Monday, September 26, 2011

Tiny pocket tank with perfect binding

This time for me.
I made this on Saturday night. The fabric is a remnant from The Fabric Shop purchased way back in July and the pattern from Grainline. I love the simplicity of tops like this and I love that they are so cool and easy to wear in summer.

Now I know we all have our special little ways of sewing particular things, but just in case someone wants to see how I create super neat 1/4 inch binding that it sewn under a garment, I thought I'd show you how.

The tiny pocket tanks asks you to cut a 1 inch bias strip and fold one long edge 1/4 inch along, creating 1/2 inch single fold bias. Does that make sense?? If you don't have a bias tape maker, this is fiddly and I think a little messy. I sew binding on with a 1/4 inch quilting foot that looks like this one below.
The special thing about this foot is the little hole to the left of the foot. When you shift your needle position to the left, as shown in the picture, the needle sews through this hole creating a perfect 3/8 or 1cm seam. This makes it perfect for sewing bonnet (wanna buy a pattern or a bonnet?), a Tova, most hat patterns or any other pattern with a 1cm seam allowance.

This is a Janome 1/4 inch foot and I'm not sure what other brands have this, or if there are other feet which you can use in this manner. I've checked Rachel's Bernina foot and it doesn't have this little hole. Even if your machine doesn't have this, you can still use this method. I'll explain at the end.

So, on to the binding. Start by cutting a bias strip of fabric 1.5 inches and folding in half, giving a finished width of 3/4 inch.
Sew this strip on to your garment using a 3/8 seam allowance. As mentioned earlier, I do this through the little hole on my 1/4 inch quilters foot. Can you see the needle is in the little hole here?
Trim seam allowances, notch and clip as needed and press inside. Then stitch in place with your 1/4 inch quilting foot but shift the needle back to the centre position.

Press again and then admire your super neat binding.

Now, if you don't have this little hole in your quarter inch quilting foot, you can still use this method. Simply cut your bias strip to 1 & 1/8 inches and fold in half. Then you need to shift your needle position as far left as you can without hitting your machine foot to attach the binding to the garment. Trim, clip and press inside (you won't have to trim as much). Then position your needle just slightly to the right of centre and sew under.

Perfect, easy binding, even when you sew at night or after an evening vino!

Happy Monday all!


  1. It is a great top. Thank you for the binding suggestion too. I have a Janome foot just like that so I am off to see what it can do for me.

  2. Oooh I love this top - especially with the stripes! I bought this pattern last week and waiting for some fabric arrive so i can make it,

  3. Love your tops, and thank you for the tip!


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