Hand sewing vs machine sewing

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Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:10 am

Sakutama

Hi everyone,

I was hoping the kimono makers on here could chime in on the differences between hand sewing and machine sewing kimonos.

I have 73cm arms last time I checked at a kimono store, so while my height of 5'5" hasn't been a major problem, my arm length has been. I've been thinking lately I should look out for affordable bolts and just sew my own kimonos! I can have them sent off to be sewn professionally, but that runs over ¥50,000 (about $500) so I'm trying to keep things as affordable as possible.

I found a komono making club 30 minutes to an hour away (depending on if I go by car or train) so I'm thinking about looking into it. But I also know where I can take regular sewing classes in English a little over an hour away by train.

In the long run would it be better to invest in learning to handsew? Or would it be more practical to learn how to do it with a sewing machine?

I'm sure hand sewing is A LOT of work, but if the kimono is as authentic as possible I think doing it that way would make me the most happy.

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:11 am

miss-momo

I think it really just depends on what you want to do and how long you are willing to take on making it. I used a machine to make my yukata except for parts that required hand sewing techniques and I intend to machine sew all of my future projects but that's just because for me, machine sewing is quicker and neater than hand sewing and I can also use decorative stitching if I want with the ones my machine comes with.

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Re: Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:11 am

Sakutama

Thank you for your reply miss-momo. I'm thinking hard about it. New problems are that kimono sewing schools and even clubs are expensive and scheduling is difficult. Especially since I already have work and koto, which take priority of course. I might have to consider machine sewing.

If the chance came, I would love to learn the traditional sewing way though. I guess I don't want to feel like the "short-cut foreigner" since I live in Japan. But in my defense, I need some kind of solution to the problem of kimonos being too small so much, unless they feel giving up is better. (-。-;

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Re: Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:12 am

Chiisana Hato

I both machine sew and hand sew historical garments (no kimono yet). I also have a 73 cm wingspan.

I find that it takes quite awhile to hand sew a garment, but I feel more of an attachment and "oneness" with it when I'm finished. It is more like a living creature. I feel my ancestors who were seamstresses working through my hands as I sew.

When I machine sew it certainly gets it done a lot faster and nobody can tell when I wear it, but it isn't quite the same.

Hand sewing also lets the seams flex more without putting as much strain on delicate fabrics.

You probably aren't going to be able to find kimono bolts that work for your wingspan. At least I haven't found any. :smil3:

There is a new trend in Tokyo kimono right now to create patchwork style kimono which allows piecing to get the size you need.

Of course using commercial fabric will get you the width you need, but you won't have selvedge on both edges to help support the fabric.

I'm not sure this helps any. lol

Keep us posted on your project! :)

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Re: Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:12 am

Rabellaka

I have the same problem with the wingspan. I have a serger though, so I serge the raw edges of cut fabric.

For kimonos/accessories, I machine sew less expensive fabrics, like cotton, but I hand sew finer, more expensive fabrics. Most of the instructions I've seen for yukata are sewn primarily on a machine anyway.

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Re: Hand sewing vs machine sewing

Post by IG Team » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:12 am

Sakutama

Thank you so much for chiming in ladies! That's a lot of interesting insight into the difference between hand sewing and machine sewing. And yes it helped! Thank you! Well no need to rush into a decision so I'll keep researching. ^^

I'm so glad I'm not alone on the wing span problem! It's so sad when you find a beautiful kimono at a reasonable price and you can anticipate the sleeves are too short. Like my orange kimono I posted about recently. It's a beautiful homongi and it was only ¥1000 (about $10!) and the only problem are the short sleeves!! (T ^ T)

Of course I bought it anyway because it was so cheap, but still. I expect wingspan issues to happen regularly in the future. (-。-;

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