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Binding raw edged seams
24th May 2018

I have a thing for raw edges and I love an intentionally frayed hem, but sometimes a fabric just cries out for bound seams. Here's a simple way to bind that won't add too much bulk to your garment.

I was taught this technique by Kate Haxell, editor for The Essential Collection Book and The Maker’s Atelier Magazine, and it works every time.

The style I'm going to bind is The Raw-edge Coat from the book. I am using a loosely woven silk / cotton mix bought from Ditto a long time ago. It’s exceptionally soft but frays really easily, so perfect for these bound edges.

The seam binding I am using is 14mm wide American style rayon binding; it’s much softer than poly/cotton or pure cotton bindings. It comes in a multitude of colours and can be ordered on line from Crafty Ribbons. To calculate how many metres you will need, measure each seam to be bound, double it and add half a metre extra, just to make sure.

Take your binding and simply press in half lengthways. Take care not to use too hot an iron; just hot enough to crease the binding not damage it.

Then sandwich your fabric edge between the folded seam binding and stitch down. It is not as daunting as you might think, just practice on an off cut first to give you confidence and take it slowly. If the seam binding starts to slip out of place, stop, reposition and continue.

The finished garment still has a casual look that I love in summer but with beautifully finished seams!

This technique works just as well on woollen fabrics; this is the Swing Jacket in a wool/cashmere mix. Here I only bound the hem, facing and cuffs, all other seams were pinked.