Sunday, July 27, 2014

Top with Contrast Binding

This binding detail was inspired by a top I saw in RTW. If you own a coverstitch machine or serger that can attach a knit binding, this detail would be easy peasy to construct. But even without a special machine, it's not that hard to do.

I started with a TNT pattern - the Renfew, which I've made here and here. This knit is not very stretchy in the vertical direction, so I sewed in the bust darts. (By the way, I used a version of the Renfrew where I raised the neckline a bit.)

The binding is first attached vertically to the front pieces. In the RTW garment, they then placed the fronts, right sides together, and sewed a scant 1/6th of an inch seam to attach them together. I assembled them a little differently: I abutted the bound edges and whipstitched them, by hand, from the back. Once the fronts are attached to form a single unit, then the shoulder seams are sewn and the neck binding is attached, leaving a gap of about 1".

I used a black rayon/lycra jersey for the binding and I cut the strips 2" wide. I folded them in half, the long way, with both raw edges together, and sewed them to the front with a 1/4" seam. I then wrapped the folded edge around to the back and hand-stitched it in place. This makes a nice, beefy, double binding. If you have a thicker fabric, you might prefer a single binding.

I purchased this fabric last May at Santa Fe Fabrics when visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico. This printed knit is slightly crinkled and has what can only be described as a perforated texture. Very interesting.

Unfortunately I did have one mishap during construction. When serging the armscye seam, I caught the sleeve fabric in the serger blade.


Luckily I had enough fabric to cut another (slightly shorter) sleeve, but I was already thinking of a plan B and C in case that wasn't an option. (Plan B - solid black sleeves. Plan C - some sort of elaborate patch/seaming.)

For the last two days, I've been using my long walks to head to the mall. On Friday I walked to Union Square in downtown SF, and yesterday I walked to my local mall, also in SF. I just love checking out designer RTW and the fall fashions are arriving! Woot! Fall is my favorite time of year, fashion-wise. My mojo is flowing and I wish I had more time to sew!

Nordstroms in Union Square

And, just for fun...
A very tall sculpture at work, silhouetted by the sunrise.