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This tutorial is part of the Back To Basics sewing tutorial series which is sponsored by Coats Crafts.

Bound Hem Tutorial

How to sew a bound hem with bias binding


Bound edge

This uses bias binding to hide the raw edge of the fabric. This is ideal if you have no length left to turn up on your fabric, or have no hem allowance.

Covering a hem with bias binding

Fold your bias binding exactly in half lengthways and iron. 

 Sewing a bound hem - instructions

Then open it out again and place the right side of the bias binding against the wrong side of the fabric around the edge you want to bind. Pin it into place easing (stretching gently) around the curves.  As per the photo, position the pin heads to the side which allows you to easily pull them out when you are stitching.

Sewing tutorials for beginners

Stitch along the crease closest to the edge of the fabric using a straight stitch removing pins as you go.

Fold the bias binding around the edge of the fabric to the right side of the fabric, enclosing the raw edge as you go.  Pin in place just over the line of machine stitches, easing it around the curves.

Sewing a bound hem around a curve

Top stitch from the right side of the fabric close to the edge, or you can zig zag over the edges if you aren’t too confident with doing a straight top stitch.  If you wanted to make a feature of it you could use a decorative stitch at this point.

Free dressmaking techniques

It may look a little bumpy at first but when pressed it will stretch around the corner in a neat manner.   If I had used a white thread here it would barely be visible.


This technique is useful for curved edges such as on necklines or armholes as an alternative to a curved hem.  You can either use a matching binding if you want it to blend in or a contrast binding or a decorative binding to make a feature of it.

Checked fabric is from the Petal collection by Tanya Whelan

Pins from Milward

Find the other tutorials in this series here.

Back to Basics dressmaking tutorials for beginners