Creative articles about sewing

Sewing straps with Overlock/Coverstitch Part 2: Double Strap

Dear readers, in Part 1 I showed you how to sew tie straps quickly and easily using overlock, respectively coverstitch – here is the article. Part 2 will introduce you to some variations with the Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22: for example a double strap. In a third part, which will follow soon, you will receive general tips on sewing straps with the overlock and coverstitch machine.

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 ✓ 

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My yellow example is stitched on the bernette 62 AIRLOCK, using the BERNINA Single Fold Binder #C22, which is an optional accessory to the L 890 as well as to the bernette b62/68/42/48. It can be used to make binding from strips of fabric cut 40 mm wide to a finished width of 10 mm.

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 ✓ 

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Sewing a summer top with double straps – Material

For this strap top you will need the following material:

  • Knit fabric 75 cm for a top of average length. I decided to use a soft sweat because I wish to show you the effect of its rolling edge.
  • Overlock universal thread (I prefer Mettler Seracor 120), but in the picture you will see that I also prepared Mettler Silk Finish Cotton 50 Multicolor, as well as Madeira Cotona 30.

In this article you will find many details that I have already mentioned in part 1 about the tie straps, stitched with #C21. The procedure with #C22 is very similar, the results can differ more or less, depending on your creativity.

Pattern

Again, I used my own pattern. You can find tips for crating your patterns in Claudia Geiser’s blog, please read it here: Sewing a tank top with the L 890 and its Double Fold Binder #C21

Alternatively, you can find a free pattern for a top in a German book called “Alles Jersey – Soft and cosy”, please refer to the blog article by Maria Luongo. However, if you are looking for alternatives, I am sure you find even more ideas in English by searching with google.

Cutting

  • Front 1 x on the fold plus 1 cm seam allowance on the sides and 3 cm hem allowance
  • Back, 1 x on the fold plus 1 cm seam allowance on the sides and 3 cm hem allowance
  • Strip for the strap/armhole, 40 mm x width of fabric, approx. 150 cm, 2 pieces
  • Strip for binding the front/back neckline, 40 mm x width of fabric, at least 80 cm in cross grain knit, 1 piece. This will be cut to measure while binding both pieces. I often cut a bit more to make myself comfortable with the binder again.

Preparations

  • Strips for the strap/armhole binding, mark the middle.
  • At front and back pieces, measure the armhole curve and mark this on the strip for the binding, on both sides of the middle mark.

These marks on the binding strip will help me later to approximately define when to guide the front and back pieces into the binder.

Side seams

Since I want to stitch “nearly” the whole top on the b62, I have decided to stitch the side seams together with the narrow coverstitch and then topstitch the seam allowances into the front with 4-thread coverstitch. “Nearly” refers to the completion of the strap ends, I will use the sewing machine for that.

Thread your b62, or your coverstitch machine, for the narrow coverstitch with LC and CC and stitch a sewing sample on spare fabric. My sample shows Madeira Cotona thread in the needles and Seracor 120 thread in the chain looper.

Pin your side seams of front and back together, right sides facing. Since I want to topstitch the seam allowances towards the front later, I pinned and stitched it with the back piece facing up.

Sew the side seams with the narrow coverstitch, using the edge of the presser foot a s a guide. I recommend using a leader cloth at the seam begin for better feeding, since the seam at the armhole will be covered with in binding later.

Iron both seams flat and then press the seam allowance towards the front.

Thread your b62, or your coverstitch machine, with 4-thread coverstitch and stich a sewing sample. Why another sewing sample? Because I have the habit to lower the presser foot on the b62 when inserting the right coverstitch needle, and it happened before that I had the foot down when threading, and the thread did not slip correctly into the tension discs… well. But here I like what I see.

Topstitch the side seams, using the edge of the foot as a guide and remember to use a leader cloth at the beginning of the seam.

Don’t forget to press your seam after stitching.

Now I checked the side seams at the armhole and trimmed where necessary. The more accurate one works here, the easier it will be to stitch the binding.

Binding the neckline, armhole and strap

I planned the binding for the necklines, the armholes, and the straps “from the inside out”, because I want to use the rolling fabric edge as a decorative element. It will look like this:

That means I need to change the threading to have the narrow coverstitch with LC and CC again. This calls for another sewing test.

Attach the Single Fold Binder #C22. I usually align it all to the left to reduce tolerance of the parts.

Adjust the guide as far to the rear as possible, that it is close to the presser foot without touching.

Then adjust the guide to the left, it shall be approx. 2 mm to the left of the left needle. I find this works easier when the presser foot is down.

Swing the binder to the front as much as needed to allow for comfortable threading of the binding strip.

I have gotten into the habit of cutting the beginning of the strip to a downward tip.

This is the best way for me to thread the strip into the binder. Try if that works for you too.

Pull the binding fully under the presser foot and swing the binder back towards the foot. Lower the presser foot and stabilize the binding with a few stitches. If this is my first binding, it sometimes takes a few centimetres more until I guide the fabric correctly and the binding is fed evenly. That is why I use the fabric for the binding very generously (that is what you read in the cutting chapter).

Stitch as many centimetres as you need to check the position of the stitches on the binding. Adjust the position of the binder if needed.

