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Bias Binding for Curved Edges in Chiffon | Video

Susan Khalje devises a method that controls the fabric, avoids distortion, and hides stitches.

Couture expert and Threads Contributing Editor Susan Khalje demonstrates a method for attaching a chiffon bias binding to curved edges on silk chiffon. This is one of the most challenging edge finishes you can attempt, due to the fabric’s instability and transparency. It’s difficult to control the bias strip, avoid distorting the neckline itself, and hide any attachment stitches. The traditional bias-binding technique—while excellent for stable and opaque textiles—didn’t meet Susan’s exacting standards on silk chiffon, so she came up with a refinement that solved her problems. Susan’s approach requires accuracy and patience, but is accessible to anyone who can sew a neat fell stitch.

Prepare the pieces

The first steps include staystitching the garment’s edge; Susan points out that this might take a few tries to get the perfect curve, but removing the staystitching to resew won’t damage the fabric. You’ll also need to cut chiffon strips that are on the true bias. Follow Susan’s tips for ensuring a perfect 45-degree angle; precise marking and cutting with special shears make the difference. You’ll also learn how to test the cut strips to verify that they have been cut correctly.

Attach the binding

Begin by basting the bias strip to the curved edge, then sew it permanently. Remove the basting so you can press the edge flat. Then fold the binding under, enclosing its raw edge, and hand-sew it to the garment with a fell stitch.

Susan notes that, at this point, the bias binding is nicely attached, but still doesn’t look smooth and flat. Even with careful pressing, it will look slightly rumply. Rather than settle for a less-than-ideal binding, Susan discovered that she could fold the edge in one more time and fell stitch it in…

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