What is Seam Binding and How to Sew a Seam Binding

Seams are the most difficult part of any sewing project because they have so many different steps. You need to bind them before stitching, then stitch over that – or zigzag – depending on what kind of material you’re using. Then you seal them again afterward by either hand-stitching or machine-sewing.

What is seam binding in sewing?

what is seam binding

Seam binding is used to finish raw edges and prevent fraying, but it can also be used for decorative purposes.

Seam binding is a patterned or plain trim that can be used as a facing, edging, and/or decoration on the edge of a textile item. It is placed along the finished edge of an item and sewn in place. The seam binding may also be applied to the inside of an article for decorative purposes.

Seam binding can be identified by its length, which is twice the width of the finished selvedge edges. It’s a flat strip made from fabric and stitched down to secure it in place. Seam binding comes in a variety of fabrics and colors. The strip may either be folded over or cut straight across with raw ends, depending on the design of the garment.

Seam binding can be used in dresses, skirts, pants, and other clothing items that have seams.

What is seam binding used for

Did you know that a seam is the weakest part of the fabric and it can easily get torn?. To avoid this, you need to use a seam binding to give the garment a thicker, more stable appearance.

what is seam binding
Image by Sewaholic

This means that you will sew the fabric together using a regular thread, and then use the seam binding as the final stitch. This will help keep the fabric from unraveling.

The process of binding the fabric around the seam can also help with any areas where there are pulls or loose threads. Binding the seam will help counteract this effect and make it less noticeable.

You can also use seam binding to create a casing. This is a tube of fabric that you create around the edge of your project. You can then insert a drawstring or elastic into the casing, which will hold the fabric in place.

Seam binding is also helpful for hemming. You can use it to create a neat, finished edge on your fabric.

What are different types of seam finishes?

There are a few different types of seams finishes that are used in clothing construction. They can be classified according to their structure and the type of stitch used.

The most common seams are the straight seam, the zigzag seam, the French seam, and the topstitching seam.

The straight seam is the simplest type of seam. It is just a straight stitch that is used to join two pieces of fabric together. This seam is usually used for fabrics that are not too thick or too thin.

The zigzag seam is a type of seam that is used for fabrics that are prone to fraying. This type of seam uses a zigzag stitch to join the two pieces of fabric together. The zigzag stitch helps to keep the fabric from unraveling.

The French seam is a type of seam that is used for fabrics that are very thin. It uses an extra seam to enclose the raw edge so it won’t fray. This type of seam is very strong and durable.

The topstitching seam is a type of seam that is used for fabrics that are thicker than the standard fabric. This type of seam uses a topstitch to join the two pieces of fabric together. The topstitch creates a strong, durable seam.

When to Use Seam Binding

One of the most common errors that people make when sewing is that they don’t use seam binding to finish off their projects. Seam binding is the perfect way to bind seams and finish off your project.

When you are about to finish your sewing project, for instance, it’s time to bind your seams with seam binding.

You will need to use seam binding to bind raw edges for strength, as edging on fabrics, or as decorative trim. Some of the most common places to use seam binding are on the edge of finished sections of clothing, inside seams to prevent fraying, and at the hemline for neatness.

What is a seam binding ribbon?

A seam binding ribbon is a type of fabric tape that is used to bind the edges of fabrics together. It is made of a sheer fabric and has a very narrow edge.

what is seam binding

It is made of a sturdy, yet flexible material that helps to keep seams together. This type of ribbon is often used to bind the edges of a quilt together.

Seam binding ribbons can be made from a variety of materials, including silk, cotton, and polyester. They are typically about 1/2 inch wide and come in a variety of colors.

The ribbon is wrapped around the edge of the fabric, and a strip of glue is applied to the seam. The ribbon and fabric are then pressed together.

What is seam binding ribbon used for

Seam binding ribbon is used in many ways, it is used as a means of reinforcing seams, also as a decorative border around a project.

A third way that you can use seam binding ribbon is as a means of finishing off hems and edges.

