Tutorial: Spandex Neck Binding

Here’s a hopefully easy tutorial for binding a stretchy neckline with matching fabric! I think this gives necklines a nice clean look similar to manufactured shirts.

20150516_191007Start with cutting out your strip of spandex, or other stretchy knit (I’m using a poly/cotton blend knit here). Make sure you are cutting it so that it stretches along the length if you are using a 2 way stretch fabric and that it is longer than the diameter of your neckline. I usually cut a two inch wide piece.

20150516_200702Pin and stitch your strip on to the neckline of your garment with right sides of the fabric together, and ends free at the center back of your neckline. For the ends at the back of the neck I’ll butt the pieces together with the excess hanging toward the inside of the strip, and start sewing from where it’s pinned directly on either side of the loose ends. Whatever you make your seam allowance will be how wide the binding ends up on your garment. I use about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Also, make sure to use a stretchy stitch! I use a zigzag stitch for this part.

20150516_201243Sew up your ends together with whichever stitch you prefer, and cut off any excess. If you don’t feel comfortable stitching the strip on exactly from center back to center back without going over the center back on either side give yourself a little wiggle room for sewing the ends together: start and finish your stitch from the previous step further out from the center back, then sew up the center back of the binding, and then finish stitching down your strip on the neckline over the center back where you left a little gap.

20150516_201524Flip your binding up. You may find it helpful to press it from the right side at this point. You would definitely do that if you were doing something similar with woven fabrics instead of knits. Here’s what your binding should look similar to from the inside of your garment at this point.

20150516_201856Fold the binding over the edge of the neckline to the inside of your garment and pin in place.

20150516_202327From the outside of your garment topstitch down your binding. Here I’m using the widest straight stretch stitch my machine will do directly below the seam created by first stitching the binding to the neckline. You may notice I have switched from my trusty teflon foot to a foot I can see through the middle of, so I can keep a better eye on exactly where my stitching is going.

20150516_203431Carefully trim off any excess binding you want to lose on the inside of your neckline. You can also press the binding for a final crispness after this if desired.

20150516_204416Check out your new bound neckline! This was for my Fionna shirt, so I wanted to put it together with the other costume pieces I had at this point.


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