Of course there is a tutorial video for the Single Fold Binder #C22 available, showing its handling in detail, including a few examples of projects. The video shows the #C22 on the L 890, but handling and tips are the same, no matter using the #C22 on BERNINA or bernette coverstitch and/or combo machines.

 

Next is binding the necklines of the front and back. For my decorative effect of “inside out”, I place the top edge of the top with the wrong side up into the binder:

Sew slow and make sure that the binding and the top are fed smoothly. Especially with my fine sweat, which rolls slightly, take a close look at it. It’s important that the fabric does not get caught in the binding. Check if yours fits.

At the end of the first neckline, I stitch a few centimetres of the binding and then place the other neckline directly into the binder. That saves me from having to re-thread the binding:

Stitch to completion, then cut the binding between front and back and press the seams. And that is exactly what I wanted; the edge of the binding is already rolling up:

Now I trim the ends at the armholes. Since I want to proceed with having the seam allowance flat in the next binding, I pin it in place. The pins shall remind me in the next step to proceed slowly and accurately.

By the way, thanks to the swing-out binder, the looper cover can be easily opened, so that the chainlooper can be rethreaded very quickly.

Next up are the straps/armholes. You have added three marks to the fabric strips. Thread one strip into the binder. But before you continue sewing, add a fabric clip at the mark that reaches the binder first.

Sew the strap until the clip reaches the binder and make sure that the fabric feeds smoothly.

You will notice that the position from the clip to the needles is approx. as much as the length of the half armhole. That means you can stitch approx. 5 cm more, before you must guide the top into the binder. Therefore, I moved my clip approx. 5 cm and stitched until reaching it.

Now insert the top, also with wrong side up if you like to see the rolling fabric edge on the outside. That is how I did it with my top. In case you like to see the needle threads on the outside, place your top with right side up into the guide.

I sew slow and make sure nothing is jamming. At the same time, I try to stretch the binding slightly, so that a nice round edge is produced. Remove the next needle which stabilizes the rolling edge. Make sure the fabric does not roll, but stays flat while sewing. Sounds challenging, but just start stitching slow.

Continue stitching the armhole binding, then continue with the second part of the strap. At the end of the strap, I secured the last stitches with the CS Lock Tool, but that is optional, because the strap will be cut back later and stitched to the top. And that is how my first armhole looks:

Proceed in the same way with the other side:

  1. Cutting the beginning of the binding strip to a tip and threading it into the binder.
  2. Stabilizing it under the presser foot with a few stitches.
  3. Setting the fabric clip as a marker.
  4. Sewing up to the clip.
  5. Placing the top between the binder, wrong side up.
  6. Continuing by sewing slowly and stitching to completion.

And that is exactly how I imagined it. Time to iron!

Now I posed myself the question, do I want straps to tie or a double stap? It would fit the style.

But then I decided to finish the top with double straps. To do this, I tried on the top with the wrong side on the outside (of course, here in the picture on the mannequin) and pinned the straps in the appropriate length (24 cm for me), at two centimetres distance from the armhole binding. First the straps from the front to the back and then the others crossed over them.

I double-stitched the straps in place with a short straight stitch/sewing machine and cut them back.

Sewing a summer top – Hem

And now what to do with the hem? Should I fold it to the inside and topstitch with coverstitch as usual (in the pixture left)? Or fold to the right side and topstitch with Coverstitch (pinned in the picture right side)? Or also add a binding?

The decision is up to you and your preferences. My favourite is the variation to fold to the right side and topstitch with 4-thread coverstitch. The result is a decorative hem when the top is worn over skirt or trousers, and it is a thin/double-layered hem when the top is worn underneath.

Take a closer look at my hem, it is the lazy seamstress version. To avoid marking everything, I stitched the hem first right side up, then stitched over that seam wrong side up. This created an effect like a top coverstitch.

A top with this flat, less bulky hem can be worn ‘over’…

… or worn ‘underneath’:

Sewing a summery top with overlock, respectively coverstitch and the right tools is so easy!

Don’t like the rolled edges? In this case, the procedure differs in regard to placing the top into the #C22 binder with the right side up.

Excess seam allowance can be cut back after sewing. I personally prefer sharp scissors with a round tip.

You can also see this in our video tutorial for the binder #C22, here is the link again:

Alternatively, of course, it is a good idea to use the Double Fold Binder #C21, which folds under both edges. For more on that, please refer to the separate blog article about the #C21 on the bernette 62.

And again, the binders #C21 and #C22 are compatible with the bernette 62/68/42/48, as well as with the BERNINAs L 890, L 220 and 1300MDC.

Of course, you can use double or crossed straps on dresses, not only on tops. Sure, you will have ideas how to use them in your upcoming projects!

These are also crossed straps. This model was sewn with the binder #C21 and the strip is a woven bias cut, binding a Punta di Roma quality. Of course, you can execute this model also with the #C22 if you like.

The dress looks very simple at the front. The crossed straps were just placed differently than the ones on the yellow top. And don’t forget that you can also use the binders for hemming.

With this I wish you a relaxing time while overlock- and coverstitching.

Doris

Difficulty level: Beginner
Time to Complete: Evening
Used Material: 100% cotton, bias, jersey
Used Products:
bernette 62 AIRLOCK
bernette 62 AIRLOCK
Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22
Single Fold Binder for Unfolded Tape #C22

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