If you don’t like raw seams on your garments or want to just give your necklines and armholes more of a couture makeover, then the Craftsy sewing class Sewing On The Edge will be of interest to you. This post will analyse each lesson of Sewing On The Edge, giving an overview of just what you can learn. Finally we consider what we personally thought of the class, considering the different skill levels of sewers out there.
Lynda Maynard has worked within the fashion industry for 35 years, and taught for 20 at various community colleges and workshops. She excels at couture techniques, fitting and pattern drafting. Since Lynda hates facings in garments, and prefers finishing her edges through other techniques such as adding bias binding, her experience and love of couture makes an interesting class to follow along.
Lesson One: Introduction
In the very first lesson Lynda teaches you how to find true bias on your fabric. Lynda teaches you how to prep a single and double fold bias strip, an essential technique to master for this class. Chances are that you cut strips that aren’t long enough to be used, so joining them is essential.
Lesson Two: Double Fold Bindings
In this lesson you will learn how to apply double fold binding to often considered difficult locations such as the neckline. Lynda suggests lining up the edge of your bias binding with your stay stitching lines; in most cases this means that your stitching will be at your ideal seam allowance width.
Lynda teaches you how to pin your binding in place to aid easier stitching, and if you prefer the more couture perfected look she further suggested hand basting the bias down to aid your final stitching.
Binding sheer fabric is slightly different to binding your common opaque fabric. Generally your sheers won’t be stabilised with interfacing or linings, os you will need to use an alternative such as organza or even tissue paper.
As an added bonus, Lynda teaches you how to add pre-made piping to the edges of your bias binding for that beautiful decorative effect.
Lesson Three: Single Fold Bindings
Single fold binding, traditionally known as baby french facing, is a great option for garments requiring facings whilst you don’t want a binding visible on the outside.
Binding On Knits
Since so many people find sewing with knits difficult, it would have been nice to really highlight this part of the lesson. Lynda covers a number of tips such as that knit fabric doesn’t always have the most stretch on the bias, so you won’t necessarily cut and prep your strips the “traditional” way.
Lesson Four: Banded V-Necks
Lynda teaches you the crossover V-Neck technique, not the traditional vertical seam line that falls directly at the junction of the V. She finds that the standard V-Neck shirt binding will often leave “creators” in the fabric where clipping occurs at the V junction. She also suggests her method as it’s easier to sew, and she feels has a slightly nicer appearance – especially since you don’t need to sew absolutely perfectly for the final result to look good.
Sewing With A Double Needle
To finish this lesson, Lynda demonstrates how to sew with a double needle to achieve a nice flattened seam that holds the the binding in place.
Lesson Five: Banded Curved Edges
If your shirt shoulders are just that bit too small for your liking, or perhaps doesn’t come to your shoulder joint, then adding a band to your shirt not only looks really decorative but also is quite functional. Banded sections don’t just need to be applied to your neckline (like what you will commonly find on V-Neck shirts, but can also be applied to armsyce to really provide a finished look.
This is a great lesson to follow along with the Banded V-Necks as it will teach you how to finish the centre back of your shirt, or of course just a curved neckline. Lynda also shows you the how to get a perfectly flat curve, which is by staggering your clippings between layers and pressing appropriately.
Lesson Six: Welt Edging and Flange Closure
Lynda finds that tubed edging is great for fabric that can be difficult to hem, such as curves like ruffles and flares.
Lynda teaches you how to create a perfect tube out of bias strip fabric, including tips such as how to ensure that the stitches won’t rip whilst turning right side out and how to avoid unnecessary wrinkles in the final product. You will use the same technique to make spaghetti straps for clothing.
Not only does Lynda teach you how to sew a flat welt edging, but she shows you how to create a small scalloped edge using a blind stitch on your sewing machine.
Lesson Seven: Hem Finishes
Lynda gives examples of a hidden banded hem for a straight and rounded hem, where in both situations the hem is turned to the inside to provide a finished interior seam without loosing length. She further teaches you how to sew horsehair to the garment to aid your hem from standing away from the body.
Lynda teaches you a really nice hem technique called the “organza bubble hem”. It simply looks like ruffles added to the hem. It’s purpose is genius; to stop your skirts from sliding between your legs whilst walking; we all have worn skirts that do that and it’s not only unsightly but also uncomfortable.
Lesson Eight: Decorative Finishes
The final lesson covers two techniques; the petersham peak seam and hong-kong seams. Of course, the petersham peak seam also includes steps for flat-felled seams, commonly found in jeans. The biggest alternative that Lynda’s approach is that her hong kong bindings are sewn before the two main fabric pieces are sewn together, rather than the common method of binding the raw edges after sewing the seam.
- A metric conversion PDF chart, that comes with most Craftsy classes.
- A Supplies and Instructions PDF that covers recommended supplies and instructions on how to join binding edges together (such as at centre back).
I love the finished looks of many of the bindings; they are really inspirational. The organza bubble hem is also quite ingenious and would solve many skirt issues; I can’t wait to try it out.
Lynda doesn’t cover all the techniques in the videos such as joining two bias binding edges together – though thankfully the provided materials has steps.
In many cases Lynda doesn’t actually sew the steps, but rather has multiple swatches pre-completed and she simply talks you through what she has done. I find that people find best by seeing the technique, not simply being told what someone did; it allows them to more easily follow along and practice the technique as it’s being done on the screen. To be honest this was my biggest gripe with Sewing on the Edge.
Unfortunately this class doesn’t cover all the steps in sewing bindings and thus would not be suitable for beginners. For example, unless a beginner is perceptive they will not know that they should be clipping their curves. Sewing on the Edge is best suited to intermediate sewers who want to experiment with altering their garments for slightly different looks, or to reduce bulk. Advanced sewers may benefit from this class as Lynda teaches techniques that vary from common applications, resulting in some beautiful work.
I was rather disappointed that majority of the steps in this class were shown through pre-made swatches rather than the traditional sewing-as-instructing approach. Having said this, the swatches are good enough for the average sewer to see what and how things were done, especially with Lynda’s explanation.