Category Archives: Everything Else

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December MIY Maker

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How to Apply Bias Binding as a Facing to a V-Neck (an excerpt from my Refashioners 2016 “Jeanius” project)

It’s my turn today in Portia’s August spectacular blog series “The Refashioners”. This year the theme is “Jeanius” and I’m not going to give the whole game away here, so hop over to Portia’s blog to see the whole shebang.

attaching bias binding as a facing to a vneck

However, what I did end up doing with my project was, without even planning to, write a detailed step-by-step tutorial for how to achieve my favourite edge finish on a V-neck. So I’m going to just share that bit as a mini self-contained tutorial. Here goes:

 1.  Position the end of the bias binding beyond the intersection of the two seam allowances at the point of the V neck on the right side of the garment and pin in place. (I also tacked mine in place to make sure I was super accurate at the point of the V – start your tacking at the intersection of the two seam allowances at the point of the V and tack along the crease line in the binding.)

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2.  It helps to pin the overhanging end of the binding back on itself so that when the other end of the binding reaches the intersecting seam allowances at the point of the V you can place it in exactly the right place.

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3.  Your tacking should stop in exactly the same position at the point of the V as it started on the other end of the binding. Machine in place.

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4.  Snip into the seam allowance of the garment as close as you dare to the point of the V.

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5.  Let the bias binding fold back on itself to cover your stitching and then fold it around completely to the inside of the neck.

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6.  The two ends of the bias binding will overlap each other.

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7.  Wrap one end of the binding around the other.

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8.  Cut off the longer end of the bias binding that isn’t tucked under and pin and tack the whole of the binding in position close to the loose edge.

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9. Machine the binding in place from the right side of the garment following your tacking.

NOTE: some people like to understitch the first line of machining (after step 4). It can help to keep the binding on the wrong side of the garment. I don’t always understitch, only if I’m working with particularly bouncy fabric.

Ta-dah here’s how it turned out on my Refashioners project:


If you fancy having a go at making your own bias binding, you can find my tutorial for making continuous strip bias binding here, it’s quick and a really thrifty way to use up leftover fabrics – a 47cm square can make 7.5m of bias binding!!

All My Sewing With Knits Tutorials & Guides – all in one place!


I’ve created a new category: “Sewing with Knits” it links to everything I’ve ever written on sewing with stretch knit fabrics so it’s easier for you to find.


Clothes That Tell Stories


I love clothes that wear thin and fade and take on the shape of their wearer. Especially in these days of so-called “fast” and “disposable” fashion.

These are my winter gloves given to me by my dad.  They’re a little big for me and have kept the shape of my dad’s hands, I’m still coaxing them to mould to mine.

These gloves and my last post got me thinking during this most consumption driven time of the year.

I have a great dislike for “ready aged” garments; jeans sold with faded patches and rips, I feel it’s a reflection of our impatient society that people can’t wear a garment long enough to achieve this cherished wear and tear organically. Authenticity and history has to be earned and takes time.

I love to see an authentically aged, worn and torn garment with a bit of honest mending. Take a look at Tom of Holland‘s visible mending work and a gorgeous collaboration he recently worked on with Brighton vintage shop Wolf & Gypsy.

If you want more, also have a search online for Japanese boro textiles; and the quilts of Gees Bend. Just beautiful and a beauty that was born out of necessity and functionality that makes it all the more beautiful in my book.

“Slow Fashion” and “Slow Textiles” are ideas that have been around for a while in the textile art world, but seem to be gaining some momentum in the crafting world. I wonder, is it because this insatiable impatience for a quick fix that we all seem to have is now creeping into our sewing? I saw this great video on the BBC website recently about designer Carin Mansfield who sells beautiful clothes that are crafted to last and “Slow Stitch” a book by textile artist Claire Wellesley-Smith has been on my wish list for too long. Ruth Singer is another textile artist that has written some great books on textile manipulation and uses a lot of “slow” textile processes in her work and her current exhibition “Narrative Threads” explores the emotions, histories, stories and memories caught up in textiles.

Creativity is always at its best with limited materials or techniques available, it’s a great practice to test your creativity, give it a try.  Anyone can throw money at a project, it takes true creativity to make the best of what you have and I find work in this style to be the most inspiring.

I hope you enjoy your sewing in 2016 and cherish the process as well as the end result.

Is Sewing Good For You?


Dear lovely reader, I’m writing something about the positive effects (mental + physical) of sewing, crafting and making with your hands. Do you have experiences (either yours or witnessed in others) that you are willing to share and would be happy to be quoted on?

I can keep names anonymous if you’d rather, just let me know. If you prefer, you can email me on post{at}

Thank you!

Make-It-Yourself March – list of daily topics!

miymarch daily list make-it-yourself march

So, are you going to be joining me and Crafty and Cake for a whole month of noseying at what other people are stitching?!

Make-It-Yourself March or MIYmarch will be starting on Sunday. The full monty description of what’s involved and how to play is here.

I’m looking forward to seeing your pics…….

Make-It-Yourself March – want to join in?

MIY March - make it yourself march instagram

In celebration of sewing and dressmaking and the Sewing Bee on television and all things you made yourself, me and Emma aka Crafty & Cake are hosting a month long photo-a-day challenge over on Instagram.  We want to know what you’re making, what you want to make, your making inspiration, where you make, what you make with and your best and worst making moments!

Each day will have a theme that we’ll post at the start of the day and you just need to post a sewing and/or dressmaking-related photo or photos on Instagram, tag us (@thewendyward and @craftyandcake) and use the hashtag #miymarch

Hopefully you’ll be inspired by everyone else’s photos, meet some new online buddies and have a bit of fun appreciating the fruits of your labours! Every day Emma and I will choose our favourite 4 images to showcase at the end of the day.

What’s not to like?!

You can play on Twitter too – use the same names @thewendyward and @craftyandcake and the #miymarch hashtag and let’s celebrate your dressmaking achievements, inspirations, secrets and sewing goals.

Celebrate Making It YOURSELF!!