Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bias Binding Foot

Although you've not seen any photographic evidence of it (unless you follow me on Instagram), I've been slowly working on a Robson coat for the last month.  A while back I posted a picture of the bias binding foot I was using for finishing the edges, and it got quite a bit of interest.  So yesterday as I was using it I took some video to show you guys how it works.

First off, here are some pictures of what the foot looks like.  There are a couple of different styles, and this one was included in the set of hemming feet my mom gave me for my birthday this year - just like the ones I oohhed and ahhed over at her house this fall!  My foot already has the binding threaded through it so you can see how that goes.



Before I read the instructions for this foot, I thought all those openings on the side were just for decoration, or to make the foot lighter in weight.  But they serve a purpose!  You thread your binding through the one closest in size.  Here I'm using 1/2" single-fold binding, and it goes into the biggest slot.  So I'm not sure this foot is super versatile; I don't see myself ever using any binding narrower than 1/2". 

Still, it made applying the binding so much quicker.  It took some practice to figure out the right configuration for my task, but not nearly as much as the narrow rolled hem foot (which I still haven't mastered).  I was able to use this for all but the bulkiest and most curved of my edges, so probably 75% of my edges on this coat will have been bound this way by the time I'm done.

What I found to be the most important thing while using this foot is to keep both the fabric and the binding lifted upwards as they feed in, and to keep the fabric edge right up against the inside of the foot, like this:


(Note that in the above photo, I'm pulling both the fabric and the binding down so you can see the foot.)

Once you've gotten used to holding them that way, it's pretty easy actually!  I just made sure to sew slowly, constantly checking to see that everything was in line.

Here are two little videos showing the foot in action, shown from slightly different angles.



Do any of you have this foot?  Have you used it?  Are you tempted to get one?  I've really been having fun playing with mine!

39 comments:

  1. Thats an incredible looking thing - I've never seen anything like it! Makes a tricky job a bit easier, once you get the hang of it, I imagine!

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  2. I have a ton of these types of feet - all vintage - and I really need to get to grips with them. Thanks for the video!

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    1. It looks so old-fashioned, I was a bit surprised to find that they're still made in this style! But I guess if something works, no need to change it!

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  3. Oh my gosh that's amazing!

    It looks scary and terrifying and impossible! But amazing!!! Hahaha!

    I need to learn to use my narrow hem foot.

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    1. It's really not scary at all! WAY less scary than the narrow hem foot!

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  4. Freaky looking foot! But I think I need to get one now after seeing that! ;-)

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    1. I wasn't sure I'd ever use it, but I think it might end up being the most-used foot in the set I got! Quite handy!

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  5. that is so cool! i had eyed a binding foot a while back but never bought one. i can't imagine making this coat and binding all those edges without one though. can't wait to see the completed coat!

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    1. I think you ought to get one of these! I'm envisioning using it for Hong Kong finishing and bias binding more unlined jackets.

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  6. I have one for my Featherweight but have yet to use either. The Featherweight needs to be serviced before I dabble with her. And I keep forgetting to do that. But what a useful little foot. Anything that saves in time is awesome.

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    1. I agree - I think this baby saved me a lot of time on this project!

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  7. Whoa, that's amazing! I didn't even know this foot existed... I think first I need to figure out that narrow hem foot!

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    1. It is kind of obscure, but I think it shouldn't be!

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  8. The narrow hem foot and I don't see eye to eye either. This foot looks awesome and I've considered getting one a few times now. The video was super helpful :D Thanks Gail! (can't wait to see the coat!)

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    1. Glad it was helpful! I think this is such a great tool, I was really inspired to share how it works!

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  9. I have a bias binding foot, but I don't often use it. It is fun to play with different finishing feet. I wish I had more options.

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    1. I agree - I love trying out different feet. I'm slowly accumulating quite a collection :-)

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  10. I would love one of these! I dread applying bias binding.

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    1. I think this is a worthwhile purchase, if you can find one that goes with your machine!

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  11. OMG, I had no idea a bias-binding foot existed until now! My eyes have been open to all the possibilities! I'm working on a repro 1940s apron that has miles of bias binding, and this would be oh-so handy!

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    1. I didn't know they existed either, until I was inspecting all the feet that go with my mom's vintage Kenmore when I visited her this fall! At first we had no idea what it was for - we had to look it up in the book! I'm so glad I got my own so I don't have to have foot envy any more, LOL!

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  12. I want one! I love bound seams but the amount of time it takes to add it means I don't use it as often as I would like.

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    1. I do love specialty feet, and of all the ones I have, I think this one will prove to be very useful!

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  13. I bought one of these for my machine a couple months ago, but I haven't used it yet. I've been afraid of it because I've had such terrible luck with my rolled hem foot, so it's good to hear that someone who has the same problem has gotten the bias binder to work! I feel encouraged and will have to try it out now because bias binding is so tedious!

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    1. This one is so much easier than the rolled hem foot. I'm really glad I tried it out, because I also find applying bias tape tedious! This makes a big difference.

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  14. i got two for different sizes. i agree it makes the task much easier and should use again this weekend for the second time. i found it hard to use on 90 degree angles. have you tried that?

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    1. Yikes! No - I'm nowhere near brave enough to try it on a 90 degree angle!

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  15. So cool! Thanks for the videos, you make it look easy to use!

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  16. Wow! Sorry to be a bit dense Gail, but am I right in presuming it avoids you having to stitch the bias binding on twice? It allows you to sandwich the fabric and catch both edges of the bias at once (I've tried to use bias this way before and it was so messy I gave up and did the traditional double stitch).

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    1. You presume correctly - ONE pass! The foot holds the bias tape perfectly centered so that as long as you keep everything lined up, you stitch through all layers at once!

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  17. I WANT ONE! But I'm almost scared to see how much such a foot would cost for a Bernina...

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    1. Oy, for sure! Those feet oughta be made of gold, they're so expensive!

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  18. An interestingly shaped contraption. I say anything to make a crafty task easier is well worth it.

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  19. Wow! That's amazing! It looks so great! I often avoid bias binding, even though I like how it looks, since it's so tedious. I should check out getting one of these for my Janome! Also, I'm loving the orange and blue together- can't wait to see your coat!!!

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    1. I used this on my Kenmore, but all my Kenmore feet can also go on my Janome. So this one would work. The set is from the "Distinctive" brand on Amazon :-)

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  20. OMG that would change my life.

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