Sunday, August 9, 2015

17. Stash and Dash - Bind the Edges, Part 1: Attach the Binding

Summer Sew Along from

Bind the Edges, Part 1: Attach the Binding

We will need:

For this step we will need the almost-finished organizer with rounded edges (see Post #16) and the long strip of bias binding that we made in Post #15.

We will also use these tools:
  • Sewing machine with 1/4" foot
  • Pins, extra-fine
  • Stiletto/pressing tool


We will bind the raw edges to finish the organizer. You'll learn where to start stitching and how to stitch around curves.

Note that the directions below may be a bit different than what you are used to if you bind quilts. Because I prefer to do all the stitching for the binding on the sewing machine (as opposed to first machine-stitching it to the front and then hand-stitching on the back), I sew the binding first to the WRONG side of the project. That way my binding will look the best on the RIGHT side of the project when I turn the binding to the front and complete the final stitching by machine. 

You will be so pleased with how much better this project looks when the edges are bound. We are almost done!

Let's get started:

1. Leaving about a 6” to 8" tail, begin stitching about 2” away from a corner on one long side on the lining side of the organizer. 

TIP: Because we want our binding to look best on the outside, we will begin stitching on the lining side of the project. 

TIP: For our preferred method of joining the ends of binding (see Post #18), it is easiest if we have a straight area to work with. For this project, it will be easiest to join the ends on one of the long sides of the organizer (rather than on one of the short ends or on a corner). 

So, position the end of the binding strip toward the middle of one of the long sides and, leaving at least a 6" to 8" tail, start stitching close to the corner (2" away from the corner is perfect.)

2. Start stitching about 2" away from the corner. Use a stiletto to help hold the binding in place and use the fingers of your left hand to flatten the binding so that you don't sew any puckers or folds in the binding. 

TIP: I do NOT pin or clip my binding to the organizer before starting as I like to slightly stretch the binding as I stitch. Giving a slight pull on the binding really helps it to be nice and smooth when finished.

TIP: Sew with an accurate 1/4" seam as much as possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to align the raw edges of the binding with the raw edges of the piece AND maneuver the piece AND sew an accurate seam. 

So here's my trick: I concentrate first on keeping the raw edges aligned and keeping the binding flat (no puckers or wrinkles). If I cannot sew an accurate 1/4" seam, I err on the side of a narrower seam allowance. My main focus is to get the binding attached at this point. I can always go back and "refine" the seam once the binding is attached. I go with a smaller seam if necessary, because it's much easier to go back and stitch a larger seam allowance than to un-sew stitches to make a smaller seam allowance. I try to use my seam ripper as seldom as possible!

3. To stitch around each corner, be sure to carefully smooth the binding flat against the organizer so that there are no wrinkles or puckers in the fabric. A very slight stretch of the binding also helps remove wrinkles. 

Using the tip of the stiletto really helps to hold the binding in place. You can keep the point in place almost until the needle gets there -- places where you just don't want to put your fingers! 

Be sure to keep the raw edges of the binding aligned with the raw edges of the organizer all the way around the corner.

4. Continue stitching all around the organizer being careful to keep the raw edges of the binding aligned with the raw edges of the organizer. Remember to stretch the binding very slightly as you stitch. 

5. Stop stitching just past the top of the bottom pocket on the left side, leaving a tail for joining the ends of the binding.

If you need more help with bindings, check out these video tutorials from my website:  

Make A Simple Project: Join the Binding, Part 1:

Make A Simple Project: Join the Binding, Part 2:

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