In quilting, they are often used to create a clean finish on the rough edges of patchwork pieces.

They can also be used to bind pieces together for multiple layers, such as when attaching a lining to a garment.

The most common material used to make seam binding is cotton, but linen, polyester, and silk are also used.

How to Use Seam Binding Ribbon

  1. The first is to make sure that the fabric you’re working with is sturdy enough to withstand being sewn.
  2. Use a thread that blends in with the fabric. You can use a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch to sew the ribbon in place.
  3. Cut a piece of ribbon that is the same length as the seam you want to bind.
  4. Then, fold the edges of the ribbon over so that they are about 1/4″ wide, and press them flat.
  5. Next, place the ribbon along the edge of the fabric that you want to sew, and pin it in place.
  6. Sew along the edge of the ribbon using a sewing machine or by hand, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.
  7. Finally, trim the excess ribbon away, and press the seam flat. Your fabric seam will now be securely bound together with ribbon.

When using a seam binding ribbon, the ribbon is placed against the right side of the fabric that you are sewing together. The edges or raw edges of your fabric should be lined up with each other before stitching them together.

Then when you are done sewing, the seam binding ribbon will be on the outside of your project.

How to sew seam binding

To sew seam binding, you need to have the fabric folded in half, with the right sides of the fabric together. Sewing-machine threads should be at the top of the fabric.

Place the edge of the binding along the edge of the seam allowance. Keep your stitches close to the seamline, but not catch it.

Leave a tail at each end of binding or cut off excess length. Fold the binding around to the backside, making sure it stays neatly tucked in on itself.

You will need to hem one short end of your garment, by turning it up twice and stitching very close to its raw edge (to form a narrow hem). Do the same to the other short end of the binding.

Now, stitch the binding in place at each end, making sure you catch the folded-under edge. You can use a blind hem stitch if you have one on your machine; if not, just make a small running stitch close to the edge.

How to sew a seam binding video tutorial

Seam binding vs bias tape

There is a big difference between seam binding and bias tape.

Seam binding is a strip of fabric that is used to reinforce the seams of a garment. It is usually made out of sturdy material, such as twill or denim so that it can withstand the strain of being sewn into a seam.

Bias tape, on the other hand, is cut on a 45-degree angle, or on the “bias which is used to bind. Because of the stretch, it will form a curve after molding.

Seam binding is a more cost-effective way of finishing raw edges of a shirt or items with long, straight edges.

Compared to bias tape, seam binding is less bulky and easier to sew which is why it works better for creating clean, professional-looking seams on garments that have sharp corners and angles.

Bias tape also has a tendency to fray at the ends while seam binding will last a lot longer before fraying.

Twill tape vs Bias tape

Twill tape is a strong woven ribbon similar to seam binding which is used to reinforce seams and buttonholes.

Bias tape, on the other hand, is cut on the bias which will allow it to stretch with the fabric. It is sewn around the edge of the fabric for finishing raw edges of seams.

Can ribbon be used as bias tape?

Yes, the ribbon can be used as bias tape. It is an alternative to bias tape and somewhat handier because it is pre-cut and comes off the spool. Depending on the project, the ribbon also has a unique contrast.

How to Sew Bias Tape onto Fabric

  1. Measure enough bias tape for your project and fold it in half, with one long side inside the other.
  2. Pin or baste (hand-sew) along both short ends and at regular intervals between.
  3. Place the raw edges on the right side of your project, with the wrong sides together. Align the bias tape to match the raw edge of your fabric. Pin in place.
  4. Now it’s time for that tricky part. Using a zipper foot, sew close to both long folded edges of the bias tape, making sure to catch the fabric underneath. This can be a little tricky, so go slowly and take your time.
  5. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ and press open.
  6. Turn your project right-side out and give it a good pressing.

You’re done.

Final words

Sewing seam binding is a great way to turn your sewing project from drab to fab. The process of sewing seam binding is quite simple. In just a few steps, you can have your garment hemmed and ready to go.

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