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Where, Why, and How to Apply French Binding

Keep edges smooth, lightweight, and supple
Threads #213, Feb./March 2021
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In your sewing career, you’ll discover that there are times when a garment calls for a thin, flexible finished edge. Some instances are in garments made of heavy boiled wool, double-sided fabrics, or fabrics that have decorative surface effects. A binding enables you to finish the edge without a facing, so you eliminate the bulk of enclosed seam allowances made of the heavier fabric. A beautifully applied binding also creates a finish that looks attractive from both sides, so it is ideal for reversible garments or those in which the fabric’s reverse face may show during wear. My preference for this finish is a French binding.

A French binding starts with a bias strip, usually of a lightweight fabric, that has been folded lengthwise with wrong sides together. The cut edges are attached by machine and the folded edge is wrapped around the edge and secured invisibly by…

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  1. Hope_Marie | | #1

    Love the the vest especially the pleated fabric, would love to know how to do that.

    1. User avater
      Lady2k7 | | #3

      That vest hjas been shown before, but not the sewing instructions. It would be great if Kenneth would share that with us.

      1. ThreadsMagazineWeb | | #4

        Thank you for this idea - it's a good one! Will see what we can do. Best, Christine - Threads digital content manager

  2. CarolFresia | | #2

    Here's a video that shows the curved tuck technique:

    Insiders can access the full article at

    Carol Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

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