Tag Archives: Bias binding

Inside Corner Bias Binding Tutorial

The waist facing for my bib-front sailor trousers required finishing the raw edge of an inside corner. The pattern didn’t describe how to do this and my internet searches were in vain. I’d never come cross a bias bound inside corner before but having mitered the hem of a lined vent how hard could it be to work out? This is more of a here’s what I did rather than a tutorial because, although it works, there’s surely more than one way of doing this.

I started with the obvious: an inside corner raw edge and some bias binding.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 1

On the wrong side of the facing at the inside corners I marked my seamline for the bias binding and another parallel line. Then I joined these two corners to the raw edge corner (three points make a more accurate straight line).

Bias Binding Inside Corners 2

Next I cut into the first intersection, just before the seam line. If I hadn’t used fusible interfacing I would have reinforced this by sewing along the seam line before cutting.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 3

I pinned the bias binding right sides together along the first straight edge only. With the bias binding on the bottom and the facing on the top, I made a straight stitch towards the first corner.Bias Binding Inside Corners 5Bias Binding Inside Corners 4

Stopping at the marked intersection, I lowered the needle and raised the presser foot.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 6

Keeping the bias binding in the same position, I pulled the facing (this is where the cut into the corner helps) towards me and lined it up with the bias binding.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 7 Bias Binding Inside Corners 8

Once I’d aligned the raw edges of the facing and the bias binding, I pinned the next straight edge and continued to sew.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 9

Repeating the process at the second inside corner I was left with something looking like this.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 10

I pushed the short seam allowance of the bias binding through the cut in the facing and snipped into it too.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 12 Bias Binding Inside Corners 13

After a good press of the bias away from the right side of the facing (ignoring the corners for the time being) I pushed the wider remaining part of the bias binding through the same snipped corner.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 11 Bias Binding Inside Corners 14

Time for folding. I made and pressed the first fold of the bias binding towards the raw edges on all sides (again, ignoring the corners).

Bias Binding Inside Corners 15

Concentrating one straight edge only, I made the second fold to just cover the first line of stitches.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 16

At the corner, I  pulled the bias binding so that the second fold I had been making continued past the first seam line corner.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 17

After pinning the straight edge, I flipped the facing to have the right side up. First lifting the next straight edge of bias binding upwards and smoothing the folded part as far into the corner as possible.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 18

Second, I folded it down like an envelope flap.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 19

And finally I flipped back to the wrong side, made the second fold along that straight edge and repeated at the next corner. Stitching in the ditch on the right side secured the bias binding in place.

Bias Binding Inside Corners 20


Chatty Sailor Trousers

Why Chatty Sailor? Because goodness me I have a lot to say about these trousers…

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Front

The Pattern

Simplicity 6407 was snapped up the moment I found it in a size close enough for me to not be overwhelmed by grading. I was happy to pay international postage and wait 4 weeks for delivery because 12 years ago, at the start of my student days, I knew a girl who had amazing bib-front trousers… and that’s how long I’ve been wanting a pair. I guess good things come to those who wait… and sew.

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Side

The Fit

As trousers go, these were very easy to fit for my shape but the fix was not immediately obvious. The toile turned out huge, as falling to the floor huge (I blamed 1970s ease). Once hoisted up, the crotch curve and crotch depth were a good fit – a relief as these are the hardest areas to fit in trousers and it’s somewhat of an iterative process. The front bib wasn’t overwhelming my frame so all that remained was way too much fabric the full length of the trousers. Easy fix? Sew up another 3cm in from the original seam lines right down the front leg and back leg seams (there’s four pattern pieces per leg compared to the usual two).

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Back

I marveled at what a difference losing 12cm of ease made! Now that the toile trousers were staying up on their own accord (pins where the buttons would be) I was able to see that a little curvature between the waist and hip at the side seams (the previously untouched seam) and a lengthening of the darts would lead to a pretty good fit.

