Ever wonder what binding is or how it is used? When I started sewing I totally avoided binding anything – that included ALL patterns that required binding. I guess it was because of the unknown and then top-stitching. Now I am slowly jumping in and challenging myself more with different patterns – regardless if they have binding or not. Sometimes it is also fun to add binding to give a unique design to the pattern.
A sewing machine (using a single or double needle) or coverstitch are perfect for binding. The size of binding varies greatly on the pattern and what you are binding. Like I previously mentioned some patterns require binding – For example, the Fav. Tee by Patterns for Pirates has a much smaller binding space making it much more challenging (as the fabric is may 4 inches long that needs binding) verses the Stitch Upon A Time Boxerwear fly option that requires binding. The width of the binding varies as well. While some patterns may not have the option or require binding, the addition of binding would add a new look to the design.
One option would be to add your own unique binding to a pocket. You create your own binding using your own fabric – some seamstresses also use bias tape. I prefer to make my own using fabric from my stash.
Here I am making my own binding for pockets using the New Horizons Designs Girls Portlanders. The addition of binding can be done to just about any pocket pattern but measurements would of course vary due to the size of the pocket.
First I cut out all of my pattern pieces including pocket pattern pieces according to the directions (mirror images). I used the size 5T pockets (for sizing reference). Don’t forget to mark your front short pieces and pocket pieces with their notch markings. As you may noted I have already cut the binding.
I measured the distance from the end of the pocket (the straight edge which would be folded under and eventually top stitched which was 3/4 inch). Remember the opening of the pocket will be slanted but you want your binding to be cut straight.
I double the measurement of the fold which ended up being 1.5 inches. So to ensure that I would have enough fabric coverage when folded over top – I rounded up and used 2 inches. It is always better to have too much then not enough. So I cut two strips of fabric (mirror images) at 2 inches wide and 6 inches tall. Remember these numbers will vary based upon the size of the pocket you will be using. I got the number 6 for my length by rounding up my measurement from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket where it folds.
Now that we have our binding fabric pieces cut. They are ready to be sewn into place. Measure 3/4 inches from the edge of the straight edge of the pocket piece and this is where you will place your fabric strip.
Make sure that your pieces are right sides together. Fold over the pocket’s folding tab sandwiching the binding piece in place. You should have a piece that now looks like this.
Now it’s time to sew them into place….You can sew or serge with 3/8 inch seam allowance so that you still have guidance of the exact amount that needs to be folded behind the pocket. Have the pocket with the right side of the fabric facing up and the binding should be with the right side facing the pocket (so it should be wrong side up).
Remember that we will need to have enough fabric left over to fold on the suggested fold line of the original patterns directions.
You will then fold your binding in half so it aligns with the serged or sewn seen on the back. Then you can top stitch it into place. It should look like this or similar to this after top stitching. (Left shows the back and Right shows the front)
Now that we have added some fun binding to our pockets, we will follow the directions for the remainder of the pattern to complete our shorts! You may also use this for the portlander pants as well or any other pocket pattern that has a similar style.
Rainbow Double Brushed Poly Fabric: Knitpop
Doodles Silver Star on Gray: Joann Fabrics
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something using the links, a small portion of your purchase will get recycled into my sewing habit at no additional cost to you! Thank you for keeping my habit going.