Binding seams is a simple, stylish kind of finish used on thicker fabrics and quality garments. The bias bound seam is just the right trim to add a splash of color and energy to a jacket without lining. This classic seam finish also offers a practical seam neatening that is lasting and bound to keep the adventurous seamstress intrigued.
What is a bias bound seam?
A bias bound seam is a seam that is finished with bias binding so the raw edges are covered. The binding can cover both edges of the normal seam together in one operation or the bias can be sewn to each side of a pressed open seam. The choice depends on the thickness of material and the desired overall effect for the inside of the garment.
This seam is well suited to jackets, skirts and garments that could have been lined. The bound seam does the trick of finishing the seams and adding interesting colors and patterns to the inside of the garment. Imagine spots, stripes or even pretty flowers on the inside of your garment. It is generally more economical than using double the fabric to sew a full lining.
It is generally more economical than using double the fabric to sew a full lining.
How do you sew a bias bound seam?
Step one: Decide if you want to bind the seam allowances open or sew them together with one binding. Then select the binding you plan to use. The most common type of binding used to bind seams is 1/4 inch (6mm) double fold bias tape. If you have some 1/2 inch (12mm) single fold bias in your sewing room, you can save money by pressing it in half. But don’t forget to press with the bottom edge slightly wider than the top.
If you are adventurous then making your own bias binding provides endless possibilities for choosing contrast colors and patterns to finish off your seams. Measure up and make sure you cut enough to finish the job.
Step two: Open your bias tape and encase the raw edge making sure to put the slightly narrower side of the tape on the top of the seam. This means that when you sew through the tape, the underside, being the wider side, will automatically be caught in.
Step three: Don’t forget to press when you have finished, as the tailored look of the bias bound seam depends on creating neat and clean edges. If you have bound your seam allowances together rather than separately, then press it to one side when you are finished.
Bias Bound Seam vs Hong Kong Finish
Similar but not the same!! The Hong Kong finish binding is stitched slightly differently and the end result after stitching into the ‘ditch’ of the seam is that no stitching is actually visible on the right side of the seam in the garment. See how in the photo below, there is no stitching visible on the bias edges.
Play around with both types of seam finishes and then if you are happy with the bias bound seam and its stitched effect go ahead and use that for your flashy jacket. I find the bias bound edge to be the faster of the 2 methods but the Hong Kong finish tends to look neater.
Bias Bound Seam: The end result
This is a really trendy way to add a finishing touch to any seam and garment where the inside of the work is just a stylish as the outside. You will not be bound by tradition but will be happily showing off your trendy bias bound seams with a flash of color and a perfectly neatened edge.
A signature touch, a binding agreement, between yourself and a professionally finished garment.