A seal assembly having a flexible cloth seal which includes a shim assemblage surrounded by a cloth assemblage. A first tubular end portion, such as a gas turbine combustor, includes a longitudinal axis and has smooth and spaced-apart first and second surface portions defining a notch therebetween which is wider at its top than at its bottom and which extends outward from the axis. The second surface portion is outside curved, and a first edge of the cloth seal is positioned in the bottom of the notch. A second tubular end portion, such as a first stage nozzle, is located near, spaced apart from, and coaxially aligned with, the first tubular end portion. The second tubular end portion has a smooth third surface portion which surrounds at least a portion of the first tubular end portion and which is contacted by the cloth seal.