The Front Slit: Making Sewing Progress With Baby Steps

… I might say newborn-baby steps since all I did since the last post was finish the straight slit I had cut out at the kurta neck, wanting to add straight and uninterrupted piping to the cut edges. Uninterrupted, you ask? How did she get the pointy bottom, you ask. it sure looks like two piping edges joined together at the bottom, you think. Might I say, it’s all one piece of piping. On a superficial level, this is an easy thing to do. In actuality, it requires some care, some hand-basting and hand-sewing (yes, please) to get best, or better, results.

Wanna see how I did it?

I folded the kurta front and pressed a crease at the center front for a couple of inches more than the desired slit size. Cut open along the crease ending 1/2” above the desired end-of-slit; stay stitch approximately 1/4” away from the cut edges on each side; when you reach the bottom of the desired opening swerve the stitching toward the CF (center front) point; then pivot to stay stitch the other edge.

(You have the option of cutting open the front slit after stay-stitching 1/4” away from the crease.)

I marked the bottom end of the slit with white basting thread because with all the handling, chalk was going to disappear — just a couple of basting stitches vertically at the bottom of the slit exactly at the center front point.

Create a bias strip; I cut out a 1.5 inch strip to begin with, which ended up as a thin almost 1/4” inch binding when finished.

Hand baste the bias strip to one side of the opening in a 1/4” seam following the staystitchinig — or be a daredevil and machine stitch it without basting. Stop stitching exactly at the thread- marked bottom point, leaving some thread tails. Hand sew the other side the same way, stopping again at the bottom pivot point (as you did the other side). You know not to cut the bias tape at the pivot point, right? Now you can machine-stitch, and use your basting as a guide. Remember to stop at the bottom for both sides.

Remove the basting thread, straighten out the slit and press that narrow seam. When straightening out the slit, you’ll see scary folds of fabric collected at the bottom CF point. The folds must never be caught in the stitches; be a Ninja and do some skilled maneuvering. I know you can do it.

Press the bias tape up and over the seam to the wrong side; pin and then baste in place with white thread (yep). Hand sew the folded tape (binding) to the seam on the wrong side for the final round of stitching. Remove basting thread and breathe freely. Not done yet, though.

Turn the slit edges to meet which now looks like a normal neck slit. See the weird rounded binding at the bottom point? Stop worrying because that is how it will be at this point. Do the following:

Bring the bound edges together, right sides together. Pin together the pointy edges so the pin aligns with the center front, and mark. Sew down along the mark. Press the pointy thing that forms at the back to one side. No more weird binding fold. Press the newly formed neck slit opening and admire your work.

Next time, I’ll be binding the round neckline with the same black silk bias tape with the ends extended into ties. Newborn-baby steps, y’all; we’ll get it done some day.

If you’re new to this, might I recommend trying it in stable fabric like lightweight cotton.

Here is my final vision of the neckline of this piece, albeit horribly ill-drawn.

See you then! Samina

3 thoughts on “The Front Slit: Making Sewing Progress With Baby Steps

  1. I’ve always wanted to know how to do this. I think a front slit often is a slimming feature on a top. The “ill drawn” neckline is beautifully drawn!! It’s art! Sign it (maybe large and in black) and frame it!


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