If you follow my pattern making adventures you will know that I am a binding girl, I sew knit binding all the time and I love the finish, but we all have something that is not our favorite thing to do (mine is gathering).
So what do you do if you hate knit binding with the fire of a thousand suns???
Well the answer is bands. You can still make them contrast(if you want), you can make them the same width as the binding, and as long as you top stitch you can pretty much use them anywhere you would use binding.
I started thinking about this while doing up the sew along videos for our latest pattern the Everyday Swing Dress, but this technique could work on so many of our other patterns; The Retro Romper, The Ladies Retro Gym shorts, and even the Ladies Casual skirt. But I am going to demo today on our Patterns-for-pennies Ladies Tank pattern, because, you know… it just costs pennies 🙂
OK, here is the maths-ish bit about why this works for our patterns so that you can adjust if needs be for other patterns.
Our binding is a wrapped binding that is 1 cm (3/8″) wide when sewn. There is no seam allowance added to the pattern pieces and the finished edge of the binding is where the original edge of the pattern pieces were.
When you sew bands instead, you use 1 cm (3/8″) of the edge of the pattern piece up in seam allowance, but then add 1 cm back in the width of the band so it ends up the same size, with a 1 cm contrast edge.
There is only one change you need to make to the pattern pieces and that is to narrow the binding pieces (which will become your band pieces) by 5 mm so they are 4 cm wide instead of 4.5 cm wide, and that is it. Everything else stays the same.
Here is how you do it.
- Cut your pattern pieces as per the pattern except for your band pieces. Cut your band pieces the same length as the pattern calls for, but 5 mm narrower (so 4 cm instead of 4.5 cm)
- Sew up your pattern to the point where you would be attaching the binding.
- Take your band pieces and press them in half long ways with wrong sides facing.
- Unfold your band pieces and then fold each in half with right sides facing and sew/serge the short ends together creating a loop.
- Using the crease you made in step 1, fold your bands pieces back on themselves as shown to create your bands.
- Divide your band into 4 equal sections and mark with pins or clips.
- Divide the opening that the band is going into (in this case the arm hole) into 4 equal parts and mark with pins or clips.
- With the main garment inside out, insert the binding into the arm hole with the raw edges facing out. Line up the Binding clips with the armhole clips and clip them together.
- Sew/serge around the opening with a 1 cm (3/8″) seam allowance. Make sure you catch all three layers in the seam (the 2 raw edges of the band and the raw edge of the armhole). Press the band away from, and the seam allowance towards, the main tank.
- Top stitch the seam allowance to the tank this will ensure that the band stays in place after laundering and you wont need to do excessive ironing to keep it looking right.
Repeat this process for the other arm hole and for the neckline and you are all done…
Tank created and not a binding to be seen!
So I hope this helps you binding haters out there (and lets you know I love you even though you hate bindings 🙂 )
As usual thanks for reading, and if you have a go at changing things up knit band style, be sure to take some pics, hashtag them #ThreadFaction and let me know what you think!