Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Tutorial: Joining bias binding (Armhole)

This photo shows the join where the armhole meets with the sideseam. Super neat huh! 
Read on to learn this technique.

Regular readers of my blog would know that I started taking sewing lessons halfway through the year. This has proven to be an incredibly fabulous experience. Having been self-taught up to that stage, the only techniques I had in my tool box were the ones I'd picked up from sewing pattern sheets and the odd online tutorial. Since taking lessons however, I have learned so many sewing tricks and techniques that have considerably improved the finish and fit of my garments. Today I thought I'd share one of my favourites. This was developed by my fabulous teacher Robyn of  Robyn's Learn to Sew Studio. Robyn's teaches sewing lessons in Cairns.

This tutorial will show you how to join bias binding in a continuous circle. My tutorial shows how this technique can be used on an armhole.  The lengths I have written are approximations only.

 Joining Bias Binding (Armhole)

1. Cut your length of bias binding approximately 14 cm longer than the circumference of the armhole. 

2. Begin by sewing your bias binding to your garment  4 cm from your side-seam. Make sure you have left a generous tail of bias binding.  Sew the binding around the armhole, finishing 4 cm from the other side of the side-seam. Once again you should have a generous tail to work with.

3. Take one tail of bias binding, align it with the sideseam.  Mark or clip both sides of the folded tape. Repeat with other tail.

4. Open out your bias tape. (See diagram below)

5. Overlap both sides of the binding so you have the right-sides together.

6. The marks/clips should run down the centre of the tape both on the up-side and down-side. I have drawn faint lines to show where the marks are placed underneath.

7. Pin according to diagram. With your pin in place, open out the tape and check that your stitch line will create a continuous line of tape. If it doesn't, you have probably pinned in the wrong diagonal direction.

8. Stitch along pin line.

9. Trim your tails. 

10. Press the seam open.

11. Pin down your bias strip. It should be a perfect fit and look divine! Check out the picture. What's missing? An ugly, obvious, folded join. Yippee!

I hope you all find this as useful as me. 


  1. So very nifty! I will be referring back to this one for sure!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am just learning to sew for myself so this will be very helpful. At first I looked at the photo and thought to myself, "what is she talking about, there is no join". Great finish, and one I'll definitely be trying. (my sister lives in Mt Sheridan so I'll pass on the sewing lessons link to her, thanks it's good to have a recommendation)

  3. Rachelle - I don't know who you are but thanks for all the lovely comments you have left me.

  4. Incredibly useful!! That is quite a magnificent finish, and I will be making use of this one for sure...
    thank you for this very clear tutorial

  5. Thanks for sharing! I always just fudged this before.

  6. Mum to four somewhat grownup children, youngest 11 and a Kiwi (hope you won't hold that against me ;-)....I have a lot to learn and rather a lot of fit issues. So far I've only sewn wadders for myself :-( I started leaving comments after Caroline's thought provoking post about how much work goes into blogging and a comment is a nice way to say thanks. So thanks, and I mean every word. Your blog and your sister's are a couple of my favourites :-)

  7. AWESOME!! Thanks for this info.
    Anne xx

  8. This is so cool. Thanks so much for posting photos. Also--- what are you making?! I like the look of that fabric.

  9. Very useful Bernice. I've always just overlapped the join. This method is sooo much better.

  10. Very nice! I've just been folding under, which doesn't look nearly so neat.

  11. Thanks so much for the great tip!

  12. Had to add this to my "favourite tutorials" on my blog. LOVE it! what a brilliant idea. I hate that lumpy turned under finish, so this is just 10x better. Thank you