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Slight Side

The Fabric and Notions

I made my first fabric purchase of the year, treating myself to some navy cotton drill from Calico Laine in the absence of anything of suitable weight and length in my stash. While I haven’t broken any of my self-imposed Stash Diet rules, I did feel a little disappointed with myself for tarnishing my unblemished record… but that only lasted till I started sewing. The fabric is lovely to sew with and presses well without a clapper (unlike some drills and gabardines I’ve used previously). Once I knew that I was going to love the end result all guilt was banished!

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Buttons

The navy buttons I found at Stitchery Do; perfect colour, perfect size, I’ll take eight please – you’ve got to get these things when you see them! I do enjoy visiting this shop… fabric, haberdashery and wool all beautifully presented in a quaint Grade II listed building.

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers  Inside

All other components were sourced from my stash: Navy thread, organza (more on that in a moment), navy twill tape and spotty bias binding (more on that to come too).


I’ve been reading a lot about underlining with silk organza (can you guess where this is going?) and decided to try it out on something not too risky using acquired stash dark blue/purple organza. I did a burn test but it was inconclusive as to the fiber content. I also tested it under my iron as I’d read that melting, even on a low heat setting, was another way to spot a cheap synthetic but it was very melt-resistant even at the hottest setting. So I’m not going to say ‘silk’ organza as I can’t be sure.

Organza underlining

After cutting out my main fabric, I laid these pattern pieces over the organza, pinned, cut and basted around the seam allowances (and other markings like darts and button hole positions) before removing the pins. If you know a quicker way then please enlighten me because I had four pattern pieces per leg so this was not a quick basting task. I wanted to do some fancy seam finish to enclose the edges but I couldn’t tame fraying organza so I just overlocked the drill and organza together. Nevertheless, I’m totally sold – this really is a ‘worth it in the end’ technique. It feels lovely to wear, not much creasing and it looks kinda fancy on the inside too.

Inside corner bias binding

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Inside 2

The trousers were sewing up so quickly that I took a detour into inside corner bias bindings. It would have been easy to finish this edge any number of easier ways (I even had my overlocker threaded up with navy) but I whipped up a few samples and came up with a workable and neat way to bind the inside corner with one continuous piece of binding and mitered corners.


In my opinion, wide leg trousers benefit from a deep hem to help them hang nicely. So I supersized the hem allowance on these bad boys. To hold the organza underlining and drill together, I overlocked the raw edges, attached navy twill tape then blind hemmed by hand.

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Hem

I desperately wanted to make these trousers long so I could wear my beloved red peep-toe wedge shoes (can be seen in here and here) but I decided to be sensible and hem them to wear with flats for work (damn Me Made May reflections on needing more work-wear!). So I’ll have to settle for red flats instead.Sailor Trouser Montage

The End Result

Can I use this section to just brag beam about my lovely new sailor trousers with a couple of extra but completely unnecessary photos?

Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Leg Front Simplicity 6407 Sailor Trousers Leg Back

Okay. I’m done.

So have you had a 12 year garment crush, sewed any inside bias bound corners, have organza underlining tips or made a sensible post-MMM’14 decision lately?

Damson Gin Dress

When I posted my brown NL6000 dress I asked for help with an ‘n’ shaped ripple of fabric under my bust.

Brown 6000 Fitting IssueI had a few suggestions and speculations but no one seemed confident. Returning to the dress in the New Year I wanted to be able to see the fitting problem in a new light. I took a long hard look in a full length mirror, I pinched, I prodded, I fidgeted… I even tried on un-padded and really, really padded bras (self-SBA and self-FBA without surgery if you will). And then…

Brown 6000 Fitting Issue b

If I imagined the lines of the bust darts and the waist darts extended… *gasp* they didn’t cross at the apex of my bust! The waist darts needed to be moved towards the centre by 1 inch.

Dart position

With no fabric purchases allowed I shopped my stash. At first I went for some mystery black suiting that I had no plans for but when I had the pattern pieces laid out, it dawned on me that it’d be hard to see or photograph fitting issues and the whole point of this make was to get rid of that ‘n’ shaped issue! A quick re-think and I sacrificed this purple suiting that was meant to become a pencil skirt.

