August 7, 2012

Evil Jersey Edge Binding

I'm back from vacation! Two weeks being outside in nature every day, fishing, hiking, and no internet access... it was very relaxing, but I'm glad to be connected to the sewing world again!

The last project I finished before going on vacation was a small one: a present for a friend who gave birth to a little boy about four weeks ago.

It is a sleeping bag for babies, made from a (boy appropriate) printed cotton and cotton jersey as lining.
It has an in-seam side zipper and snaps at the shoulders. The pattern is from Burda magazine 3/2011.

I allowed myself a little joke and added my own "fashion label" at the bottom, the sort I only used for my husbands shorts so far.

I also cut out some single birds of the scraps and padded them.

They were made into a mobile later, hung up on a music stand! (Doesn't that look like a happy little baby?)

So, it seems to be an easy little project, right?
But. I had to face a sewing problem that is a really awful one for me, a sewing technique that I never got right in the past and with this project, it wasn't better.

I'm talking about binding the edges of the neck opening with jersey.
Like always, and according to the instructions, I first attached the jersey tape to the edge, then fold in the free edge of the tape and turned the binding to the inside of the sleeping bag.
It still looked quite nice when pinned:

 Then I did the topstitching and as always the tragedy started. The jersey stretched out whereas the neckline didn't, the foot of my sewing machine pushed the jersey in waves that became bigger and bigger... I ended up with sewing the whole neckline without pulling the pins out, sewing over all of them (yes I know I shouldn't do that).

So that is how it turned out:

Not very nice, but acceptable for me. (My demandings for this are quite low, since I had only bad results with this in the past).

But the inside part looks really awful!

The seams are wonky and you can see very clearly where the pins have been.
Luckily, my friend who got this for her baby didn't care and likes the sleeping bag nevertheless (this is how you get to know your real friends!). But I'm not satisfied with getting results like that.
I have also tried using my cover locker for this, but that was even worse (the cover locker doesn't go around curves easily).

So, does anyone of you know how to do better than me? Then, please, tell me, I would be very happy about any hints!


  1. Marie, Bienvenida!!!!
    El saco de dormir te ha quedado muy bien, es muy vistoso y muy bonito.
    Poner un bies por fuera de punto es muy dificil y para mí te ha quedado bastante bien... Trucos: Pues despues de colocar alfileres, plancharlo muy bien y muy muy despacio ir cosiendo. No se me ocurre nada más.
    Resultado: Un saco muy bonito..

    Marie, Welcome!!
    The sleeping bag you have been very good, is very colorful and very pretty.
    Put an outside bias point is very difficult and for me has been pretty good you ... Tips: Well after placing pins, iron it well and go very slowly sewing. I can think of nothing else.
    Result: A very nice bag ..

    1. Hi Sonia,

      thank you for your comment! Ironing is what I did, which is the reason why the whole thing came out better than usual! Still not perfect, though... Seems that sewing isn't always that easy!

  2. Hi marie, well done! The colour combination is great and i like the fashion label!
    On the binding, you can try using basting tape to hold the binding in place before sewing or use fusible stay tape to stabilize the fashion fabric before basting the binding. Hope that helps.

    1. Thank you so much for your hints! I don't know what basting tape is and if we have it here in Switzerland, but I will look for it! Maybe also hand basting would be an idea, didn't think of that before!

  3. You definitely chose great colours. Sosewlovely is right. basting tape or basting spray will help and I would have struggled with this tiny piece of beautiful work. Very cute work!

    1. Thank you! I'm impressed over the fact that there is something like basting spray! I will have to look for that... hope I can get it here!

  4. The colour combination is terrific, and those curves are really fiddly to sew. I like to use a walking foot for this sort of thing,as it helps to prevent the different fabrics shifting against each other, but with the strong curves, would probably hand baste it first. The outside looks just fine how you have done it, so you are tough on yourself!


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