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Finishing your quilt coat- inside and outside seams and binding

We are almost there! You should now have something that looks like this (with pockets)- a functioning quilt coat, but with lots of unfinished seams 

(Sorry - this is of another quilt coat- I forgot to take one at this stage of the original!) 

To finish off these seams, we are going to use binding in two ways:

  • Double fold binding to finish off the inside seams. You can either make this from your lining fabric or use a contrasting fabric. NB: If you really don't want to do this step (as it involves hand sewing), you could consider either serging/ overlocking your inside seams or zig zag stitching them. But I promise this method is worth it- you've spent so much time on your quilt coat, you owe it to yourself to finish it properly :-) UPDATE: I have posted a quick tutorial to instagram showing a new way of doing the inside binding which involves only hand stitching one side and is a bit quicker. You can find that here
  • Single fold quilt binding to finish off your outside seams. Once again, you can either make this from your outer or lining fabric or use a contrasting fabric. 

I recommend doing the inside seam binding first as it means the ends of your binding can be nicely tucked (hidden away) into your outside binding. 

Inside Binding

For your inside binding, you can have a few options:

  • Purchase pre-made binding- Bessie Pearl Textiles has some lovely premade options. For the inside seam binding the 1/2"  bias tape is a good option
  • Make your own binding- You can either use 2.5" or 2.25" strips cut either straight (from selvage to selvage) or cut on a diagonal. The experts recommend cutting on a diagonal but this does require more fabric and more joins. I have cut my binding straight for all my quilt coats and had no problems. 

Once you have your strips cut and joined together, you will press the strips in half and fold each edge into the middle line and press again. You will end up with something like this:

Depending on the size of your quilt coat, you will need approximately 2-3 metres of binding. You can measure all the inside seams (including the arms) if you would like to know exactly how much you need. 

And now, it's time to get yourself some chocolate, find yourself a good Netflix series and park yourself in front of the TV- we are hand sewing this in (sorry). 

You can either use whip stitch (using a normal thickness cotton) or big stitch (using a thicker cotton like DMC Perle 8 or Sashiko thread to sew the inside binding in- I find that big stitch binding is quicker. Essentially we are going to sew along the two seam pieces to cover our seams. You can elect to press your seams flat, if you like a flatter finish and then sew the binding over the top, or press them together and sew the binding over the top which will lead to a less flat version. I left my seams as is which resulted in a semi flat seam. 

unfinished seam

Finished seam - you just stitch down each side. Only go through the top layer of fabric (eg try not to poke your stitches through to the outside of the quilt coat). You can also see from the above photo that the inside binding is tucked into the outside binding.

Once you have sewed in the inside binding, we can add the outside binding.

This is done in the same way as a normal quilt binding- using either 2.25" or 2.5" strips- you can machine sew on the top (the outer quilt layer) and either machine sew down the back (the quilt lining) or hand stitch it. I chose to big stitch mind as you can see in the above photo, using a contrasting thread and I love this extra detail that it adds! 

A quick tip for the binding of your sleeve holes- firstly start by measuring the circumference of your sleeves (on the outside) and add 1/2". 

Then cut your binding to this length. Unfold your piece and align the two edges toegther, right sides together, as follows:

Sew 1/4" seam at the end like this:

Press your seams open and then fold your binding back in half. 

Then align your binding piece with the outside of your quilt coat arm like this:

Sew around the edge using seam allowance as desired. If you have one, you may want to remove your sewing table to make it easier to fit to your sewing machine:

And guess what? You've now finished your quilt coat. I hope you loved making it and love wearing it even more! :-)  

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