Invisible Stitch Knit Binding

Monday, April 16, 2018

I love learning new sewing techniques, and when I do, I like to pass them along to you. We have previously posted 3 techniques for knit binding, so today I bring you a fourth with a special twist. The stitching is nearly invisible!! This binding method also reduces a little bulk if you happen to be using a thicker rib knit for the binding. I am using the Modkid Malibu Dress for this example, but the technique can be applied in multiple situations. Be sure to check out our Malibu Sew-Along for additional tips.

If you are new to sewing with knits, be sure to check out our Tips for Sewing with Knits. You will notice my binding strip is slightly shorter than the fabric piece. Binding should always be stretched slightly as you sew, so the end result will lay flat. Keep this in mind as we proceed. The seam allowance for the pattern is 1/2" and the binding width is 1.5". I am using ribbed knit in this case, but other knit types with good stretch and recovery would work well here. This technique would not apply to woven binding.

First, stitch the binding to the main fabric right sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance and a stretch stitch, stretching the binding slightly as you stitch. Here, I have used my serger that trimmed the seam allowance as I sewed. If you are using a regular sewing machine, be sure to stitch with a stretch stitch. Then trim the seam allowance to 1/4". A stretch thread such as Maxi-lock thread in your bobbin with provide additional stretch to the seam.

Press the seam open and the seam allowance toward the binding.

Wrap the binding around the seam allowance to the wrong side and press well.

Select a straight stitch on your machine. The triple stitch, number 6 on my machine, is perfect in this situation. It makes a straight stitch that still stretches by creating 3 back and forth stitches for every 1 stitch in length. Melissa of Melly Sews recently posted a great video showing this stitch. I recommend, again, using stretch thread in your bobbin. If your machine does not have the triple stitch, using a long straight stitch with stretch thread in the bobbin may still work. Test out the stretch to make sure it is sufficient.

To create the "invisible" stitch, you will stitch in the ditch between the main fabric and the binding. An edge stitch or blind hem foot can help keep the alignment here.

For best results, match the thread to the main fabric not the binding. You can just barely see the stitches in the lighter stripe of the fabric.

The raw edge of the binding remains exposed on the wrong side of the fabric, but one of the beauties of sewing with knits is that the fabric will not unravel. If the raw edge tends to curl, you can trim it a bid closer to the stitch line.

Always give your garment a nice, steamy press when complete to make sure any knit that gets slightly stretched in the process of sewing shrinks up to it intended shape.

Other patterns where this method might come in handy are the Modkid Lexi and the Malibu Misses. Be sure to let us know if you give this a try! 

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