Damson Gin Dress 6000
This make made me realise that although we have the same measurement, my bust is different to my dressmakers dummy. The darts look ridiculously close on her. So, has moving the darts solved the mysterious fitting issue on me?

Damson Gin Dress FrontLooks okay from this angle… and more ease in the hips helps smooth things out in that region too.

Damson Gin Dress SideStill no bust ripple from this angle either.

Thank you sewing gods for reminding me of dart positioning.

Thank you sewing gods for reminding me of dart positioning.

Yeah, I think the ripple has been banished. I’m also happier with a bit more ease round the hips.


So why is it called the Damson Gin dress? Ah well the damson purple is on the outside and the gin part is on the inside…

Damson Gin Dress Hem

Over 3 meters of this gorgeous silvery white lining was languishing in my stash. It reminds me of the silvery blue sheen that gin has. I was feeling quite chuffed with my stash shopping and even used the bias binding I’d made from the leftover scraps of my blouse to bind the raw edge before hemming. Bother, that blouse would have gone great with a purple pencil skirt! Nevermind, I’m still on track with my Stash Diet.

Damson Gin Dress CuffI’m considering switching the buttons for fabric covered. Undecided yet.

Want to see more details? I took loads of photos, I think the number of photos in my posts correlates to how pleased I am with my make!

Damson Gin Dress

I fully lined the dress including the sleeves. It’s pretty easy due to the sleeve cuffs but does require some extra understitching to stop the lining rolling to the outside. I found myself swapping the different coloured threads on my sewing machine constantly. Perhaps I’ll stick with matching lining to make things easier in future!

Damson Gin Dress Zip

Another cool lining detail was attaching it by machine to the zip… I thought it’d be difficult but it’s actually pretty easy (following Tasia’s instructions).

Damson Gin Dress Vent

I shoe horned in my favourite skilllining a vent.

It's not easy demonstrating a lined vent while wearing the dress!

It’s not easy demonstrating a lined vent while wearing the dress!

Like this? I’m going to be telling you all about how you can get involved with lined vents tomorrow!

Damson Gin Dress Lined Vent

Staple Dress for Autumn

staple dress e

During August we took a camping/walking trip in Cornwall… not too far from Truro. ‘Hmmm…. Truro’ I thought, I’ve heard of that before with the word ‘Fabrics’ afterwards. And so a fabric shopping expedition to Truro Fabrics was scheduled into our journey home (despite it not being exactly on the way home… the complete opposite direction in fact!).

staple dress c

Fabric: This lovely drapey viscose caught my attention because it is matt, no sheen or shine at all. The colours were ideal for beginning autumn/winter sewing. I immediately paired this fabric with the April Rhodes Staple Dress in my mind.

staple dress fabric

The dipped-hem version requires fabric with plenty of flow and movement while the style could be just as good with bare legs and flat shoes as with tights, boots and a chunky cardigan. Also it’s difficult to tell the right side of the fabric even close up – a good thing for dipped hems where some of the wrong side will be on show.

staple dress b

Pattern: The Staple Dress pattern is great for beginners and April really holds your hand through the pattern instructions if you need it. Personally I read them through once before beginning then only consulted the instructions again when I needed to add shirring to the waistline – this was a new technique for me.

staple dress a

Alterations: A very quick toile helped me to confidently remove an inch at each side seam and an inch from the hem of the pattern pieces before cutting into my fashion fabric. I made a fabric belt (above photo) but I prefer my tan leather belt (all other photos)

And I’ll leave you with this photograph of me finding it hilarious that it was such a bright day I couldn’t keep my eyes open!

staple dress hilarious

Movies in the (Great) Park Shorts

This summer’s heat wave highlighted my lack of appropriate sunny weather clothing. Dixie DIY’s Movies in the Park shorts swooped in to rescue my wardrobe dilemma.

