it stops at the point where the last stitch and your needle are crossed perpendicularly. Keep the tension of the thread by pulling it tightly during this process. While you are lightly pressing the chunk of thread (this ‘chunk’ is going to be a nut at the end) under your thumb, pull the needle out with the other hand, and at the same time move your thumb slightly down so you don’t lose the nut that is forming under your thumb. 

I realized it’s probably a lot easier for you to understand what I’m trying to describe here if I make a short video. That is going to be my future project!

Now here’s the fun part, how to hide a knot! 

First put your needle back into the same hole where the knot is made (Photo C2). Yes, into the SAME hole! It can be a little hard to find it, and you might need to make a guess as to where exactly the hole is. Insert needle in and pull it out about half an inch from the hole. Then pull the thread gently to the direction of the purple allow in photo C3. 

Now you see the knot (green allow in photo C3) is disappeared in photo C4. Ta-dah!

The last part of making the bag was making tie-string from the collar. Both ends of the collar of the haori. Both ends of the collar (long rectangular shape with the width of 2&1/4” and the length of 74”) are neatly folded like an origami (Photo D1). I cut out a long skinny piece from the collar, folded it in third and sewed with running stitch. (Photo D3) This makes a tie-string approximately 65" long, (Photo D4) and I used a drawstring threader to insert the tie-string into the space between two parallel lines of Kyakushi stitch.  The Kimono Silk Bag - Gold Trimmed Mums is finished!

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