Pattern Hacks & Modifications

Perfect knit binding

There is nothing more sleek than a beautifully constructed garment… and it is even better when that garment has a remarkable bound neckline!  Oooh la la!!


So today I’m going to give you a quick rundown of how I accomplish my “almost perfect” binding.  I say “almost perfect” because sometimes I become impatient and then my stitches become uneven.  C’est la vie.

I want to caution you, before we start, that 90% of beautiful knit binding is in the preparations – not in the actual garment construction.  It takes time to prepare the binding pieces for sewing (you will get faster as you practice), but it is well worth the effort.

In this tutorial, we are using the Ellie and Mac Vacation Romper.**  This is one of my favourite rompers this season! I’ve modified mine a little though to take the points out of the sides when I use a less drapey cotton/Lycra.

The first step is to cut your pieces per your pattern.  If you’re winging it, I usually use a 1-3/4″ width by the length needed.

1 - flat piece

Fold your piece in half length-wise and give it a really good press.

2 - folded

Open your bias piece up and use the fold as a guideline to fold the sides in.  Give it a really good press as you go.  I usually do one side at a time.  Take your time with this part as this is ultimately what makes your binding even on your garment.

3 - 1 sides folded in

If you’re making the Vacation Romper, you should now have 3 pieces of binding. Two short pieces and one long piece.

5 - all bias

Now your binding is ready to be attached to your garment.  Woo Hoo!

The order you attach your pieces is very important – especially with the Vacation Romper; you need to attach the side pieces first.

Using a pin, mark the centre of the side binding.

6 - centre bias marked

Open your garment/romper so the side seam lays flat.

7 - centre armpit

Lay the piece of side bias on the romper, right sides together, aligning the pin with the centre seam. Pin in place.

Next, pin the very ends of the binding in place at the edges of the armhole opening. Ease the bias along the edge and pin in place.

8 - armpit pinned

Repeat for the other side.

9 - both armpits pinned

Now we’re going to use the sewing machine, not the serger, to attach the binding to the garment.  I use a regular zigzag with a stitch width of 3.0 and a stitch length of 2.0.

10 - stitch settings

When you place your bias under the foot, align the fold crease with the edge of the foot window. Stitch your bias to your garment.

11 - foot position

This is what your garment should look like after the zigzag is stitched. The first image shows the stitch on the wrong side while the second image shows the seam from the right side.

Fold open edge of the binding closed. Mark the centre of the piece and fold the binding over so the centre of the binding lines up with the side seam of the garment. Pin in place.

As you pin your binding in place, make sure you cover the zigzag entirely.  You don’t want your stitches showing at all. Pin your binding starting with the centre pin, then the two outside pins.  Ease the binding into place the rest of the way and pin. Repeat for both arm holes.


If you’re using a zigzag, stitch the binding from the top following the same method you used to attach the binding earlier. Use a 3.0 stitch width and 2.0 stitch length.

If you’re using a coverstitch, run a test piece of binding through and adjust your stitch length and tension as needed.

When you’re ready, position two needles in the leftmost positions.  Align the edge of the binding to the inside edge of the left side of the foot as shown.  You want the left needle as close to the edge of the binding as possible – but – you also want to use a reliable mark for an even distance from the edge.

19 - coverstitch position

Stitch both sides.  Your romper should look something like this when you’re done the arm hole binding:

20 - both sides stitched

Prepare your neck binding by sewing the ends closed, right sides together. Use a seam allowance as indicated in your pattern. Press the seam open.  Pressing the seam open reduces bulk in the binding once sewn closed. Pin the binding seam in the centre back of the romper.  Mark the centre front of the binding and the centre front of the romper and pin the binding to the romper, right sides together.  Make sure the binding is not twisted anywhere before you pin the rest!! 😉 😉

21 - neck binding stitched closed22 - back neck pressed open23 - back neck pinning

Zigzag the binding to the front and back where you pinned it. Do not worry about going over the edges because this seam will be completely covered.

24 - back zigzagged on

Fold your binding over to the wrong side of the garment and finish pinning all the way around.  This is what it should look like.

Stitch down using the same method you used for the armholes.

Bury your threads and CONGRATULATIONS!!! You’re done 😀

finished romper




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