garment to bind
1/4" double fold bias binding (If you are binding a straight edge, you can use straight-of-grain binding)
binding foot (the foot for my Janome was $11, and well worth it!)
The binding foot:
Cut a piece of binding a few inches longer than needed:
Open the first fold of the binding as shown:
Slide the binding into the cone on the binding foot. (Do not unfold the binding completely, just open it up as shown above.):
If you have trouble sliding the binding down in the cone, try trimming the binding end at an angle and using a straight pin to push the binding through:
Using the pin:
Pull the binding through the cone and down to the foot:
Now pull the binding under and past the foot by a few inches:
Before you begin sewing, you may want to change your needle position slightly. I like to move my needle a bit to the left, but don't move the needle over too far or you'll risk sewing off the binding.
You want to begin sewing a few inches down from the beginning of the binding strip (see the binding tail under the presser foot in the above photo). Chose a spot on your garment to begin applying the binding and insert the garment fabric between the folds of the binding, under the presser foot. I like to sew with the right side of the garment up:
To keep the garment fabric tucked nicely in the binding while I stitch, I like to nudge the fabric into the fold as shown below. I sew slowly and continue to feed the fabric while at the same time gently nudging the fabric to the right, into the fold of the binding:
If you're stitching a neckline or armscye, stop with about 4" left to sew. Pull the garment out of the machine, and switch to a regular presser foot. Measure, trim, and join the ends of the bias binding (just like you would for quilt binding). Then carefully stitch the binding down along the remainder of the neckline or armscye.
Your bias trim should be neatly and evenly sewn down on the top and bottom, like so:
Now that I know how to use my binding foot and create such perfect binding, I think I will enjoy garment sewing a bit more!