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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Bias binding / bias tape ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Bias binding / bias tape
what's the difference and can I use it on my skirt?
Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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IRELAND
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Date: 6/9/12 3:29 PM

I've almost finished my first circle skirt. I'm waiting for my sister to have a free evening to measure them hem for me, up from the floor, while I'm wearing it.

The only thing then is to hem it. It's 100% cotton jersey, and although it doesn't fray, I don't like the look of the unfinished edge. Here it is, in progress. Please ignore the thread hanging from it and the jacket hanging behind it!

After taking this picture, I attached a think waistband in black elastic, and thought that a black binding might work well on the hem to finish it off, and now I'm confused.

I'm not sure if I bought the right thing at the store: I asked for bias binding, and what they gave me is very stiff, much stiffer than the fabric. Should I have asked for bias tape? Made my own? What's the difference - and will it even work on my skirt?
-- Edited on 6/9/12 3:31 PM --

tlmck3
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tlmck3
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In reply to Blaceyda <<


Date: 6/9/12 5:35 PM

There are several different kinds of bias trims, made out of different kinds of fabric. Not sure which one you got but I wouldn't use a woven tape on the hem of a knit skirt. If you don't like the way the edge looks, it is fairly easy to trim the edge of a knit hem close to the stitching line. Use a double needle if you have one. Otherwise, do a small zigzag. Since the knit won't fray, you can cut it very closely.

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Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Blaceyda <<


Date: 6/9/12 8:06 PM

If you don't have a serger to finish the edge, a narrow hem, folded in to hide the edge and hand stitched approximates a high end rtw finish for knit hems. I have seen this finish in Diane Von Furstenbergs silk jersey dresses. They of course use a blindhemmer.

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heathergwo
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Date: 6/9/12 9:11 PM

There are a bunch of ways you can finish off the hem on a knit.

I wouldn't use the bias tape either. I also probably wouldn't make my own from the fabric of the skirt - I think it would look weird.

But, you can do the narrow hem as mentioned above, or the tlmck3 method. You can serge the end and then fold it under and stitch it down with a regular SM. You can coverstitch it if you have that machine. You can just fold it over (if you don't have a serger) and sew it down. You might want to try double needles. YOu could also do a blind hem. Or a rolled hem on a serger.

There are probably a million other ways, but that's all I think of off the top of my head.

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Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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Date: 6/10/12 12:44 PM

Thanks everyone. I just realise now that I got cotton bias tape, which of course won't work with jersey. I don't have an overlock or serger, so I think I'm going to just go with a narrow hem... thanks for the advice

Stargirl7

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Date: 6/10/12 9:29 PM

Couple things:

Remember that when you turn up the hem, the edge of the fabric will be longer than the part of the skirt you're attaching it to. It won't fold up neatly. The thinner/shorter/narrower the hem, the less of a problem this will be.

Some folks handle this by gathering the bottom, but if you do a very narrow hem this won't be necessary.

If the knit doesn't ravel, then you can fold up a small amount and use a narrow zig-zag to stitch it down. Just be sure to pin a whole lot. (If it does ravel, you'll have to fold it up twice, which may be a bit more awkward.) Do *not* stretch the fabric as you put it through the machine. You may need to loosen the presser foot pressure thingy (on the top of the machine usually) so it doesn't hold it super-tight and stretch it out. The zig-zag is better on a stretch fabric than a straight stitch, and you can do it so that the "zig" is on the hem and the "zag" is off of it, which makes a neater seam. This is a less-than-couture approach, but will work with the equipment you have and probably be the least stressful.
-- Edited on 6/10/12 9:51 PM --

cinca
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Date: 6/10/12 10:35 PM

Someone previously mentioned a double needle treatment for your hem. I agree.

When I did not have access to my coverstitch machine, I discovered that the twin needle on my old Elna would do a great job of hemming my knit t-shirts. I buy the mens' and they are always a bit long for me.

You end up with two rows of straight stitch showing on the front and on the back in is similar to a zig-zag look. It looks really tidy on the right side.

Then you can carefully trim the raw edge and steam and this will usually help retain the drape and feel of your knit fabric, while adding very little bulk.

Alot of the newer machines have twin-needle capacity and will work even better than my old Elna.

Stargirl7

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Date: 6/11/12 2:29 PM

If you do want to go with double needle, note that many machines let you just put in two needles, rather than using an official pre-made double needle. You might want to test this out on a scrap of the skirt fabric before investing in a double needle.

I've had some success but also some failure with a double needle (tunneling, tension issues), wheras the zig-zag method works for me every time.

Ms. McCall
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Ms. McCall  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/11/12 2:35 PM

You've had plenty of great advice, so I won't add anything, I just wanted to say hi! I live in California now, but I'm originally from Ireland. I didn't know too many people who sewed there because fabric can be so expensive. So anyway, hello!

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