How to sew a continuous bound opening

This is a lovely way to neaten an opening on lightweight fabrics

Continuous bound opening

A continuous bound opening is a beautiful way to neaten an opening. It works well as both a sleeve opening or at the back neckline. It is a more delicate method than the traditional placket opening and so more suited to finer, delicate fabrics like a cotton lawn or silk crêpe de Chine.

You will need strip of fabric for the binding that is twice as long as the opening and about 2.5cm wide.

How to sew a bound opening

Start by marking the opening placement line on to the right side of the garment.

Using a shorter than usual stitch length, sew a line 3mm from the placement line up one side, pivot at the end of the placement line, sew across the top of the placement line and pivot 3mm away from the line to sew back down the other side. 

Very carefully with nice sharp scissors cut through the placement line, stop just short of the end and snip a Y shape into the corners of the rectangle taking care not to snip through your stitching. 

Press under 0.5cm along one long edge of the binding. 

Place the right side of the un-pressed edge of the binding to the wrong side of the cut opening. Open the cut gap and lay along the length of the binding. The centre of the opening will sit away from the edge of the binding but that’s fine. Pin it in place.

Usually the right sides are sewn together but here if the binding is attached to the wrong side first the top stitching is done from the right side making it easier to sew in nice and close to the edge while still catching everything down.

Sew with the cut opening on the top so you can check to make sure everything is caught in place. Sew 0.5cm away from the edge of the binding.

Carefully press the binding towards the seam allowance. Fold over the binding to the right side of the garment bringing the folded edge of the binding so it sits just over the line of stitching. Pin in place. Edge stitch the binding down so it covers the previous row of sewing. Press the binding flat.

To finish, fold the binding together and sew diagonally across the top of the binding. This just holds it all in place neatly.