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Binding a tapestry Jacket

MargaretAnn | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Dear Sewers

I bought a piece of landscape tapestry on a whim, and I want to make a boxy jacket with it to avoid darts and such.  I need suggestions on how to bind the edge.  I want something more interesting than bias tape, and I think the binding should be as much as an inch wide.  What would be both attractive and sturdy?  Fleece?  Faux suede?  What?  Any ideas?  I thought I would close it with toggles or such, to avoid buttonholes.  I might line it.  How about fine calico?  Thanks for any ideas.



  1. stitchmd | | #1

    If you have a fabric store with a good selection of trims take your fabric, or a good size scrap, or one of your cut out pattern pieces, and look at different trims next to the fabric. There are lots of bias woven trims available, or an upholstery weight piping might be nice. Faux suede cut on the crossgrain would work well, but you might want to use a double layer where you fold it, sew the cut edges to the right side and stitch in the ditch to apply the folded edge to the inside. Bring the finished jacket with you when you choose closures so you can match color and size.

    For lining you can use anything you like, but stick with fairly sturdy fabrics since the stiffness of the jacket fabric will tend to transfer any friction and stress to the lining. The important factors are whether it feels good to your skin, facilitates sliding the jacket on and off, and has the same cleaning needs as the other fabric. Calico wouldn't work, as it is washable, while the tapestry needs to be dry cleaned. I think a heavy satin lining would match the luxurious quality of the tapestry.

    1. MargaretAnn | | #2

      Thanks for your help.  Finding binding is going to be a challenge, as my only nearby fabric store is JoAnn's.  I looked there yesterday, and there was nothing suitable.  I didn't look in the upholstery section, however.  I'll check that.  Satin sounds wonderful as a lining.  I haven't sewed satin in thirty years, so I'll have to practice.  Any special tips?  I'll study my books.  I may have to go online to get fabric.  I hate to, because I like to see and feel, but some will send swatches.  I appreciate your prompt reply.  When I get an idea, I want to start NOW.  This project may take some patience, I see.


      1. Elisabeth | | #3

        You might be able to find something at JoAnns that you can use for lining.  How about taffeta?  Taffeta is reasonably easy to sew with, not as quite as unruly as satin, and the below average JoAnns here usually has some.  Perhaps there is a decorator fabric store in your area that has trims if JoAnns doesn't?  I hope you find what you need, I know what you mean about getting started NOW!E. 

      2. SisterT | | #4


        I am a bias tape junkie, because I learned how to make my own.  JoAnns has had some nice brocades on sale lately, and there might be another woven fabric that would make a wonderful trim....

        Definitely try JoAnns upholstery section.  For some reason, our JoAnns hides the upholstery trimming way in the back, behind everything else. I have seen coordinated cording and fringes that you might have a lot of fun with...


        1. edgy | | #5


          Since you are a self-admitted bias=tape junkie, pls tell me whether you use the parallelogram method or cut single strips? Also, at what point in the construction do you make the tape? Do you ever just buy a yd or so in your colors bec it would make great tape?



          1. SisterT | | #7

            Do I get some sort of commission for this?  I use the method that is in Sew Basic: 34 Essential Skills for Sewing with Confidence (Taunton, 2002), p. 85.  I think it might be what you call the parallelogram method.  I learned the hard way that it is best to follow the instructions and use only a 1/2 yard of fabric at a time--longer widths lend themselves to increasingly inaccurate measurements, at least in my hands!

            The point at which I make the tape depends on how fixed the project is in my head.  Sometimes I know exactly what I want to use, so I buy the fabric and cut the tape ahead of time.  This is the ideal, in some regards, because when I do this, I make lots extra so that I have something to play with in the future.  When I make it on the spur of the moment, it is always with a fervent prayer that whatever remnant that is suddenly "perfect" for the project will yield enough tape!

            There is one shade of red dupioni silk that I like to have on hand for trimming (I make church vestments and other liturgical items), but that is the only fabric that I have used to keep bias strips on hand. 


          2. edgy | | #8


            Hope you were joking about the commission!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am just getting really interested in using bias tape a lot more and remember it from my home dec days as real drudgery, so I was wondering if you had some secret that made it more exciting, but guess I'll just have to get in there and DO it more and more, and maybe using it will generate its own exitement.



          3. SisterT | | #9

            Of course I was joking about the commission--my comment was aimed at Carol and the other Threads folk.

            I like cutting my own bias strips because I can make them as wide or as narrow as suits the project, and in fabric that suits the project.  Tomorrow just opened up as a fabric shopping day, and I think I am going to stock up on silk and spend some quiet time this week cutting strips....


            Edited 3/7/2004 5:22:02 PM ET by ST

          4. carolfresia | | #10

            Sorry, no commission, but I'm glad you found info. you can use frequently in a Taunton book! Also, it would of course be fine for you to mention a non-Taunton source here. I'm the first to admit that there are loads of great sewing books out there by other publishers, and that I own my share of them, and more!


          5. stitchmd | | #11

            This is a really great attitude compared to some commercial sites which delete any post suggesting that another company might exist and have something you can use. Thanks!

          6. SewTruTerry | | #12


            Years ago I ran across a formula for determining the amount of fabric needed to make enough bias for any project and it was in a book called of all things Quiltmaking Tips and Techniques a Rodale home and garden publication.  The magic formula is credited to Doreen Speckmann a well known quilter and is as follows:

            1. Measure the number of inches that you will need for your project.

            2.Multiply that number by the width you wish to cut the binding.

            3. Calculate the square root of this number by using the square root key on the calculator. This number will represent the size fabric square that you will need to cut the bias strips for your project.

            4. Add 2-3 inches to this number to allow for seam allowances as you are piecing the bias strips together.

            I have used this method for years and have never had any short falls for the bias strips that I was making.

          7. FitnessNut | | #13

            Fabulous info, Terry! I must copy this for future reference. Thank you so much for passing it along.


            (Edited to correct spelling....my brain works so much faster than my fingers!)

            Edited 3/8/2004 3:22:46 PM ET by Sandy

          8. SisterT | | #14

            Thank you very much!


          9. SewTruTerry | | #15

            No problem I only wish I could claim some royalties or something.

  2. ceekay | | #6

    Dear Margaret-Ann,

    Bind your tapestry jacket with grograin ribbon,use also for buttonhole fasteners QVC tv  sells a beautiful jacket line known as Indigo Moon and the manufacturer uses this product. You will be pleased.


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