Movies shorts 2

Location: The photographs were taken in Windsor Great Park (hence the title) and in the background is Windsor Castle. Please excuse the creases and picnic belly – I should have gotten the photo shoot out of the way before sitting on a picnic blanket and scoffing an epic picnic lunch!

Movies shorts 3

Pattern: I think Dixie is underselling herself as the PDF pattern is only £2.64 ($4 USD). The pattern pieces fit together perfectly and the pattern instructions are clear and concise with helpful line drawings. You can adjust the fit by moving the buttonhole and button placement as part of the last construction steps and in the future move the buttons to accommodate a changing waistline. Clever huh?!

Back pattern piece with crotch and waist adjustments.

Back pattern piece with crotch and waist adjustments.

Alterations: Making a toile first, I was able to transfer my alterations to the pattern pieces ready for next time. I needed to remove 4 inches at the waist but nothing from the hips. The easiest way seemed to be chopping a 1 inch wedge out of the side of both front and back pieces tapering to meet the regular cutting line by the fourth button (and similar for the waistband, pocket and pocket facing). I also made a ‘wedgie adjustment’ gouging out a deeper curve from 2 inches below the waist and tapering towards the crotch on the back piece only. My final adjustment was to extend the back piece darts by 3/8 inch.

See... no wedgie!

See… no wedgie!

Fabric: The main fabric is from Mermaid and the binding I made out of an elephant grey light weight polycotton from Dalston Mill Fabrics. The seams were finished by overlocking.

Movies shorts 5

I successfully matched the stripes of the front pieces and pockets (but not the waistband *sigh*) and wooden buttons provide some extra sewing eye candy if pretty buttons do it for you.

Movies shorts 4

This summer I’ve enjoyed wearing these shorts as much as I did sewing them. Thanks Dixie!

Pyjama Party!


No Tofinos here I’m afraid. I was riding on a beginner self-drafted pattern high from my maxi skirt so I launched into a slightly more challenging but still pretty basic self-drafting project – pyjama bottoms.

Pyjamas 2

After scrutinising my favourite pyjama bottoms very closely, I realised that they fit so well because the back panels have more fabric than the front panels – space for my behind but no excess fabric at the tummy. So I drafted two pattern pieces and got stuck into cutting out. The fabric is a lovely soft cotton lawn – comfort is essential for a good nights sleep. The waist is elasticated but I couldn’t resist a fake waist tie with white Petersham ribbon.

Pyjamas 3

I made the top using the Colette Sorbetto pattern and attached satin bias binding down the front pleat. Both top and bottoms were made with French seams for last-ability and comfy sleeping.

Pyjamas 4

On with the party… I raised the matter of a midnight feast on Karen’s Pyjama Party primer post. It’d be rude not to bring something to the party so… who would like a fairy cake?

Pyjamas and Fairy Cakes

Global Sureau

I went through a serious learning process to make this dress – pattern adjustments, new to me techniques such as gathers (handily covered during the Mathilde workshop too!), zip insertion (ok I’ve done that once before), sleeve insertion and skirt underlining plus the pressure of fabric purchased abroad. As a result, I was elated when I realised I’d completed it without disaster. I’m calling it my Global Sureau because the pattern is a Deer and Doe design based in Paris, France and the fabric I bought at Tessuti in Melbourne, Australia.

Global Sureau 1

The zip seems to be in without puckers or wobbles but I did fret excessively about it. I’m booked onto a zips course in July so I can build my confidence and learn different zip insertion techniques then.

Global Sureau 2

I tried my best to make it pretty on the inside too but I think it’s looking overly fussy. The underlined skirt and contrast binding just isn’t visually pleasing but it was a compromise between the pressure of zip/sleeves with full lining and having the skirt ride up my tights. Something to consider more carefully when I’m planning future makes.

Global Sureau 3There was a moment before I hemmed it or sewed the buttons on when I thought it might make me look like a character from Little House on the Prairie. I’ll report back after wearing it to work to let you know if I get any Little House on the Prairie comments!

I’d like to make a sleeveless version for the summer (fully lined of-course)… maybe I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the sewing process the second time around!