Creative articles about sewing

Sewing binding with Overlock/Coverstitch Part 3: Tips and Tricks

Dear readers, how can you sew a binding with an overlock respectively coverstitch machine, when the binder will not work? Welcome to the third article in that series on strap sewing – strap tops! Maybe you have become even more creative while practicing with the binders and have tried out different straps – or you have reached limits for which you would like to get tips to overcome them? So this article will mainly be about variants for which no binder is used, either because the fabric is too thick, the binding is joined, or because you work with elastic, lace or band style edges.

With this stretchy terry cloth for example, I prefer to bind “manually” instead of using a binder, since I can handle that much faster.

To get in the mood, here the links to the previous posts:

  • In the first article, we sewed binding straps with the Double Fold Binder #C21: to the article
  • In the second article, we looked at double straps with the Single Fold Binder #C22: to the article

Bindings with joint seams

If I need to stitch several strips together for the binding, I always do it like a quilt binding: I stitch the strips together in a 45-degree angle.

Next I press the seam allowances apart and cut the edges back.

Like this, the finished binding will not be so thick because the seam does not lie on top of each other.

Making binding to be used with the binders works best with fine fabrics. I would not try to thread thick or stiff fabrics through the binders. If the combined strip is made of thicker or stiffer fabric and therefore has a very thick seam, the binder may not be able to cope with that. In this case, I recommend:

Two-step binding

Binding in two steps offers many advantages. It makes it easier to sew assembled strips. The first step is to stitch the strip on or under the piece which is to be bound. This example was sewn on the bernette 62 AIRLOCK with the Standard Presser Foot. 

Image of bernette 62 AIRLOCK.

bernette 62 AIRLOCK

The coverstitch machine with easy air threading ✓ 4 coverstitches and 3 chainstitches ✓ Can be used for countless applications, with which different fabric types ✓ Sufficient space for large projects ✓ The large working area is brightly illuminated ✓ Stitch length adjustable while sewing ✓ 

Learn more

Second step is to fold the binding around the edge and topstitch it. For this step I use the narrow coverstitch with LC and CC. The needle marks on the tip of the presser foot allow precise guiding of the project.

One more advantage of the two-step binding is, that you are flexible when it comes to the width of the binding. When using Double Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C21 and Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22 the binding will have a finished width of 1 cm. If I want a binding of 1.2 or 1.5 or 2 cm, I can simply cut the strip accordingly and bind my project in two steps. Here is an example with a binding of 1.5 cm width. On the picture you can also clearly see where I had to join the binding strip.

Image of Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22.

Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22

For binding with unfolded bias or jersey tapes ✓ 40 mm wide tapes result in a finished binding of approx. 10 mm ✓ An accessory holder is required ✓ For the individual, personal look ✓ Compatible with L 890 ✓ 

Learn more
Image of Double Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C21.

Double Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C21

✓36 mm wide tapes result in a binding of approx. 10 mm width ✓ An accessory holder is required ✓ Compatible with L 890

Learn more

The two-step binding is of course also suitable for necklines in a preferred width:

And if you look at this picture you will see that the one shoulder seam has been sewn together before the binding while the second shoulder seam was stitched after the first step of adding the binding. Especially in tubular or circular projects a two-step binding has its advantages.

As you may also see on the picture, this is a single fold binding where I cut back the excess seam allowance inside after topstitching.

When I sew a two-step binding it is nearly always a single fold binding. To have both binding edges folded under nicely and work efficiently, I recommend the Double Fold Binder #C21.

The procedure is ideal for binding straps on tops and dresses.

Band instead of binding

In this picture you can see two variations: Can you verify the difference on the outer side?

And here you also see the wrong side of the seams. Which variation is sewing a band, and which is the two-step binding where the seam allowance was trimmed afterwards?

Here on the wrong side, you can see that the seam allowance of the binding was cut back where needed:

And here, on the inside, you can see that the seam allowance was topstitched towards the band, i.e. it is a band-style edge:

And also here, these 3 cm / 2 1/4 inch wide edges and 2.5 cm / 1 inch wide straps are bands:

As already mentioned in my blog on the Double Fold Binder, this technique of bands/cuffs allows to adhere or gather to fit easily in slight curves and round shapes. In addition, working with thicker materials using a band is easier than sewing a binding, or a binding in two steps. This stretch terry cloth is a good example of that technique:

I also used that technique with this finer fabric. The neckline and straps are stitched as bands. Two narrow coverstitches placed next to one another for example will looks like this:

… and from the inside:

Usually, I sew on the band with a coverstitch first, neaten it with an overlock and topstitch it with a coverstitch – as you can see, the seam allowance is folded towards the band/strap, so that it imitates a binding. But really, can you tell the difference looking at the right side?

This variant of straps and necklines with “false binding” offers many advantages. You can work to measure. You are not stuck with a certain width. You can add your marks to join differently shaped pieces precisely and easily. And besides you, nobody can see that you worked fast and achieved a perfect result without many sewing tests.

And it looks neat and nice on the inside too, doesn’t it? To be fair, I could have selected a thread that matches better 😉

More possibilities

But now a few more proposals for executing strap tops, with and without double fold and single fold binders.

Crossed straps, with the Double Fold Binder #C21, sewn on the L 890. Looks very boring from the front:

Shows its effect on the back:

Here again, double fold binding for crossing straps…

… and using the cut-off for a third, centred, strap:

Crossed straps (produced as bands), combined with fold-over elastic. This is also a project where the multi-coloured Mettler Silk Finish Cotton shines.

Don’t forget to play with thread colors:

Or with contrasting binding, here an example of a hem: This binding was sewn with the Single Fold Binder #C22 and excess seam allowance was trimmed.

Tie straps made with the #C21 in combination with a gathered dress:

This fine strap top made from lining for “underneath”…

… has the advantage, that the side seams are stitched with a fine 3-thread narrow seam.

For the edges I used the Double Fold Binder #C21 and chainstitch.

Because I did not want a joint seam at the side seam, which would make the whole area thicker, I stitched the straps on the back in place with the sewing machine, for the sake of simplicity. There, industrial processing would probably have implemented an additional slider. By the way, this is one of my few projects where I used the chainstitch – I think this fine stitch fits very well to the fine, only slightly stretchy fabric.

But of course, the chainstitch will also work for other straps with the double fold binder, may it be in woven or knitted materials, cross or bias grain:

Tank tops/strap tops – I love to wear them in summer, just like that or under blouses, denim jackets or blazers. Any time of the year can be a strap-top season.

With this I hope that you will use your overlock, coverstitch or combo machine much more and more easily. I wish you lots of fun sewing and then wearing and showing off your creative projects!


Sewing binding with Overlock/Coverstitch Part 3

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: bias binding, cotton, jersey
Used Products:
bernette 62 AIRLOCK
bernette 62 AIRLOCK
Double Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C21
Double Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C21
Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22
Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22

Topics to this post , , , , , , , , , ,

Link this post Trackback URL

Related content you may be interested in

Comments of this post

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

  • Ann DePriest EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    I had a hard time with envelope pillow YouTube add this subtract that too confusing till I found Missouri Star quilt store. Missy from MSQ gave print out direction.  Easy and understanding 

Dear BERNINA Blog readers,

if you want to publish pictures via the comment function, please log in to the blog first. Click here to sign in.

You haven't registered for the BERNINA blog yet? Click here to create your free account.

Thank you very much

Your BERNINA Blog Team