When sewing with stretch or knit fabrics using a self binding is an easy way to finish a neckline or armhole. This tutorial relates to my pattern – the Primrose Pj’s, but also to any knit or stretch garment. Using a binding out of the same fabric you are using for the garment is an clever way to achieve a flat clean finish.
First cut the binding. The length of the binding needs to measure about 10% less than the measurement of the neckline or armhole plus your seam allowance. This way it should lay fairly flat when it is finished. I normally add a 12mm / 1.2″ seam allowance total. Binding lengths are included in the Primrose Pj pattern.
Cut the binding at 3cm or 1 1/4″ wide, along the selvage edge (or straight grain) of the material. Use a wash out fabric pen or tailors chalk and draw lines along the fabric and cut with scissors, or you will get a really straight edge using a rotary cutter and ruler.
Next step is to join the ends of the bindings. I usually use a small zig zag stitch on my machine using a 6mm/ 1/4″ seam allowance. Now the bindings are in a circle cut tiny snips half way and at each quarter. Likewise on your garment so you will be able to match your snips.
Open the seams and place the binding seam at centre back (if sewing the neckline) or on the side seam (if sewing the armhole). With right sides of fabric together pin one edge of the binding to the garment. Match the notches you have cut and pin at each quarter. Using a small zig zag stitch sew around the binding using a 6mm seam allowance. The binding will stretch slightly over the garment as you go, and it should evenly gather around the neckline or armhole.
Fold the binding around the seam allowance to the back and pin in place. The binding should be wide enough that it extends beyond the original seam so it will catch when you sew the second row. Make sure the binding fold is roughly 6mm wide, which is the seam allowance you have just sewn. Then using either a zig zag stitch or a twin needle sew around the binding really close to the seamline.
Now trim the left over binding at the back carefully so you don’t cut your garment. Using a small pair of embroidery scissors will help. Press the binding to flatten the stitches and you’re done.
Lovely bound edges!
which look gorgeous on the Primrose Pj’s!