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Monday, March 12, 2012

A Conversation on Taking up Shoulders with Bias Binding

I had a nice conversation with reader Ann this week. Here is our correspondence. She actually clarified the instructions I had given her. Sometimes what I type and the ideas I want to covey are not always the same. It's nice to see a success story!

thanks for this website! Very generous of you! My question is this: how does one handle bias trim when taking up shoulder strap on a tank top- you end up with excess trim at shoulder when take in the shoulder and it looks ugly if you cut the trim and sew one end on top of the other. Hope this makes sense! Thank you!

Hi Ann

Thanks for your kind words! That's such a great question. I haven't done that alteration in quite a while. What I can suggest, is to rip the stitching where the bias binding is attached to the shirt. Go further than you need to, so it is unattached 1 1/2" or so past the new shoulder seam. That way you have a little extra room to manipulate. Next, put right sides together (you have to "flip" the ends inside out) and stitch your bias tape seam right sides together. Trim seam allowance, flip back, press seam open, then position next to the shoulder area. Stitch it to the t shirt in the same way it was originally. This sound a little confusing, as I reread! I hope it makes sense to you. See if it works to reduce that bulk. Please keep in touch and let me know how that works.

Hi Maripat,

Thanks for your reply! I think you were saying that I should spread open the bias trim as wide as it will go (i. e. open up the fold) and then seam it to take up the excess. Then once the bias trim seam is trimmed etc. fold it over the garment edge (which has also been taken in) and apply it to the garment edge like before. No need to respond to this unless I'm way off base as now that I've written it down I think I get it! I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond! Regards, Ann

And finally she writes...

Maripat, Thanks so much- that technique worked very well-and it looked so much better than my previous unprofessional looking attempts. I'll continue to peruse your site! Thanks again! Ann

Go tackle something new this week. Practice on an old garment if you want to. You will surprise yourself at how well you can accomplish a new goal. Leave a comment if you've been brave this week!

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