How to Stitch with Pojagi Patchwork Techniques

About three years ago my friend Linda got me hooked on Pojagi. Ever since she told me about this beautiful Korean form of patchwork quilting, I’ve been experimenting with it

headband with pojagi patchwork technique
The headband I made for 101 Patchwork Projects + Quilts with
the plan for how the patchwork pieces go together.

The real beauty of this technique is that the pieces are nearly reversible. They have fully covered seams, with no raw edges, and are easy to make. Depending on the fabrics, you really can use both sides of these pieces. I have made projects using silk or cotton, and they came out beautifully. One was a silk headband made for 101 Patchwork Projects + Quilts.

I’ve read up on this technique and experimented a lot, tweaking the technique a bit to fit my style of patchwork.It is traditionally done by hand, but it is also easy to do by machine. The seam I use for Pojagi is a flat felled seam that is common in garment construction. My technique was adapted from an original tutorial by Victoria Gertenbach found on her blog. I like using lots of starch, a hot iron, and a special foot for my Bernina which gives a perfect topstitch seam.

You may have a different way that works best for you, but this is my preferred Pojagi technique.

1. Place the 2 fabrics to be joined right sides together, with the raw edge of the top fabric ¼” below the raw edge of the bottom fabric. (The raw edge of the bottom fabric should extend ¼” beyond the edge of the top fabric.)

2. Sew a scant ¼” seam. Open the unit and press the seam allowance toward the top fabric, so only the bottom fabric seam allowance is visible. Fold the raw edge of the bottom fabric seam allowance over the raw edge of the top seam allowance, touching the seam line, and press again, making a sharp crease.

3. Topstitch the edge to finish the seam.

Note: each seam allowance uses ¼” from one fabric and ½” from the other. You will need to trim units accordingly to ensure that they all fit together.

There’s a video of me demonstrating this patchwork technique on in the video gallery here on the Quilting Daily community that might help you visualize how it all comes together.

I can’t seem to get enough of Asian-style contemporary patchwork projects (probably has something to do with my burgeoning collection of Japanese fabric). I just discovered a new book with 19 Zakka-style projects, Patchwork Please by Ayumi Takahashi. Ayumi combines patchwork patterns with applique and embroidery to create practical patchwork projects for the home and the people who live there. Right up my alley!

P.S. Have you tried Pojagi seams? Any tips you’d like to share? Leave them below!

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Quilting Daily Blog, Sewing Techniques

8 thoughts on “How to Stitch with Pojagi Patchwork Techniques

  1. Last year I visited Seoul. In one wonderful shopping area we visited, we saw many shops with beautiful fine linen panels hanging in the windows. They were pieced out of white and pastel coloured fabric and the light shone through them. I was enchanted and went in to one of the shops to ask. I speak no Korean and the woman I asked spoke no English, but we waved our hands and folded a couple of pieces of paper to imitate fabric and had a very satisfying exchange of information. It is apparently a traditional Korean handcraft.

  2. Hello Vivika,

    I am very glad that you are interested in makin Pojagi.
    I am an instructor of Pojagi for international women living in Seoul.
    Please let me know if you have question on the stitch and material of Pojagi.
    If you need the pictures of my Pojagi I will send it.

    1. Are you still an instructor for making Pojagi in Seoul? I’m currently living in Korea as an English Teacher and I would love to take a class on making Pojagi. Do you have a website or other way I can contact you? Thank You

  3. I guess everything old is new again. How is this different from a flat felled seam? I know you said that it was like a flat felled seam used in garment construction, but am I missing something? How is this better? We learned this technique in junior high home ec. class.

  4. So you have to switch the presser foot for every seam? I never used a special foot for a flat felled seam, or a french seam — is that really necessary? What does the special foot add to the process?

  5. As an avid seamstress and quilter with a BS in apparel design, I will clarify that this is indeed a flat felled seam. A French seam is different indeed. It encloses both raw edges into the seam but there are no visible seam lines.

  6. This sounds very much like the ‘Run-and-Fell’ seam (English name) I learned in sewing class at school – many (40+) years ago. We had to make, by hand, a very unflattering nightdress in a slippery fraying fabric and, not surprisingly, it was never worn. The seam isvery neat and durable and useful for sewing denim or joining a fine fabric to a thicker one.