Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Working With Stretch Fabric - Bound Edges

As promised, a 'how to' on the bound edges on my last dress. For this fabric, I thought a bit of black trim would work well.

I bound the edges of the neckline and sleeves with a strip of black stretch fabric. There is a little bit of give in the binding here, but it's not a stretch finish. It wouldn't be suitable for anything where you need a bit of extra room to get in and out of a garment. Fine for open necklines though.

I started by cutting a strip across the stretch. I'm going for a really narrow binding, so my strip is 3cm wide. 

I pinned the strip to the edge of the fabric right sides together. I didn't have any tension in the sleeve edge, but made it fractionally tighter when I did the neckline in order to hold the weight without distorting.
 Once I had pinned it on, I sewed with the edge of the foot on the edge of the fabric, making a 6 mm seam.

I then trimmed it to half size (3 mm) all the way around.

 Once I had done that, I brought the other edge up, and folded it in to touch the edge of the fabric.

  A second fold to the seam encloses the raw edges. I pinned it to hold it in place.

I then whipstitched on the inside, catching the seam and the folded edge.

Ta Da!
 I like that this is neat on the inside as well as the outside.

And a couple of photos of the edges on the finished garment.

There you go! I think I'll put this on a few more dresses in the near future.

UPDATE! I still love this method, but I have now included instructions for another (faster) binding option here.


  1. If you're unfamiliar with whip stitch, I found a nice little video here.

    Maybe turn the sound off. The music is not nice. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this lovely tutorial. You took such wonderful pictures that I figure that once I can get my sewing machine to work, I can try this. (I may need a class or something, lol.)

    1. Thanks Daria,

      Working on trying to get tutorials clearer - this one was easy to take photos, sometimes it's a bit of a struggle!

  3. Good explanation and it gives a really neat finish.