the republic of yukata cottons
By Patricia Belyea
SEATTLE WA When I was eleven years old, Canada adopted a new flag. It was a bold red maple leaf on a white background, flanked by two red bars. The red ensign had been the de facto flag for years and it was time for a unique image for my home country. Lester B Pearson made it part of his campaign platform to deliver a new flag to Canadians within two years of being in office. (He was elected as Prime Minister.)
In four short weeks, I’ll be hosting a special event at my home to celebrate the grand opening of my new yukata cotton shop and classroom.
Typically when I have an Okan Arts open house, I go to Safeway and buy helium balloons to set out front. This time I’ll be flying a new flag I made with some 1970s yukata cotton and solid-dyed Kona cottons. It’s a special occasion flag that was fun to make.
I started my flag project on one of my Victoria BC trips. Cutting the fabric squares in my hotel room (yes, I did travel with a cutting mat and rotary cutter in my suitcase), I stitched the pieces together at Satin Moon Quilt Shop in downtown Victoria.
Here are some things I learned from my flag project:
Hanging the Flag
Special event flags are hung horizontally to the ground, not at an angle.
I bought grommets at the sewing store (left). In researching how to install the grommets. I learned that brass-colored grommets will actually rust in the weather and streak a flag. I bought a Lord & Hodge grommet set on Amazon with a cutting block, hole cutter, inserting punch, die and solid brass grommets (right) for $10. Easy to use, the grommets look heavyweight and professional.
Flat-felled Seam Review
The correct finishing for a flag is flat-felled seams—like the seams on the legs of your jeans. Here’s a quick refresher of how to sew flat-felled seams:
1. With right sides together, sew a 5/8″ seam.
2. Cut the seam allowance of one of the seams to 1/4″.
3. Press the seam toward the trimmed side.
4. Grasp the untrimmed seam and fold it over the trimmed seam until the edge meets the stitching line and conceals the trimmed seam.
5. Press flat and pin in place with the pins running the length of the seam.
6. On the back side, stitch 1/8″ inch from the folded edge, removing the pins as you go. Backstitch at both ends.
7. Add another line of stitching 1/8″ from the original seam, backstitching at both ends.
8. Press flat. There should be two lines of stitching on the front and three lines of stitching on the back.