Wednesday 13 February 2013

How to Add Bias Binding to a Dress...

Bias binding is a very easy way to finish off necklines and armholes, in place of facings or linings. Today I'll show you how to add bias binding to neaten the edges on a dress.

There are several ways to attach bias binding. The method I'll show you, results in the bias binding being hidden on the inside of the dress.

I've used 12mm (roughly 1/2") store bought bias. You could use wider bias binding or you could make your own. The process is the same.

Before you cut the dress bodice, take note of the directions in the pattern for finishing the raw edges. Depending on the bias binding you use, you will be sewing with roughly a 1/4" seam. If the pattern directions differ, you may need to cut a little off the edges of the bodice, or you may need to add extra fabric.

Open out bias binding and place on fabric, right sides together. Sew along the fold line. 

If you are attaching to an armhole or neckline that is already formed, you will need to make a small hem on the end that will be on the top. As the dress I was sewing had a crossover bodice, the armholes and neckline were not formed at this stage, so I didn't need to make a hem, therefore I don't have photos of this step.

Fold over the bias binding to the wrong side of the fabric.

With the right side of the dress facing up, topstitch 1/8" from the edge of the armhole or neckline. The first row of topstitching is not absolutely necessary. I like the look and the added strength, but you can omit this step if you wish.

With the right side of the dress facing up, sew a 2nd row of topstitching roughly 3/8" (8mm) from the edge of the armhole or neckline. You may have to adjust the distance from the edge, depending on the width of your bias. The 2nd row of topstitching should catch the outside edge of the bias binding, on the wrong side.

Below is the wrong side of the dress, showing the bias binding.

It's probably best to choose bias binding that will blend in with your dress, but the contrasting bias I've used allows you to see the steps clearly. 

Once again, I've used the Good Deeds Dress by Elysium, to make my 5th dress, towards my goal, sewing for Dress A Girl Around the World this year.

I'll be adding this dress to both the Dresses for Girls and the Sewing Tips and Techniques link parties, here at Threading My Way

... Pam


  1. Clever! Just had a 'why didn't I think of that?!' Moment. Thanks for sharing, I'll be sure to use this technique in the future, much more stable and yet delicate. :)

  2. The bias binding makes a really lovely finish - I like that it's folded to the inside - the two rows of stitching gives it a nicely polished and finished look. You're very brave to show us the project with a contrasting colour of binding - your stitching is so perfect!

    My only g-niece will be 1 in April - I think the 18 month size would be perfect on her for the coming summer - I REALLY should try this out. I was gifted some beautiful baby blue cotton eyelet fabric a while ago that would make a lovely summer dress ... old Aunt Sandra should put her zippers away temporarily and try something new and pretty!

  3. The contrasting bias looks really great in this dress!
    Is that a Japanese Owl print? It makes a lovely dress!

  4. Each new dress of yours becomes my favourite, but owls will be hard to beat!

  5. aaah! love those owls!What a lucky little girl to wear that dress.

  6. You are really whipping out those dresses Pam, another lovely one!

  7. Pam, this dress is beautiful. I love the owl fabric on the skirt, and the cross over top adds a nice detail to an otherwise simple design. I am now headed over to read about this Dress a Girl Around the World goal you have!

  8. Pam,this is an excellent tutorial, as one of my weak areas is sewing clothes, I find it very instructive. With the photos I could visualize the technique very well. Thanks for the instructions. Now I can say that I am ready to "Add Bias Binding to a Dress" ...
    Thank you.
    Marisa from

  9. I much prefer a bias finish than dealing with those silly armhole facings, especially in children's clothing. Thanks for the great tutorial.
    Donna @onceuponasewingmachine,com

  10. Thank you Pam for this tutorial and for linking up at my A New Creation link party! Your lessons really inspire me to get better at sewing clothes and to add those special touches. Wishing you well towards your goal of donating. You're doing a fabulous job!

  11. Great tutorial! I've used this technique before, but never for a neckline! What a great idea! You could add such a fun pop of color inside!
    Thanks for linking up!

  12. super cute! It's my first time here! Came over from Rae Gun... I've signed up to follow you by e-mail. I host a Tuesday Link party that is still open one more day... but would love for you to come link up next week too :o)

  13. Will this work for knits, also?

  14. Such a cute little dress :) I love the owls too!

    Sarah | Kids Clothing Designer


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