Tamarack: Applying Bias Binding

We've inserted our welt pockets and now it's time to bind the main body of the jacket. Here I'll walk you through that process which includes our technique for turning corners with bias binding. If you've ever made a quilt this part will be familiar for you, and if not you'll be learning something new! If you're making your own bias binding you'll want to start here. If not you can skip down a few steps.

Cut bias strips 2" wide from the fabric you intend to bind with. We're using the outer fabric for ours but using the inner or a contrast can be really cute. You can mark your binding out with chalk and cut or use a rotary cutter and ruler as we did above.

You're likely going to need a longer strip than you're able to cut from your fabric so we'll be sewing pieces together. To do this align your bias strips as shown above.

Stitch across the two strips from the inside of one point to the other.

Press the seam allowance open.

Trim off the triangles of seam allowance that overhang the strip. Repeat this step until you have bias long enough for the edges you're binding.

Now you'll need to fold your binding. You can do this by hand by folding the binding in half, then bringing each edge into the center crease and pressing, or by feeding it through a bias tape maker. When using one of these, as shown above, simply thread one end through the maker and place a pin through the end.

You'll then move the bias tape maker along the bias strip, pressing with your iron as you go. After you're done you can fold the tape in half and press so that you have the center crease, personally though I don't bother since that can change slightly depending on how accurately you attach the tape to the garment.

To begin we'll bind the back hem of the coat. Take the back piece and starting about 1" above the side hem notch align one of the raw edges of the binding with the raw edge of the jacket. Stop the binding about 1" above the opposing hem notch. Stitch in the fold along the length of the binding.

Flip the binding over the edge to the wrong side of the jacket and press the binding down into place. You can either stitch the binding in place by hand for an invisible finish or turn the jacket right side up and stitch with your machine as shown below.

Once you're done your back hem will look like this.

Now sew your shoulder seams together according to the instructions in the pattern booklet so that we can continuously bind the front edges of the jacket.

Again start approximately 1" above the side seam notch aligning the raw edge of the binding to the raw edge of the jacket. Turn the corner and continue towards the front of the jacket. Mark a point 1/2" in from the front edge of the jacket - that's where the last pin is above. Sew in the binding fold from the side seam towards the center front stoppping at this point.

Fold the binding down creating an angle from the corner of the jacket in. 

Next fold the binding up over top of the fold you just created. You can see the lump of the diagonal fold in the image above. Pin the binding up towards the neckline, again stopping 1/2" shy of the neck edge.

Stitch from the lower edge (all the way to the edge) up to the point you marked at the neckline. Work your way around the front of the jacket repeating these steps at each corner until you get to the side hem notch at the opposite side of the jacket. Again stop binding 1" above the notch.

Once that is completed you'll want to press the binding away from the jacket. Even though you pressed the fold originally this helps to really make a crisp binding.

Fold the binding over the edge to the wrong side of the jacket and press into place. Stitch the binding in place using the same method you used for the back hem of the jacket.

That's all there is! Follow the instructions in the pattern booklet to assemble the rest of your jacket. You'll apply these same techniques to the edges of the sleeve once those are attached and the side seams are sewn. All that's left is the closures. We'll be back talking snaps in our next post!

Mentioned Products

  • Tamarack Hood, Collar, & Patch Pockets Variation Add-on 0 – 32 (PDF only)
    Tamarack Hood, Collar, & Patch Pockets Variation Add-on 0 – 32 (PDF only)
  • Tamarack Jacket 0 – 18
    Tamarack Jacket | Grainline Studio
  • Tamarack Jacket 14 – 30/32
    Tamarack Jacket 14 – 30/32
  • Tamarack Quilting Design Sheets
    Tamarack Quilting Design Sheets