How To Create A Super Neat Finish When Attaching Bias Binding

I have been searching for some time for a way to finish off bias binding really neatly. I have always been really disappointed with my efforts when it came to finishing it off as I just cut it a little longer than I needed and tried to somehow fold it neatly and then try and keep it in place to sew it down.

This is one of my previous attempts to finish off bias binding on a neckline, which the OCD sewing freak in me detests…..

Poorly finished off bias binding on a neckline

Uneven bias binding finishing – ends folded over and overlapped…..not happy with it at all ūüė¶

So after numerous google searches and You Tube videos I came across this quilting video and finally I thought I may just have a chance to make this right!!

So on my most recent project, a dress with bias tape around the neckline I decided to adapt this approach to see if I could improve the finish of the bias binding and it worked!!! So here is how I did it.

1. I made the bias tape a good 5-6 inches longer than the length I needed for the neckline and found the centre of the tape and started pinning it around the neckline starting at one of the shoulder seams.

2. When I got to the point on the other side of the neck line where the two ends met I made a mark on each piece  Рthis is where I will make the seam.

I marked the point at which each end of the bias tape met - this is where I will make the seam

I marked the point at which each end of the bias tape met – this is where I will make the seam

3. Then I unpinned some of the binding from the neck line so I could move it away from the body of the dress to sew my seam. I put right sides together as I would for joining bias tape when making a continuous piece – I made sure the 2 marks I made for the seam overlapped to form a cross and then drew in my 45 degrees sewing line to join the 2 pieces together.

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Pin binding together so that marked points overlap in a cross – then draw in a 45 degree sewing line as you would is joining material to make continuous binding length

4. I then sewed along this line, pressed the seam open and trimmed off excess material.

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Trimmed seam – looking promising!

5. I then repinned the binding to the neckline to see if it fit….and hooray it did – remember bias binding has quite alot of stretch because it is cut on the fabric bias so when pinning try not to stretch the binding too much or you will end up with excess binding by the time you get to the end! This was how my seam looked once I had sewn it into place.

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6. Finally I folded over the remaining half of the binding, pinned in place and topstitched in place and the result was perfect – even better than I hoped! You can barely tell where the join is!

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all finished off – wrong side of garment

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Binding all attached and neatly finished…..super pleased with this!

This is the project in progress ūüôā

Lily dress in progress

Lily dress in progress

 

So for anyone out there who is frustrated and let down by the finish of their bias binding why not give this a try. If you have any queries, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would of liked as I didn’t realise how well this would work till half way through the process, feel free to leave a comment and I will try to answer any questions.

Linda

Step By Step Tutorial: How To Make a Fabric Covered Belt

Two of my recent sewing projects have called for self covered fabric belts, but after searching the local sewing stores and online in Australia I could not find a belt making kit anywhere. Thankfully in the resources section in the back of my copy of Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing¬†¬†she listed a place in the USA who sold belt kits. So through the joys of the internet I jumped online to purchase some belt kits and some horsehair braid (for another retro project from Gertie’s book!).

Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing – available through Amazon

I purchased from a great USA online store A Fashionable Stitch 2 belt kits, one rectangular and one circular buckle. The kits are great and include adhesive material to attach to fabric to buckle, belting, belt prong, eyelets, washers and a great set of instructions with diagrams.

Belt kit from A Fashionable Stitch

I followed the kits instructions for all the belt making except the way in which the fabric is attached to the belt so here’s how I did it.

Step 1. Press your fabric and if it is a flimsy fabric apply interfacing to the wrong side to make it more stable. Peel off one side of the adhesive pattern and stick it to the wrong side of the material. Cut around the outside of the pattern piece.

Step 2. Carefully cut out the marked portion of the adhesive piece being careful not to cut past the corner lines, I used a small rotary cutter and embroidery scissors for this.

Step 3. Peel the adhesive layer away from the pattern piece and carefully centre the pattern piece over the front portion of the buckle.

Step 4. Carefully stick the fabric to the buckle press down firmly to secure. Once done slip the back of the buckle into the front and crimp centre prong and corners of buckle to secure.

Step 5. If using buckle prong with eyelets attach prong to buckle and close with pliers.

Step 6. Cut the belting adding approximately an extra 6 inches to your waist measurement – shape the end to a point or curve as desired.

Step 7. Measure the width of your belting and cut a piece of fabric on the grain approx 3 inches longer than the length of your belting. My belting was 1 1/2 inches wide so from the folded edge I measured 1 1/2 inches plus 5/8 inch seam allowance. I then sewed along the long edge and trimmed the seam allowance.

Step 8. I then pressed the fabric and seam open so the seam was in the middle of the belt. Then at one end I sewed a point the same dimension as those as the belting material and trimmed the seam allowance so it would sit nicely when turned out to the right side.

Step 9. I turned the fabric so it was facing the right way out and inserted the belting material, pressed it and topstitched the edges of the belt. To ensure the belting didn’t ¬†move within the fabric casing I inserted at pin at the other end of the belt where the fabric excess was.

Step 10. Thread excess fabric end through buckle and cut a small wedge of fabric out where prong will pass through (omit this if not using prong and eyelets).

Step 11. Fold over excess and hand stitch closed to secure fabric to belt buckle.

Step 12. Mark holes for eyelets on belt – measure approx 3 1/2 inches from belt tip and mark 4-5 spots for eyelet placement (an inch apart)and then punch holes with either a hole punch (pictured below) or with an eyelet tool.

Step 13. Place eyelets on right side of belt, then turn over belt, place washers over eyelets and punch closed using an eyelet tool and hammer.

Washer in place on wrong side of belt and eyelet tool

Eyelet tool placement before punching closed with hammer

And voil√° there you have it!

The finished product!

So this is my fabric covered dress on my project – well worth the effort I think!

I hope this help anyone that is aiming to make a fabric covered belt. This tutorial is a bit of a fusion of the fantastic tutorials by  A Fashionable Stitch Рhand covering a buckle and Coletterie Рhow to fabric cover a belt  which are both fabulous resources so be sure to check them out.

Cheers,
Linda

Sewing Knit/Stretch Fabric

I have to admit I have never sewn with knit/stretch fabric before now. It is not because I had any great fear of it, rather I have just not needed to up until this point.

I am making a maternity dress for a good friend of mine and course this calls for stretch fabric.

I have been trawling the net for tips and tutorials and I stumbled across this one which I thought was really good and I thought I would share it with you all in case you were thinking about attempting a stretch fabric project.

 

If you have any tips for sewing with knit/stretch fabric I would love to hear them.

Linda