Floral Robson trench: adventures in bias binding

robson-trench-practice-bias-trim

[Oops!  I hit publish on this post before I finished writing it!  Hopefully those of you who read this post early enjoyed my slew of photos with no explanations. 🙂 ]

Work on my floral Robson trench continues!  I’m happy to report that I seem to have found some motivation to actually work on this project now that (a) the epic cutting part is complete, and (b) the cool fall weather is arriving.  Today’s installment: bias binding.  One of the defining features of my trench (aside from the beautiful floral fabric, of course!) will be black bias binding that will boldly outline various parts of the coat, including the collar and lapels.

This past weekend I started binding a few of the small pieces: the pocket welts and shoulder epaulettes.  It was… time consuming.  Of course.  This is me we’re talking about, after all.  🙂  I’ve been mitering the corners, which is both extremely fiddly and extremely satisfying.  I bound a total of 4 pieces, and each took about 45 minutes!  But, I really like the finished effect, and I think it will give the trench a unique touch.

I took a few in-progress photos of my ad-hoc (aka totally made-up) binding technique.  I’m using what is essentially double-fold bias tape that I cut from a black cotton/linen blend, and I’ve folded over the 5/8″ seam allowance on the part that gets folded over to the back.  The rest of the folds get made during application.  If you have any advice on how to apply the tape and miter the corners better than what I’m doing here, I’m all ears!

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Blazer construction = sewing heaven

Blazer progress 1 - entire garment

Blazer construction is in full swing here at Chez Allspice, and let me tell you, this is quite an adventure!  I’m so glad I decided to tackle a more challenging garment because I’m learning so much with each step.  Sometimes it’ll take me an entire hour just to pin a seam, but eventually I’ll get that enlightening moment where I say to myself, “Aha!  That’s what I’m supposed to be doing!”  Don’t you just love it when you achieve sewing enlightenment?  : )

I snapped a few in-progress shots to show you what I’ve been up to.  Please excuse the graininess – I took these at night with my crappy camera.  (My future fancy camera is only a PhD away, haha.)

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Finishing an armhole with bias tape

Finished bias tape armholeWondering how to finish the armhole of your sleeveless garment?  Bias tape!  I am in awe of its magical powers, seriously.  I used this tutorial over at Amanda’s Adventures in Sewing to finish the armholes of my red polka dot dress, and it worked fabulously.  Thanks Amanda!  (BTW, her blog is filled with amazing handmade garments – go check it out!)  This was my first attempt at using bias tape  and my first time finishing armholes, so needless to say, it was a bit of an adventure.  However, I’m happy to report that it was a success.  Awesome!  Here’s what I did:

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