Outlining the contours of a stretch garment adds decorative impact. You can do this without compromising the garment’s flexibility, with an applied band that remains smooth and ripple-free. This technique, detailed below, uses 1/2-inch-wide fusible tape to stabilize the band. You’ll learn how to apply a stretch velvet edging to a smooth, spandex-blend knit fabric. The edge is then bound with foldover elastic.
1. Cut the fabrics
Make the band the desired finished width, plus the width of the fusible tape. For this sample, I cut a 2-inch-wide stretch velvet strip, to apply to a spandex-blend garment fabric, which I cut with its edge on the straight grain.
Be sure to cut the band with the nap in the direction that is appropriate for its final position on the garment. A bias strip may lie flatter on the body.
2. Apply fusible tape to the velvet strip
Align a 1/2-inch-wide fusible tape’s sticky side to one long edge of the velvet edging strip’s wrong side . With an iron on the synthetic setting and using a press cloth—a must when working with synthetics—lightly press the iron along the paper backing to fuse the tape. Peel off the paper.
3. Fuse the velvet strip’s edge
Gently fold over the fused edge by the width of the tape. Press to secure the folded edge. This helps reduce the stretching while sewing and creates a sharp edge.
4. Attach the fused edging to the fabric
With both fabrics right side up, align the velvet strip’s raw edge along the garment edge. Pin at 1-inch intervals. Zigzag 1/4 inch from the edge. (Contrasting thread was used in the samples for visibility.) Avoid stretching the fabrics while stitching. Press lightly.
5. Pin and stitch the velvet’s fused edge to the garment
Pin at 1-inch intervals and then straight-stitch the fused edge 1/8 inch from the fold. I set the stitch length to 2.5 mm to 3.0 mm. Press lightly.
6. Apply foldover elastic
To cover the raw edges with the elastic, first pin or baste its end to the garment edge. Then gently pull the elastic toward you as you fold and zigzag. Note: Practice folding and stitching on a sample to familiarize yourself with the process.