Knits are some of my favorite fabrics to sew with for so many reasons. Mainly, how comfortable the clothing is once it’s done! But when you live in a hotter climate and don’t want the double layer of a lining, or just want a slightly more sophisticated finish than a band at the neck of your garment, you might need a secondary option. That option is a knit binding and I’m going to show you how to create and attach one now!
How To Create and Attach a Knit Binding
Matching or coordinating fabric
(basically, the usual suspects)
Step One: Creating the binding
Thankfully, this is easier for knits than it is for woven fabrics. To create a woven binding, you have to cut on the bias in order for it to have the stretch it needs to be successful. For a knit, you just cut along the stretch. I will typically cut my binding 2″ tall which leaves my binding approx 1/2 inch when finished, but you can play with it to create your own personal aesthetic.
The length can be a little tricky. As a general rule, you want to cut a neck or sleeve binding at approximately 80% of the opening you are binding plus a seam allowance. So, or you have a neck opening of 20″ your binding would be 16″ long plus 1/2″ on each side for a seam allowance for a total of 17″ in length. This percentage can vary with your knit type but works well for cotton lycra in my experience. (Of course, if you’re replacing a band with a binding, you can always use the band length to make it easy!) Once you’ve done your math and cut your rectangle(s), it’s time to move on!
Step Two: Attaching a knit binding
Again, this (for me) is easier than dealing with a woven binding. First, you’ll want to sew the two short ends together to form a loop.
Then, it’s much like a neckband, only you will not fold the loop in half. Instead, you’ll take this flat loop and place pins at the quarters, starting at the seam. Do the same for the opening you are binding.
Now, with the RIGHT side of the binding against the WRONG side of the opening, match up the pins (with the seam at center back) and add a few pins between to make sure everything is all nice and even.
Once you’re all pinned, it’s time to sew! Sew at 1/4 the width of the binding (or just a smidge less). In my case, I sewed at about 3/8″.
Now comes the slightly tricky part. You’re going to pull the binding up out of the neckline.
Fold the loose raw edge in to meet the raw edges you just sewed together.
Then fold again so that the raw edges are all enclosed within the binding. Also, take care that the first round of stitches is hidden beneath this fold. Pin it well.
Then, being careful not to stretch as you sew, edge stitch around the fold to finish it off. That’s it! Beautiful bound edges!
One Other Idea
There is one other way to incorporate a binding into your project, and that is to bind your hem! If you want to do this, the instructions are pretty much the same. You’ll just want to adjust the length of your binding up to 90% of the opening.
I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful! As always, feel free to join us in our Facebook group for fun and support! And check out our sew along group to sew patterns as a group! We’ll be sewing up something at least quarterly, so come join us!