Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Binding Knits: My New Secret Weapon

A phrase that makes all sewists shudder: knit binding strips. Yes, those curling, twisting, narrow nightmares. The tiny seam allowances that get sucked into your throat plate like a shoestring in a vacuum cleaner. If you're like me and too scared of spray starch (what if it doesn't wash out like magic??) then let me introduce you to my new best friend.

If you've peeked at the bridesmaids' dresses I'm sewing, then you know that the Delphi Dress uses knit binding to finish the armholes and create the straps. I took on the pattern knowing this, and knowing how fiddly binding can be, but I was pleasantly surprised to read some helpful advice within the pattern directions.

Ah ha! Knit interfacing! I've previously used knit interfacing on evil sweater knit hems and to reinforce V-necks but not on binding. However, remember that I'm making three dresses, and there is miles of binding here. Cutting 1 1/2" strips until I turn into an "old wrinkly lady" (my toddler's new favorite name for me, thanks to her dad) did not sound like fun. So, I took to the internet to see if there were any such thing as pre-cut strips, and luckily, there is!

I found this Pellon Easy-Knit Tape on Amazon (affiliate link) for a very reasonable price. It comes in white and black. It's marked "Quilting" but that didn't stop me from ordering it and giving it a try. The back of the box even says "Recommended for stabilizing waistlines, curved necklines, shoulder seams, pockets and gathered seams." I don't know about you, but those all sound like places to use it in garment sewing.

Fusing this tape to a larger chunk of fabric, and then trimming, saved me SO much time. The width of the tape (1 1/2") is exactly what my pattern recommended for binding strips, so I didn't have to measure anything besides length. I simply laid out my fabric, fused, then cut along the edge with my rotary cutter. No marking with a ruler! No measuring over and over! No curling edges! There is stability to the piece and I can sew it on my regular machine without any trouble at all. I can have confidence that the binding is not going to bag out over the course of the wedding.

Dress in-progress

One note: once fused, there is very little stretch down the strip. If you need stretch in your binding, say, along a tight crew neck shirt, don't use this stuff. But it will work for so many knit applications that I'll definitely have some on hand from now on.

1 comment:

I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment below.

Newsletter sign up