Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bias binding is serious stuff.

I'm sure I've read instructions for bias binding at some point, but between then and now I started doing it the other way around. Let me explain. A lot of instructions tell you to sew the binding to the right side of the item you're binding, flip it to the inside and pin, then top-stitch from the front hoping to catch the edge in the back. This tutorial explains it in a lot of detail. I did binding like this for a while because that's what binding and patterns I had told me to do.

This method seems illogical. I can't see the back that I'm trying to catch a tiny bit of, and the front is already sewn on... why top-stitch from the side that's perfectly attached? I haven't seen a good explanation for why the first method is better. I'm curious about why the second method isn't standard.

In all fairness, my search for "bias binding sewing tutorial" did turn up some that sew it on the way I do. This tutorial was the top hit. The idea is to sew it to the inside first, flip to the front, and top-stitch without worrying about catching the edge you can't see.

If you just want a quick explanation, here you go:

Sew your binding in the fold, with the right side to the wrong side of the fabric you're sewing it to. I stretch the binding slightly as I sew it to things like necklines and armholes so it doesn't gape.

Fold the binding over to the front so it just covers the previous stitching line. Top stitch.

That's it, way fewer steps than the other method. The ends are finished as with any binding - with one folded under so the raw edge is hidden and sewn overlapping the starting end. As you can see, with this method the outside is neatly stitched and the inside doesn't have any missed spots where the binding isn't attached. This is also a peek at a dress I recently finished. The fabric has kittens making muffins! What? More about that in the next post.

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