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How to Apply Bias Binding

What is it?

Binding refers to wrapping fabric around the edge of another piece of fabric to finish the edge. The binding is topstitched (page link), edgestitched (page link) or slipstitched (page link) around the fabric, enclosing the raw edge. Binding is frequently cut on the bias (page link) so it can be sewn along curved edges easily. Binding cut on the straight grain can only be used on straight edges. Binding cut on the bias can be used on straight or curved edges.

Binding around armhole on Pendrell Blouse

Binding around armhole on Pendrell Blouse

Binding inside Robson Coat

Binding inside Robson Coat

When do you use it?

Binding is a way to finish edges and openings. Binding can be used instead of facings (page link), as a seam finish (page link) or even as a hem finish (page link). Replacing facings with binding is a great idea for sheer and lightweight fabrics. Where the facing would show through, the binding is narrow and creates a more subtle finish. If you’re concerned with stability around your edges, then a facing would be a better finish as it adds more support and strength. There are many different ways to apply binding. It can be sewn to your garments with visible topstitching (page link) or invisible hand stitching (page link).

Tips + Notes

  • Use hair clips or binder clips instead of pins to hold bias binding in place. These will keep the bias tape flat, whereas pins create bumps. Hand basting is an even more accurate method when the bias tape needs to be perfect.
  • Instead of hemming, why not bind your hems with bias binding? It’s a great way to finish curved edges and add a nice border.


How to apply bias binding, method 1 (1)

Unfold one side of the bias tape, and press that edge open. Pin the unfolded side of the bias tape to the raw edge of the piece that you want to bind, with the right sides together.

How to apply bias binding, method 1 (2)

Sew in the groove of the unfolded part, where the fold was previously, about ¼” (6mm) from the edge.

How to apply bias binding, method 1 (3)

Press the seam toward the binding. Fold the bias tape to the inside and line up the fold with the line of stitching you just sewed.

How to apply bias binding, method 1 (4)

Pin or hand baste in place. If you’re going around a curve, you may want to steam and press the bias tape as you pin it in place around the curves, so the tape fits the shape of the curve.

How to apply bias binding, method 1 (5)

Edgestitch (page link) close to the fold of the binding, and press.


This is a fast and easy way to apply bias tape. If your fabric is slippery, or if you’re concerned you will miss catching the other side of the tape with your stitching, choose Method 1 instead.

How to apply bias binding, method 2 (1)

Press single-fold bias tape in half or use double-fold bias tape. Wrap the bias tape around the raw edge, while you push the fabric into the fold as far as it will go. Place the slightly wider side of the bias tape on the bottom. Pin in place. At this point you may want to lightly steam the binding so it forms around the curves.

How to apply bias binding, method 2 (2)

Take your work to the sewing machine and edgestitch close to the edge of the bias tape. When edgestitching, it’s better to be a little farther away from the edge and to catch both sides of the tape than to be super close to the edge and risk going over the edge. Press.


It’s easy to replace facings with binding. Trim off the full seam allowance around the neckline, and follow one of the two methods above to apply bias tape to the edge. This will result in a visible binding and is best used around the neckline or armholes.

When you sew hidden bias bindings in place of facings, the binding itself is invisible from the right side.

Binding as a replacement for facings (1)

Press the bias binding flat. If you’re applying the binding to a closed opening, sew the seam in the binding to form a loop. Otherwise leave the binding as one long piece. Press the binding in half lengthwise, with the wrong sides together.

Pin the binding to the edge of the opening, with the right side of the fabric up, and sew with a 5⁄8″ (1.5cm) seam allowance.

Binding as a replacement for facings (2)

Trim the seam allowance to ¼” (6mm) and clip curves (page link). Press the folded binding all the way to the inside, so there is no binding showing on the right side. I like to press so there’s a tiny ridge of the garment fabric pressed to the inside. Edgestitch (page link) along the fold of the binding. Or slipstitch (page link) the folded edge of the binding to the garment for an invisible finish.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine