May 27, 2014

Sewing Indie Month: Sprinting to the finish(ing) line!


There’s only a week left to submit your everyday casual outfit to win the Sewing Indie Month amazing prizes!
Now if you’re anything like me, you storm through making a garment, and when you think “that’s it! I’m done!” you realize that you still have to finish the neckline, armholes and hems… I’m trying to get into the good habit of walking away from the project at this point and coming back the next day, because otherwise I find myself doing some of the most crucial work when I’m over tired and less likely to be accurate. 
However, finishing doesn’t have to be difficult – in today’s post, I wanted to share three quick ways you can finish edges, whether they’re necklines, armholes, hems (or any other edges you have!). 
1. Inside binding
This is definitely my preferred technique! It’s fast, simple and gives you great results on the outside, particularly if you have an edge stitching foot which helps you do perfect stitching. 
From: Christine Hayne’s tutorial
What you need: store-bought binding, or self-made binding, because it’s only going to be seen on the inside of the garment. I have a total aversion to making my own (too many burned fingers!) and love using contrasting pre-made binding in crazy colours.  Ideally you’d use single fold binding, but double fold totally works as well. 
What it works for: any straight or curved necklines or armholes (typically you wouldn’t use this for hemlines, although you could). 
2. Edge-bound binding
Unlike inside binding, you’ll see this binding on the outside of the garment – it literally encloses the edge of the fabric. It’s great for adding a contrast trim, but you definitely need to be more careful to make sure it’s done very precisely so you don’t have wobbles (hard with shifty materials!). 
From: Colette Patterns 
What you need: typically self-made binding from the fashion fabric or a contrasting one, but store-bought can be fine if you can find a good weight and colour. Ideally, double fold binding.

What it works for: again, any straight or curved necklines or armholes
3. Facings

This is a common approach in many sewing patterns, but fairly rare in RTW garments. It’s not my favourite because despite one’s best efforts they often flip out of the garment. However, they’re indispensable for unusually shaped necklines, like the sweetheart version of the Seamster Dandelion top. 
From: Tilly’s facing tutorial
What you need: Most patterns with facings come with separate pattern pieces for the facings. However, you can easily draft one by copying the outline of your pattern piece onto some tracing paper, and adding around 1.5 inches along the length of the piece. You should interface the facing pieces – one great way is to do block fusing, where you fuse the interfacing to the fabric *first*, and then cut it out – you end up with perfectly fused pieces and minimize shifting.
What it works for: any shape of neckline or armhole, although it’s particularly indispensable for unusual shapes. You can also use it for hems – it’s very useful if you realize that your garment is a bit too short, as it minimizes the length lost by hemming. 
What are your favourite kinds of finishes? Do you find yourself always tending towards one, or do you have a really quick version you use when you’re in a hurry? 

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7 thoughts on “Sewing Indie Month: Sprinting to the finish(ing) line!

  1. I love inside binding! It’s so easy to me, and I love the ability for contrast. I actually use it for circle skirt hems, because it makes it really easy to get a smooth hem.

    1. Jenny says:

      Ooh great tip!

  2. Tina says:

    I like edge bound binding. I’ve sewn enough facings, and had them flip, to know that I don’t like them. Topstitching them is always an option, but I usually don’t feel like doing that.

  3. Marjie says:

    I do a lot of facings, but I always blind stitch them in place, because I hate having them flip out. Sometimes I edge bind, too, if I want a little detail, and sometimes I just cut the edge a little big, fold over twice and topstitch in place. I always use a narrow hem turned over without binding on a circle skirt, because it comes out smooth and twirly.

    1. Jenny says:

      I dd the fold over neckline on my Dove T and it worked really well – especially with the aid of Wonder Tape! I’ve never quite got the hang of blind stitching but I’ll have to master it some day…

  4. our heroine says:

    hooray for hem facings! i find them more accurate when hemming solo & sans dressform. 🙂 & i totally relate to realizing theres still finishing before its done done 🙂 great collection of tutorials!!

    1. Jenny says:

      Hem facings FTW! Though I’ll admit normally I cut the skirt too short and I’m just trying to not make it a mini 😀

Let me know what you think!