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Bound Neckline Tutorial | mermaids
"Applying binding to a neckline is easy, but it does take some practice. For new techniques, it is a good idea to practice on scraps first. It is much less frustrating and intimidating to mess up on scraps instead of that beloved fabric you saved for a special project.

The binding width will be determined by the seam allowance used. For the commonly used 1/4 inch seam allowance, the binding needs to 1 1/2 inches wide. Determining the length is more subjective. You must take into account how stretchy the binding fabric is. Ideally, it should have at 25% stretch. The binding should be between 75% and 85% of the length of the edge to be bound. Some people use a 2/3 ratio. See, it is subjective. If the binding is too short, it will cause the edge to gather. If the binding is too long, the edge will gape. This is where playing with scraps will save you lots of grief.

Once you have determined the length, sew the two short ends together, forming a circle. Quarter mark the binding and the opening with pins. Place the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the opening. It seems counterintuitive, but it will work. Pin the binding to the opening, matching the quarter marks. Stitch with a narrow, long zig zag stitch, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The binding should be stretched slightly to fit the opening. Stitching on the sewing machine, as opposed to the serger, gives a nice, smooth edge around which to wrap the binding.



Lightly press the binding towards the seam allowance. Fold the raw edge to just meet the raw edge of the seam allowance. Lightly press or pin in place.



Wrap the binding over the seam allowance, bringing it to the right side of the opening. The folded edge should just cover the zig zag stitching. You may want to pin the binding in place.



There are several options for the final stitching line. A longer straight stitch may be used. A longer, very narrow zig zag will allow greater stretch for openings that will need lots of stretch, like tighter necklines. A cover stitch provides a more “ready to wear” look. A twin needle will achieve a similar look. For the twin needle, I recommend using wooly nylon in the bobbin to give greater stretch. A decorative stitch is a great way to add a little pizzazz. However, a dense decorative stitch will reduce the degree of stretch. If the opening stretches out during sewing, a bit of steam will often coax it back into shape.

Ribbing is the obvious choice for binding fabric. However, any knit with ample stretch will work. Slippery knits are not for the faint of heart. You will need lots of pins and patience. Bulkier knits will need to be cut slightly wider to allow for the fatter folds. Velours can be very pretty for binding, but wrestling all that bulk takes some practice. I save my long narrow scraps of knit to use as binding on future projects. "
sewing  crafts  neckline  neck  binding  howto 
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