October 22, 2012

For the Love of Seam Binding

Rayon seam binding has been in the shop for a little while now (and I just updated some new colors too!) and since I've had several questions about what it is exactly and what it can do I thought I would show you my favorite use for it and link to some other uses for it too. It can be a fairly versatile notion and one that you'll find really handy for adding finishing touches to garments. You can usually find seam binding at your local fabric store, but I will say, it's sadly one of those items that has now been taken over by the polyester revolution. The polyester stuff is pretty crummy - really really stiff and a little too thick. The rayon type that I sell in the shop is really quite nice. Its nice and thin but has quite a bit of strength and it's got body too. Plus it comes in some really lovely colors - I'm planning to add even more colors soon enough.

OK, so what is rayon seam binding? It's a densely woven, lightweight, thin ribbon. You can bind seams with it, use it as a hem tape, as an embellishment and I've even used it as a light version for a waistline stay - in this dress actually.

I use it mostly to hem garments. I love it as a hem tape! It's so nice and lightweight and doesn't leave any unsightly bulkiness. Here's how I apply it.

Stitch the seam binding to the edge of your hemline. I usually line up the garment's hemline in the middle of the seam binding and stitch close along one edge of the seam binding.

Press the freshly stitched seam binding flat and then press your hem into place. Here I used a really small hem allowance as I'm working with a half circle skirt, but you can always use a larger hem allowance depending on your preference.

Handstitch or topstitch your hem in place along the unstitched edge of the seam binding. Give your hem a good press when your finished and Voila! You're done! Easy peasy.

I applied it to both of my recent pencil skirt makes - here's my little plaid number. See? It provides such a nice finished touch. It's fun to use contrasting colors too! Go a little crazy! I think it makes the inside of the garment just as pretty as the outside and for me, that says a lot.

Here's a couple links to some other great tutorials on how to use seam binding:
Lauren shows a quick Bound Seams tutorial.
Laura Mae has several little renditions of this too. Check it out!

What do you use seam binding for?

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