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How do I attach bias binding to plastic?

lennie77 | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’m trying to make a cell phone holder & need to attach bias binding onto clear plastic.  How do I go around the curved corners without bunching?  Thanks in advance for your advice.


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    I am guessing here but might try to "ease" the corner curves first as you would with a sleeve.  You would want to do this inside the seam allowance line with a long basting stitch but this will put permanent holes in the plastic.  Maybe  darts or tucks??  White craft glue?  Good luck to you!  What a cute idea!  Sorry I couldn't really be of more help.  Just thought I'd help you brainstorm.

    1. lennie77 | | #2

      Thanks a lot.  I appreciate your quick reply.

      1. mygaley | | #4

        Try this:  Make a cardboard template of the part that needs to be bound.  Then, use this template to steam your bias binding into the shape it should be before sewing it onto your plastic.  You may have to take a few ease gathering stitches and also may wish to hand wash the purchased/homemade binding to remove all sizings; add a touch of fabric softener.  Also, there are curves and there are curves.  If your curve is almost an angle, use a saucer to change the "corner" so it is rounder and smoother.  I read this bias binding shaping tip in a Vogue pattern magazine probably 35 years ago! God bless you.  Galey

        1. lennie77 | | #7

          Thanks a lot.  Your hints are so good.  I'm glad I joined the Gatherings Discussions.

  2. suesew | | #3

    Good luck. You are trying to do one of the most difficult things there is. Purchased bias trim is a little stiff. I think they must put some sizing on it something. Try making your own bias binding and use as narrow a binding as possible.

    1. lennie77 | | #8

      Thanks a lot.  I feel a little better about the problem I had with the last cell phone holder I made.  Sewing on plastic is not my cup of tea, but I like to be able to punch the numbers sort of like they do at McDonald's cash registers that are covered with plastic.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #9

        Another thought: what about making the holder of fabric with a "window" of plastic with the holes for the numbers.  Then you wouldn't have to deal with the curves but could insert the plastic behind the window frame.  Hope this makes sense. 


        1. lilyrose | | #10

          I just joined and this message is my first-but I think I can add a new idea to binding this cell phone holder.  My local store carries a very pliable easy to stretch, turn corners, take curves - swim suit binding.  Light weight, good color choices, has spandex I believe.

          1. lennie77 | | #16

            Thanks a lot, LilyRose.  I never heard of swim suit binding, but that might be the answer.

        2. lennie77 | | #11

          I'm not sure because I'm trying to leave a hole near the bottom and top covered with lace so that the sound comes through and it can be answered without opening the cell case.  The cell phone is worn around the neck with black elastic attached for over my head.  The phone can be answered without opening anything.  I made two so far and was afraid that the lace was not strong enough at the bottom (where a hole is for sound) so I lined the bottom lace with fine black veggie mesh. I can't remember where I obtained it.  The phone is the type that has a visible number front without having to open and close it.  I tried to think of a way to work it out as you suggested, but I'm simply stumped.

          I keep getting requests to make more, but I don't like making them.  It has worked out fine but I rounded the flap in the back so that as I attached the bias binding it would be easier to round the edges.  I put Hook & Loop tape along the edges of the bias binding in the back.  It's kinda "see through" and matches whatever I'm wearing and it's great for a quick answer if someone is calling for help.  The worse part was putting the bias binding around those rounded edges in the back.  It's lumpy.  Let's say that "It works and let's be thankful that the rounded edges are IN THE BACK!)  I plan to make this one that last one that I make!  I'm insecure about the whole thing.  What if the elastic breaks and the phone is lost, guess who will get the blame so I'm explaining that I'm doing this one last cell phone holder where you can answer the phone without even removing it from your neck or opening the cell holder & you can make calls by punching the numbers in front.  I'm just making this last one as a favor.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #12

            Sounds like You have a really big heart to make this as a favor!  I believe that your kindness to others will come back to you!

            They sound very clever and well thought out.   Maybe you could get a patent on them or see if someone will make them for you.  When I was a nurse I would have loved to have one for the pager too!  The lace, veggie netting,  and the idea that they match everything is great too.

            I made knit maternity panels and side seam triangles for jeans many years ago.  They were constructed in such a way that I could repair the pants  after the baby's birth.  It was hard to find stylish or cute maternity clothing at that time. What was available was very frumpy and  made of horrible patterns and fabrics even in maternity "boutiques".  I also made them for others as a favor.  Now someone is manufacturing them.  It never ocurred to me to get a patent or try to market them.

            Enjoyed this chat.  Mary

          2. lennie77 | | #13

            Thanks for your encouragement.  I'm sure there were many pregnant ladies who appreciated your talent and creativity.  You have the satisfaction of being a blessing to others and that brings joy back to yourself.

            I used to embroider my Jeans back in 1950 and that was 10 years before the Hippy's came along.  I painted my tennis shoes and that was before anybody I knew decorated theirs.  I never even thought of protecting my ideas back then -- O.K. so I was a kid. 

            Well, I considered the idea of making a salable pattern for the cell phones, but decided against it because cell phones are all different sizes and if the neck strap broke and a person's cell phone was lost, I would not want the blame. :)

            Having something pattened is expensive, but having patterns copyrighted is inexpensive.  I design patterns and sell them but I will not describe them again because I am new and almost got removed from the discussions on my very first visit last week.  I thought when I mentioned that I sold patterns that I could pass on "How-to's" about how others could also do it, but I don't suppose that is acceptable because the message came up that read "Ignore Lennie77" so I shall remain mum on that subject.

            I am trying not to say anything to get expelled from the Gatherings Discussions because I enjoy all the wonderful input from real sewing folks.  It's a blessing and it's great the way my e-mail lets me know when an answer has arrived.

            Thanks again!


          3. MaryinColorado | | #14

            Oh Lennie! That would be our loss!  I love this forum and would also hate to be "expelled"!  I am so happy to have so many creative and knowledgeable people giving us instruction and input.  The archives are great too.  Thanks for the heads up and I hope to continue to learn from you and the others here for a long time.  Bless You.  Mary

          4. lennie77 | | #15

            Thanks Mary

            Lennie in MD

  3. SewingWriter | | #5

    Been there, done that -- on several projects.  In addition to the tips you've already received, I suggest placing a patch of lightweight tear-away stabilizer or even a sheet of paper beneath the plastic while sewing.  If you apply the binding to the wrong side of the clear plastic first, you can mask any discrepancies with a nice neat fold and accompanying edge stitch on the front. I usually spot-glue the binding in place and let it dry, then use a long stitch length to sew the first side of the binding. Then turn, spot-glue, and edgestitch the remaining side of the binding.

    As for the curved corners, remember that it's the circumference at the edge of the plastic (not the sewing line) that determines how much fabric is needed for the binding to turn smoothly. So just ease a little more fabric along the sewing line in order to accomodate the larger circumference.

    Edited 7/13/2006 2:03 pm ET by SewingWriter

    1. lennie77 | | #6

      Thanks a lot.  I never thought of all those good hints to help solve this problem.


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