No 1 Bound Bias Binding Edge with Quilters Mitred Corners
This edge is 1cm (3/8") wide finished and is the narrowest measurement I have been able to sew that didn't pull away under pressure. You could of course use a wider bias binding.
When machine stitching on the hemp fabric you will find that it doesn't look quite straight. This is because the needle bounces to the side of the hemp threads and is very noticeable if using a contrasting thread. You can't see it at all if you use a self coloured thread.
You could round your corners and just sew one continuous binding around your piece. I have square edges on this mat so have used a quiter's mitre.
Make sure that you withdraw threads in both direction, on all sides, to mark the size of your piece, then cut to size along this mark. (Because the threads are "chunky" you may not get an accurate line if using a pen or tailor's chalk.)
Cut your bias binding 4cm wide (1 1/2"). You will need to measure the perimeter of your item plus another 30cm (12") to allow for corners and finishing join. This allowance is generous and you will have fabric left over but that is better than having to join another length of bias binding if you are a bit short.
I want to have a machine stitch finish on the front of my work so am beginning on the back. If you want to finish with a hand hemmed stitch finish , start on the front.
I like to mark my mitre point at the corners with a tacking stitch. This gives me a clear mark where to turn. (Five threads from the edge of this fabric is equal to 1cm. It is the same width as the presser foot on my Bernina sewing machine. Many brands of sewing machine have the same width of foot and this is a good quide to keep your seam straight.)
Start at the middle of a long side, leaving a 15cm tail of bias binding and pin in position ending at your corner mitre marks. Using a straight stitch, a little longer than normal, sew to this mark and stop with needle down, pivot and sew OUT off the edge.
Hold your bias strip level with the corner and fold back at 45 degree angle. Fold again level with the top edge and the side and pin in position.
On this next side, sew IN from the edge to the 1cm mark, pivot and continue onto the next corner to the tack mark, pivot and sew OUT off the edge. Repeat this at each corner
After sewing your last corner stop and join your bias strip so that it fits the perimeter of your piece. Trim the seam and continue sewing until all the strip is attached to the edge.
Your stitching should look like this. That is, you sew in from the edge at the mitre mark, pivot, sew to the next mitre mark, pivot and sew off the edge. You repeat this for each corner. If you sew past the mitre point you will catch the folded edge of the bias strip on the other side of your work. By just meeting at the corners the bias will turn unhindered to the other side.
Turn your work to the right side and press the seam to set it. Fold the edge of your bias strip under all the way around to set a 1cm width to the binding. It will sit in an awkward position on the corners at this time.
Turn this fold to just cover your stitching and pin in position. When you reach the corner lay flat until you reach the mitre point.
Turn the edge of your bias strip to meet the edge you have just completed at the mitre point. Tack into position. I find the tacking keeps those edges and corners accurate.
Lengthen you stitch a little more, (so that everything lies flat) and stitch close to the edge all the way around your piece.
By placing a sheet of printer paper in the corner you can check that your corner is square.
By binding your fabric with this bias edge you are able to have a finished product that lays flat and the fabric will not fray at the edges. I have found this a most successful method to use when working with hemp fabric.