Trying to understand bias armhole instructions… 

7 Apr

I am so confused! 

In terms of clothes, I have only previously made the Collette sorbetto top. I posted about it, and was convinced that the damp fabric was the problem so I made another, with homemade bias binding, and the fit still wasn’t for me. Nonetheless, I now have two comfy pajama tops and learned how to do visible binding on necklines and arm holes, so I’ll take that as a positive learning experience :-)

But now a Simplicity pattern has me completely stumped. 

I already had to go elsewhere for help on how to do a neckline with interfacing – tutorial from Tilly here. Having finally worked out the logistics of the neckline, my sewing machine gave up and stopped sewing properly (loops underneath, skipping threads, breaking threads) so I packed it away. Now, two months later, I have given the machine a clean and oil and I’ve finished the neckline (yay! Another technique learned) but have the arm holes to contend with now….

“Open out one edge of single fold bias tape. With RIGHT sides together, pin tape to armhole edge having crease 3/8″  from raw edge, turning under and lapping one end at side seam. Stitch. LAYER seam.

UNDERSTITCH tape. Turn tape to INSIDE; press. Baste close to inner edge. On OUTSIDE, top-stitch as basted.”

I think the bit I need help with is that in bold. I have tried to find tutorials online that use similar words so I can be sure that I’m doing the right thing but no luck. I don’t *think* the bias binding is supposed to be visible….

If you know a good tutorial you can point me to, I’d be very grateful! I’m looking forward to eventually finishing making this item but I keep getting lost :-(


4 Responses to “Trying to understand bias armhole instructions… ”

  1. seesawyer 07/04/2018 at 12:33 #

    That is confusingly worded. I believe the “turn under and lap” refers only to the end of the tape – so it is saying, sew the tape around the armhole edge at 3/8″ like you think you should, but when you get to the ends of the tape, do some extra folding. The extra folding is: with the garment RS/tape WS facing you, fold up one end of the tape so you have a little tab of tape RS facing you. Then pin the tape all around the armhole, and when you get to the other end of the tape, overlap it over the folded end and leave about 1/2″-1″ of overlap when you cut the tape. From the tape RS, this will hide all raw edges. The “Stitch” instruction you have bolded is just the 3/8″ tape-to-garment seam around the circumference of the armhole (the ends of the tape are not required to be sewn together where they overlap, although you can if you want). The tape will stop being visible when you turn it to inside in the second paragraph. Hope that helps!

    • Creative Saturdays 07/04/2018 at 19:42 #

      Ah! Thank you so much! It actually wasn’t too bad to do once you told me that. The only reason I’m responding so late is that I thought I wouldn’t get a response for ages, so went into town to see if any sewing books included this in their techniques section (if they did I’ve had bought it to save me from future potential panics too!). But you responded so quickly thank you!! I have done one armhole, now just have to do the other one, and finish the rest of the garment, and I’ll be able to share it on here soon!
      Thank you again :D I hope you’re having a great weekend!

      • seesawyer 07/04/2018 at 21:53 #

        Glad to be of help ^.^ I do a lot of Simplicity patterns so I guess I speak their language :P


  1. I made my first dress! New Look 6431 | Creative Saturdays - 14/04/2018

    […] binding – I had no idea what I was doing and the pattern was confusing, as I mentioned in my previous post and seesawyer helped me out by commenting with the answer! For the future I found this […]

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