I’ve started working on my winterized BurdaStyle twisted dress, the one that I mentioned the other day as wanting to shorten and add sleeves to. Step one is to clean up the back v-neck edge with some self binding. I really like this step – the way the instructions have you do it makes a great V. (Yes, I did just compliment BurdaStyle instructions.) After the bit of magic that makes the perfect V shape, the instructions have you fold the binding over to the underside of the garment to encase the raw edges. They then suggest you topstitch 1/4″ away from the edge to lock the binding in place.
This method works perfectly fine.
But, what I like to do instead is use my stitch-in-the-ditch foot (aka edge-joining foot) to get the binding stitched down perfectly along its edge. It takes a tiny bit more time because I have to hunt through my collection of feet in order to find my stitch-in-the-ditch foot, but I think it saves time in the end because the foot does all the thinking for me once it’s on the machine. You see, this foot has a blade down its center. If you place that blade in a seam and have your needle set to its center position, then your needle will stitch directly in the seam, or in the ditch as they say. But, if you scoot the needle a bit to one side or the other, the needle will stitch just along the edge of whatever the blade is against. And, each stitch is exactly the same distance away from center as every other stitch since the distance between the blade and the needle never changes. It makes for some pretty perfect edge stitching.
In the case of the neck binding here, I threw my stitch-in-the-ditch foot on my machine, moved my needle a smidge over to the left, lined the blade on the foot up with the edge of the binding, and stitched away. Hopefully it’s clear from the photo below.
Easy peasy, right?! But, it does require having an extra foot in your sewing arsenal. Anyone have any tips for perfect edge stitching for those without a stitch-in-the-ditch foot?